What Does an Ice Cream Brand, a Trampoline Park, and the World’s Oldest Vegetarian Brand Have in Common?
Sometimes brands think a new design is the answer to all their problems. Diana Fryc and David Lemley would argue that’s not true.
They founded Retail Voodoo to help brands grow by getting straight to the heart of the problem. As the “data whisperers,” they know how to sift through truckloads of information and find the details that really matter. But how do you take that information and turn it into a strategy for growth?
In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, Diana Fryc and David Lemley of Retail Voodoo join Dr. Jeremy Weisz to discuss Retail Voodoo’s strategy for helping brands grow. They talk about their process of analyzing each brand’s data, how they develop team alignment, and how they grow a brand’s audience without losing the loyal customers.
In this episode we learn:
- Typical questions Diana Fryc and David Lemley are asked by new clients
- The types of services that Retail Voodoo offers
- How Retail Voodoo uses audience analysis to find the data that matters most
- Retail Voodoo’s general process for clients that come to them
- Why people trust Retail Voodoo to build their brand
- How they developed a strategy for Alden’s Organic Ice Cream
- When is the problem marketing — and when is it the design?
What Does an Ice Cream Brand, a Trampoline Park, and the World’s Oldest Vegetarian Brand Have in Common?
About Diana Fryc and David Lemley:
David Lemley is the Founder, CEO and Chief Strategist for Retail Voodoo. Retail Voodoo helps build, grow, and evolve brands in food, beverage, wellness, and fitness spaces. David founded the company on the belief that brands should inspire meaningful connections with real people. Through insight, visioning diagnostics, research analysis, and consensus building, they’ve helped companies like REI, Starbucks, Sur La Table and Nike become the beloved and dominant brands they are today.
Diana Fryc is the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Retail Voodoo. Diana has over 20 years of experience in marketing, research, and business development. Before her time with Retail Voodoo, Diana was a freelance consultant for marketing and project management services, the Director for New Business Development and Client Services at Lemley Design, and the President of AAF Seattle.
Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn Diana Fryc: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianafryc/
LinkedIn David Lemley: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidlemley/
- Diana Fryc on LinkedIn
- David Lemley on LinedIn
- Retail Voodoo
- Alden’s Organic Ice Cream
- Dr. Jeremy Weisz on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo.
Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between.
Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact.
So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.
Visit retail-voodoo.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Welcome to the Gooder Podcast where we talk with powerhouse women in CPG about their journeys to success. This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo. A brand development firm guiding mission driven consumer brands to attract new and passionate consumer base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. If your brand is in need of brand positioning, package design or marketing activation, we are here to help. You can find more information at www dot retail dash voodoo.com.
Diana Fryc 0:44
Hi, everyone, Welcome again to the Gooder podcast where I talk with powerhouse women in CPG, about their journeys to success. I’m your host, Diana Fryc. And today we’re going to do something a little bit different. To start with, I’m going to bring my business partner David Lemley into the conversation. He works with me at retail we do Hi, David.
David Lemley 1:05
Hello, thanks for having me, Diana, of course, will you’re sort of my co host.
Diana Fryc 1:09
So, but nobody’s met you yet? Well, not on the Gooder Podcast. So thanks for coming on. And then we also have Dr. Jeremy Weisz of Rise25, who has done 1000s of interviews with successful CEOs and CPG companies. And we’re gonna flip the script today. So he’s going to be interviewing me and David,
Jeremy Weisz 1:32
I’m excited. Thank you both for having me. And I’m excited about today’s topic. You know, we were talking before you hit record, about what is an ice cream brand, a trampoline park and one of the world’s oldest vegetarian brands have in common, we’re going to break that down and maybe talk about some of your, you know, as an industry leader, you’re always going to the top shows, and you’re just at the sweeten snack show. So we’re gonna do a lot of different things. All right. And before we get into it, I want to mention this episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo. And if you don’t know, Retail Voodoo, you should it’s a brand development firm, and Retail Voodoo, what they do is they build beloved and dominant brands. And I know what you guys serve food, wellness, beverage fitness, you know, a lot of different CPG industries and anywhere from people you probably get the question, well, what kind of companies do you work with? I know you work with Pepsi, Starbucks, anywhere from two startups like highkey, which I was walking around Costco. The other weekend, I was like, oh, Diana and David work with highkey cool, like, I gotta buy these just because I know they work on that. So lots of different types and everything in between. So I know that you the guy you guide a mission driven consumer brands attract a broad and passionate fan base crusher categories through growth and innovation, and through a lot of different avenues. And you’ve been doing this for over the past 30 years. And you know, if you are thinking about you want that high impact strategy, and everything else in between, go to retail, dash voodoo dot com or email them to info at retail dash voodoo dot com to learn more. And I know you get this question a lot, because I get to ask the questions that, you know, people are wondering about and that’s why you brought me here. So you probably don’t know everything I’m gonna ask we didn’t drop any of this. But people ask, can you help my specific industry? Can you help my specific location? And how do you answer that question?
