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Brand Slam Episode 4 – featuring Nature’s Nosh

Brand Slam Episode 4: Learning How to Grow and Market a CBD Brand

On episode 4 of Brand Slam our guest is Liza Cohen from Nature’s Nosh. Nature’s Nosh is a dried fruit and nut bites infused snacking brand infused with hemp-derived from CBD.

Brand Slam was created by Retail Voodoo to help CPG entrepreneurs in food, beverage, and wellness reduce their struggle with brand growth in the face of Covid-19. Using the auditing process models created by Retail Voodoo to develop Brand Ecosystems, (which we’ve used for some of the world’s most beloved brand and featured in the book Beloved & Dominant Brands,) we will benchmark Nature’s Nosh and provide strategies to help  Liza and her team regain brand traction.

More About Nature’s Nosh: The idea for Nature’s Nosh came to founder Liza Cohen in 2017 (around the same time that she began culinary school), while vacationing with a friend’s family. On this trip, her friend’s mom would sneak away from her grown kids each morning to smoke CBD as her form of relaxation and pain-relief. The idea for Nature’s Nosh was immediately born and the mission was clear: They aim to remove the negative stigma associated with cannabis consumption while making it healthy and convenient for consumers to reap the natural benefits of this functional ingredient. 

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.

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Leading a Family Owned CPG Through Change featuring Kim Gibson Clark, Coconut Bliss

Gooder Podcast featuring Kim Gibson Clark

In today’s episode I had the privilege of interviewing Kim Gibson Clark, CEO of Coconut Bliss, a fearless woman and a great leader. Kim takes us on the journey of growing up in a farming family and how those principles translate to her leadership style and apply to the direction she is taking her brand towards.

In this episode we learn:

  • The genesis of Coconut Bliss – and learn more about Luna & Larry.
  • How Kim’s upbringing impacts the operational and social initiatives of the brand.
  • How the HumanCo partnership allows Coconut Bliss to advance their sustainability and environmental initiatives while evolving and to meet the needs of the modern diverse consumer.
  • How having an open mind and leading with love – allows the brand to have powerful and productive conversations.
  • Why converting the family farm business, from conventional to organic, is a bigger initiative than simply making a better-for-you product.
  • How immigrants are key to the success of farming and ranching and advancing the organic movement.
  • The plans that Coconut Bliss has to expand social and business initiatives.
  • About a fun and new innovative product delivery and product offerings to engage with consumers in a new way.
Gooder Podcast

Leading a Family Owned CPG Through Change featuring Kim Gibson Clark, Coconut Bliss

About Kim Gibson Clark:

As a leader in local, national and global communities, Kim Gibson Clark has led Coconut Bliss as CEO since 2010. Throughout her time at Coconut Bliss, Kim has influenced real and impactful action in key areas, such as Coconut Bliss’ operations as an environmentally conscious company, creating transparency and insight into food production, and spotlighting the importance of supporting local and family-run businesses. As President and CEO, Kim is proud to have led Coconut Bliss’ transformation from a locally beloved ice cream company to one of the most acclaimed sustainable plant-based companies in the United States.

Kim is a board member of Oregon Tilth and Lane Food and Beverage Sector Strategies, working to make the state’s food and agriculture biologically sound and socially equitable through the initiatives of certification, education and advocacy. She is also a board member of Oregon Support Living Program (OSLP), which works to empower adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, bringing them into the fold of their communities. Prior to working with Coconut Bliss, Kim spent eight years as General Manager of Lochmead Dairy, where Coconut Bliss Pints and Cookie Sandwiches are manufactured. Throughout her career in the frozen dessert industry she has developed an unwavering standard for quality, and a commitment to organic and sustainable business and ingredient sourcing practices.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-gibson-clark-a570066b

Email: Kim@CoconutBliss.com

Show Resources:

Coconut Bliss – At Coconut Bliss, all of our products contain organic ingredients that are minimally processed, ethically sourced and divinely delicious. Every dairy-free, plant-based pint, ice cream bar, and cookie sandwich is crafted with our signature care and commitment. Even our packaging is plant-based and sustainable! With a belief in quality over quantity, community, organic ingredients, and doing good for the world we try to make everything we do blissful.

HumanCo – a mission-driven private holding company that invests in and builds brands focused on healthier living and sustainability.

WAND Water Agroforestry Nutrition Development Foundation – The WAND Foundation provides social development programs with an emphasis on biodiversity, the environmental and agricultural sectors, and rural entrepreneurship for local communities in the Philippines. In collaboration with Science for Humanity, WAND aims to explore the use of treated household waste as fertilizer for crops and vegetation.

