28 minutes | Feb 27, 2023
#35: Hampton Water Co-Founder Jesse Bongiovi | Turning “Pink Juice” into a Lifestyle Brand
Jesse Bongiovi’s Hampton Water rosé is as much a lifestyle brand as it is a Wine Spectator darling. Bongiovi started the company with his Notre Dame college roommate, Ali Thomas, and the brand took off through spot-on social marketing that included Happy Half Hour livestreams during lockdown. There’s another co-founder at Hampton Water, Bongiovi’s famous father, Jon Bon Jovi, whose love of the “pink juice” during their Hamptons summers inspired the brand. A famous parent can help, but Bongiovi, who walked onto the Notre Dame football team, is determinedly building a bartender-referral network, innovating rosé cocktails and creating a year-round lifestyle positioning for Hampton Water. In this episode you’ll learn: Success is not owned, it is leased and the rent is due every day After the launch year, you can’t ride the PR train so much Why marketers should figure out how to destigmatize traditional categories for new consumers No one thinks they're 60 , everyone thinks they are 25 Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Feb 13, 2023
#34: Supplyframe CMO Richard Barnett | The Backbone of the Supply Chain
Before any consumer product or service comes to market, there is a history of B2B activity that’s already taken place. Supplyframe CMO Richard Barnett serves the full range of engineers, manufacturers, supply-chain experts and B2B brand leaderswith a continuous loop of online resources, such as Hackaday for engineers, business connections across manufacturing and supply chains and predictive trends that go on to imbue new applications. Rooted in a Stanford education in political science and international policy, Barnett chose globalization over academia. Now, at Supplyframe, he’s focused on fulfilling the individual’s need to connect, learn and grow. In this episode you’ll learn: Sometimes, what you choose not to do is as strategic as what you choose to do. It’s important to be transparent with your team about the roles they play in the grand mechanism of the business. When everyone knows where they fit into the machine, they will be empowered to succeed. Keep it simple. Richard and his team tell each other “Piggy Doggy Bunny” as a reminder not to overcomplicate things. Brought to you by Mekanism.
27 minutes | Feb 6, 2023
#33: Magnolia Bakery CMO Eddie Revis | Inside the Sweet Mind of a CMO
Magnolia Bakery is a popular destination in New York City, and it's common to find residents and tourists lining up to buy perfectly iced cupcakes and other sweet treats. Now, CMO Eddie Revis is helping turn Magnolia Bakery into a global D2C brand. Magnolia’s Breakfast Loaves video, a remake of comedian Liam Kyle Sullivan’s early YouTube hit, Muffins, went viral, immediately landing with millennial targets. Revis does it, in part, by daring his creative teams to pitch their craziest ideas. It’s no surprise that his career spans agencies, starting with a high-school internship, and big brands, such as Chobani. In this episode you’ll learn: If you have an idea that could be unstrategic but it’s wild and awesome, share it anyway The great thing about the agency side is you get to focus on impact As a client, you think about impact and the repercussions that making that decision is going to have across the business If you really want to learn about the company as a new CMO, share an office with the CFO Brought to you by Mekanism.
26 minutes | Jan 30, 2023
#32: Neuro-Insight Founder and Global CEO Pranav Yadav | Making the Right Pitch at the Emotional Peak
It can feel impossible to express the human condition, so we look to great artists, writers and even advertising creatives to do the job. Pranav Yadav, Founder and Global CEO of Neuro-Insight, saw how inconsistent people were doing field interviews–one memorable study tried to find out why people gamble in Las Vegas. A more innate truth was to be found in neuromarketing, which measures neural signals by electrodes to track emotional responses. Yadav brilliantly reads the data and helps marketers, including TJ Maxx and Anheuser Busch, make ads that both stir emotions and hit the right pitch. In this episode you’ll learn: What neruomarketing is and how it’s innovating the way brands are built. What people say in the first hour of a focus group is different from what they say in the second or fourth hour and it really doesn't correlate to actual in-market purchase behavior. Creative is an idea that engages people, but an ad has the additional responsibility of associating the brand at the peak emotional moment. The beauty of life is that if you are open enough to learning, it teaches you everything you need to know.
28 minutes | Jan 23, 2023
#31: Forbes CMO Network Managing Director Seth Matlins | The Real Value of a CMO
Seth Matlins, Managing Director at Forbes CMO Network, was only seven years old when marketing claimed his future. He was transfixed by the founder of the Pet Rock, who had brazenly turned construction rubble into a viral sensation, the tulip mania of the disco era. Matlins’ first marketing job was to be part of the team that was turning another earthly resource–water–into the highly valuable, branded asset, Evian. His career spans advising some of the world’s most iconic brands and promoting civic ideals, such as voting and truth in advertising. At Forbes, Matlins markets marketing to marketers, as more than a byproduct of data but a role that is vital to a company's future growth. In this episode you’ll learn:. While data is important, interpreting that data is the real magic. Why each and every employee at a company is responsible for driving the business forward. To be a great brand, you need to be both differentiated and valuable. Differentiation is easy, but how you express the value of that differentiation is the challenge. Brought to you by Mekanism.
