Scott jams with Yasmina Pinto, Head of Brand at AGL, Australia’s largest energy retailer and energy generator. They discuss the long history of the brand, the challenges surrounding differentiation of a commodity most people take for granted, AGL’s strength in staying connected to customer’s needs and wants, and the importance of the people who live the brand every day in their work. They explore the relationship between brand and marketing, restoring human engagement in a performance marketing-driven world, and the role of brand across every touchpoint of an organisation. Yasmina talks about her passion for luxury branding and the joy of a brand experience that is fully manifested for the customer.
The conversation is best captured by a favourite quote of hers, that “Marketing is asking someone out on a date. Branding is the reason they say yes.”
Yasmina Pinto is a leading brand expert and educator. Yasmina was born in the former Yugoslavia, raised in Melbourne, influenced by Sydney, and is inspired in Noosa.
She is Head of Brand at AGL, Australia’s largest energy retailer and energy generator, having moved back to her home of Melbourne for the role in 2018, after 6 years in Sydney. During her time at AGL, she has established and implemented an enterprise-wide purpose, launched an extension of the brand to sell telco products, developed AGL Next: AGL’s home of innovation, and rolled out a sponsored content TV series: (Advancing Australia hosted by Guy Pearce).
Prior to AGL, Yasmina was Head of Brand at HCF, Australia’s third largest private health insurer, and the largest not for profit in the sector. At HCF, she led an enterprise brand transformation and her team won numerous awards including AdNews Brand of the Year 2017.
Afflicted with an addition to trying new things, and much to her husband’s dismay, she decided she needed a new challenge and whilst continuing to hold down the full time HCF role, took on a teaching gig at UNSW which led to a 2 year stint as a sessional academic, culminating in lecturing postgraduate Brand Management.
This followed an early career in marketing roles in the health and education sectors, and her first rebrand at the Australian Physiotherapy Association, after which Yasmina joined global brand consultancy FutureBrand.
At FutureBrand she managed projects such as a strategic brand merger of Energy Australia and TRUEnergy, a global brand extension for RMIT University, a rebrand for La Trobe University, development of a visual identity for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and a brand development for OnePath (ANZ).
Yasmina has almost 20 years experience across brand and marketing in services industries. She didn’t choose services consciously, she fell into services, though perhaps it’s not surprising considering services makes up 70 % of Australia’s economy (GDP, to be specific for the fact lovers). Yasmina’s passion for branding started with a marketing focused business degree at RMIT, where she did an honours thesis exploring the influence of parental brand preferences on their young adult children.
Her ‘brand’ remit includes brand strategy, brand management, marketing, sponsorships, loyalty partnerships, publications and collateral management, design management, retail and experiential marketing, content, communications and public relations.
Yasmina has a side passion for property and used to dream of becoming a property mogul. But then learned renovating is not nearly as glamorous as on TV, and is really hard work. In her free time she loves to read, eat, drink, be in nature, travel (when allowed) and is constantly working on being more ‘zen’. With a motto of ‘work hard, play hard, chill hard’ – Yasmina’s motivation is an early retirement to live the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle, made famous by Costa Rican culture.