Diana Fryc 3:30
Well, it’s really, it’s really tricky, right? So for us, when we’re when we are talking with people who are vetting possible brand development firms like us, they usually want somebody that knows their industry knows their product, but sometimes not too close. So we’ll just use an example of say Coke and Pepsi. They usually don’t Pepsi doesn’t typically like to work with agencies that are working with coke and vice versa. So it depends on where you come from. So a lot of times people will come to us and say, Have you worked on a honey brand? Have you worked on a startup beverage brand that’s going to be sponsored by a professional athlete? Have you like really like some people get really, really, really, really,
Jeremy Weisz 4:23
Diana Fryc 4:24
really get really granular, when really, they want that experience, but very few people might have a very specific experience. But usually what we do is we step back and go, we go well, we might not have had that very specific experience, but we’ve had, you know, adjacent experiences like we’ve done a beverage and we’ve worked with celebrities and we’ve you know x y and z and subsequently that but that is not the ethos, but the the what’s the word I’m looking
Jeremy Weisz 4:59
for, you know, fit in different buckets. So there’s different buckets. You’re like, Okay, this is the beverage bucket, we read that bucket. Yeah, there’s a celebrity bucket, we work with that bucket work what you know. And so they fit in these buckets, like overall if you break it down, but but also, does it really matter? In the end? Does it really matter that someone doesn’t have a work with the honey brand in rural Iowa? That is, you know,
David Lemley 5:24
yeah. Well, this reminds me this story of why why we do what we do the way we do. And it’s because the fantasy version of this firm that was started in a closet in my apartment, a long time ago, I wanted to be able to position ourselves so that people would say, Hey, have you ever done a fill in the blank? And that we would be qualified or narrowed enough that they would say, yes, or we would say, No, I haven’t. And they would be still willing to say want to try. And that is really what we’ve gotten to, because no one’s ever walked away from us for not having that narrow. Do you know, cricket flour and grasshopper food in Iowa. And the reason is because we are solution agnostic, channel agnostic, audience agnostic, and results agnostic, we going insane, we have to look under every rock, and that what we’re able to do is use data to lead change management to find new audiences, new products and new ways to sell things. And we do that every single time every single day. Yeah,
Jeremy Weisz 6:27
I love that because it means you don’t come in with a bunch of assumptions. Right? And that’s a big advantage. Because you may uncover something really valuable there. Is that what you’re saying?
Diana Fryc 6:37
Yes, yeah, well, what can the reason why it’s valuable is our clients come in with a bias, they can’t help themselves. So they need us to not have a bias. And so in some instances, it’s really might be really, really great that we haven’t made then them because we haven’t worked on a band aid brand made from bamboo, you know, I think there’s some value there of coming in with a bias. And then subsequently, knowing how to find the solution, because that’s what we do every day. It’s like, yeah, we don’t, we don’t we’ve never done that brand. But we know how we know how to, we know how to do this, like,
Jeremy Weisz 7:18
do it every day. You don’t want it may makes me think and I forgot who said it. But you know, breakthroughs and innovations come from outside industry or from someone who has a broad scope of a bunch of different industries. So you could have specific, you know, beverage experience, but you’ve also seen a lot of different types of brands, too. Right? So yeah, that’s the truth. I want to break down, we’ll talk about the ice cream, we’ll talk about the trampoline park was talking about the world’s oldest vegetarian, but, you know, David, you said in passing something and I say, Well, what does this have in common? I’m like, I don’t even know what they’re gonna say here. But you mentioned something about audience analysis. So just break that down a little bit more about what you mean by that. And how kind of that links these together?
