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Bob Froese is the Founder of Bob’s Your Uncle, an innovative creative agency known for launching global brands and executing high-impact marketing strategies. With over two decades of experience in the advertising industry, Bob has led his company to work with clients like Canon, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and Popeyes. He grew up as a Mennonite in rural Manitoba with no TV, radio, or movie exposure, making his accomplishments in the advertising world all the more remarkable.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [2:49] Bob Froese talks about Bob’s Your Uncle and their quest to meaningfully connect clients with consumers
  • [3:35] The three pillars of creativity in branding
  • [5:28] The strategic brilliance behind Bob’s Your Uncle’s agency rebranding
  • [15:02] The ingenuity that enabled Bob’s Your Uncle to “take over” the Olympics
  • [19:10] Bob shares insight into the pitches that landed milestone clients for a then-small agency
  • [27:03] The hiring and staffing philosophies that ensure low employee turnover and strong team building
  • [38:24] Bob discusses the journey and the impact of his background
  • [41:19] Mentors and key advice that shaped Bob’s career in the business world

In this episode…

Have you ever imagined disrupting a global event like the Olympics without breaking a rule or launching an unknown brand to compete with giants in the industry? What if someone told you that achieving these feats takes more than traditional marketing tactics?

Experienced brand and rebrand practitioner Bob Froese delves into how he turned a small agency into a powerhouse known for its audacious marketing strategies and out-of-the-box creative solutions. He shares how he navigated the challenges of rebranding his company and his approach to building client relations, focusing on a mix of creativity, strategic thinking, and heartfelt connections. Bob reflects on the importance of mentorship in finding one’s path and on the strategic reasons behind refining the agency’s niche services.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz interviews Bob Froese, Founder of Bob’s Your Uncle, about how creativity and brand savvy can create disruptive market impacts. Bob weaves stories from his career about the importance of branding, the power of saying ‘no,’ and the art of making an impression that lasts decades. He also discusses the challenges and achievements of onboarding new employees and maintaining a culture of innovation within his team.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.”
  • “If you have something to present, just present it.”
  • “What you say ‘no’ to is more important than what you say ‘yes’ to.”
  • “We exist to help clients find more meaningful ways to connect with their consumers.”

Action Steps:

  1. Define your culture and the set of values you want to live by: It communicates the heart and personality of your brand, influencing both internal culture and how consumers perceive you.
  2. Embrace the power of emotion in your advertising and branding to create lasting impressions: Emotional connections foster loyalty and can transform consumer behavior, making your brand more memorable.
  3. Prioritize relevance and research in marketing to ensure your message resonates with the right audience: Tailoring marketing to the interests and needs of your target audience ensures engagement and prevents wasted efforts.
  4. Strive to differentiate your brand by offering something unique or presenting it distinctively: In a crowded market, standing out is key to attracting consumer attention and justifying a premium for your product or service.
  5. Construct creative campaigns that reflect your product and evoke a strong narrative or character: A compelling story or character, like the feisty “Mike” behind Mike’s Hard Lemonade, can give a brand personality that sticks with consumers.

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:15

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different, I have Bob Froese of Bob’s Your Uncle and Bob, before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcast. Since this is part of the top agency series, I had Adi Klevit on the podcast, she’s an easy button for a company produce SOPs and operational materials, so helps with onboarding of staff, onboarding of clients, and we geeked out on our favorite productivity tools, and much more. So check that episode out.

Also, I had Todd Taskey. And Todd Taskey basically helps pair private equity with agencies. He’s helped sell agencies and he’s got the Second Bite Podcast, he’s found that sometimes people make more on the second bite than they do on the first because of when they’re working with private equity anyways, and talking about the agency landscape and valuations and much more. So that’s an interesting episode. And check out more

This episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream relationships. And how do we do that? We actually do that by helping you run your podcasts. We’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the accountability, the strategy and the full execution. And Bob, we call ourselves the magic elves that run in the background that make it look easy for the hosts in the company so they can develop great content and create relationships and run their business. So the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should, if you have questions go to to learn more.

And I’m excited to introduce Bob Froese. He’s the founder of Bob’s Your Uncle. It’s the agency that’s launched category giants. It hijacked the Olympics, which we will hopefully talk about and once closed down Miami streets to shoot a major fashion campaign. He found his agency 20-plus years ago, having never been exposed actually to TV, radio or movies. He grew up as a Mennonite in rural Manitoba, which is super interesting. And they work with such clients as poppers, chicken cannon, Bosch, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and many, many more. And Bob, thanks for joining me.

Bob Froese 2:42

You’re welcome. Nice to be here, Jeremy.

Jeremy Weisz 2:44

So just start us off and talk about Bob’s Your Uncle and what you do?

Bob Froese 2:49

Sure. Well, I guess at heart we would define ourselves as a creative agency. We exist to help clients find more meaningful ways to connect with their consumers. We sort of go hard on this idea of who cares? The Insight being, I think most of us most people, most brands certainly think they have a lot more care and concern and attention from their consumers than they actually do. I think that’s, our ingoing starting point is, no one cares about us. No one cares about your brand. Well, some people do. So let’s go find them. And let’s find out why. And then let’s make that meaningful for other people. So, that’s the simple story.

Jeremy Weisz 3:35

Talk a little about the role of branding and the power of creativity, because that’s baked into what you do.