B-Corp – Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Loop – Loop Industries, Inc. is a technology company whose mission is to accelerate the world’s shift toward sustainable PET plastic and fiber and away from our dependence on fossil fuels. Loop owns patented and proprietary technology that depolymerizes no and low value waste PET plastic and polyester fiber, including plastic bottles and packaging, carpets and textiles of any colour, transparency or condition and even ocean plastics that have been degraded by the sun and salt, to its base building blocks (monomers). The monomers are filtered, purified and polymerized to create virgin-quality Loop™ branded PET resin and polyester fiber suitable for use in food-grade packaging, thus enabling our customers to meet their sustainability objectives. Loop is contributing to the global movement toward a circular economy by raising awareness about the importance of preventing and recovering waste plastic from the environment to ensure plastic stays in the economy for a more sustainable future for all.

Project Drawdown (Paul Hawkens) – The World’s Leading Resource for Climate Solutions. Founded in 2014, Project Drawdown® is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.

Monteez – Insanely delicious plant-based dairy staples you won’t want to live without.

Miyokos – Founded on the principle of compassion for all living beings, we’re on a mission to craft dairy products we all love, 100% from plants, making them kinder, greener and tastier than ever before.

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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Reimagining Well Being Snacking with Brigette Wolf, Mondelēz International

Gooder Podcast with Brigette Wolf

Brigette Wolf is the Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International’s innovation and venture hub. She is a solutions-oriented, forward-thinking disruptor in the snacking space committed to reorienting the way food and beverage brands talk about snacking by making it a more holistic and wellness-oriented experience. She is on – a – mission.

Brigette and I discuss how she successfully led the development of this new SnackFutures division inside of Mondelēz, bringing global resources, teams, thinking and a new way of talking about healthy food inside the world of snacking.

In this episode, we learn:

  • Why Mondelēz took the plunge into better-for-you with SnackFutures, and what they’re up to.
  • How great teamwork and great culture have aided the success SnackFutures.
  • About the impact of SnackFutures sustainability initiatives.
  • What’s driving innovation in mainstream better-for-you snacking.
  • How serving consumers and employees adds value to the business.
  • What’s driving big CPG to better embrace healthy snacking, healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.
  • About the impact that Gen Z has on plant-based snacking.
  • Why we need to make healthy living affordable to all consumers.
Gooder Podcast

Reimagining Well Being Snacking with Brigette Wolf, Mondelēz International

About Brigette Wolf:

Brigette Wolf is the Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International’s innovation and venture hub.

Since its creation in 2018, Brigette has led the creation of a cross-functional ecosystem of partners around the world, launched SnackFutures’ first market hub in Australia and created five completely new brands that are currently being piloted in the US and Europe.

Brigette has played a key role in advancing the company’s innovation agenda since its inception in 2012 serving as the senior director of Global Platform Innovation for Gum, Candy and Biscuits – leading the development and launch of Trident Vibes as well as brand manager for Belvita. Brigette’s history with the company also goes back to Kraft Foods with roles including the Global Innovation Manager for Oreo and working across several of the pizza and meal brands.

Prior to being part of the food industry, Brigette worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Brigette received her undergraduate degrees from The University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School and her MBA from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brigetterwolf/

Show Resources:

Mondelēze – Mondelez International, Inc., often stylized as Mondelēz, is an American multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage and snack food company consisting of former Kraft Foods Inc brands. Owners of some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Oreo, Tang Tobelerone, Halls, Mirla, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Cadbury and more.SnackFutures – SnackFutures is Mondelēz International’s new innovation hub that is dedicated to unlocking emerging snacking opportunities around the world. SnackFutures will capitalize on new trends and mobilize entrepreneurial talent and technologies to build and grow small brands with large-scale potential, and leverage other growth opportunities across snacking.

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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The Future of Plant Based Period Products with Denielle Finkelstein, TOP

Gooder Podcast Featuring Denielle Finkelstein

In today’s episode, we are joined by a highly accomplished retail executive with a proven track record in growing large scale businesses profitably and creating new business opportunities within brands, sharp business acumen with a keen ability to assess business conditions and manage towards opportunity with a relentless focus on the customer, Denielle Finkelstein, President and Co-Founder of TOP (the organic project). She is experienced in overseeing brand development and strategy, launching businesses, Omni-channel merchandising, marketing, international expansion and operations. She is also recognized as a passionate and strategic leader, known for relationship building.

Join us as we dive deep into healthy living, her organic business, plant-based organic period products and the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur and how to overcome them. We discuss the decisions that helped her leave the retail fashion world to focus on a passion and build a brand (from the ground up) to tackle the legacy taboo of period products, building a greener product and doubling down on the leadership and innovation that she’s been craving.

