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Sunday Success - Christopher "Topher" Bourne


Who is Christopher "Topher" Bourne?

Christopher "Topher" Bourne is a music-loving creative with a passion for modern digital culture. Give me a good meme, good music and a good brief and I'm going to be the happiest kid in the world.

What does a typical day for Topher look like?

My days vary quite a bit now. I'm working a lot on developing my business and fine-tuning my own personal brand, so that entails everything from reaching out to prospective clients, to managing my own reputation. Outside of that, there's quite a bit of creative involved - especially writing - but none of that is do-able without some nice, old fashioned research. The one thing that's consistent about my day-to-day is that I'm going to be listening to music. Somehow, some way.

What was your first job?

My mum always made sure that I went after summer internships when I was in secondary school, but the first job I sought out was an internship after I graduated from UWI Cave Hill as a copywriter and producer at an agency. It soon developed into my first full-time role and to this date, I still think of it as one of the best learning experiences I have had. I learned that I was resourceful and I began to place more value on my creativity than I had before. I'd definitely recommend advertising agencies as a foundation for any marketer.

What would you consider to be your most memorable achievement to date?

I spent four years working at Mount Gay and each year I was blessed to carry out exciting campaigns both locally and internationally, but co-producing their 'Time Well Spent' campaign with experts in the field (agencies, and my favourite local photographer Kyle Babb) was the icing on top of an amazing experience. Seeing that placed in advertising spaces everywhere from Australia to Singapore to even British Vogue - that really made me feel like I'd been a part of something special.

What are 2 skills someone in the marketing field should possess?

I can't imagine being successful in this industry without being capable of listening. Seems simple but it's easy to go into professional situations with your own views and you can easily end up executing projects poorly because you had a myopic vision, mostly because you weren't actively listening to what your client and/or market were saying to you. I think it's also important to just have the audacity. The audacity to challenge, the audacity to be different and the audacity to be. We've got a responsibility as marketers to look at the status quo and say, "hey, let's shake this up a little - or a lot".

What would you consider to be an essential consideration when developing a marketing campaign and why?

Know your brand and know what the public thinks of your brand. Whenever I'm presenting to a client, I'm always sure to include some research that'll help with positioning. It's hard to communicate any ideas or execute anything at all if you have no idea who you are or where you currently stand.

WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram: One has to go.

I'd get rid of Facebook, simply because I've outgrown it. I have a stronger affinity for Instagram because I'm more of a visual person and it feels like a more compact interface, and WhatsApp's just more of a necessity at this point. I'd toss them all for Twitter if I could though!


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