Tag Archives: purpose

Jackman Reinvents

Joe Jackman Reinvents How Brands Embrace Change



Not many people – or brands — love change as much as Joe Jackman. The CEO of Jackman Reinvents has been a valued advisor to major retailers like Staples and brands like Flow Water, to B2B companies and to private equity partners. In this episode hear how he uses insights about trends and human behavior to drive change – or reinvention – and why that’s essential for a brand today.
Jackman believes that moving from town to town as a kid with his retail exec dad emboldened him and taught him relationship skills. To the envy of any who have experienced “imposter complex,” Jackman has confidently embraced change professionally, moving from creative to CMO to CEO, admittedly making it up as he went along at many of the stops along the way. Learn what’s needed for companies to thrive, and the consequences for those that choose to emulate ostriches.
This 40-minute conversation is filled with insights – or, as Jackman calls them when working with clients, “nuggets you can actually hang a strategy off.”
I encourage a full listen, but here are some unmissable elements and Jackman Takeaways:
  • Change has been coming fast and furious for many years, but the pandemic has compressed the need for speed to do things differently now; not just in people’s lives, but in the dynamics of the marketplace
 Jackman Takeaway: If you’re not changing and evolving, you’re stuck. That would probably be the best scenario. But the more common scenario is you’re moving backwards or, in business terms, you’re waning or dying.”
  • Joe Jackman explained his personal path and how an appreciation of change took him from creative director to business owner after stints helping launch brands like Joe Fresh (no relation!).
 Jackman Takeaway: “I said, why can’t I be a brand strategist? What do I need to know? Who do I need to learn from? And then, eventually, I just thought, ‘Why can’t I shape strategy at the very highest level?”
  • That attitude led to becoming a “reinventionist” – and the definition thereof:
Jackman Takeaway: “It’s a word I made up, but basically the definition is to just be really good at making change happen and to great benefit. The world needs more people with the skills and in the mindset of making change.”
  • Learn which immutable law of marketing he adopted from Al Ries and Jack Trout and built his agency on.
  • Jackman’s concept of reinvention is tied to “invention,” and a brand’s transformation is intrinsically tied to its DNA.
  • We need to collectively “reposition the entire idea of change in our minds as a positive force, and essential. It should be seen as creating the next best, most powerful and relevant version of you or your company.” (He literally wrote the book on this: “Reinventionist Mindset”with a set of five principles for change.)
  • The status quo – especially when paired with success — is a killer. Business model life cycles, executives’ tenures, the length of brands’ relevance, are all compressing. So, since “the future arrives daily,” brands need to figure out step-by-step how to evolve and “get pro athlete good at it or you have it done to you.”
  • Learn how Jackman helped Staples create trial stores that were hybrid workspace meets product sampling; and transformed Rexall, including being the first drugstore in Canada to start offering flu shots.
Jackman Takeaway on Retail: “In a world of choice, which is what the internet did to retail, retail was relatively slow to adapt…. There are exceptions, but retail generally sat and was lacking innovation… A lot of disruption was enabled by that sense of ‘oh, maybe one day we’ll evolve, but stores are the thing now…’. If retail leadership was prescient in reading what’s happening, Amazon wouldn’t exist. Casper wouldn’t exist. Netflix wouldn’t exist and there’d be a streaming service called Blockbuster.”
Big Jackman Takeaway: “There’s probably only one rule in all of this work in transformation: That you must deeply understand who your customers are and what they care about most. …beyond function, into the world of emotion. Most marketers focus on the means. Understand what the end is.”
  • Jackman gives his definition of a brand and why adopting that helps drive trust.
Jackman Takeaway: A brand equals purpose elevated to experience, delivered consistently. Most companies haven’t got that very well defined, and, and yet, if you look at the evidence, purpose led companies tend to outperform their peers.”
  • Cohesive messaging and linkage between ideas and all advertising is essential to continue the brand message.
  • It takes balance and a strong foundation to leverage both brand awareness and demand marketing (and he explains how it relates to dating!)
 Jackman Takeaway: “Performance marketing today is important — because it’s data centric and it’s measurable and we can adjust it — …as long as it ladders up to a higher order of purpose. If there’s no red thread that links to that, that’s not good. You can’t build trust. …And today’s measure of success is if I truly have a relationship with the brand.”

  • Trust, and being in a Values Economy is greatly affecting brands right now.
  • Sustainability and similar values are amplified more now in our pandemic context and impact how consumers make purchase decisions…There’s a lot of de-selection going on today.”
  • Jackman also explains the only two consumer choice tiebreakers

 

 Jackman Takeaway: “I’ve helped well north of 50 companies, and along the way I noticed we’re wired as humans to behave in certain ways. One of the things we don’t love is change. … But I observed ways of thinking and doing that enabled success to come faster… I got them down to five. … For example, the first one is ‘seek insight everywhere’.”
  • Learn to understand cultural currency and even reinvent the old marketing maxim of: ‘I need to pay attention to the customers that I do the most business with.’ (Hint: that’s fine, but you also “don’t want to be a brand or a business that’s like a great aunt: you know, fondly thought of, but never visited.” [That hit a little close to home for this host! Just sayin’.] So, learn to have relevant conversations with the up and coming set of customers [and with, note to self, the nieces and nephews.]
  • Understand how DEI dovetails with cultural relevance and brand values…  and what Jackman would change most about our world. (Note: Hat tip: Maryam Banikarim)
Finally, what brand would Jackman reinvent next?

