Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 3:26

You know, I was listening to episode on your podcast about the name and where it came from. And then if you look at the logo, so I’m going to try and get an answer out of you from this. I don’t know. But some people think that looks like a pig. No, some people will say it looks like a button. The actual logo, is there an origin of why that kind of insignia what that what that actually is

Lyn Wineman 3:50

100% Because we are a branding agency that takes branding very seriously. There’s a complete story to that, right. I mean, we want to be an agency that’s a very high touch agency. And it’s a very insightful agency. And so when you when you really look back to the story of kid gloves, I think most people know the saying to be treated with kid gloves. But even back in the 18th century, kid gloves were these beautiful designer gloves made a very soft leather. They were a symbol of status and sophistication. And they most often had ornate silver buttons on the side. So when we decided to name KidGlov because we wanted to emphasize that great care we’re taking off people and brands. We liked the button instead of the glove. Everybody thought oh, your logo will be a glove. We liked the button because it was unexpected. It fit nicely within the name KidGlov, it becomes our Oh, and it gives us the chance to talk about buttoning up brands and strategies right so it’s not a pig nose. Other few think it’s a pig nose and you like that fine. It’s not a smiley face. Although if you think it’s a smiley face and you like that fine, but it is, in fact supposed to be a button.

Jeremy Weisz 5:10

So I want to understand your process for branding a little bit. And, you know, there was a nonprofit that you helped with rebranding. So can you walk me through that a little bit?

Lyn Wineman 5:21

Absolutely. Actually, in the 12 years of our existence, I think we’ve helped over 100 nonprofits with their brand messaging strategy. In some cases, that is simply helping them tighten up their messaging, their tagline their positioning statement. In other cases, it goes all the way to their logo, to their name to their website, and all the things. What we know is that nonprofits that have a great brand, have better recognition and recall, they do a better job of fostering relationships with their donors, they’re easier to find for the people that they serve. And that also sets the stage for a more positive internal culture. So we a few years ago, helped an organization called the Child Guidance Center, which is kind of a very basic name, you might think you understand what they’re all about. But when we broke it all down, and we did the research, we found out that they served more than children, they did more than guidance, and they were more than a center. So even those three words that seemed very simple and understandable, did not serve them. So we changed their name to Hope Spoke, and Hope Spoke really spoke to what they gave to families and what they gave to kids as they came into the organization for services. And now, a few years later, we’ve really seen that organization grow into a pillar of the community. And just it, it’s really fun to see how that has lifted them as an organization, it has lifted their employees, and even maybe more importantly, it’s lifted their fundraising efforts.

Jeremy Weisz 7:09

So where do you start with that? I mean, I really liked that. And I’m gonna pull up the site as you’re talking, because I really am curious what the logo looks like. Because I can picture like, the whole spoke just I something jumps out is easier to create a logo, then the kind of general Child Guidance Center, but where do you start when the company is right now maybe listening, though, you know, I know, I need to kind of do a rebrand. And, you know, where do you start with that?

Lyn Wineman 7:37

Well, because we work with nonprofits, we knew we had a process that was laser laser focused, and and affordable, right? So we start with a discovery session, we bring the key leaders, sometimes a few board members, whether it’s a for profit or a nonprofit, we bring bring a group of people into a room, we facilitate a 90 minute focus group and really talks about what makes their brand their brand and where they see themselves in the future, then we follow that with an online survey, because we want to validate what the leaders have said, because sometimes there’s a huge gap between where the leaders think they are want to go and where their audiences see them. And so we need to understand that we do a competitive review. So we want to make sure we’re looking at who are the organizations, if they’re a nonprofit, they’re probably competing for fundraising, if they’re for profit, they’re competing for customers or clients, we do that competitive review, we then determine their brand archetype profile. So we use the system that was created in the book called The Hero and the outlaw that has 12 different brand archetypes, and we put together a profile that mixes and matches a couple to create a really unique voice. Then from there, we put all of that together, create a brand strategy and create the positioning statement. And if there is a new name involved, that happens at that phase, and then when that once that phase is complete, we look at graphic identity, and then we look at launch because the launch is a really great opportunity to build relationships with audiences as well.