38 minutes | Jan 9, 2023
#30: Buddhist Monk and Zen Teacher Koshin Paley Ellison | Becoming Untangled
In this special edition episode of The Soul & Science Podcast, Jason shares his discussion with author, zen teacher and monk Koshin Paley Ellison during the launch event for his new book, Untangled. Untangled is a welcoming guidebook to finding expansive ease and joy through the Eightfold Path, one of Buddhism’s foundational teachings. In his book, Koshin, shares anecdotes from his life dealing with abuse and discrimination as well as the path of teachings from Eastern and Western wisdom traditions. Together, Zen teacher and monk, Jungian psychotherapist, and the co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, Koshin Paley Ellison, and Jason Harris, Co-founder & CEO of creative agency, Mekanism, discuss how to incorporate these teachings of untangling our suffering and the path of freedom in our everyday lives.In this episode you’ll learn: When unfortunate circumstances arise, rather than ask yourself, “why me?” ask yourself, “why not me?” Slowing your mind and becoming more intentional are key to living a fulfilling life. It’s important to confront your fears, not to be enveloped by them.
30 minutes | Jan 2, 2023
#29: AU Holdings Founder Bing Chen | Using Your Platform to Lift Up Others
To this day, investor, founder and dreammaker, Bing Chen fondly recalls his first big-screen experience. It was “Beauty and the Beast” and the movie, along with the Disney brand magic to make dreams come true, have inspired Chen’s own prolific suite of businesses: AU Holdings, a family of companies that incubates and invests in creators; Gold House, a collective of multicultural leaders who bring equity to multicultural communities through strategic investment and promotion; and Aum Group, a premier multicultural film fund. True to this era’s version of dream-making, Chen’s early career at YouTube was to develop and market online creators–and he has gone on to build influential audiences and support global feature films. In this episode you’ll learn: The hardest thing in the world is to be a digital creator If you have a platform, you have a responsibility Let your managers run their own teams but align around strategy and run air-cover for each other The difference between achieving success and being truly successful is relentlessness Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Dec 5, 2022
#28: SERHANT. Founder Ryan Serhant | Take Care of the Work and the Work Will Take Care of You
Ryan Serhant rose to fame on Million Dollar Listing: New York. Now running his own luxury real-estate company, SERHANT., he is the star of his own billion dollars in listings. From building a personal brand, de facto for CMOs, to creating a global business and writing best-sellers, Serhant is an intuitive marketer. “The greatest businesses of the next generation aren't going to be those that are disrupted purely by technology, they're going to be those that are disrupted by marketing,” he says. Forged by downturns–as a young soap actor, his character was killed off by 2007’s writer’s strike–Serhant became an agent, just as the mortgage crisis tanked the market in 2008. Starting SERHANT. on pandemic’s eve, his hedge-funder’s brain continues to find opportunities where others flee. In this episode you’ll learn: • How people are given amazing opportunities, but do jack shit with them • Be the best when everything (and everyone else) is the worst • Take care of the work and the work will take care of you • The 3Fs: Follow up; follow through; follow back • Expand and brand–focus on that every day Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Nov 28, 2022
#27: CAULIPOWER CMGO Stuart Smith | Pioneering the “Better for You” Category
CAULIPOWER, the first to-market, cauliflower-crust frozen pizza is a major player in the growing “good for you” food category. Chief Marketing and Growth Officer Stuart Smith joined the nascent company in 2019, which was founded by his wife, Gail Becker. After baking countless cauliflower pizzas from scratch for their children, Gail noticed the need for a quality frozen cauliflower pizza. The brand was brilliantly launched leveraging the buzz-building skills of the pair - both Stuart and Gail had successful careers at global PR giant Edelman. Stuart uses his PR savvy to shape a broader marketing plan - such as elevating campaign ideas that prove memorable enough to earn their own media. Smith tells us his unique origin story- he is our first Oxford PhD scientist turned marketer - and shares how data brings clarity to decisions. In this episode you’ll learn: Good strategists create clarity out of noise, they recognize patterns in data A sales team will get you on the shelf, but you need marketing to get it off The next great CPG idea is being shared now on social media in the form of recipes, meal preps and healthy-eating hacks To think through something or seize a new idea, spend more time talking to people A big idea should be good enough to earn its own media placementBrought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Nov 14, 2022
#26: Four Sigmatic Founder Tero Isokauppila | Marketing Functional Foods to Everyone
Tero Isokauppila grew up in a fairy-tale setting on land his ancestors settled on 13 generations ago in Finland. The family farm forms the roots of his company, Four Sigmatic, a highly functional foods business that helps people focus, gain energy and relax. But this Finnish nomad strayed far from home to build it. Through careers in consulting and online marketing, across continents, Isokauppila has made mushrooms, some native to Finland's deep forests, and other nutrient-packed ingredients, into a functional foods mainstay sold at behemoth retailers like Target and Walmart. He talks about marketing research on PubMed and Amazon reviews, his love for podcast advertising and a career journey befitting a storybook. In this episode you’ll learn: If it’s good enough for a Viking, it’s good enough for a banker Read your 3-star reviews on Amazon, they wish you were better No one cares about the mushrooms or the coffee, it’s how it makes them feel You don’t tattoo Harley Davidson on your arm after your first ride Basic nutrition is the white belt, sleep the purple, mind health the black The Four Sigmatic name is part of an ethos of nerdy and geeky Brought to you by Mekanism.