Bob Froese 3:44

Yeah, so I think it is what we do, for sure. So clearly, we believe in it. And there’s no shortage of evidence out there that creativity works. In creativity, when it comes to brands, talking to people, you know, for us is based on three things, the power of emotion, without emotion, you’re flat, and nobody has reason to pay attention to you or feel anything about you. The most famous poet Maya Angelou said, people won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. And I think that’s sort of at our heart when we think about emotion. And secondly, relevance.

There’s no shortage of brands and products, screaming at everybody for attention, and with messaging. But so much of that is not for the right people for the right time for what they’re looking for, or for whatever. And the third is the difference. I think this is actually the hardest one for a lot of brands because there’s so many similar products out there. There’s so many similar advertising out there. And we believe fundamentally, your advertising has to be different than other people’s otherwise, why are people gonna pay more for you? Why are they even gonna listen to you?

I already got what you’re selling me. Work hard, find something different about your product. And when that’s not the case find a different way to connect with people about your brand.

Jeremy Weisz 5:16

You ate your own dog food. Right and you actually rebranded the company, it wasn’t always Bob’s Your Uncle. Talk about the rebrand?

Bob Froese 5:28

Yeah, so we were a company called The Brainstorm Group before. And that was my partner’s vision for a company that had a very collaborative style was with clients, right brainstorm sessions. What were very collaborative, I never believed that’s necessarily the best way to get to the best work. So I was always waiting for the opportunity to do something better. And the problem with The Brainstorm Group has a name or the towels on problems that everybody said they knew us. If I say, oh, I’m with The Brainstorm. Yeah, I think I’ve heard of you. I’m like, you have it.

It just sounds familiar. So we’re looking for an idea. And Bob’s Your Uncle was proposed by some of our young creative guys, which really caught me off guard, because it’s an old expression, we went through our own rebranding journey a journey, we’ve guided 100 plus times for clients, very confidently, very adeptly, marching through all the steps, conviction in our recommendations. But man, when it came to being the client of our own advice, that’s one of the most challenging exercises we’ve ever gone through. And I’m not sure I was a good client, it was like, I don’t like that.

Jeremy Weisz 6:42

You’re like, we don’t want you as a client.

Bob Froese 6:45

Yeah. So they were like I was with clients, they were with me, and they stuck to it. And they said, you know what, sit with us for a bit, don’t say no. And I thought it through and we went with it. And it was a bit of a brave step on one hand, because in Canada and the UK and the Commonwealth, that’s a very well-known and well-loved expression. Bob’s Your Uncle means everything’s sorted out, you’re good to go. things turn out as they’re supposed to. And America, which was half of our business. No, nobody other than a handful of Brits have ever heard that expression, right? So my American clients, like, what are you doing? They didn’t know.

They didn’t know this as that. But it was fun. Ultimately, it’s an insanely likable name. People enjoy it. We have a lot of us clients that have never heard of it. That’s still love it. And my standard for it was, you know, will people like it? Will they remember it? That’s all we need. That’s all that matters. Like, that’s our brand. And I’ll tell you what, people, people love it. And they remember that it’s, we’ve done well by we’ve done well by the rebrand. So it’s given us heart and confidence for when we bring in our clients, some unusual suggestions, you know what, have some faith, we did?

Jeremy Weisz 8:04

No, I mean, being obviously in the US, it’s definitely memorable. And for me, like, I’m not going to forget, Bob’s Your Uncle, so I’d love to hear the rebrand journey, like what’s that look like? What’s the process look like?

Bob Froese 8:26

The process has really — it’s values-driven. So we spent a lot of time defining our culture, and the set of values we wanted to live by, and how we want it to be experienced by the outside world. So we spent a lot of time talking to our staff, we chatted with our clients about their opinions, many similar things probably not quite as formally as we would do on a client branding project, but the same process. So, a lot of internal soul searching about who we’ve been and who we want to be based around the other people that we have, because we had a great, great crew, we weren’t looking at changing who we were, we were really just looking to better reflect that.

So to solidify that, too. We didn’t expose the name to any of our clients before we launched it. Because it was interesting, because we didn’t, we actually didn’t want the answer. We’ve always said to our clients, that a name ultimately is more about what you put behind it, than what people might think the first time they see it or experience it. I think in our case, we got both because we already knew what was behind it. But the process, yeah. Hundreds of names. I think literally our own internal creative crew, we had a few outsiders contributing people that freelance creative people that we’ve worked with before, and we really went through a hardcore distillation process. If you don’t get imagine, in the agency world, there are no names things that are off the table, right?

We have the latitude to be as outrageous and as silly and as weird as we want. It’s not like we’re a business software, right. But at the same time, we have serious clients that are going to want to do business with an entity that they’re not ashamed to talk about. So it’s an interesting process, I would say most of our branding projects have tighter guidelines, in terms of what the brand was meant to be. But at the end, we want it to be likable. I would say that was a big, big ask in our name, because that’s how our clients feel about us. Like, generally we’re Canadians, right? Or not to like, sir, it’s our national personality, pretty much, but we had the opportunity to take advantage of that.

Jeremy Weisz 10:49

So you chat, Bob you chat with staff, you chat with clients, and you probably come up with a lot of ideas, how do you start the brainstorming process of names from after it’s kind of the research phase?

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