Jeremy Weisz 9:27

That’s amazing. What jumped out with Hope Spoke,

Lyn Wineman 9:31

ah, well, yeah, so as we worked with hope spoke, you know, one of the key things they deal with mental children’s mental health and, and Family Mental Health and sometimes children, you know, broadly includes 12 to 18 year olds, but 12 18 year olds don’t think of themselves as children. Right. So, so we wanted to get rid of the word children, but still infer that it was serving youth and so the logo for Hope Spoke and the feel of the name has a very youthful feel. They also is very important to them, not to re stigmatize the people that come into the center, right? Like, you want to be able to walk through the doors of an organization that’s going to help you and not make you feel like you have a problem. So the name Hope Spoke really, really, once again, spoke to the fact that what they were doing was helping these kids and these families see a bright future.

Jeremy Weisz 10:34

And so, when you that’s the first part, right? What else do you do that extends into all their messaging, their website, everything. So what other services do you do?

Lyn Wineman 10:46

Yeah, for Hope Spoke, we really, we really sat down with them and worked through their launch plan, first of all, so we have their messaging statement, their name, their tagline, their logo, their graphic identity package, we always like to look at who who do we need to talk to about this new brand? And how do we talk to them, because you want to have the right message at the right time, in the right order. So we help them set up several different meetings and presentations and parties, you know, to their board, to their employees, to their top donors, to their partners, and then to the public. Because it’s such a great chance to let people know, you are so important to us, you are on the inside, we are telling you this really important story before it goes public. But then we did help them with a graphic style guide. We help them launch the website, almost everybody right now, your website is the cornerstone of everything that you do. We help them start their literature system, we help them kick off of fundraising initiatives. So those were just a few of the things that we did in the beginning to help ensure that the that the name went out in a very positive way, they had such a great Executive Director Katie mcleese. Stevenson, and on the day we launched to her employees, you know, she had everybody together, we were in the ballroom of a of a local organization. And I came in and helped her present. And before I presented, I said, Katie, no fewer than 12 people are going to tell you before the end of the day that this is the silliest idea you’ve ever had, right? Because when you rename something people are familiar with the familiar. They’re comfortable with the familiar. And when you come out with a new name, initially, it feels shocking to people until they fully understand and embrace it. So she did call me the next morning. She said, Listen, I think there were only five, this has got to be a success. So yeah, sometimes sometimes great ideas are met with resistance, because you’re really trying to think outside of the box and garner attention.

Jeremy Weisz 13:06

You know, I think that’s, first of all amazing advice. That’s the bit that’s baked in to what you just said to agency or any company, which is just mentioning objections before they happen. Because if you didn’t say that, she could have been like thinking in her head and never went back and told you Oh, all these people hate it. She’s just second guessing everything that she just did. So by saying that, letting people know what’s going to happen before it happens, and some of the maybe, you know, bumps in the road that that’s so key. Yeah,

Lyn Wineman 13:40

it is 100% key. I mean, the key the key to life is managing expectations. I like to say right, but you know, just because somebody doesn’t like something, you’ll you’ll never have something that 100% of the people like you may have something that 100% of the people are willing to ignore. But that is the opposite of what you want in branding. I always it’s, it’s the pistachio vanilla thing, right? If if you were at a conference and you are trying to get 1000 people not to complain, you serve them vanilla ice cream, but nobody stays awake at night dreaming of vanilla ice cream are very few. There’s a much smaller group that like pistachio, but man those people that like pistachio are willing to drive get up in the middle of the night. They’ve got their favorite brands and and I think most brands want to be more pistachio than vanilla.

Jeremy Weisz 14:33

Yeah, thanks for sharing that branding process. It’s really valuable. And, you know, once you have that you’re getting it out into the world. You do it internally than externally. And I know you think and talk about, you know, cause marketing and purpose driven marketing. So tell me about that.

Lyn Wineman 14:48

Right. So I do think there’s there’s so much data right now that after coming through the pandemic and what we have been through as humans, that People are really thinking more intentionally about wanting to align with brands that are making a positive impact in the world. As a matter of fact, I recently did a Facebook Live and a blog post on the fact that over there are studies that show that over 70% of people want to align with brands that make a positive impact. And that number gets even higher as you look at younger generations. And then I think the number is in the 80s, when you look at the number of employees that want to align with positive brands, so it’s really been a growth area for KidGlov. We we have always had a strong foundation in nonprofit marketing. But now we see more and more businesses coming to us to get out a purpose driven message. We also have organizations coming to us to get out social impact campaigns, so topics such as behavioral health, parenting, health care, vaccines have been a big one lately. And so that has been a big trend as well.

Jeremy Weisz 16:13

And one of the things you look at is campaigns and looking in making sure they don’t have implicit bias. Yeah, that seems like a very difficult thing to do. Because we have a bias, like sometimes we’re not even aware of our bias.

