TRA Journal


TRA boosts cultural strategy offering; appoints Laura Mulcahy as new Director, Cultural Strategy

Hannah Cooke

Research and insights agency TRA has appointed futurist and trend forecaster Laura Mulcahy to the newly created role of Director, Cultural Strategy.

Based in TRA’s Melbourne office, Mulcahy will work across TRA’s Trans-Tasman business leading cultural strategy and foresight initiatives, ensuring TRA sustains its market-leading cultural strategy offering and continues to build its reputation of inspiring growth for ambitious brands.

Working in close collaboration with TRA’s executive leadership team, Mulcahy’s initial focus will encompass a deep dive into TRA’s annual review of cultural currents driving change and their relevance to brands.

Andrew Lewis, co-founder and MD of TRA said the importance of this role as a catalyst for TRA’s ongoing success could not be underestimated.

Lewis said: “We needed a practitioner with a deep knowledge of cultural foresight, critical thinking and cultural practice to lead Trans-Tasman client work across TRA’s cultural strategy offering and I am confident we have found that person in Laura.”

Lewis continued: “Laura is a proven leader with an enviable track record of global experience garnered from her time at Nike; a brand clearly at the forefront of cultural nuance and global trends.  Her experience working on large-scale Nike projects, driving brand strategy through intelligence and insight gathering; and ultimately translating data into meaningful insights, will help our clients’ brands be at the cutting edge of cultural relevance. We are thrilled she has accepted this significant role.”

Prior to joining TRA, Mulcahy spent nearly a decade at Nike, USA, most recently as Research Manager leading and executing research across the US, Europe and Asia, which ultimately informed and inspired Nike’s design, brand and business. Prior to that she held the role of Nike’s Senior Trend Forecaster, working alongside the Global Trend team to research and analyse global trends and lifestyle shifts that drive sport and culture.

On her new role, Mulcahy commented: “​TRA is fast becoming a powerhouse in the Trans-Tasman cultural strategy market. I’m excited to join at a time when there is so much momentum across Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand. Now more than ever, global macro trends need local nuance. TRA has that local advantage. I'm thrilled to be leading the cultural foresight discipline and bringing clients closer to their consumers.”

Lewis continued: “Laura has built her career on understanding the art and science of product with a sharp sense of the global trends and behaviours that define culture. As a futurist, she has an intense interest in forecasting what the world might look like tomorrow and I can’t wait to see the value she will add to our business and our clients. Having Laura in this role will ensure TRA continue to be leading thinkers for our clients.”

Alongside Mulcahy, TRA Melbourne has made several new appointments, including Account Director, Kristian Williams (previously Research Design Manager, ANZ) and Senior Consultant, Daniel Kobrin (previously Senior Consultant, ISG).

As senior client service roles, Williams and Kobrin share a remit to establish and build relationships with TRA clients, founded on a shared value of delivering powerful work that influences and impacts changes for the business’ partners. 

Mark Hobart, Managing Partner, TRA Melbourne, says, “I’m thrilled to welcome Laura, Kristian and Daniel to the TRA team and have their expertise on the ground here in Melbourne. At TRA, we have a strong belief that great minds don’t think alike. We bring together experts from different disciplines to help solve client problems, because we know that approaching the problem from different perspectives will lead to better strategy and outcomes.”

Mulcahy commences her role effective immediately, reporting directly to Mark Hobart, Managing Partner, TRA Melbourne.