In this episode we learn:

  • The genesis of The Organic Movement (TOP) – organic/natural period products.
  • How Gen Z is changing the conversation around personal care and period products.
  • What plant-based innovation has been a game-changer for the brand and the industry.
  • How the leadership experience of a large retail brand helps, and hinders the start-up business process.
  • The challenges legacy conventional brands may have converting natural shoppers.
  • What period poverty is and how pervasive it is in the United States.
  • Denielle’s call to arms to major period product brands.
Gooder Podcast

The Future of Plant Based Period Products with Denielle Finkelstein, TOP

About Denielle Finkelstein:

Denielle Finkelstein, President and Co-Founder of TOP (the organic project) was raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY. Post graduation, she moved to NYC with her future husband and started her career in fashion retail at Ann Taylor. She went on to executive merchandising roles at Coach, Kate Spade and Talbots. She was always recognized for her strength in building businesses, finding the white space and managing high performing teams. At the height of her career, she began looking for more purpose in her work and how she could do things differently for future generations.

After spending 22 years in fashion retail and sitting in the C-suite, she took the best risk both professionally and personally and left the corporate world to join Thyme Sullivan, to launch TOP the organic project. As moms, they went searching for organic period products that were healthy and safe for their girls and the environment and came away empty-handed. They have set out to build TOP as a business to drive positive social and environmental change.  TOP is bringing innovation to period products with Organic and Plant-based Tampons & Pads.  What we put in and on our bodies matters more than ever!

Show Resources:

TOP (the organic project) – We are here to educate, enlighten, and embarrass ourselves so that every girl and woman on the planet has access to healthy, 100% organic, eco-loving tampons and pads. and every step of the way, we’ll inspire stigma-shattering conversations about periods.

Poo-Pourri – We’re Poo~Pourri. A poop-positive brand dumping the shame around the things we *all* do. We deliver quality products made with natural essential oils that leave the bathroom smelling amazing and liberate you from harmful ingredients and inhibiting worries.

Beautycounter – One by one, we are leading a movement to a future where all beauty is clean beauty. We are powered by people, and our collective mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Formulate, advocate, & educate—that’s our motto for creating products that truly perform while holding ourselves to unparalleled standards of safety. Why? It’s really this simple: beauty should be good for you.

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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Frito-Lay is Changing the World of Business for The Better with Ciara Dilley, Frito Lay

Gooder Podcast featuring Ciara Dilley

Those of us outside the walls of Frito-Lay have not necessarily considered the brand aligned with natural foods, environmental stewardship, or considered a small business advocate. But little did we all know, that this mammoth tanker of an organization has been quietly growing a passionate army of stewards ready to take on some of businesses biggest issues including healthy food innovation, food instability, small and women-owned business finance and mentoring, environmental stewardship and so much more. The number of business initiatives PepsiCo and Frito-Lay has been developing to make a positive impact in business and the lives of the most marginalized is staggering.

Join Ciara Dilley, VP of Marketing, Transform Brands and Portfolio Innovation for Frito-Lay North America and I, as we discuss how she is harnessing the resources of a multi-national to affect positive change in the food and beverage industries — starting with the Stacy’s Rise Project and venturing into other initiatives. It turns out that Frito-Lay may be becoming the largest Citizen brand in our category, and they’ve got just the right person to lead the way.

When we support women-owned business – the world will become a better place. – Ciara Dilley

In This Episode We Learn:

  • Ciara’s passion for Female Founders and woman-owned business.
  • How she uses Frito-Lay strengths of brand, product, and voice to empower and support female founder brands.
  • The power of Stacy’s Rise Project and WomenMade initiatives.
  • Why Stacy’s Rise Project is bridging the funding gap for female-founded business.
  • How Ciara uses stewardship initiatives to grow employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction.
  • How the impact of the Frito-Lay initiatives complement and supplement the work being done in the Naturals industry.
Gooder Podcast

Frito-Lay is Changing the World of Business for The Better with Ciara Dilley, Frito Lay

About Ciara Dilley:

Ciara Dilley – Vice President of Marketing, Transform Brands and Portfolio Innovation for Frito-Lay North America, leads the company’s ever-evolving and diverse portfolio of Transform Brands – including Stacy’s, SunChips, Smartfood, Popcorners, and Off the Eaten Path. Also overseeing Frito-Lay’s portfolio innovation, Ciara is making it easier than ever for consumers to discover new flavors, ingredients and brands powered by purpose. Ciara also leads our Sustainability agenda, championing our focus on more environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

A seasoned veteran with more than 20 years of industry experience, Ciara’s passion is supporting women, both inside and outside the walls of Frito-Lay. In addition to being personally involved in a number of initiatives that involve coaching and connecting businesswomen, Ciara recently led the launch of WomanMade, a PepsiCo initiative developed to advance female founders in the food and beverage industry through funding and exclusive mentoring opportunities.

Since joining Frito-Lay in February 2019, Ciara has led Stacy’s Rise Project – a flagship grant and mentorship program by the female-founded Stacy’s brand – to flourish as an industry best-in-class initiative, awarding up-and-coming female entrepreneurs with hundreds of thousands of dollars in business grants and providing them with unprecedented access to PepsiCo people and resources to achieve long-term success.

