Interviews / OAJ Biz

Meet Craig R Williams Jamaica’s Brand Strategist To Watch!!!

He’s a rising star in marketing and an experienced brand strategist, but what’s the deal behind economist-turned traveler-turned workout junkie Craig R. Williams and what’s he like away from the lens of Instagram and twitter? With his hashtag #FailedMyWayToSuccess, he’s not only done an overhaul on his accounts but his personal brand is on a new shift of silent success. OAJ’s Shane Bennett caught up with him during his recent jet-setting as we sought to unearth the man behind the brand.
SB: Thanks for taking time to speak with us. Firstly, what makes Craig tick?

CRW: Hungry to learn and experience the world in a very different but a strategic way – With #APlan…

SB: Interesting, you’re very accomplished, so tell me what you believe is your biggest achievement to date?

CRW: Executing my career change from sexy, sleek travel, trade and tourism Industry to hard-core manufacturing, in the Fast-Moving-Customer market industry.

SB: We notice your personal brand has a recurring hashtag #FailedMyWaytoSuccess, enlighten us as to what that means and how our readers can apply it to their own lives.

CRW: It’s basically, linked to the fact that, I strive to push myself to failure everything.  This allows me to grow and live my life in what I call ‘the stretch zone”.  It also empowers me to tell the universe what I want – because unlike most people, I don’t see failure as the opposite of success; its part success.

SB: You’re a big super-man fan, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?

CRW: I use to want the powers to fly earlier in my life – so I could travel to different locations.  These days, I prefer being invisible to allow me myself the opportunity to experience the world quietly.

SB: Time for some fun questions… Kindle or iPad?

CRW: All things Apple 🙂

SB: You’re a math geek, how did you end up in marketing?

CRW: I don’t think I am in hardcore marketing, with the feather banners and lite-boxes that Jamaicans are use to. My skills are more aligned to brand development, and capturing brand passion, then design different strategies and incorporating unique elements that communicates*to* the target audience. I found myself in this position after working closely with Mr. David L Shields at Sandals Resort International Head Office (SRI). I was able to utilize my critical thinking and problem-solving skills rooted in economics and statistics – to developed geo-demographic analysis of target audience – basically extracting the stories from numbers.

SB: If you could give a 27-year old Craig R Williams advice based on all you’ve experienced what would your advice be?

CRW: I posted about this today, I would send a “Thanks You Note” – thanks for not losing yourself in the Noise and thanks for embracing the qualities others deemed to be weakness, strange or weird.”

SB:   What the best lesson you’ve learnt from your failure?

CRW: That Failure is universal and it’s a prefect conversational piece – but it ultimately pushes me to “Innovate Everyday”.

 

SB: Let’s get personal… What are you currently listening? #2016 (For Running and Gym Songs)

CRW:

  1. Cheap Thrills – Sean Paul (I always stop and willie-bounce)
  2. Suicide Squad song track (SuperHeroes).
  3. Shabba Madda pot – Dexta Daps
  4. Love Me Now – John Legend

SB: Where do you go to get inspiration?

CRW: It’s weird but I just need to travel (locally or internationally), make random stops and engage people – You learn so much just listening to their stories – That always inspires me. However, my favourite location in the world is a beach.

SB: If you could go on tour which artiste would you want to open for?

CRW: Bob Marley


SB: You workout a lot, how has that helped your work ethic?

CRW: Workout does two critical things for me:

1. It offers me a break – “before I break someone”.

2. It physically challenges me to evolve.

This allows me to focus and cultivate a level of discipline to fulfill the demands of my current roles and functions.

SB: So it’s eighty years in the future, what would you want your great-great grandson to remember you for?

CRW: My grand-children will remember me for the one personality trait that never changes for me –I have been blessed with the Art of Letting Go.

 SB: Any professional collaborations you’d love to pursue?

CRW:

  1. Internationally – I have looked at Coca Cola LLC in ATL.
  2. Regionally – I have always been impressed by the growth and development of Digicel Group Limited.

SGB: In five words describe how you would pitch Jamaica to international investors

CRW: “Once You Go, You Know” – I still believe this is the best descriptor of Jamaica, Our people, Our Culinary and Our culture – #DriveByPassion.

SB: If there is a talent that you had that you did nothing with, what would it be and why?

CRW: If there is a talent that I have never really used – It would be my passion to teach.  However, I have started tutoring GSAT student recently on the evenings and weekends, when I don’t have to work.

SB: What is your perfect first date?

CRW: When I was in College – I remember one of the best dates was going to a culinary cooking class on Friday evening at Heather Little-White place.  So, I have always designed my first dates, around preparing a meal (pre-seasoned) with a great bottle of wine.  I have perfected this now – with access to great chefs in my life.

SB: Air BnB or hotel?

CRW: Hotel

SB: Home cooked meal or takeout?

CRW: I can’t cook, so I am very impressed by people who can do so “Home Cooked” meal preferred.

SB: Day at the river or day at the beach?

CRW: Life as a Beach (#Stewart).

SB: Best local chill spot?

CRW: The two cays off the coast of Port Royal…

SB: Best international chill spot?

CRW:  I still find New York City, as the one location that I always jet-away for a weekend just to chillax and do very lil…

SB: Is manufacturing really the best bet for Jamaica?

CRW: No single industry is best bet for Jamaica.  We have to understand the value-chain and how we can maximize the delivery of goods and services in the chain.   We also need to invest in value-added jobs and shift our training and educational programmes towards equipping our young people with wider range of experiences.


SB: Tell us something that you’re grateful for.

CRW:   I am grateful for the fact that I always having enough of everything at I need in life.  I can never say, I am not blessed with abundance of resources and access to even more than I could ever image.  So I really live my life without limits.

 

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