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The brand cultivator

Julia Cyboran, BA 03
November 6, 2023
By Samantha Rideout, GrDip 10

A woman with long blonde-brown hair is wearing a black turtleneck with a light grey blazer draped over her shoulders. She is leaning on a red table.

Julia Cyboran sees brands as living entities, and nurturing their growth has been a consistent theme throughout her career.

“They’re intangible yet organic entities,” she says. “Each one has its own DNA.”

Cyboran has established herself as one of Montreal’s media and marketing leaders, with past roles that include editor-in-chief and publisher of Canadian women’s magazine LOU LOU, an executive at C2, the experiential-marketing company behind the annual C2MTL conference and as VP Global Brand at Montreal tech darling Lightspeed.

Now, as vice president of marketing in North America for Valtech, she’s expanding the footprint of the business-transformation agency in the region.

“The company’s HQ is in Europe and we have several offices here in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America,” she says. “It’s exciting to be leading marketing and brand-building for a company that continues to grow its footprint in North America. There is so much opportunity to develop unique strategies.”

Career highlight

“A moment that stands out was when LOU LOU magazine hit over a million readers. Print magazines were dying yet we were selling like crazy. It was wonderful to know the content we were producing meant something to people.”

A transforming industry

“My career has seen many cycles: the death of print, the birth of social media, several recessions and a pandemic. Part of the game is getting comfortable with transformation and reinvention. In marketing and media, we’re now using AI way more than before, but what does that mean for the craft of storytelling? You learn to manage the pitfalls of change and see how it can keep you fresh and keep the industry exciting.”

On the mutual benefits of mentorship

“I was fortunate, early on in my career, to have mentors who took the time to help me get better at my work. It’s become important for me to pay that forward by supporting the next generation. Also, as a more senior person in the industry, it’s how I learn what’s up and coming. Younger people give as much to me as I hope I’m able to give to them. It’s important to create those connections to help everyone evolve and thrive.”

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