In addition, under Ciara’s leadership, Smartfood popcorn added Smart50 to its lineup – featuring 50 calories or less per cup – and underwent a full brand redesign that involved a complete swipe of its social channels and packaging updates across the entire portfolio.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Dilley leveraged her experience in communications and innovation to grow major international consumer brands including Diageo, Campbell Soup Company and Kellogg Company.

LinkedIn: Ciara Dilley, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciara-dilley-305469b/

Media Contact – Frito-Lay Brand Communications: Jen Crichton, jen.crichton@pepsico.com

Show Resources:

Pepsico – An American multinational food, snack and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase. PepsiCo has interests in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other productsFrito-Lay – an American subsidiary of PepsiCo that manufactures, markets, and sells corn chips, potato chips, and other snack foodsStacy’s – Stacy’s Pita Chips is a brand of snack products based in Randolph, Massachusetts, specializing in various flavors of pita chips. Pita chips are slices of pita bread which are baked until crunchy.Stacy’s Rise – Created to help bridge the funding gap for female founders, Stacy’s Rise Project™ has been connecting and empowering women business owners for years. That’s why Stacy’s is sharing our resources with other female-founded businesses like those founded by these 30 women. Support them by adding their products and services to your cart.Pepsico Foundation – As we strive to become a Better company, we are helping nurture that potential all around the world by leading the way toward a more sustainable food system, from investing in sustained nutrition, to promoting safe water access, effective waste management, and women’s empowerment.Kelloggs – An American multinational food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. And the original plant-based well-being company.Greenhouse Accelerator – Support food and beverage entrepreneurs through a collaborative mentor-guided business acceleration program.Hello Alice –  Step-by-step guides, expert resources, and collaborative communities of fellow entrepreneurs to find funding opportunities and experts for small business.The J.E.D.I Collaborative – The OSC² J.E.D.I Collaborative of industry peers and experts is leading this project for the natural products industry to frame the business case for embedding justice, equity, diversity and inclusion into our entire food ecosystem. Our intent is to take a positive, forward look vs. a “fix what’s broken” position. We seek to understand the deeper issues and to devise an outline for the best solutions. We will clarify the systemic issues that require courage and thought leadership and define immediately controllable issues we all can address as an industry and in our day-to-day operations. We will develop a step-by-step approach to serve as a model to facilitate and inspire the industry to commit and take action. We will develop a reporting tool to demonstrate the impact of the project on progress. We believe the benchmark reporting will result in an increase in productivity in an increasingly multicultural marketplace.Untamed by Glennon Doyle – In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us. Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get.The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates -A debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.The Boss Network by Cameka Smith – Our mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and professional development of women of color. The BOSS Network is a community of career and entrepreneurial women, who support each other through content, online programs and event-based networking.

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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Living Your Truth: Linda’s B-Corp Story featuring Linda Appel Lipsius, Teatulia Organic Teas

Gooder Podcast with Linda Appel Lipsius

Ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages is a category where consumers are continually demanding more from the brands they bring into their homes and lives — especially Gen Z. Features, benefits, and ingredients are table stakes, and as the natural products industry continues to become increasingly competitive, Brand has become more important. How a brand operates in relation to employees, environmental footprint, and business ethics that are paramount to this group.

Straight from the center of the naturals universe in Denver Colorado – join Linda Appel Lipsius (Co-Founder of Teatulia) and I as we cover everything people, planet, and profitability and how a B-Corp certification helps brands like Teatulia lean into their missions. Learn why Linda says “Gen Z will save the world.”

In this episode we learn:

  • Linda’s journey and aha moment creating the Teatulia brand.
  • What Gen Z and Millennials expect from brands and employers right now.
  • That investment in company culture and employees can have a higher than expected ROI than other typical “benefit” investments.
  • What a B-Corp is: It’s importance to and impact on business.
  • How the tips and tools that B-Corp provides can help brands become better business leaders.
  • About trends in beverage, functional ingredients, and innovation in powdered/crystalized beverages.
Gooder Podcast

Living Your Truth: Linda’s B-Corp Story featuring Linda Appel Lipsius, Teatulia Organic Teas

About Linda Appel Lipsius:

Linda Appel Lipsius is the Co-Founder of Teatulia Organic Teas. Since 2006, she’s been working with her partners in Bangladesh to bring premium, 100% Organic, direct-sourced teas & herbs to the United States. Teatulia produces innovative, delicious & award-winning hot teas, foodservice iced teas & canned RTD teas that are sold throughout the U.S in grocery, foodservice, and online. Lipsius has built a universally-respected brand known for doing things better. From the 3,000-acre regenerative tea garden itself to Teatulia’s stunningly sustainable packaging to the long list of awards Teatulia has received for quality and using business as a force for good. Named one of Food & Wine/ Fortune’s 20 Most Innovative Women in Food & Wine, one of Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business, and a frequent public speaker, she is a leading voice on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to sustainable business practices to the food & beverage industry in general.

