When life gives you Lemon Queen, you can be certain that your message will stand out, and standing out is what air cargo market leader, Qatar Airways Cargo, is all about, so the news last week, that it has officially selected Lemon Queen as its communications agency comes as no real surprise. The two companies have been working together since the start of Qatar Airways Cargo’s WeQare initiative last year, kicking off with the striking image series for Chapter 1’s “1 Million Kilos”. CFG talked to Lemon Queen’s Founder and CEO, Audrey Serdjebi, to learn more about the collaboration.
“Communications agency Lemon Queen brings its disruptive approach to the number one airline, Qatar Airways Cargo” the press release reads, going on to state that “the partnership […] covers all aspects of Qatar Airways Cargo's communications, both external and internal: strategy, creation, advertising, public and press relations, social media, events and consultancy.” Lemon Queen, founded in OCT19, is a relatively new communications agency, but one that has a strong foundation in the air cargo industry, and is thus in a position to offer a boutique solution yet with a fresh, disruptive difference. There is much that ties the two companies together. "At Qatar Airways Cargo, excellence isn't reduced to profits, but encompasses all stakeholders in the industry, beginning with its employees. The airline is committed to sharing its values and defending them inside and beyond the borders of our industry. In that, we have a huge amount in common, and the Lemon Queen team is determined to demonstrate extraordinary insight to help amplify Qatar Airways Cargo's messages," Audrey Serdjebi, Founder & CEO of Lemon Queen, is quoted in the press release, which goes on to explain “In terms of innovation, digitalization, and performance, the airline has positioned itself as the market leader. But Qatar Airways doesn't plan on stopping there. It aims to use its reputation to defend strongly held values: Innovation, Performance, Sustainability, People, Future, Planet. For Qatar Airways Cargo, these aren't meaningless buzzwords – they are central pillars of its governance approach and of its way of envisioning its growth. And that's why Lemon Queen is so proud to be flying the flag high for Qatar Airways Cargo.”
CFG: How did the collaboration come about? When were the seeds of success sown?
AS: Qatar Airways enjoys an incredible reputation. Being the world's leading airline allows you the possibility to get an incredible number of messages across, and the company's cargo management is absolutely convinced that we all have a role to play in the legacy we leave for the next generation. Already deeply involved, they wanted to get even more in. Designing a sustainability program together, involving employees, and encouraging all the players in our industry to follow the lead is an ambitious challenge. Yet WeQare was born and it is proof that words can be transformed into lasting actions. Chapter 1 "1 Million Kilos" was our first collaboration. The first seed of success was to share the initial stage fright of the first launch, the work meetings with this incredible and passionate cargo team, and their desire and determination. And together, especially with Chapter 2 “Rewild the Planet”, we are absolutely convinced that we are only at the beginning of a great adventure. We share the same vision of our industry and common values, which makes our partnership very promising.
CFG: Does Lemon Queen have an open-ended contract or is it time-limited? And what does it encompass?
AS: It is a 3-year contract. We have been assigned to participate in all aspects of cargo management communication. But Lemon Queen's added value lies in its excellence in drawing inspiration from the sincere ambitions of its customers. Therefore, our mission is, above all, to highlight the reality of the airline.
CFG: How do you and Qatar Airways Cargo work together to develop your ideas?
AS: e-meetings, e-meetings, and e-meetings.
It is impossible to communicate without talking to each other, without meeting each other. The situation does not prevent us from creating opportunities for constant exchange. The rigorous approach of Qatar Airways Cargo and its ambitious projects are real drivers for our creativity. The trust we have in each other and the deep respect we have for each other are fundamental. Their good mood, their team spirit, and their incredible reactivity allow us to be altogether super-efficient. Super teamwork!!
CFG: A look at the Lemon Queen website shows your team illustrated as various baroque characters – what is the reason behind that?
AS: Lemon Queen. It’s about Queens and Kings. I’m French and I claim our original inspiration: Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, a bit revamped. It's our disruptive side, also assumed. She is our visual identity. We are communications specialists, but the agency was new, and to stand out among all the brilliant agencies out there, we had to be “remarkable”. You must first get yourself known, then you can convince people of your team's hard work, creativity and daring.
CFG: What actually led to the foundation of Lemon Queen in OCT19, and how did you experience the oddest year in air cargo last year?
AS: I love this industry. And I don't think I'll ever want to leave it. I've been in communications since I was 22 years old, and I've never felt as much at home as I do in the air cargo business. I owe it to Adrien Thominet and Bertrand Schmoll, respectively CEO and Chairman of ECS Group. They are the ones who took the risk of recruiting me when I had never heard of the acronym GSA. That was ten years ago. We have come an incredible distance together and they are the ones who gave me this irrepressible desire to communicate again and again and more. I love this industry and all the personalities you can come across. When the desire to contribute to amplifying each player's messages and to work with other communication talented people was felt, they encouraged me. First by remaining my client, which is an absolute luxury for a launch. And then, by remaining my family, which is fundamental for success. Here is the story of Lemon Queen.
2020 has been a tsunami for all of us. We miss our friends in the industry so much. It's hard to feed ourselves without these human exchanges. It's even harder to see friends lose their jobs or experience this crisis so badly. As for Lemon Queen, this year has taught us to resist, to work harder. The whole team at Lemon Queen has been supportive, we have worked harder so that we don't lose anyone along the way. This hard work is now part of our DNA. And at the service of our partners.
Thank you, Audrey Serdjebi! We wish you every success on this “great adventure” and look forward to seeing more of Lemon Queen’s disruptive ideas “taking off” in future!
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