Tom Hidvegi is a Creative Strategy Officer at DDB Budapest. Working with ‘magic and logic’ he’s helping companies in the C&EE region redesigning their market interaction models and brands to be more than just good.

Tom, Cannes Creative Leaders Program Graduate and MBA candidate at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, works with companies such as IKO TV Central Europe, Unilever, Michelin, UPC, Oracle and Skoda.

 He’s a believer in creative leadership, who’s worked with his top clients to create a Brand Leadership Team, which create a fusion between the company’s creative talents, their clients and Tom’s team of experts.


What would you say are the differences between Branding, Marketing and PR?

Branding is pull. Marketing and PR is push.



And could you further explain their inevitable relationship?

It is the right combination of magic and logic. It can provide an inter-relationship between creative strategy and business strategy. It should never be an either/or but both. 

With the usage of the right proportions you will not only find out why your brand exists, but what values it creates and how you can manage to deliver it via a great and relevant dialogue.


What are some of the common misconceptions about these three areas and their relationships?

Probably the biggest misconception comes from simply treating each of them as tools rather than skills. Brand owners often decide to choose one of the fields to excel 

based on what is urgent rather than what is important. Branding is EQ, marketing and PR is IQ.


BEST Marketing – Biz. Tom J. Hidvegi – Stop the clock it’s not a race!


With reference to the fashion industry, could you give us some examples of really successful branding and why you think so? What about the opposite? Do you have examples of really unsuccessful branding actions within the fashion industry that may have backfired?

We need to define what is success for a fashion brand first.  Creating value for customers in any form and shape can already be a success but in many cases it does not bring any financial success. Fashion is about discovering, it’s about stretching the boundaries of badge value creation.

It’s an ongoing battle of the hearts and minds helping customers to tell their own stories. Many brands make a mistake of  focusing too much on their very own stories. It’s about smart tailoring of thoughts and actions fulfilling both needs and desires.



How important is branding within the fashion industry?

Hating fashion is a fashion statement. It’s all about branding.


How can a brand with a limited budget develop a branding strategy?

An idea does not come from a budget. A story is born regardless of financial parameters. Nowadays, when the barriers of content and context are demolished, a story can be told easily. Just make sure you understand where your customers are. 

Some put it really smartly: “A brand that captures your mind gains behaviour, a brand that captures your heart gains commitment. ” Worrying about how to get your story out there efficiently and effectively is tactics not strategy.


What would be the some of the most important steps to follow to set up a strong brand?

Craft your story, connect, relate and promise. Then keep your promise.


Regarding creative expressions: What’s your opinion of the fashion film phenomenon? Do you believe that fashion films are able to tell stories without an actual storyline?

People react to images way better than to anything else. Full stop.

Worrying about a storyline is like worrying about what to wear on a first date.


What makes a good fashion film and would you say it’s an important tool to strengthen a fashion label?

Focus on what is not seen on the film but being evoked by the film. 

Leaving space for imagination is just as picturesque.



How can a smaller brands compete with the bigger budgets of more established brands?

Agility, storytelling and empowering customers. Developing content which 

can enable customers to create their own contexts. its not longer B2C, it’s C2B!


Lastly, how would you say branding can make a difference in new industries? How can filmmakers and brands decide on which fashion film festival to invest in? How can fashion film festivals set each other apart, when the industry is not yet full formed and still developing?

It’s all about recognition, recognition, recognition. Festivals are accelerators and amplifiers for your fashion brand. It’s a

 competitive environment and festivals help to literally compete and get recognised so you can add more story to tell.