ANOMALY X NICOTALK: A CONVERSATION WITH NICOLE JUNEJA
We met up with Nicole Juneja of NICOTALK at the LovestruckcowHQ in Delhi and chatted about her approach to brand marketing and strategy. Over the years, she has not only worked with consumer brands and labels such as Kiehl’s and H&M but has also joined hands with campaigns and charitable foundations to bring their voices forward. She gave us a peek into her versatile career, she takes on everyday dressing and her soon-to-launch culinary venture.
Can you tell us about NICOTALK? Why fashion?
I started NICOTALK with a simple thought; I wanted to be more involved. During my many years as a publicist working with brands like Kiehl's and H&M, I was able to observe the many layers of their marketing and communication strategy. It's a lot going on! However, when done right, when every experience resonates with the brand identity and personality, it becomes a story (or experience) you just don't forget. That's my approach at NICOTALK.
Every brand has a unique story, and I want to help them best tell theirs. This means looking at the big picture. Creating an integrated marketing strategy that is unique to the brand. While media relations and influencer marketing are an important part of this mix, I also advise clients on content creation, social media management and digital marketing, by leaning on my experience with MissMalini Entertainment.
I've always had a soft spot for fashion, so as that kid-out-of-college, I looked for opportunities in this space. Given my actual experience now, it's been a natural progression for me to take on more collaborations here. That said, I also work with clients across the corporate and CSR sectors.
You seem to wear many hats, being a writer, publicist, blogger and brand strategist. How do you organize your time effectively?
It hasn’t been easy! That said, when you’re doing something you love, you find a way to make time. It often means a lot of late nights in front of the laptop, working weekends, but the adrenaline and excitement will tide you over.
What does branding mean to you? Do you follow a defined strategy when representing a brand? Tell us a bit about your process.
Branding is being able to successfully differentiate and communicate your story, to the right audiences, at each stage of your growth.
Comprehensive research is always the first step. Everything that's done after that is unique to the brand's identity and age (that's whether they've just started out or are a bit mature in the market). The integrated strategy will include the same key pillars. That's brand identity & content, media relations, digital & direct marketing, social media management, influencer outreach and collaborations; but how the messaging is designed and activities are curated, that is different for each client. No cookie-cutter work.
How would you define your style? Can you name a few of your favourite homegrown brands and designers you love to shop from and why?
Simple, but memorable. Very important to be comfortable, but I also like to throw in a fun element. Whether that's a white dhoti or just some big baubles, depends on the mood.
Few homegrown brands I'm stalking right now (very normal of course, thanks to the gram) and love to shop from includes Lila, Nimai, ANOMALY, OLIO, Injiri, Doodlage, Translate, Bias.
Favourite designer brands would have to be Péro, Vitasta, Rahul Mishra, Kanelle, Raw Mango, Love Birds, NBNW, Bodice, Aarti Vijay Gupta.
ANOMALY creates understated, functional workwear and everyday staples. Do you think the modern, Indian woman prefers simplicity and comfort on most days? Or, is the notion of ‘less is more’ adopted by just a few of us?
Less is more. Definitely for me, and I do think this rings true with more and more women today.
Wearing the kind of everyday staples ANOMALY has to offer is like being with a sweet friend all day. You feel comfortable. You feel good (because you look good!). So important, especially when you're having those long days at work, and still want to make it out for that late-night drink or coffee.
Can you tell us why you chose to wear this ensemble today? What do you look for when shopping for basics?
I tend to lean towards block colours, easy simple pieces, and away from embellishments. Pockets make me happy. Explains why this outfit felt right.
When shopping for basics, I look for outfits that are clean and understated but have an interesting silhouette or fun detail. Could just be a bright yellow lining; feels special. I can then dress it up with big baubles and my bright Ruby Woo of course.
What are the 3 key staples in your wardrobe that you can’t live without?
My black blazer, old boyfriend jeans and white dhotis.
Your favourite city, by far and why?
I'd have to say, New York. Just always so much to do and discover, with gorgeous beaches not so far away. And it's the city that never sleeps. For anyone who knows me well, that's a big plus!
What’s next for NICOTALK?
Lots! Looking into more collaborations with young creative brands. Will also be formally launching our first sister brand, Mood (@moodindelhi). It's a foodie concept with mother's home-cooked meals being home-delivered, but the weekly menu depends on the chef's mood! Expect a little lunch box soon x
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Photography: Tenzin Laghlayal (@tenlhagyal)