Lyn Wineman 16:29

Well, I think that’s the definition of exactly a bias that you’re not aware of,

Jeremy Weisz 16:36

you know, something you’re not aware of?

Lyn Wineman 16:39

Yeah. Well, the first step, the first step, Jeremy is awareness. The first step is really taking a look at what are the biases that we might have as a as an agency as a strategy team, as a creative team? What are biases that our clients might have? And often, you know, they are not biases that are seated in any kind of, you know, evilness, they’re just the way that we have been hardwired to think so, you know, we in January, sent our entire creative team through some training, to help them become aware of implicit bias and, and to help them become more aware of what we can do as an agency to overcome that. Because, once again, not only is it the right thing to do, there is a lot of data out there that, you know, demonstrating diversity and accessibility and advertising really does is improving results. It’s improving conversions, and recall and building trust and relationships with brands, as well. So, you know, for us, we have actually changed our creative brief, to incorporate a few questions that help bring in conversation and thinking about bias. We have also updated our discovery process for when we brand to open the doors to more of that conversation. And we’re just providing more and more education to our team to our clients, and actually making it available for free to people in the industry as well on the importance of that topic.

Jeremy Weisz 18:25

Yeah, I’d love to hear what was eye opening in the training, what do people report back that stuck out? Yeah, I

Lyn Wineman 18:31

think, you know, really a key thing is that, first of all, I think a key thing is that we have implicit bias, right? I think, almost to a person, our creative team felt like, you know, I don’t have bias, I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just moving forward. And going through this training made us realize, even though it’s not based in evil, or you know, malicious intent, we all do have biases, and and just by being aware of that, we can open the doors to making a positive change. We also learned the impact the positive impact that it would make, and we’re really working now to shore up and create some review panels and some invite some people in that can help us with cultural competencies as well.

Jeremy Weisz 19:33

What were some you mentioned, there are some questions that you incorporated. I don’t know if you have them. Handy are an example of a question that you incorporated to bake into your process. So it helps you don’t have as much bias.

Lyn Wineman 19:48

Yeah, one of the one of the key questions is Is in thinking about the audience, because I think a lot of us were taught in Marketing School, particularly in media planning, to kind of zero in On that primary audience, and just, you know, go forward towards that audience, right. And so one of the questions we ask is, how can we think about the audience differently to make sure that we’re providing access? So that’s a really, really important question to make sure that, you know, you’re not just zeroing in on kind of a persona of one audience member, but that you’re opening up because, you know, what we have to be aware of is that the cultural profile of the United States is changing, and it’s, it’s going to change and, and what our audiences look like today is not going to be what they look like in the future. And so we need to be thinking about the future. Another question that we ask is, beyond your product or service, what is it that you’re doing or could be doing to positively give back and this helps us identify causes or cultural and environmental aspects that we can include in marketing as well.

Jeremy Weisz 21:10

You did an episode about this with Lillian Forsyth? Ah,

Lyn Wineman 21:14

yeah, Lillian Forsyth is amazing. She’s actually the person who through the four A’s or American Association of advertising agencies, facilitated the training with us, and and Lillian is so thoughtful. And I think what she did was she just, she didn’t come to it from a standpoint of saying, you know, hey, you guys are bad, you have to get better. She did this really great four part training, where it was a lot of question and answer, it was a lot of hate, share some campaigns that you’re working on. And let’s work through together how we could how we could make them better. And she was really great night. That’s one of my favorite episodes of the agency for change podcast as well. So anybody who’s looking to add more diversity, or remove bias from their marketing, that’d be a great episode to listen to?

Jeremy Weisz 22:09

How does diversity of staff play a role in that?

Lyn Wineman 22:13

I think diversity of staff is important. And it’s not always easy, right? Particularly if you’re based in in Nebraska, but you we can’t use that as an excuse, right? There is just, we all have different learned experiences, right. And so if your agency account team is made up of people from a specific demographic, or socio economic group, and there’s no diversity in that group, it’s going to be very hard for you to make that work. So, you know, I would even give you an example of that KidGlov. Our hiring practice used to be to require advertising agency experience, to, you know, to, to apply for or obtain one of our open positions. But yet, then we complained, because in Nebraska, there’s not a lot of cultural diversity in the people who work in the advertising agencies. So if we’re putting that requirement into our job descriptions, we’re instantly saying we are not opening the doors to diversity, at least at this time. So we have removed that from our job descriptions, and have really, you know, set some new interviewing and hiring policies to help open the doors. And we’ve also worked to in the past, as we were a smaller agency, we had to expect people to come in and hit the ground running. We now are opening up more of a training runway so we can bring in people without that experience as well. So that’s been important to us. But we really are right now to working on creating an advisory panel and a group of advisers in different cultural competencies to help us out as well.

