On February 13, the Marketing and Organics + Naturals clubs co-hosted a panel on Brand Management. Panelists included Jacqueline Claudia, Sylvia Tawse, and Paul Repetto.
Jacqueline founded Love the Wild, a company dedicated to sustainable and responsible aquaculture. Based in Boulder, Love the Wild sources fish from highly regarded aquaculture farms. Their goal is to create exciting dinner solutions that are ecologically responsible and easy to cook.
Silvia founded the Fresh Ideas Group, a marketing agency focused on powerful storytelling to connect communications between the organic industry, consumers, and retailers. She is the recent recipient of Naturally Boulder’s 2017 Community Champion award for advancing the Colorado natural products community through deliberate and considerate advocacy, mentorship, and leadership.
Paul is a co-founder of Horizon Organic Dairy, a founding member of the Organic Food Alliance, and President of the Board of the Colorado Music Festival. A graduate from the Sloan School at MIT, Paul spent 18 years in the advertising business. He has been a guest instructor at CU, Yale, Northwester, and USC, among others.
What was the biggest branding mistake you made?
Jacqueline: We made really pretty, innovative packaging for our Red Trout with Salsa Verde, but the logo got lost which hurt our brand equity. This affected our ability to expand the product line. Redesigning the packaging to make the logo pop fixed this problem.
What tips do you have for future brand managers?
Paul: Go to the store and watch people; observe their behavior. Ask questions. It’s cheap! I even follow people to their cars. (*We got a good laugh out of this but don’t recommend it for safety reasons!)
Jacqueline: Some of the most important advertising you do is to your own employees. Advertising teaches them what to say about what they do. It’s so important to keep the brand message consistent among your own team.
How do you deal with negative press or feedback?
Silvia: Take it head on. Own it, even if it isn’t your fault. Perception is reality.
What are some of your favorite brands?
Our panelists agreed on several brands:
Harley Davidson-It’s beautiful, iconic, a lifestyle. “How many brands get tattooed on their customers?”
Patagonia-They break all the rules—they put their environmental story up front, and sell stuff second. Sylvia even told us a story about a very early version of “open sourcing” where you would physically mail in pictures wearing Patagonia gear with the hope of being featured in a Patagonia catalogue.
We thoroughly enjoyed our hour spent with this talented, experienced panel!