In 2012, Linda also started the mama ‘hood,a resource for new & expecting moms & their families, and opened Teatulia Tea & Coffee Bar next door to Teatulia’s Denver Headquarters. Previously, Linda was VP International with Orange Glo International (OGI) – makers of OxiClean, Kaboom, Orange Glo and Orange Clean – and Account Manager for Young & Rubicam. A Denver Native, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Columbia University in New York City and her MBA in Finance from New York University before moving to Washington, DC, London, Los Angeles then back to Denver.

She currently lives in downtown Denver with her filmmaker husband and her two children. In her spare time, Linda hangs with her kiddos, escapes to the mountains, devours movies & books, runs, cycles and practices yoga to keep her head & heart clear.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-appel-lipsius/

Email: Linda@teatulia.com

Show Resources:

Teatulia – Organic hot and ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and beverages. Teatulia’s single-garden direct, sustainably grown teas hail from our very own tea garden in the Tetulia region of Northern Bangladesh. We created a new tea-growing region, nestled between Assam and Darjeeling at the base of the Himalayas, which has introduced the unique flavor profile of Bangladesh teas to the rest of the world.B-Corp – Certification for businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.Athleta – Clothing that integrates performance and technical features for active women and girls. A division of the GAP.Jeni’s Ice Cream – An artisan ice cream company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Jeni’s has over 40 branded ‘scoop shops’, and retail distributors nationally.Built from the ground up with superlative ingredients.Wisdom Supply Co – Environmental office and school supplies. “We curate + design products that prevent waste, for good. Waste is a design flaw.”Patagonia – An American clothing company that markets and sells outdoor clothing. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, and is based in Ventura, California.Kehe Distributors – With more than 5,500 employee-owners and a 16-distribution center network across North America, we’re one of the largest and most respected national fresh, natural & organic and specialty food distributors.Kroger – an American retail company founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the United States’ largest supermarket by revenue, and the second-largest general retailer, operating nearly 2,800 stores.Costco – An American multinational corporation that operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs. Everything you could want in but and a $1.50 hot dog!Rise Coffee –  A New York-based nitro cold brew coffee company specializing in nitrogen-infused organic coffee and sourcing Fair Trade organic beans from Peru’s Chanchamayo Valley

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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It’s Time to Lead with Passion and Heart with Jane Pinto, Pinto Barn

Gooder Podcast Featuring Jane Pinto

We humans, especially in the naturals space, have desires to live strong clean, and healthy lives. My guest Jane is no different – however, her journey into the better-for-you space took a route many of ours don’t. A child born with food allergies added fuel to her entrepreneurial ways and inspired her to use her natural leadership ways to help move the free-from movement mainstream.

In this episode, Jane Pinto, founder of First Crop, Don’t Go Nuts, Sacred Sleep, and the Pinto Barn shares with me, her journey of developing brand ecosystems that are based on the foundations of reciprocal relationships. She challenges our thinking as brand owners and consumers to do one thing every day that holds our industry accountable for the claims we make and the passions and commitments we profess. And she reminds us that true leadership starts with the heart. Listen, learn, and get inspired!

In this episode we learn:

  • What sacred economics are and how companies can embrace this philosophy.
  • Why we should always believe that there is enough for everyone.
  • How to create brands using the foundations of love, transparency, and authenticity.
  • How being honest about your knowledge, abilities and your feelings can make you a better leader.
  • How to have courageous conversations with your consumers, customers, business partner, community and employees.
  • That it’s time to be bold, real, and fierce leaders.
Gooder Podcast

It’s Time to Lead with Passion and Heart with Jane Pinto, Pinto Barn

About Jane Pinto:

Jane Pinto is founder of First Crop, Don’t Go Nuts, and Pinto Barn. She is a lifelong visionary in the naturals and wellness space building cultures of love and care, companies with strong missions that are devoted to healing and elevating people and the planet, and spent her entire career helping corporations create workplaces that honor unconditional equality. Her companies create innovative products and services that help people improve their lives through engaging with consciously created, uniquely designed products.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-pinto-5977a814/

E-mail: jpinto@firstcrop.com

Show Resources

Pinto Barn – Founded in 2011, based in Salida, Colo., Pinto Barn is a collective of caring hearts who commit their energy, talents, and passion to consciously creating products that help people to live healthy, whole lives. Divisions include Don’t Go Nuts and Sacred Sleep.

Don’t Go Nuts – makes safe nut-free foods using organic, non-GMO ingredients that are good for you and good for the planet.

First Crop – A hemp and CBD brand with the mission of “Healing People and Planet one seed…one soul… one regenerative act at a time.”

Sacred Sleep – a division of Pinto Barn Inc., is a company dedicated to Lifestyle Sleep Wellness and to creating Sleep Sanctuaries to help people set intention around sleep. In addition to the new organic cotton and fair-trade alpaca collections, Sacred Sleep’s product offering includes luxury eucalyptus blend sheets and mattress covers, medicinal herb loose-leaf teas in daytime and nighttime blends, and custom locally made pottery mugs and tea bowls. Sleep is sacred, so are you.

