Managing Partner, Stepworks

Stephen Barry Bio: 

Stephen and his team have a strong track record in helping organisations during strategic times of change, with brand strategy, messaging frameworks, design & digital. They have helped clients navigate change and capture opportunities these areas: Build awareness | Business expansion | Increase sales | IPO | M&A | New brand | Strategic shift | Strengthen culture | Brand upgrade.

Recently I spent about an hour with Stephen over a cup of cappuccino at the FCC, Hong Kong. I must admit received a massive reality check. Stephen Barry is one of my Mentors who is a huge catalyst for my rethinking of the overall creative and strategic directions as the leader of my group of companies.

Stephen Barry is a source of ‘light’ in the dark clouds of hype, where most people are seduced by joining the latest gimmick bandwagon, chasing CLIO Awards rather than profitability and sustainability.

As a former Copywriter with Leo Burnett Hong Kong and Wunderman Thompson, I treasure how my copywriting has contributed to the creative process. Stephen Barry is an Art Director by trade. He did impeccable branding for his clients such as HK Tramways, HKEX, Swire Pacific, Shangri-La Hotels (see his portfolio:

3 Takeaways from Stephen Barry:

Firstly, I was reminded by Stephen to simplify creativity and to help our clients to define something I call “Descriptive Category” – you must be able to discipline yourself and describe yourself, your business, product and services in LESS THAN 5 words (every time you introduce yourself and your company)!

Stephen’s business card is deceptively simple. His Descriptive Category is “Wholehearted Brand Building”. I salute you, Stephen Barry – for your simplicity.

Secondly, I have since realigned the overall organizational identity of ChangeU Group (Transformational Learning & Consulting), which includes Movsha (Inspirational Speaker Bureau), Hotelfinity (Heartfelt Hospitality), Careerfinity (Connecting Career Metaverse), Purple Youth CSR (Courageous Youth Transformation), Spiri Expo: (Ethical Entrepreneurship), and Heritage Group (User-friendly Metaverse Building).

Thirdly, he gave me brutally honest but constructive feedback about my new business called Heritage Builder  in Web3, Metaverse, NFTs. Just like when the DOTCOM BUBBLE BUST around year 2000, but after the massive hype and greed passed, the internet evolved to what is today. I sense this will also happen with Web3 with current environment of scammers, Web3 demigods, and greed. I sense Web3 will evolve and stay for a longer period than skeptics predict. As a freelance journalist and media host I need to be open to all sides of opinion. I will use a NO HYPE approach to metaverse building, NFT utiity writeups in Discord, and cut off the WEB3 jargon.

Moral Of The Story: Every CEO and HOD needs a Coach/Mentor.

9 Factors Why Stephen Barry is SAME as Robren:
[1] They are both started their career in creative industry.
[2] They are both entrepreneurs and business owners.
[3] They are both influential change agents, they transform the industry and their craft.
[4] They don’t believe in hype, winning creative awards for clients or self. (“If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative!”)
[5] They are both boldly creative.
[6] They are the nicest guys around.
[7] They are badass in telling the brutal truth.
[8] Often times their clients approach them eventually when they are desperate for positive change.
[9] They unconsciously play the role of “The Mirror” (some people hate and react extremely strongly and attack at what they see in the mirror especially when rhey are in deep denial).

5 Factors WHY Stephen Barry is DIFFERENT from Robren:
[1] Stephen is is an Art Director and Robren is a Copywriter by trade.
[2] Stephen focus is branding (present your fish in the best light), and Robren focus is learning (teach you how to fish).
[3] Stephen is bold but not a risk-taker, and Robren is a Freelance Investigative Journalist (was sued in high court for alleged defamation for US$2M) and a Show Host.
[4] Stephen is an Eurasian, and Robren is a”yellow banana” (Western in mindset and Asian in values).
[5] Stephen is a tall guy, and Robren has “Buddha’s Ears”.

robi creative: #outofthisworld Brandwriting-Design-PR

Written by: Robren, Creative Director, robi creative

Published on: 26 December 2022.
Updated on: 26 December 2022.
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