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Her Success Story - A Podcast By Ivy Slater

Diana guests on the Her Success Story podcast where Ivy Slater interviews gutsy business women as they share their success journey. They chat working with Jane Goodall, early roots in food, beverage, and wellness, access to healthy food, the difference between problem solvers and innovators, the benefits of diversity in a company and more! Tune in. https://wavve.link/hersuccessstory

Links to this episode: 

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/her-success-story/id1339198688?mt=2

Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9zbGF0ZXJzdWNjZXNzLmxpYnN5bi5jb20vcnNz

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/40MFAll3R0M7EUCnA81QXH?si=D4-QfYpzSp-9Ch8MXtoIYA&dl_branch=1

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/slatergraf1

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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Food & Beverage Brand Leaders: It’s Not All About You

“I’m not feeling it.” “This doesn’t do it for me.” “I want to be wowed.”

Are your emotions, opinions, and whims getting in the way of advancing the brand you’ve built? If you’re like many food and beverage entrepreneurs, you might be.

Entrepreneurship is cool. You started this business because you saw a need and determined to meet it. You’ve secured placement with bigger retailers and attracted investors’ attention. The success of the company so far is proof that your hunches and insights are correct.

Yet your company may now be at an inflection point where your instincts are less relevant. It’s hard to hear and harder to fathom. But bear with me — because when you take YOU out of the organization’s decision-making equation, magic can happen.

The Brand’s Evolution Means Leadership Changes, Too

In our experience, a founder/CEO goes from huge assets to potential hurdles at a specific point in the lifecycle of a brand. As a refresher, that lifecycle looks like this:

First & Only — an innovative, world-changing newcomer powered by a passionate founder

Beloved by Default — a niche brand attracting a growing audience of fans

One of Many — a once-darling brand copied by cheaper competitors

Beloved & Dominant — a category-crushing superstar so favored by consumers that it’s competition-proof

One of Many is the point where passion-driven food and beverage brands have to mature and evolve in order to grow. That involves a hundred little decisions about channels and flavors and social media tactics — all of which add up to answer one question: What is next for the brand?

The stakes are high, because your competitors are underpricing, out-innovating, and out-communicating you. Now is the critical time to examine your foundational strategy, audience, and Brand Ecosystem. The biggest obstacle here is a lack of objectivity and insight from you and your leadership team. You think you know best because what you know has proven true so many times.

The most important insight I can share with you is this: You are not your audience.

Assuming that your customer base shares your likes, needs, and lifestyle leads to limited thinking and marketing (even subconsciously). This often results in limited growth potential and a duct-tape-and-glue approach to product development, brand architecture, and audience analysis.

Knowing When to Let the Brand Evolve

When you’re an entrepreneur, you started with a killer idea and tons of passion. You’ve built this business with your own blood, sweat, and tears — so it can be hard to separate your idea from yourself and let the brand evolve. Entrepreneurship is like parenting: At some point, the child needs to live her own life, and you hope and trust that what you’ve given and taught her will serve her well as an independent, successful, growing human being.

I’d argue that you owe it not just to the company, but to the audience you serve, to do everything you can to help it thrive. Playing small and safe kneecaps your brand’s potential. That’s not why you built this.

You may be thinking: “This brand is my passion. How can I let others criticize, evolve, or change it?” Or, “If we make it big, will everyone think I’ve sold out?”

In order to grow, you have to let go. Let go of the idea that you’re the sole arbiter of what’s best for the brand, that you need to be totally jacked about every aspect of the strategy or packaging or product offering. You absolutely have a role as the voice of wisdom for the brand. But your role needs to look different.

Adopt the platform of the servant leader. True leadership cares about everyone else first; as Simon Sinek says, “Leaders eat last.” Pursuit of your larger mission to help people, place, or planet takes precedence over your own personal objectives.

This isn’t to say you step aside; rather, you step up. Your team needs your coaching, training, mentoring — and then they need your trust that they’ll make the right decisions to evolve and grow the brand to find its true audience.

For a role model, look to Califia Farms founder Greg Steltenpohl, who passed away in March 2021. Steltenpohl built Califia as a juice company, based on his experience with the Odwalla brand — but look at all the evolutions beyond his original passion to create Juice 2.0. Califia is widely considered the brand that helped normalize plant milk as a concept for American consumers. Furthermore, Steltenpohl was a pioneer in applying environmental sustainability, employee empowerment, creative corporate culture, and community-based marketing as core drivers of business success. Under his servant leadership, the company pivoted away from making better-for-you juice products to correcting American’s poor dietary choices and making the world better. I admired him greatly.

I’ll share another family analogy here: Think of this kind of leadership like being married to the brand, not actually being the brand. Do you have to love your partner’s choice of clothing? Nope. Would you choose a different car to drive? Perhaps. But ultimately, you’re there to journey with the brand and supporting its wholeness, in sickness and in health.