Hilary’s Eat Well – is the creator of convenient and culinary foods that are made from real ingredients and are free from common allergens. We are helping to heal the American diet by bringing these foods to all people who seek tasty, nourishing cuisine. Our products forge innovative culinary paths and disrupt the status quo. We care about the health of our customers, employees and ecosystem.

EnjoyLife – Enjoy Life Foods is the leading brand in the growing Free-From category, featuring a robust portfolio of Certified Gluten Free and Non-GMO Project Verified products that are free-from 14 common allergens. Enjoy Life’s mission and brand promise is to deliver safe, better-for-you products free-from food allergens, but not free-from taste so everyone can Enjoy Life and Eat Freely!

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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How to Navigate Brand Change, When Your Sales or Operations Team Dominate the Conversation

Some of the organizations we work with are veritable marketing machines, built on the strategic thinking and specialized discipline that drive modern better-for-you brands.

Others are operations- or sales-centric, focused on chasing opportunity and ROI. Not that there’s anything wrong with either, of course. But in ops- or sales-driven corporate cultures, marketing takes a backseat, which means that the brand and the consumer often do, too.

If you’re a marketing leader with one of those companies, you and your team likely feel like order-takers, consigned to producing yet another sales brochure or tradeshow booth. You may lack the influence to pursue a comprehensive brand strategy. And your management peers probably don’t value the thinking you bring to the table (if you’re at the table at all).

When Brands Lack Marketing Discipline

In our experience, it’s easy to spot BFY brands that don’t place what we consider the proper amount of emphasis on marketing. Some of these companies were founded by process-minded entrepreneurs who thrive on the challenge of making a product, without worrying about how to build an audience around it. Some brands start out with a focus on building a wholesale business and are unconcerned about the end consumer. Organizationally, some companies bolt marketing onto another department, like HR and communications. Some brands are led by “numbers people” who don’t bother with “soft” disciplines like marketing.

In organizations where so much of the business rests upon sales or operations, the marketing team just produces what sales team needs. Rather than working as strategic partners, marketers are stuck in reaction mode: strategically underutilized, demoralized, and overtasked with chores that don’t move the needle.

But then, something in the business changes. A wholesale-only brand shifts to a consumer model or launches a companion consumer brand, or a company starts selling direct-to-consumers. These shifts require a strategic marketing approach, and if management doesn’t understand or value marketing, the battle to build a consumer audience is long and uphill.

If marketing doesn’t have a seat at the table when the business climate pivots, there’s a risk that the brand goes “rogue,” speaking in different ways about different things to different audiences. The brand loses internal and external relevance. Sales stagnate and growth is stymied. There’s a significant loss of potential, and the brand won’t fulfill its destiny.

How Marketing Leaders Can Gain Influence

If you’re a marketing executive in a company that doesn’t emphasize the discipline, or if your organization is facing a shift that makes your work more important and visible then it’s previously been, we can offer several suggestions for how you can gain influence.

First, start with the end in mind, instead of only the next step. So, for example, if you’re working toward a financial target, look at that, not at what your first sale will be. If you need to build an audience, do the research to identify and understand that audience. If you’re starting a consumer marketing strategy, look at what we call the Brand Ecosystem (seven essential communication platforms) as a whole, not just one tactic; like building a social media campaign.

Second, consolidate opportunistic and strategic needs as much as you can. If the sales manager asks for a new section of the website to communicate to a key retail account, can you also deploy resources to build out the consumer side? Can you use project requests as opportunities to do broader research? This approach to building influence and understanding of marketing involves “Yes, and …” conversations. Rather than declining a project request from the sales team, say, “Yes we can help you, and of the five things you’re asking for, here are two key projects that best mesh with our brand strategy.”

Develop the art of reflective listening. This tactic has proven highly effective whenever we encounter client organizations that distrust or devalue marketing. We teach our partners to use internal stakeholders’ own language when they talk about marketing solutions. When we gather all the client’s department heads, we model how the marketing leader can communicate to her peers in a way that makes them feel heard.

Wrap your conversations with other business leaders in strategic language. Always be talking about how and what other departments are doing and how they fit into the brand strategy. Gaining influence in an organization is like parenting a small child — you have to fold each interaction into a larger goal. Acknowledge their needs and start to bend their requests to your larger objectives. The more they feel you’re an ally and the more you use their input, the more they’ll feel like they’re being heard. Give them guidance on strategic thinking without cluing them into the lesson.

Enroll a small number of key people in strategy conversations. Enlist influencers within the corporate culture to advance your brand initiatives instead of hosting an “all-hands” meeting where egos will take over and the group is harder to corral.