“What do I want to reinvent? The next company that interests me or has lost its way. And there’s so much of that. How wonderful to spend a career on just figuring out the next act of whatever! And, since climate change is real, and we have to start to make a real difference, those are the kinds of opportunities I’m gravitating towards now. And I’m super excited to be at least part of the solution as best I can.”

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Find Jackman Reinvents at: https://www.jackmanreinvents.com
On Insta: https://www.instagram.com/wearejackman/
Find Joe Jackman, his book and podcast at: https://www.joejackman.com/
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Having Sway – Danielle Wiley on Influencer Marketing



In 2020,  Danielle Wiley was included in the revered “Top 50” list by Talking Influence. And the agency she founded, Sway Group was selected by Chief Marketer as one of just three influencer agencies of the “2020 Chief Marketer 200”. So it’s a safe bet that she has something to say about #influencermarketing. And that’s what she did, in Epi 32 of Insider Interviews.

I’d had the chance to experience Wiley’s thoughts last year when she contributed to The Continuum, a publication about brand + demand marketing, which I’m privileged to edit. In that article she explained how to look at the KPIs of influencer marketing a little bit differently, and the varied ways to determine impact and engagement. We touched on that in this conversation, but a 30-minute conversation gives you a chance to understand much more — not just about this food writer turned marketer, but things like how cause-marketing is another essential ingredient in influencing consumers. And these days, Sway has evolved to embrace that (and she shared case study examples) as well as digital advertising, both programmatic and paid social, and built what was a natural extension: a content studio.

One of my favorite discoveries about Wiley (aside from learning about our common roots working at Food Network in the early days!) was that she was a baker and a cheesemonger at one point. I believe that takes the cake for eclectic pasts among my podcast guests. Her culinary chops have served her well, though, as she can name several brands in or around the category as clients, including Igloo, Coleman, and Domino’s.

If that didn’t get you hungry to hear more, here’s what else we discussed:

  • Wiley’s evolution from a baker and blogger to early stage expert in social media to our common ground in marketing chefs like Emeril as “c-hunks”!
  • Her observation of the power of engagement with popular bloggers — and the infusion of trust vs. the singular appeal of celebrity

In its infancy influencers were treated more like journalists. Brands were just sending them product and expecting that they would get reviews out of it. That worked …for a short period of time. …Then they realized ‘if we’re just sending them a box of Mac & Cheese, we can’t have control over messaging…’. And we started paying them.

  • How the transition from providing product to bloggers to hiring them necessitated greater trust and authenticity in the influencer, and the path to creative content was laid
  • How Sway itself evolved away from the “Hollywood agent” business model to be able to scale and replicate requests — whether for moms of bedwetters or people who picnic with pizza
  • How brands solve for the demand for content tonnage across multiple channels — which sparked the birth of a content studio
  • Why the most important step in the strategic brief is a deep dive into the brand’s KPIs — impressions? engagement?

The big thing to remember is that as you increase in following the engagement rate goes down dramatically.

  • What’s a micro or a nano influencer and why does it matter — and the various forms of sponsorship. (Hint: Feel free to sponsor THIS podcast just by buying me a coffee!)
  • The shift from wanting to steer clear of influencers with a point of view, to actively seeking that out — and how the GenZ demand for brand purpose has influenced how brands use influencers!
  • Wiley explained the two initiatives Sway worked on for Stonyfield Farms, for example – tapping eco-conscious influencers and creating a cause-related corporate initiative

We took a deeper dive into pro-social initiatives and examples, and the confluence of content channels. (Of course I mentioned the conference I’m producing about the intersection of television and podcasting for example!) And that led to a chat about why Wiley’s family gets a little annoyed about her heavy podcast consumption habit!

Find Danielle Wiley at:

Sway’s social channels are:
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KoAnn on Building Sustainable Brands – Epi 28



KoAnn Skrzyniarz has been making a strong case for building Sustainable Brands in global conversations with some of the world’s biggest advertisers. It’s all about the business value of environmental and social purpose. And the data is on her side.

In time for Earth Month, or any time, in Epi 28 KoAnn (frequently known by just her first name) shares not just the “whys”, but some recent “hows”: how sustainability has moved the needle for leading brands and how to be resilient in a “VUCA” world. A what?

Listen; she’ll explain, and we also discuss:

  • The impetus for creating Sustainable Brands – and if its mission has changed more than 15 years later?
  • What kind of changes has she seen in the brand and media marketplace in terms of embracing brand purpose

“Twenty years ago it was not recognized that companies that understood how to innovate for environmental and social benefit were going to be the companies that survived and thrived in the 21st century.”

  • Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) a good description? (Hint: KoAnn explains why it’s more a “business opportunity” and why the ANA [Association of National Advertisers] uses he notion of ‘good growth’. )
  • How companies should integrate their brand marketers and strategists, the product and service positioning teams AND the sustainability/procurement/diversity teams
  • Is our current focus on brand purpose just another trend? How does it compare to the green rush of the 2007 timeframe or rallying around Hurricane Katrina? Have companies evolved in their mission-driven work?
  • The data supportive of sales driven by environmental and social value propositions; What kinds of brand transformation are happening — and at which companies?
  • How have companies like Clorox and P&G navigated the road to sustainability? And what is a Brand Transformation Roadmap?
  • How has Sustainable Brands itself pivoted during the pandemic to salvage — and even grow — their world-class conferences in a VUCA world! (There it is again!)

 Additional Links:

SB Brand Transformation RoadmapSM.

Sustainable Brands global conferences 

P&G Planet KIND brand

Clorox Company social responsibility

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Heidi Zak: Supporting Women with Brand Purpose



Heidi Zak has been in finance, in retail and in tech. Like most women, she’s also been in plenty of dressing rooms trying to find the right bra, leading her to build ThirdLove, one of the largest online bra and underwear companies in America.

Close encounters with the NOT ThirdLove kind of shopping experiences, meaning the universal ick-factor of cold hands and awkward measurement moments with in-store underwear salespeople, were part of Zak’s a-ha moment. So, putting all of her professional and personal experience together, she created a brand that disrupted an entire industry — to the great relief of uncomfortable women everywhere.

Her first-to-market service as a DTC bra retailer hit some, ah, curves, along the journey but Zak has been named everything from Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs to a Fortune “40 Under 40”, and more.

Part of the accolades stem from how Zak has embraced not just brand marketing but brand purpose. Inclusivity at ThirdLove means being the only brand to offer more than 80 bra sizes, including their unique half cup sizing – and donating over $40 million worth of products to women in need. It has also helped evolve an old school industry previously defined by a narrow concept of beauty with a focus on inclusivity.

“We didn’t want to look like any other bra brand which mostly photographed skinny, generally white women with small boobs and generally did it in a really sexy way. So, we set out to build something radically different from scratch…. Back then there were barely any plus size models.”

Further iterating on inclusivity, ThirdLove launched a new initiative during COVID-challenged 2020: The TL Effect, to support entrepreneurial women of color.

“…Brand purpose has to be authentic, true to who you are and what you stand for, and what you’re building. Otherwise it can fall flat, or a consumer sees through it.”

While Zak and I commiserated about finding a proper fitting and comfortable bra I was a bit discomfited to discover that this rock star CEO/mom of two has managed to use her homebound pandemic time to also hyper-organize her home, when I haven’t even organized my sock drawer. In a conversation perfectly apropos Women’s History Month, hear how, in addition to organizing her home, this efficient CEO/co-founder has organized her company for success through adapting to the changes of the pandemic.

Envy aside, we discussed:

  • Her path from small town Main Street to Wall Street, Herald Square to Silicon Valley
  • How an encounter with the founders of Lyft drove her to solve another consumer problem, one bra at a time

“In 2012, if you look at what had existed [for bra shopping] at that time, there were department stores, Victoria’s Secret and some big box stores. There certainly weren’t online bra brands at the time. And that was the idea: better brand, better product, better online shopping experience for women.”

  • Zak on disruption and her definition of DTC, and why it was important for ThirdLove to “have a direct way to speak to our customer, to educate her, to bring her along the journey, to make her feel really comfortable.”
  • The product evolution — from one bestselling bra to their recently launched Fit Finder — and the pivot required by pandemic-era marketing
  • Navigating manufacturing and funding, especially as a woman seeking financing from primarily men (Note: McKinsey reports women are still only 21% of the C-suite and of those are mostly white women.)
  • Early-stage ThirdLove marketing tactics and positioning
  • How their innovative “try before you buy” program along with ads that asked if women were ‘Ready to graduate from Victoria’s Secret?’ drove 1 million new customers
  • How and why they leveraged podcasting as one of their main ad vehicles in 2015, baffling some investors
  • The pros and cons of linear and OTT TV
  • How ThirdLove spans Black History Month to Women’s History Month and beyond by uplifting women, in all senses of the word

“We were trying to figure out how ThirdLove was going to help support and impact change in the broader community. The TL Effect helps give female founders of color a little more of a voice in a crowded marketplace. We launched in June and picked our first recipient, Arra Simms, founder of Kewtie Nails.”

  • How ThirdLove keeps the conversation going with unconscious bias training required for all employees
  • The value of brand purpose to the bottom line
  • Aside from having Katie Couric in the ThirdLove influencer camp, Zak describes her use of micro-influencers: “real women who act as an advocate or a friend to the people who follow them.”
We wrapped with Zak projecting which industry, just as she disrupted one, could be ripe for a revision next.  Whatever it is I am certain Zak will be first to leverage the next new thing.

For those who caught my mid-episode mention of my podcast and content marketing services please reach out for help with podcasting to grow your brand. Click here to request a copy of my Seven Steps to Setting Up a B2B Podcast.