If you’re seeking the right balance between loving the brand and letting go of decision-making, we can help. We’ve had these conversations before.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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Sales Pop! Podcast featuring Diana Fryc – How Women in Leadership Can Increase Your Bottom Line

Women bring different kinds of strengths than men to leadership positions. Thus, today’s guest in Expert Insight Interview is Diana Fryc, and she discusses why female leaders are significant for the company’s well-being.

https://embed.podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-women-in-leadership-can-increase-your-bottom-line/id1455305326?i=1000504511772
Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Shock Your Potential Podcast featuring Diana Fryc – Love is an Act of Giving

Our guest today took a giant leap of faith with her business, to strategically narrow the focus of her client base. For many, this may seem a risk, but for Diana Fryc and her business partner at Retail Voodoo, the payoff was worth the risk.

Diana believes that business should be a force for good and uses her networking superpowers to drive change in the food, beverage and wellness industries, specifically in the areas of employment diversity, food equality, and the promotion of sustainable supply chain. She founded and hosts The Gooder Podcast where she interviews the powerhouse women leading on every level in food, beverage, and wellness, and is partner and CMO of creative branding firm, Retail Voodo.  Diana uses her expertise in brand development, innovation, consumer markets, marketing, and packaging systems to help clients generate meaningful and sustainable growth.

In this episode we discuss brand development, her passion for working with businesses in the naturals sector, and how many companies, large and small, are working diligently to reach new consumers who may want, but haven’t yet fully, been consumers in this market. We also discuss the power of leading with love, it’s impact on your customers, and how it becomes a sustainable vehicle for on-going referrals.

Diana Fryc is a marketing industry executive with 20 years advising brands from fortune 50 to start-ups on how to address their toughest growth challenges.

Check out Here or Listen on Podbean

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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The Retail Focus Podcast featuring Diana Fryc – The Current State of Natural & Organic Products, Tractor Supply Earnings

Our interview guest is Diana Fryc, Partner and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer with Retail Voodoo and host of the Gooder podcast; she joins us to discuss brand and product development over the last several years in naturals and organics, how brands can diversify their customer base, and trends to look for in the near future. In news, Tractor Supply Company releases much-anticipated earnings that suggest people may be increasingly interested in products to make them for self-sufficient. We also discuss Hobby Lobby ending their 40% off coupon program.

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/b6z4g-f94d4b?from=usersite&vjs=1&skin=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0&download=1

Listen on Podbeam

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Path to Mastery Podcast featuring Diana Fryc – Finding Your Superpower

Diana believes that business should be a force for good and uses her networking superpowers to drive change in the food, beverage and wellness industries, specifically in the areas employment diversity, food equality and the promotion of sustainable supply chain.

She founded and hosts The Gooder Podcast where she interviews the powerhouse women leading on every level in food, beverage, and wellness.

https://embed.podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/finding-your-superpower-diana-fryc-on-path-to-mastery/id1081069895?i=1000501592452

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Bevnet’s Office Hours: Design Workshop – Current Trends in CPG Package Design with David Lemley

David Lemley had a chance to sit on this panel with Kate Ruffing and Kara Nielsen and share thoughts on how brands and design will be impacted by the events of 2020.

This Office Hours episode focuses on the ways that brand design has been influenced — for good or ill — by the tumultuous events of the past 8 months: COVID-19, social and societal turmoil, changes to retailing and D2C environments, and the growth and emergence of new branding conventions that have been derided as “Blands.” This is a great talk for companies that are thinking about the look of their packaging and labels, who are thinking about the overall positioning of the visual aspects of their products, or who want to match their innovations with their brand design.

Jeff Klineman, the Editor-in-Chief of BevNET, hosts the panel discussion, including trendologist Kara Nielsen, who is the director of food and beverage insights with WGSN, David Lemley, the president of branding firm Retail Voodoo, and Flashpoint Strategy Consulting founder Kate Ruffing. The Office Hours live audience had a front-row, interactive seat and asked questions on everything from nuts-and-bolts questions about design to a deep exploration of branding trends for food and beverage companies.

Sign into BevNet to watch full episode 

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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FoodNavigator-USA Summit 2020: Food for Kids: David Lemley Keynote: How To Build A Brand Kids and Parents Will Love

School closures – and tentative re-openings – have compounded stress levels for families, while COVID-19-induced economic anxiety is also straining household budgets. So how can food and beverage brands come up with enticing – but affordable – recipes, products and culinary solutions to make life easier for parents when long-established routines have been upended?

What does the ‘new normal’ look like for families and has this crisis given a boost to direct to consumer brands targeting babies, toddlers, and young children? Will the recent growth in interest in kids’ multivitamins continue, or is it risky to assume that buying patterns in 2020 provides a useful indicator of where consumers are heading in 2021?

Find out the answers at FoodNavigator-USA’s third Food for Kids summit – which is transitioning from our usual face-to-face event to an interactive broadcast series.

The series will bring five category-focused events, including:

  • The Consumer Panel
  • Kids and the Plant-Based Trend
  • Beverage Trends
  • Innovation in Action… Meet the Trailblazers
  • Meeting Children’s Nutritional Needs, from Foods to Supplements

Watch the On-Demand Event Now

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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A Multi-Part Exploration of Marketing and Design for Modern Families

Download the Article

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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How Pirelli Turned the Staid Old Annual Report Into Future-Focused Marketing

Written by Robert Klara for AdWeek

Key insight: “The best annual reports are brand-driven documents that are equal parts historical report and battle cry.”