It’s an eternal struggle for marketers to prove ROI on their work, but to the extent that you can, try to quantify your team’s impact. Beginning every project by setting goals and metrics that will define success is essential, especially as you’re building influence. At the end of programs or campaigns, recap goals and planning conversations so that you can point to outcomes. You’ll further advance your cause if you admit when you’re wrong and an initiative didn’t perform as you’d expected.

Finally, enlist your entire team in building a reputation for marketing in your organization. Set your own private agenda for every meeting with internal clients and stakeholders to make sure they feel heard and supported. Advancing the cause of marketing is all about managing up and around you.

If you’re seeking an outside partner who can advance your marketing agenda and spark growth for your brand, we’re here to help. Just drop us a line.

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.

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Employee Facing Leadership Strategies for Better-For-You Brands in Times of Crisis

Today is not like yesterday, and tomorrow will be different still. It’s going to be this way for a while; we just don’t know how long.

Among the multitude of companies, brands, consultants, and friends offering advice during this crisis, we offer these insights and reassurances for better-for-you brand leaders.

What this Crisis Looks Like for BFY Brands

Different market sectors in the U.S. economy are being affected in wildly different ways: healthcare is overextended, foodservice and hospitality are in dire straits, finance is swinging wildly. CPG and retail industries are reacting to acute changes in consumer behavior, shopper demands, and supply chain challenges.

We predict that in the short term, BFY brands (especially shelf stable products backed by a strong supply chain and distribution model) will see an uptick in sales. We also think that gain will taper off as pantry-stocking is no longer urgent, but household inventory becomes normalized.

Post-crisis, business will be challenging for any brands that

  • have rested on their laurels
  • became overconfident thanks to the uptick in sales
  • hunkered down and waited for the crisis to pass

Internal Leadership is More Important Than Ever

Culturally, BFY companies tend to be nimble, entrepreneurial, swift, scrappy, and comfortable with forward failure. And those are valuable characteristics when the ground is shifting underneath your feet. The watch-out, though, is overconfidence and tone-deafness to human needs for clarity, certainty, and safety. Leadership now means tapping your organization’s strengths without getting out over your skis.

From a structural standpoint, your team is likely already scattered and working from home. Ironically, it takes more time and effort to lead a diffuse team than a co-located one; your check-ins and communication shifts to multiple times per day from daily or weekly.

Remote working offers some teams a chance to be more task-focused—and that’s a good thing, as people like to feel they’re doing something productive now. But leaders need to be asking questions about how people are feeling, how they are taking care of themselves, how their families are faring. As a leader, you must encourage sharing and offer ideas of your own, opening the line of communication to vulnerability and uncertainty. Your team needs to see your humanity now more than ever.

They also need from you an honest and realistic sense of the company’s new reality. Help them understand the opportunities and challenges you face and enroll them in finding solutions. Let them see you flexing your leadership muscles.

Strategically, this is the ideal time to undertake initiatives related to capital-B Brand: why your brand exists beyond making a product or profit. Think beyond features and benefits. What is your brand’s true promise? How do you keep it with your internal team and your external audiences?

Appealing as it might be, this crisis isn’t the opportunity for you to pounce. Absolutely, focus on keeping the business strong, but don’t worry about beating competitors in the short term. Save that for long-term brand relevance and mid-term innovation.

As you’re communicating with worried investors, shareholders, and supply chain partners, be honest, but let them know you have or are formulating a plan that will ensure that your brand is beloved in the current crisis and beloved in the new normal that will come after.

The brands that will gain market share will be the ones that use 2020 to gain trust and heart share.

Functionally, here are a few recommendations for managing a remote team:

  • Videoconferencing beats phone and email
  • Increase scheduled and impromptu check-ins, and use these as opportunities to lead emotionally as well as tactically
  • Increase the amount of praise and attaboys/attagirls
  • Keep team meetings positive, focused, and civil; if you need to call someone out, do it in a one-to-one video chat

Your employees, business partners, supporters, and customers all need to see leadership from you that invokes love and togetherness. They need to see your vision of a bright future in a dark today.

Our Offer to You

We are offering Zoom and phone chats with any brand owners that are needing an external “eye” on your concerns and situation. You may have worked with us, or never engaged with us before. Either way, we are here to help, listen and offer insights as we see them.

No strings attached.

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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Brand Strategy Checklist 3: The soul of consumer branding

Brand strategy is a bit like faith — you can use it to believe in something and you can use it to call in the desires of your heart or, conversely, your worst fears.

Segments one and two of our Brand Strategy checklist discuss both the external forces shaping your brand and the ways the psychology of your leadership team impact brand strategy. Today, in the third and final segment of our checklist, we will discuss the spiritual aspect or soul of your brand.

Today’s could also be titled, “12 questions to give your purpose-driven brand a real purpose while maintaining a defensible market position” (but that felt too long). We will look at your brand promise vs. mission statement and study the crucial aspects of your brand’s pillars as well as show you how archetypes directly plug into brand strategy.