Jeremy Weisz 24:06

I love that. That’s a great idea for any company advisory panel. Right? I think so

Lyn Wineman 24:12

too. I think so to Jeremy we’re like, for example, we are working on a campaign right now. called Max, the VAX and it is a collaboration between the Department Nebraska Department of Education and Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. And the goal of the campaign is for more kids to have COVID 19 vaccines before they enter school in 2023. Not controversial at all. Oh my goodness. It’s very controversial. Probably the campaign where I’ve received the most hate mail not personally but it’s a very controversial topic but also a very important topic. There’s there’s so much data that shows you know the importance of keeping kids safe the the importance of keeping kids in school for their own mental health and education processes. And, you know, we’re in the midst of a workforce shortage. So if if kids are coming home from school for an extended amount of time, that means then parents are out of the workforce. And just the there’s so many things, you know, riding on keeping kids healthy. So when we started this campaign, we had to move very quickly. I mean, if you work on social impact causes and something like the pandemic, new data is coming out new variances new, like the temperature of the room, it feels like changes every month, if not even faster than that. So what we did is we looked at a lot of available data that said, there is a definite wait and see category, like the people who have already decided they’re going to have their kids vaccinated, we’ll be there once they become available. The people who have decided no, never are not going to be there. Right. But there’s this middle group. And so we were able to demographically See, this middle group is made up not of, you know, your your average Nebraska citizen, it’s made up of some very specific demographic groups. And so the entire campaign was designed to amplify the voice of pediatricians and health care providers with a target of very specific demographic groups.

Jeremy Weisz 26:33

How do you get that out there? So I mean, there’s a never, you’re not going to be convinced those a yes, they’re already convinced, then you have the wait and see. And getting that information in front of them? Yeah,

Lyn Wineman 26:47

what do you do? Yeah, so we looked at because because we had very targeted groups, we did look at digital as our primary, digital and social as our primary medium. So we’re very targeted, but we continue to watch all the data we see. And all the data we see says the voice of the pediatrician or health care provider, because there’s many parts of the state of Nebraska, where families don’t have access to pediatricians but they have access to other health care providers is the most effective voice. So, you know, we developed a series of very informal videos of doctors speaking off the cuff, answering questions, you know, sharing why they feel it’s important for kids to be vaccinated. And we combined that with some messages from the Department of Education from teachers. And then also some just very fun messages. So, you know, we’re trying not to make it finger wagging, like you should do this or shaming but, but to make it positive, so the messages kind of seep in, maybe they impact the kids, maybe they impact the parents,

Jeremy Weisz 28:02

you know, as a company, the companies that we decide to serve, I feel like our it’s a big decision. Right, and we’re taking a stand. So when you decided to take on that project, did you were you worried about risks of other companies that you work with? I mean, because even within a company, everyone has varying views? I mean, yeah, a company of 200 people, and maybe 10 of them have a totally different view and the other, you know, 190 don’t. So how are you thinking about that? Maybe you weren’t?

Lyn Wineman 28:35

No, I think that’s very important. Like, I think any company, any company that takes on a cause, right, so, so KidGlov took on max Vax as a cause, but it also was a client of ours too, right. But, you know, if you take on a cars, you have to ask yourself a couple of things, you have to ask yourself, Is this in line with our organizational values? Do we have something of value to add to the conversation? And will this be will most of our clients be in agreement? Once again, if you’re waiting for all of your clients or everyone in your audience to be in agreement, you’re never going to do anything, you’re going to be vanilla, right? And so at KidGlov, we do specialize in nonprofit marketing. We specialize in social impact marketing, and we specialize in purpose driven business marketing, which also often breaks out into healthcare organizations and community banks and credit unions. So we know that the clients we serve, you know, are primarily going to be in that umbrella of of supporting this campaign.