David Lemley 8:02
Sure, well, we start with having a whole ton of syndicated data and a whole bunch of specific data to the brand or the category that the client is working in. And anybody can get their hands on that. And any data analyst in the world should be able to come up and say, Oh, it’s kind of here’s the sandbox, we’re playing it. That’s not where the magic happens. What we’re able to do consistently in our team is distill that down to these are the three or four things that matter. And this is how you should invest in them. And this is what needs to change in order for us to make this thing that is now important to us be true. And and we do that first before we do anything else.
Jeremy Weisz 8:44
That makes sense, you know, in the research people have access to I mean, with Google and all these research tools, but like you’re saying the key is putting into action and creating a strategy around it and distilling those insights. So I’d like to start with the ice cream brand. Okay, first of all, how they found you, and then break down kind of what their situation was when they came to you. And we’ll go from there.
David Lemley 9:07
Mm hmm. Sure, to be fair to start with ice cream brand that we’re talking about is the Oregon ice cream company, which is the aldens and Julie’s brands, and we first met them because we their CEO, was the CEO at so Holly snacks when we help them sell to smuckers. So that was we had one champion who brought us in, but we met with solder paste capital, who was who’s the investment team behind the growth of Oregon ice cream companies brands, and they were very specifically like, Well, you’ve never done ice cream you’ve ever done this. And one of the people there was really amazing and had Hugin das experience so the approach was, well, you know, you’ve never you haven’t, you couldn’t possibly be we’re grilling
Jeremy Weisz 9:55
you a little bit dude. Like I am hugging. As expert proof to me You can help. Is that went down? Very much. So okay, so what do you say?
David Lemley 10:10
So I had to say at the time that we’ve never done ice cream, but in prepping for this meeting, I’ve eaten enough ice cream to put on 10 pounds. And I have some opinions. No, seriously, I said the same thing. Similar to what we said before. It’s actually a strength that we are not Haagen dazs experts, because we can come in and bring all of our better for your natural channel and organic expertise to this thing to bear which they wanted to take their regional organic ice cream and blow it up and take over the category nationally, which is exactly what happened. But we had to make some changes along the way. And again, we used audience analysis tools, pointed insight, working with the leadership of swaner pace, as well as the new leadership at organized crime in order to create change within the organization so that the ideas we wanted to make come true would in fact be true for this audience to be
Jeremy Weisz 11:07
there. What point is their opinion shift? Because I imagine you a champion there. Like trust me, they know what they’re doing. They’ve helped us with other companies. They bring you in people on the team. Some of them are skeptical, right? Like you’ve never worked with, with ice cream. At what point? Did you see that shift to Okay, they’re bringing the bacon here. I mean, they’re they know what they’re doing. And they’re helping us.
David Lemley 11:32
Yeah. Anyway, to talk about that, cuz it’s always the same.
Diana Fryc 11:37
I don’t remember in that specific. Okay. I remember I was I remember being in those conversations, though.
David Lemley 11:45
So what happens with us, Jeremy is we typically have a champion or two, or in some large organizations, it might be five or six people who bring us in to a larger group who are sitting there like this, with their arms crossed again. Are these people from Seattle? Are these designers like they are? Yeah, so they have this thing in their arms are crossed. And what happens is, after about an hour into a meeting with us, where we roll up our sleeves, and we’re talking about their things, and we brought some insight to bear upon the data that they’ve been wrestling with, they move to this. And that’s how we know, drama, lean forward, talking like this. And then we know we have nailed it when the sales team picks up their device, even though we’ve told them there’s no devices a lot in the meeting and starts texting people, the new language that’s occurring in the room, right now I know that we’ve converted,
Diana Fryc 12:39
well, but he is I think what Jeremy’s asking is, before we’re in the project, David, he’s like, at what point in the process are people kind of going, Okay, these guys are going to be helpful to help help us solve this project, like,
Jeremy Weisz 12:53
like is pretty early on, like in the initial when you’re sharing the insights?
