In today’s digitally-engrossed world, brands are vying for consumer attention with content in various forms, whether that’s through captivating visuals or stop-and-make-you-think slogans. But how can a smaller brand stand out from the crowded market online and be discovered by potential consumers? And what does it take for a brand to build meaningful connections with consumers?

I spoke to an entrepreneur who knows how brands can do just that. Federica Attanasio is Co-Founder and Creative Director of We Are F, a women-focused London and Milan-based creative boutique that builds brands with and for women.

Attanasio will be involved with the WomenX Impact summit, the largest international event centered around female empowerment and female entrepreneurship that will take place from 30 September to 1 October 2021 in Bologna, Italy.

She told me what spurred her and fellow Co-Founder and Business Director, Federica Pecis, on to establishing their creative boutique.

“We first met working for the same digital marketing agency in London. After some intense juggling of numerous clients and projects, we realized we were actually quite good at it (humble brag). However, we were both a little fed up with feeling overworked and under-appreciated.

One day, Federica P came to me and said, “We should start our own agency.” And that was that. Following our research, we discovered a shocking lack of creative agencies that authentically understood how to work with and for women. Because marketing has traditionally been such a male-dominated world, we founded this business to build brands that work for women.”

Having worked in the creative industry myself, I wasn’t surprised to learn that agencies, largely run by men, couldn’t fathom how to deliver strategies and designs that truly reflect the brand women want to showcase. It’s encouraging to hear that We Are F is providing valuable services for women, and women can trust they will deliver.

However, Attanasio wanted to point out that their service is not unique – and that’s not a bad thing.

“Saying that we predominantly work with brands that communicate with women has (thankfully) become less of a differentiator. Over the last few years, several other agencies have taken a similar path, which obviously makes us immensely proud.”

With that in mind, I asked Attanasio what makes We Are F different from her competitors.

“What we do differently is how we approach and develop a rapport with our clients. We like to define ourselves as a boutique rather than an agency and pride ourselves on our holistic and personable approach. We’re also straightforward and honest. If we think a client is underselling themselves, we will be direct and tell them to go bigger.”

Both Attanasio and Pecis expanded their remit and launched We Are Female Athletes, an agency dedicated to female athletes. Attanasio explained why she felt it was important to launch this initiative.

“Much like with We Are F, we noticed that female sport is becoming much more mainstream. However, the disparity between male and female athletes is still in the order of magnitudes. Particularly in the wake of the last FIFA Women’s World Cup – more people than ever watched it, yet the chasm between rewards for men and women remained staggering.

Female athletes have to work twice as hard, sometimes more, for half the recognition. Many of these women are pioneers in their areas of expertise, reaching new heights all the time. It only seemed fair that we offer our support to them too.”

We Are Female Athletes support athletes by providing rising stars and established icons with fair representation and competitive rates, allowing them to firmly address the imbalance with their male counterparts. Attanasio stresses that it’s not just about the money.

“It’s about demonstrating that female athletes are superhuman champions too. They are the best at what they do for a reason, and that should be celebrated.”

The agency works with talent from across the globe, with many already reached or on the journey of making it to the Olympics. Along with track and field athletes, the agency works with footballers, kitesurfers, and motocross champions. Notable names include captain of Inter Milan Regina Baresi, British kitesurf champion Hannah Whiteley British, and artistic gymnast Danusia Francis.

Ahead of WomenX Impact summit, I asked Attanasio what motivated her to get involved with the event. 

We Are Female Athletes was born with female sport in mind. Female athletes and their stories have always been a source of inspiration and real socio-cultural change. The values and shared passions of Eleonora Rocca [Founding Director of WomenX Impact] and her team were too much to miss out on.”

I also asked why she felt events like these are important in this day and age. “We want to see a world where women are free to choose creative endeavors, business, home life, or motherhood. And without a gaggle of people saying, “Is that really the right fit for you?” or “Have you thought about x instead?

Events like WomenX Impact are a huge stepping stone on that journey. Regardless of whether online or in-person, the important thing is that communities like this exist for women to support each other until our institutions can do the same.”

The inequalities in both the creative and sports industries that largely favor men over women is something Federica Attanasio is determined to change. Along with her fellow Co-Founder, they have shown that redressing the balance is possible to achieve.

The Tempest is a proud media partner of WomenX Impact. Stay tuned for more interviews to come about their badass speakers, leading women in every sector!

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