In the crush of news about the coronavirus, recession and racial unrest, comparatively few in the business realm (or anywhere else) are likely to take notice of something as pedestrian as a company’s annual report. Why would they? Securities laws make annual reports mandatory for publicly traded corporations, which is one reason why—unless you’re an analyst, investor or shareholder—they’re among the driest publications one is likely to find.

And while some companies have spruced things up with colorful graphics, sleek portraits of perennially grinning executives and even interactive video elements (for the online versions), these filings largely remain obligatory tomes. As the Watercooler blog of Baltimore agency Planit so aptly put it: “An overwhelming number of annual reports are decidedly dull. A letter from the CEO followed by some more words on pages, ending with numbers and charts. Yawn.”

But it’s a safe bet that the recent publication of the annual report from Pirelli, the 148-year-old Italian brand best known for making the tires on Formula 1 racers as well as BMW and Audi automobiles, did turn a few heads. After all, it was meant to. Not only did the company make a significant investment in the report’s design, it attempted to elevate the booklet to a cultural level that annual reports seldom occupy.

For the last decade, Pirelli has regarded its annual reports not just as securities filings, but as branding. And by signing on a group of world-class artists and writers, the company wants the booklets to say something about the values and culture of the company as much as disclosing cash flow and income.

In other words, the annual report is marketing.

“Some might think that an annual report is the least creative thing that a company produces—just numbers, figures and data. Not us,” svp of communications and consumer marketing Maurizio Abet told Adweek. The company’s aim, Abet explained, is to “go beyond numbers, because numbers cannot really capture the emotions, passions or even purposes a company can convey.”

That might sound a bit fluffy, but Pirelli has the goods to show for it. In producing its latest annual report, the company developed a theme—resilience, which it defined as “the ability to not only deal with change but to transform it into an opportunity”—then commissioned some high-profile writers and artists to explore it however they saw fit.

Pirelli asked Osgor to explore the concept of resilience long before Covid-19.Pirelli

“We choose a theme that is relevant or meaningful, directly or metaphorically, as the main feature of the year,” Abet explained, “…giving [the artists and writers] carte blanche to shape or reshape that theme.”

For this year’s report, novelist and filmmaker Emmanuel Carrère contributed a work titled “Everyone sees noon at his door,” a disquisition into how each of us regards this crisis period differently. New Yorker writer John Seabrook authored a piece called The Zoom Brigata, which draws a philosophical parallel between Boccaccio’s account of the pandemic of 1348 and the current one.  Meanwhile, London-based artist Selman Osgor created eight panels that explore the road ahead—“the changes awaiting the company and all of us,” is how Pirelli defined it.

Veteran brand consultant David Lemley worked on his share of annual reports in the 1990s before expanding his design firm into consultancy Retail Voodoo. Early on, “I said that the best annual reports are brand-driven documents that are equal parts historical report and battle cry. This holds true today.”

The risk, he added, is a highly produced report that’s beautiful to look at but fails to thematically relate to the brand in a way that will “arrest its viewer and enroll them to participate on a deeper level with the brand. Then it’s a missed opportunity.”

Pirelli seemed to be aware of that imperative: All of Osgor’s artwork, in addition to being futuristic and provocative, incorporates tires and automobiles as visual motifs. Each of his seven panels also elaborates on a concept that relates to an automotive future—smart mobility, sustainability, cities of the future—and, by association, puts the Pirelli name into that milieu.

The artist’s take on the City of the Future.Pirelli

Osgor was also told to pay particular attention to the theme of resilience, and while that might seem like the perfect feel-good theme for the Covid-19 era, Pirelli had in fact developed the concept and commissioned all the work long before the virus appeared. But now that we’re living in a world altered by a pandemic, resilience feels especially prescient.

Pirelli isn’t new to making its print assets do double duty as branding tools. Since 1964, the company has produced a glossy calendar that, with production limited to about 20,000 copies, has become a collector’s item. That doesn’t happen by showing the radial of the month. Pirelli hires a who’s who of photographers (Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz) to shoot a who’s who of, well… supermodels.

For many years, calendar was famous for showing young and lithe female models who were wearing not much, but Pirelli slammed on the brakes in 2016 and decided it was time to produce work with bit more social and intellectual merit—and more racial diversity, too. That year, “women of outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishments” appeared in the pages, including U.N. Refugee Agency goodwill ambassador Yao Chen and athlete, businesswoman and role model Serena Williams.

Regardless of who was inside, however, the calendar’s purpose was to help imbue the Pirelli brand name with a sense of worldliness that helped distinguish it from its competition. Now, the company is hoping the annual report fulfills a similar mandate. Like the calendar, “our annual report [is] a unique project,” Abet said, “that shows how a company can use art and creativity to present and elevate every aspect of its business.”

View on Adweek

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana