A Day In The Life Of Brand Strategist Clark Kent Koga In Sydney
Lifestyle

Clark Kent Koga Balances Work And Play While Working As A Brand Strategist In Sydney

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

Vogue Philippines converses with various personalities of different backgrounds and professions to see what a day in their life looks like. From dressing up in unique outfits right before he starts working at 7:00 AM, to an end of day swim alongside his wife, here’s a rundown of Clark Kent Koga’s day as a brand strategist based at home in Sydney.

Clark Kent Koga has been living in Sydney, Australia for almost a decade. Before setting up his homebase in the land Down Under, the Filipino-Japanese-Australian brand strategist grew up in Manila and moved to Singapore to work for Google. He left the company to take a sabbatical and figure out his next steps, but the pandemic changed his plans. “With nothing to busy myself with, I decided to reach out and offer my skills to businesses I admired—no one was walking into shops, and every business had to quickly figure out how to operate online, something I knew how to do,” he says. Thus, his brand consultancy called department (yes, with a lowercase d) was born.

department specializes in go-to-market and growth strategy, digital marketing, and data analytics. The company has worked with some of Australia’s freshest brands, including UP THERE, Emma Mulholland on Holiday, Studio Henry Wilson, WARDROBE.NYC, Leif Products, Song for the Mute, and Worktones. Looking at his clientele, Koga believes that “these brands are clear and secure in their perspective, in what they are doing and making,” and this clarity of vision resonates with him, especially at this point of his life. 

Koga came to realize as he got older that success is not finite; choice is. He shares, “In your twenties, you’re afforded a lot of choice because you likely have fewer considerations: no mortgage, no health condition, no children or aging parents. As you grow older, your choices tend to narrow—not because you can’t actually do things, but that you have so many other things to think about before being able to do things.”

That said, it became clear to Koga how valuable “choice” is and how you determine success is based on how you choose to define it for yourself. “In my (tiny) business and the work that I now do, I believe I’m successful. Not because of anything external, but because it allows me so much choice. I choose how to spend my time. I choose what projects to take on.” 

With his current job entailing a mostly remote setup and a schedule that he could control, he is able to spend more time with his wife, he is able to try new things, and he is able to live the life that he wants to lead.  “I’m self-employed and work from home, so I have relatively full control of my time. I do chat to my brands regularly, but I split my week between thinking days and meeting days to contain the catch-ups to time blocks. I spent far too much of my twenties in meetings and I’m actively trying to curb that. Today happens to be a *very* exciting day at home (read: sarcasm).”

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

“I co-opted our dining room into my office.”

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos
Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

“I originally got this vintage IKEA chair thinking it would only be for display, but it’s suprisingly comfortable to work on all day.”

7:00AM

“I love an early start and I’m typically at my desk before 7am, fully (over)dressed. Because I’m no longer concerned with what’s office-appropriate (and granted, Google was already pretty lax about this), I find that I’m playing with clothes more and dressing for myself. Like I used a tie clip today to keep this tie fanned out instead of holding it in place. Are my outfits getting ridiculous? Definitely. Will anyone else see what I’m wearing? I’ll dress up regardless.”

Photo by Clark Kent Koga / @lectronic

“A lot of days, only my wife and this mirror see my outfits.”

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos
Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

“I put shoes on even if I’m just home all day. It helps switch to a mindspace for work.

“This is a week’s worth of shoes that may or may not have left the house.”

Photo by Clark Kent Koga / @lectronic

“I have two work modes:

  1. Data processing: spending time in Google Analytics and spreadsheets, pulling out insights to inform iterations on marketing strategies. Is the new product moving? Is the campaign generating good returns? Are there any friction points in the customer’s path to purchase?
  2. Campaign building: selecting images, writing copy, and putting all that out to the world. Does this image show off the best parts of the product? Is the copy compelling and succinct? Will it pull people into the brand’s world?

“It’s a good balance of both sides of my brain. I also get to put the time I spend online (which is a lot) to good use. I take note of what catches my eye, save references for interesting content, note trends that are gaining momentum, and I bring that to my conversations with my brands and how we approach what we do.”

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos
Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

“I spend a lot of time on a computer, so I take productive screen breaks throughout the day: cleaning, laundry, running errands, eating snacks. I love remerchandising — how I refer to rearranging objects around the house, lol — because it brings a sense of newness to our space every so often and rekindles the magic in old objects I’d forgotten about.”

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos
Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

“I find arranging objects into grids very, very calming.”

9:30AM

“Whenever there’s an object that I can’t quite figure out what to do with, I leave it somewhere visible and wait for an idea to come. This week, it’s this pliable metal sheet that I got in Naoshima a while back and has been collecting dust on the bookshelf. I finally had a play on one of my screen breaks this morning and twenty minutes later, it became a catchall for jewelry, something I actually needed.”

Photo by Clark Kent Koga / @lectronic
Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos

1:00PM

“These breaks re-energize me for another block of work. For this particular block, I’m selecting images and writing copy for a new campaign for UP THERE, a Melbourne-based retailer with the freshest selection of clothing and sneakers. I also move around the house for a change of scenery.”

Photo by Nick Tsindos / @nicktsindos
Photo by Clark Kent Koga / @lectronic

“I love finding an image that takes you out of the endless scroll.”

5:30PM

“I usually wrap in the arvo (afternoon for the non-Aussie) with some exercise: weights, swimming, or a hit of tennis. Since it’s summer and the sun sets late, my wife and I squeeze in a swim as often as we can. Best way to bookend a workday.

“I think a lot about those whose lives I find fascinating, and it’s often they who tried new and varied things on the way to figuring out what they were great at: Christopher Walken was a lion tamer, Mrs. Prada is a trained mime artist. Maybe my future iteration is something in the circus. We’ll see. Perhaps after this swim.”

Photo by Clark Kent Koga / @lectronic
Photo by Clark Kent Koga / @lectronic
More From Vogue

Share now on:
FacebookXEmailCopy Link