Diana Fryc 12:57
Well, but what David’s explaining is, we’ve already started the project. And what I think what you’re asking is, at what point during the process do they go, these people understand these people are going to be able to do it without us doing the work. And I think where it happens is part of it is personality fit like you can usually see it. And part of it is depends on the pain point how long the pain point has been there and how many pain points they have had in the past. I’m just thinking of a number of conversations that I’ve had over the years, sometimes the conversation takes for four or five months, because they’re skeptical of the process altogether. When we’re working with a more sophisticated client, though let’s you know, a more sophisticated client, they’ve marked on multiple brands, they’re CPG experts, they’ve been this 100 times. Usually what they’re looking for is basically a common philosophy on how we’re going to get to the end game. So they tend to like the people that love us the most are the ones that get that the amount of research that we put into a project before we even start touching anything is really where the rubber hits the road for them. They understand that data is going to find the solution, but they are mired in the volume of data, they don’t know how to clean it up and it and that when they realize we are kind of the data whispers then are like Okay, you know what to do with data. And you’ve then demonstrated through your history of products that are brands that you’ve worked with that you know how to then translate that into consumer facing language, and then a design system that absolutely is rock solid and has long term logic and has longevity and has amazing velocity upon impact.
Jeremy Weisz 14:58
So with the ice cream, man, I could see They found you through a couple. There’s a couple champions there even with the, the capital company that you’ve had success with. And then I can see some of the common questions at the beginning, which is like, hey, why you? You’ve never worked with ice cream there any other common questions, the beginning that you get in this kind of discovery get to know you phase before they bring you on?
Diana Fryc 15:23
What are the common questions? Most people, I think the biggest, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I want you to this because I want to look up something here real quick, that will be more valuable than me guessing because I actually just wrote some of this in a document recently. Yeah, pull it up. While you’re looking that up? Um, you know,
Jeremy Weisz 15:45
I’d love to hear you mentioned a couple of those processes. I’d love to hear after we talk about this, the breakdown of your process. So like, audience analysis, and then you kind of Diana kind of went through some of the steps that you take someone through before you even touch anything. And then after you start touching stuff, so yeah, let’s start with some of the common questions, because I think that will lead the conversation for sure.
Diana Fryc 16:11
So some of the questions that were asked are, some of it is believability. Have you guys really done everything on your website? Is that are you? Are you showing? Are you showing all your work? Are you showing somebody else’s work? Which I think is pretty fair, because I think sometimes that the representation isn’t there? I think the biggest issue is you’ve got a team of people who are really, really smart, and haven’t been able to figure it out themselves. And so they are going, they are really saying how is it that you’re going to get us to the promised land. And we’ve already talked about this kind of data type of thing. They really want to know, how broad enhance and how narrow our expertise is. So they may not want us to be a generalist firm. So okay, do you really focus on this these types of consumers and these types of products? Or do you really have a bat category where you’re working on airplanes, and etc, those types of things? And then that they also want to know how well we work with their C suite team, and then also their implementation team? Are we sophisticated enough to be able to connect with them? And that’s really more of a they don’t ask those questions, per se. They’re thinking though, they’re, they’re talking out loud, they’re getting, they’re getting a sense for our vocabulary. What do we say? How do we say it? Are we you know, a bunch of as David likes to say, Are we a bunch of graphic designers? You know,
Jeremy Weisz 17:45
we’re gonna hit you and hold on, you know,
Diana Fryc 17:48
and we check out at three o’clock for beers now, we’re far more analytical than that. And I think that that’s where most of the conversation is. They’re explaining their situation, and then we’re talking and are we? Are we meeting their needs for, you know, who they’re who our contacts are going to work with? Like? Are they going to be comfortable presenting us to their decision making team? Are we going to be flexible to work with their design team once we’re going to implement implementation phase? And do they like working with us because most of the time, by the time people get to our get to a meeting with us, they’ve already gone to our website, they’ve already seen the brands that we’ve worked on. So now they’re just like, are we believable? likable? Are we going to be professional enough to present to a really diverse Board of Directors
David Lemley 18:38
set or something like that? I see two things, two common questions that we face every single time which is one, are you going to be able to help me grow my audience without alienating my core? Yeah, yeah, fair. So okay, how do we attract a whole ton of new people without keeping the loyalists or without alienating the loyalists? That’s a huge thing we hear every single time unless it’s a startup like hi Kate. The other thing that we hear that is unspoken, but absolutely telegraphed with everyone is this is my career. I’m I’m going arm in arm with you. Are you going to make me look bad to my management and to the my peers? Or are you going to help me be a rock star? And so they the people who hire us tend to be on a trajectory of not only have already done well, I intend to do well in the future. Don’t
Jeremy Weisz 19:30
don’t mess it up. Yeah,
David Lemley 19:32
so they want to know that law riding on it. Yeah, we’re it’s not best effort camp. This is select ball and its highest level. Any player? Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 19:43
Yeah, there’s so many moving pieces here and so many dynamics. It’s amazing. After hearing this, I’d be like, I’m never getting in this business. I’ll leave it to you guys. But um, there’s a lot going on here. So now you start working with the comp. They’re like, great. I could see You guys are in deliver, you guys gonna be rock stars? What do you do first, like we’re talking about ice cream for a second.