In order for brand strategy to become a powerful driving force for your organization, you need to understand why you and your team are here beyond making a profit. Retail Voodoo believes and navigates strategy through the maxim that “reality exists in language.”

So if your brand and leadership are speaking, but are unable to articulate the what, how, and why of your strategy, does it really exist?

Brand Promise

What is it?

A brand promise is externally focused. It is crafted to hold your company accountable for delivering a consistent customer experience.

The Retail Voodoo Way:

We believe your brand promise needs to be a powerful, clarifying narrative for the world. One that moves from the realm of goods and services and into that of purpose. Purpose as brand promise goes beyond a profit-driven transaction and strives for deeper, emotive connections that encourage people to have a relationship with your brand. Today both consumers and employees want brands to be purpose-driven as our world evolves from an experience economy toward a purpose economy.

What you can do with it:

When your brand promise is purpose-driven it catalyzes your internal team, engages recruits, energizes prospects, enlists vendors and suppliers, and enrolls customers in ways far beyond profit. Purpose as brand promise will upgrade your company.

Questions to ask:

  • How do I know if our brand promise is meaningfully different?
  • Does our leadership team understand our brand promise?
  • In what ways might recruiting and training evolve by focusing our brand promise on our purpose?

Mission Statement

What is it?

A mission statement is a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual. Based upon this definition, and seeing hundreds of real-world examples framed in break rooms and wallpapered in corporate lobbies, I used to think a mission statement was a meaningless word stew intended to synergize shareholders or something like that.

The Retail Voodoo Way:

Mission statements should be, well, a defined mission. Which means they are driven by ideas that are quantifiable and specific. We define our version of a purpose-driven mission statement as a hybrid between the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), company values, and public speaking to a classroom of fifth graders (a cohort of exceptionally savvy young people with a low tolerance for BS and a strong desire to understand the bigger picture). In other words, specific, measurable, changing lives, and simple enough that everyone clearly understands what it means and how their role fits into the mission.

What to do with it:

A purpose-driven mission statement has the power to change the world because everyone in your organization from the C-suite to the front line and backroom employees will know why and how their job function fits into the big picture. People are more engaged and committed to an organization that uses a common vocabulary. It helps them understand and believe that their job is connected to the big picture.

Questions to ask:

  • Is my company’s mission statement driven by purpose without over-indexing on feel-good emotion?
  • How many sentences is my company’s mission statement? If it doesn’t fit on a single phone screen, chances are high its got marketing-babble in it.
  • Do my co-workers understand how they fit into our company’s mission statement?

Brand Pillars

What is it:

Values or guiding principles on which to run your business or organization.

The Retail Voodoo way:

Brand pillars are key vocabulary born out of our belief that reality exists in language. We see brand pillars as a combination of guardrails and guiding principles that are based upon organization values, offerings, mission, and brand position. We delve into company culture to create brand pillars as guardrails upon which to run the superhighway of your brand with clarity and confidence.

What to do with it:

Brand Pillars help leadership, product development, operations, sales, and marketing all to sing from the same songbook. When everyone in the organization speaks the same words, understands and believes them, change occurs with confidence and commitment.

Questions to ask:

  • Does my organization behave as though it believes the words we say (and write) create our company while reflecting real life?
  • Does my organization have a clearly defined set of guiding principles for our brand that are adhered to by all?
  • Does my company speak and behave in functional silos?

Archetype

What is it:

A framework of Jungian mythos establishing all forms of behavior as central characters in the human narrative. (Woah!)

The Retail Voodoo way:

We subscribe to the theories set out in the book The Hero & The Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes. (Margaret Mark & Carol S. Peterson).

The book explains the personality basics of each of the twelve core human archetypes and applies them to brands. We have written a lot on archetypes. Our views break from traditional agencies using archetypes when it comes to our application of shadows (a concept first explored by Carl Jung to explain the negative behavior of inherently good characters). We apply a shadow-archetype as a grounding element to give additional strength rather than seeing it as a dark side to avoid.

What to do with it:

A well-defined archetype gives marketing leadership confidence to keep all forms of outreach on brand and mapping back to strategy. This is especially important when internal marketing oversees multiple internal clients and external agencies.

Questions to ask:

  • Does my brand have a strategy-driven personality that we all agree upon?
  • Does my brand use a clearly defined set of filters for creative translation ta?
  • How might our consumer touchpoints align better by using an archetype?

This series of checklists has been articulated to inspire confidence in your belief that brand strategy is the ultimate defensible business asset. Imagine what kind of brand and business you might grow if you could answer all thirty-six questions with hard-hitting answers.

Review our case studies to see our brand strategy checklist’s impact in the real world. These brands faced tough growth challenges and we have played a role in helping them succeed by using brand strategy to make certain they understand their brand physically, psychologically and spiritually.

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