Jeremy Weisz 29:54

Yeah, it’s interesting. I mean, I was talking to agency owner the other week and they were saying you They started with here’s what I don’t serve, because I was asking him, you know, who are your clients for you? And they go, Well, I don’t do anything in cannabis. And then there’s companies that only do cannabis. Right, right. And they go, I don’t do anything in weapons, weapons and ammunition and those companies that, you know, want to focus on that stuff. So just interesting where people kind of fall. You know, I

Lyn Wineman 30:23

think Jeremy, I think the importance of that is agencies build up a body of expertise. So marketing, a nonprofit, or social impact, or campaign or cause is very different than your standard product marketing, right. And so, or retail marketing, right. And so we, we have done product marketing, and we have, and we do some product marketing, but more, as it’s part of a more of a cause or purpose driven business. But we know how to communicate about complex and abstract topics that change behavior, right. And I think that’s different than, hey, I know, if somebody came to us and said, Hey, I want to launch this online product. And and I, you know, I want to do all this stuff with inventory, and online product sales, that would not be a good fit, it would not be a good fit for us, it would not be profit, even if they just landed on our doorstep, and begged us to take the work, it potentially would not even be profitable for us, because we would have to, you know, educate our team on new things that they don’t do in the normal course of their work.

Jeremy Weisz 31:40

Yeah. When you mentioned, you know, the your agency has been around for over a decade, and you know, listening to some of the podcast episodes seems like oh, so and so has been here since the beginning. This person has been here since the beginning. So I’d love to hear about what you do and what we could all learn from you about culture, taking care of people, and how do they stay the longevity there? So what do you do to keep people staying and the culture?

Lyn Wineman 32:04

Yeah, I’m gonna tell you, I’m very proud of the fact that we’re in the midst of the Great resignation, right? We’ve only had one person leave in the last 12 months, and that person changed careers. So it wasn’t even just to go to another agency, they’re, they’re actually doing a very different job than they were for us. So for us, I believe my number one responsibility is taking care of the people like KidGlov. And if I take care of our people, and I make sure we even have this project, we call it the creative Nirvana project. And it is our agency wide, ongoing focus to create the best environment for doing creative and strategic work that we can possibly have. We’re always working on it. But if I do that, then my people will be happy and productive. And if my people are happy and productive, our clients are going to be happy. And then the whole thing will just keep going around. And sometimes I’m almost embarrassed to talk about it, because it seems like such a simple secret sauce. But it is our secret sauce. I mean, it is a reason why we are a continuous best places to work. And when we get the feedback for best places to work back. It’s always fun to see that. You know, one year the number one word people used in their comments about KidGlov was love, and how the people in our agency love what they do. And they love working with one another. So that’s pretty satisfying thing.

Jeremy Weisz 33:44

So the creative Nirvana project. Yeah. So how does that work? Do they have certain time periods during the week? Or?

Lyn Wineman 33:52

Yeah, so we, we started the project with three sessions. And we brought our entire creative team together. And let’s see if I can remember this. But session number one was, what does it feel like when things are just great when you’re in the zone, and you’re in the zone, and it feels like you can’t fail and the ideas are flowing? And you just go home at the end of the day and you love what you do? And we just really analyzed? What gets us to that situation. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Session two is a little bit of a bummer. Session two was what does it look like feel like when things just suck? Right? Because they do sometimes and so am I allowed to say that on the podcast, by the way? Okay, great. So Jeremy, A, we just talked about what what makes it what makes it not great. And then the third session was, alright, how do we get from where we are, which is pretty good. But I’m always striving for more are then pretty good. How do we get from where we are to where we want to be? And when we have meetings like that we like to talk about what are some quick wins? And what are some big things that we can do so, so we started in that way. And that was last year. And as we set our pillars for 2022, we made creative Nirvana a pillar, but we extended it and said, you know, this isn’t just about the creative people. This is about everyone. How do we pull everyone into this because everyone’s part of the creativity. And so we just did an all agency meeting, where we broke everybody up into small groups. And they came back and presented like, here are the things that they they want to do so and our creative directors, it’s now part of their job responsibilities. And our operations manager, it’s part of their job responsibilities to be continually moving us towards a creative Nirvana culture.

Jeremy Weisz 36:08

Lyn, thank you. So I want to point people towards I have a I just mapped out your next book while you were talking. So I’m going to share with you in a second, but I want to point people to your website, which is KidGlov. Checkout, they also have the podcast page on there, but but I have Creative Nirvana the three pillars to cultural success, or how do you maintain a rockstar culture and then the chapters are? Session One is in the zone. Chapter A Session Two is bummer. The bummer section and then session three is the path. You know, how do you get to where you are? So I hope I get to read or listen to your book at some point in the future about creative nirvana. So I just want to be the first one to thank you so much, everyone, check out the website. Check out more episodes of Inspired Insider, and much more. So Thanks, Lyn.

Lyn Wineman 37:01

Thanks, Jeremy.