David Lemley 20:08
So it’s all about the first thing we do is create team alignment, we call it getting everyone literally on the same page inside the organization. And that is one of the things that makes a huge difference. Because when everyone in the team gets to participate, and we hear them, and they hear us respond to the task at hand, and the challenges using their vocabulary of all the stakeholders, everyone starts to realize their thumbprint is on the output. And that has a really powerful way of creating alignment. Additionally, when the CEO sees all the feedback from everyone, suddenly loudest, highest paid most important person in a room, typical thing that happens in a boardroom is no longer in play. And we’re having a very frank conversation around what their organization needs to do sound and smell like in order to be successful.
Diana Fryc 21:03
Yeah, so the feedback is the the input from the team is evenly weighted rather than Oh, Bob is always pounding his fists on the table or or however it shows up, you know. So that that input that alignment is what actually part of the magic of how we move forward.
Jeremy Weisz 21:24
I want to ask the question, so I wanted to find out what’s after you do team alignment, what’s next, but I want to step back for a second and talk about services, because I know you do a lot of different types of services. So I don’t know if that’s going to come out in this throughout. But I want to hear just to give me an idea when people say the idea of what are the types of services that you do for companies.
Diana Fryc 21:46
Yeah, our offering is pretty tight. We are brand development, which means we do the business strategy, or as depending on who you are the brand strategy. And then we do creative, the creative translation, which is the design component. So that is our that’s what we do day in day out 365 pretty much 98% of all our assignments on that every once in a while somebody comes in and wants us to chiropractic or fix a design solution without touching the brand strategy. It’s rare. We don’t do that a lot, mostly because we can’t help ourselves, we want to get under the hood and figure out why it’s broken to begin with. And then we go all the way back. And sometimes we’ve entered assignments that way as well, where somebody says, you just clean up our design, we do a quick audit, then we do we’ll do an audit sometimes before moving forward into a larger project. So people just want to a gut check. We do audits as well. And we end up going back to, you know, sometimes people want us to do the packaging, we’ll pull up the hood, and we’ll go up the package design is really not going to resolve the bigger issue, we need to go into the brand positioning and then we stroll back a scroll back all the way to the end. Yeah. Other other types of work. Go ahead, David,
David Lemley 23:07
I was just gonna say, I think it is two key things we do. One is brand development, which Diana talked about. But it really is building a new audience. Bigger offering, which includes product innovation and portfolio optimization. So a lot of times we’ll come in and say, those seven skews that you love, so much need to go away Thursday. And we need these new things. So there it is. And so we never approach to thinking that we’re going to be able to decorate our way out of the problem. And in fact, we will say to people, if you just need a decorator, here’s 20 people we know, because we that’s not what gets us up in the morning, it’s solving the complicated problem, helping them solve their business problem. And building something that is bigger, better, faster, stronger, and more long term brand relevance than they could have imagined. And that’s really what we do. So brand development, which includes mission, vision, values, purpose, audience to be how, what their contribution is, we call it you’ve heard of the four Ps of Marketing, we have the 412 PS, and we can obliterate into daylight, about how they’re going to contribute to the planet, and people and purpose and profit and make sure that their stakeholders are all taken care of. And we check every one of those boxes for them and help them build a brand strategy that won’t fall apart once they start winning
Diana Fryc 24:27
it But to be clear, that’s all part of brand development. We don’t offer those individual off. Right,
David Lemley 24:32
right. I was just articulating that that’s what brand development in our Yeah, fantasy world just
Jeremy Weisz 24:38
like everyone has something different than mine. Maybe when when you say that, that I’m glad you elaborate it and it makes sense because you’re trying to try to diagnose the true cause instead of slapping like natural on the label and like Okay, now we’re natural like that doesn’t change the underlying right issues. I totally get that. So, analysis Timo alignment. What’s next? It’s time. Go ahead, David.
David Lemley 25:06
I was just gonna say it’s all of the things I talked about, like the new vision of mission, vision purpose, how we’re going to contribute in the world that comes next. And along with that, that if it’s an ice cream cookie sandwich, if you will, that stuff in the middle is really the go to market, how we’re going to go to market? What is the channel strategy necessary? What is what are? What do we need to learn how to make the we don’t know, that we don’t make today? And who do we need to be involved? What sort of team outages do we currently have? If any, in order to make that a reality? Do we need a new sales team? Do we need to buy new equipment Do we need to get a car manufacturer to make this until we prove that there’s going to be ROI and then invest in a factory, all of that sort of stuff comes to play. So we’re helping build a strong enough a business case, and then actually put everything in place with them so that they can see that financial application, they can see the addressable market, and they can see how long it’s going to take to get ROI.
Jeremy Weisz 26:09
It’s really interesting how just the Brent, you know, the brand development and underlying the true cause can lead to helping the supply chain everything else along the way.
David Lemley 26:20
Absolutely. Like that is the biggest thing. When you know, this whole idea of branding being a thing, when I started out branding, branding had a lowercase b, you could not get a degree in it. And it meant, you know, burning a logo into a cow. And over the course of time cap, branding that has a capital B, and it is a thing. And the more you understand that is actually a business driver. That’s what that capital B stands for. Yeah, it can change your universe. And they’re really smart brands that are winning, like kind for example, they get this in spades. brand and business are inextricably one. Yeah. And then the design is the icing that goes on that cake. Yeah,
Diana Fryc 27:04
it’s it’s not uncommon for us to have conversations with people who, if it weren’t, I’ll step back a little bit. The word branding is, it’s a little frustrating in the marketplace right now, because it’s been co opted by design firms that are strictly designers that apply design strategy, they use the word design strategy, or they use the word strategy to actually mean design strategy. When brand development. So you hear David and I using this term brand development, when we’re really like we’re talking about the business. And then the design strategy comes as the last thing, it’s the whipped cream and the ice cream in the end the sprinkles on top. If your business isn’t moving forward, if you’re making some, really, you’re not capitalizing on market opportunities, if you’re making some missteps with your business, as David said, You can’t decorate yourself out of that situation. And we see brands do it all the time, there’s a handful that I’m thinking of that I won’t mention, where I swear every six to 12 months, there’s a new packaging iteration out because what was working what wasn’t working last time, so maybe we’ll put a smiley face on it. Well, maybe next time, we’ll do this. And next time we’ll do that we’re really what’s broken is what they’re doing before the design that really needs to be the cleanup. So, you know, after we get all of that done, we know what our go to market strategy, we know who our consumers are, we know what innovation might look like whether retail really helps with that, or that we assist their own internal teams on that. Neither here nor there, we play very nice with everybody. But once all of that is done, that design becomes really, really easy and not subjective. And that is really the beauty of having the brand positioning lock solid. Because now you know that you can’t have a skull and crossbones on something because your target audience looks like blank, blank and blank. Or you know what I mean? Like there’s so much things that we just take automatically take off the table, and then we can go that’s really great. And but you know, green isn’t going to work in this situation. Because the category convention, Green means blank, and our target audience is going to respond to it that way. We have real analytics Yeah, you know, real
Jeremy Weisz 29:18
information where people think I think green would be good here.
Diana Fryc 29:22
My wife’s an interior decorator and green is on track. That’s great. Not going to work in this scenario. Nothing wrong with having those opinions, but it sure as heck makes it so much easier. For the more unsophisticated for clients for the for the sophisticated clients, the ones that have been through this as many times as we have, you know, we’ve done this 300 plus times 350 plus times. There are people out there that have been through dozens and dozens of brands, they get it. It’s the ones that are like working number two, or brand number three, or even their first brand that sometimes there’s an emotional investment and the value of having all of this information makes it so that it’s not quite such a long twice every time you have to make a decision.
Jeremy Weisz 30:02
It’s interesting. You have a tough job, I think because they’re like, Okay, what are we going to design? What are we going to do the packaging, right? And then it’s they just keep, probably once you explain this, but I bet initially people are like, Okay, why don’t we get into the packaging? And maybe even throughout? Because they’re probably used to solving the problem that way? Yeah. Um, you are too, right. Yes. It’s, it’s what we can see. It’s tangible. Yeah. So analysis, team alignment, the mission value purpose, you know, the go to market? What’s next? What, like, lead me up to Okay, now I finally get to change the packaging, I get to finally change the design.
Diana Fryc 30:42
Yeah. So we go through a validation stage one, once we’ve, you know, once we’ve speculated and done all of our research, and we come back with our recommendations, and we’ve decided what’s going to work, what’s not going to work, we go through a validation process. And our validation process really uses industry experts to help us guide us so that we ourselves Retail Voodoo is not the person that’s making the final decision, per se, we’ve come to it as a team, our clients have said, Yes, let’s go ahead and test this out in the marketplace. And we’re not going to go to consumers, yet consumers are really bad at making helping us make decisions on abstract ideas that are forward facing that don’t impact them. So we go to industry experts. And we talked to them about how we’re, you know, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, what and get getting their opinions on it. And then taking those inputs, applying it to the stimulus, which is all of this, you know, positioning that we’ve come up with, and then codifying it saying, Okay, this is the best direction based off of the feedback from the industry. And this is how we’re going to apply it to a brand, we start to we finalize things like mission, vision values, all of those traditional positioning type of language that you would expect to build a brand. And then at that moment, where we have like kind of is technically our third team meeting between us and the client, we then unveil what we call a mood board. It’s not an advertising agency mood board, but it’s very, very similar, and it gives the client the opportunity to go, this is an expression of that brand that has been validated. All of this work is now codified into a concise set of language positioning, go to market strategy, business strategy, channel strategy. And here’s what it’s going to start to look like now it gets really exciting because it’s real. In that moment, it’s now real. Your sale, our sales teams are out in the market, literally at that time starting, they don’t have new packaging, they don’t have new innovation, they don’t have anything yet, but they’re in the marketplace. We’ve seen this happen a couple of times, I remember being in a room where somebody was literally typing, the sales team was typing during the presentation to Walmart saying, I need to get on your calendar for this date, because I’m going to have something that’s going to knock your socks off, it becomes an internal team gets really excited. Because now we’re starting to socialize with other people within the organization, we’re giving the decision making team language to socialize, what’s going to be happening. And it’s very strategic and programmatic at this point. And everybody can get excited about what’s coming without having to see a package or logo or whatever, they’ve got language that they can start activating on immediately from an HR person from a sales perspective, etc.
David Lemley 33:47
I think of it like this, Jeremy. The mood board is an impressionist painting have all of the data and all of them the purpose that we’ve poured into the rebrand or the new position, and that the sales language is the cheat sheets so that they can go in and act like an art historian to that impressionist painting, as we prepare to cross the bridge into creative translation.
Jeremy Weisz 34:12
I would love to on a future episode, do a label breakdown with you where we pull the label and you tell me like in each of these points of time, why things are the way they are, for this particular one for the ice cream brand. Can you just talk through I know you don’t have ice cream like on your counter because it wouldn’t be melted. But if we if you help us visualize some of the components that you included on there because of all the insights and everything that you discovered or some of the messaging on the packaging or wherever it may be.
David Lemley 34:52
Sure that would be a fun future episode to go into detail with product actually in our hands and talk through the details. high level on the ice cream brand, which will, the one we’re talking about is Austin’s organic ice cream. And again, when we started working on it, it was a regional brand. And that was known in the Greater Portland area and in the greater Seattle area. And that was it. And they had been owned by a family for about a decade. And there was a very specific channel strategy in play. And we wanted to blow it up and take advantages of having a relationship with the 40 farmers that basically control the all the organic cream in the world. So we brought that into the design system by making sure that that packaging looked. It’s interesting. So you’re playing it up on screen, and I’m going to be talking about something a little bit
Jeremy Weisz 35:49
rough. Okay, I just want to get a feel for the it’s really cool. I love this. But let’s keep going. I know a few different from the boxes and things like
David Lemley 35:58
Yeah, but the whole idea of how do you bring the heritage forward? How do you bring the loyalists along without alienating your core and making that the new audience as excited as the core was. And it’s really about the heritage of all things organic and bringing the notion of family farming forward. And then also bringing in the joy of eating ice cream that said that the deliciousness so we brought appetite appeal, of which there was none prior to, to these novelty packages that you see. And again, what you’re showing right now is a little different than what we’ve done.
Jeremy Weisz 36:32
Yeah, if you’re watching the video, you can see but but um, I could totally see what you’re saying here. You know, because it says organics for everyone’s supporting family farms that has this messaging here. Now, we’re not looking at a package of it. But I could see that messaging appearing on the front and center on their on their homepage.
Diana Fryc 36:51
Well, you know, um, yeah, what we’re looking at right now is a translation of what we did. And they absolutely, if you look at the logo and the typeface, all of that design language is what we brought. At the time we work with all the ins the organic industry was still pretty earnest. It was very much like we’re organic. And we have to be serious about organic because nobody, nobody believes organic, as kind of a serious nobody was really, really big. the only the only brand that was doing anything sort of whimsical was Annie’s at the time. And everybody knows Annie’s mac and cheese, right? They’ve 100% Oh, yeah. So what we needed to do was we needed to kind of take the earnestness out of this brand heritage, it was family owned, that brand was very serious about their position, they were very serious about their ice cream. And that is in direct conflict with ice cream in general, like ice cream. Nobody is serious when they’re eating their ice cream, not not nobody, right? Even if it’s organic ice cream, nobody’s like I’m eating my ice cream, because my doctor said that that’s not happening. So we
Jeremy Weisz 38:02
bring forward a train justified. That’s what the doctor ordered. Right? Just
Diana Fryc 38:10
had to bring forward this kind of the fun cuz like everybody loves ice well of people that can eat ice cream every
Jeremy Weisz 38:18
dairy free here to like I just saw on there.
Diana Fryc 38:21
Yeah. And what we want to do is what we needed to do was respect the family heritage. That was something that was very clear about on the start of this project that we needed to have some sort of tie back to the heritage, because some clients come to us on the go, these are the things that we must do. And these are things that we must not do. In this particular instance, they were very clear about there needed to be some lineage back to the original brand. It was important because the number of people that worked within the company had been there for a very long time and we were trying to keep morale up as we shifted from something family owned to corporate owned, so we needed to have that tie in there. But then at the same time, we were going to take on we’re taking on the marketplace, there was no other manufacturer at the time that could make this grounds which is that’s what they call those. Get I think gallon size David
David Lemley 39:16
gallon, it’s a square round, half gallon, round,
Diana Fryc 39:19
around half, half gallons colleges ground. Nobody was making organic ice cream in that size. It was only in pint size. So we had something there. They were really, you know, family oriented really needed to keep the family oriented in they’re easy to do with ice cream. So there were a lot of levers that we needed boxes that we needed to check for the client to feel comfortable about it. But the other boxes that they said is like yes, you need to address all of these very specific neuroses or need states or however you depending on who you are as a client, but we also need you to blow this thing up because your job is to make us a lot of money. not make us feel happy because you put this thing on the pack. That said I’m looking I’m thinking about sometimes we have these really crazy earnest conversations about I’m thinking about the cow on the front of the packaging, David, how many conversations we had about the cow illustration that was going to go on the front of the package and how many people were involved in that and I their new packaging, there’s no cow on there like so we remind people sometimes the things that you’re really like concerned about end up not being really that important in the long term but I’m just for whatever reason it popped in my head.
Jeremy Weisz 40:37
Um, I want to thank both you. And the my biggest takeaways I need to get a muddy brownie dairy free aldens organic right now. But But thank you, everyone should check out more episodes of the podcast, you’ve had some amazing guests amazing episode, go to Retail dash Voodoo dot com. And really biggest takeaways are that your data whispers and you really look at the data and let the data lead these decisions and take people through this deeper process of finding the cause. Not just patching, putting a patch over it. So thank you both for having me. And everyone should check out Retail Voodoo dot com so thanks.
Diana Fryc 41:17
Thanks, Jeremy. That was fun. Thank you Jeremy.
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