29 minutes | Nov 7, 2022
#25: Trinny London CMO Shira Feuer | How Authenticity Creates Fast Growth
Shira Feuer is the CMO of Trinny London, the social-media driven beauty brand founded by entrepreneur, CEO, and style icon Trinny Woodall that generated $72m by December 2021. For the last four years, Feuer has helped build the global brand and its passionate following, the Trinny Tribe, overseeing revenue growth, customer acquisition and retention, brand and product marketing and prolific, highly engaging digital content. After a career round 1 in banking, which served to establish the Canadian in London (Feuer could tell during the job interview finance wasn’t for her), she started over as an unpaid agency intern, graduating to social media and digital marketing positions at Burberry and Walt Disney. In this episode you’ll learn: Decisions start in the heart but are rationalized in the brain To market to women, understand what they want, then meet those needs Sell products that are good and worth it because people will talk Cross-platform marketing spots don’t have to be twins, but need to be siblings Sustainability is quickly moving from hook to table stakes Brought to you by Mekanism.
27 minutes | Oct 31, 2022
#24: Shake Shack CMO Jay Livingston | There’s More than One Way to do Things
In a special live recording from New York’s Advertising Week, the week’s episode features Shake Shack CMO Jay Livingston. Livingston, who has held top marketing roles at Bank of America and BarkBox, is emulating Shake Shack’s foundational, high-low strategy of elevating basic fare and democratizing fine dining on a national and global scale. It was a pattern set by founder, New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, whose first Shake Shack was a cart in a park across from his Michelin-starred restaurant. Now, Shake Shack is well on its way to becoming a billion dollar burger brand. Seeding each restaurant in local chef and art cultures, Livingston upholds Shake Shack’s emphasis on quality ingredients and premium experiences. He’s also venturing toward a mass advertising test, morphing Instagram fame to TikTok and putting a virtual Shake Shack in Sims 4. In this episode you’ll learn: It’s tempting to stick with what works, but dabble in what’s new. Great companies build marketing and product development side-by-side. Listen to what focus groups tell you, but don’t let them run the company. Think before you quit, you might be leaving a good network and foundation. Shake Shack’s new drive-throughs prove the adage, never say never. Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Oct 24, 2022
#23: Olipop Co-Founder & President David Lester | Breaking Your Way to Better Outcomes
There’s an alchemy to relationships, including the ones between co-founders. David Lester, co-founder at good-for-you-soda company, OLIPOP, first heard about his future business partner, Ben Goodwin, while he was quitting his 10-year job at global beverage giant Diageo. His then boss thought they’d work well together. The first meeting between entrepreneurs was memorable as Ben showed up with a bag of home-made soda. The pair went on to run a kefir beverage startup, followed by OLIPOP. Packed with healthy prebiotics and a tenth the sugar of regular, OLIPOP brilliantly markets taste, health and nostalgia while drawing 50% of revenues through online channels, just a few of Lester’s marketing feats. In this episode you’ll learn: Soda psychology is grounded in our earliest memories. Three-quarters of the population is trying to make healthy adjustments. When something seems stupid, that’s your cue to figure out a better way. That humility will take you from knowing nothing to expertise. Data science surrounds us, but your soul processes the insights Brought to you by Mekanism.
29 minutes | Oct 17, 2022
#22: Liquid Death VP of Creative Andy Pearson | How Being Bold Can Strike Gold
Shoestring marketing budgets are common at startups and create an environment of innovation. Andy Pearson, VP of Creative at the water brand Liquid Death jokes he was given a $0 initial ad budget to launch. He knew the name, along with the arresting skull-festooned cans, would have to do most of the talking. When the marketing money began to flow, Liquid Death bought Tony Hawk’s blood and his soul (and maybe yours) online. In this episode, Pearson, an ultra-marathoner and ad agency veteran, explains his process, where he takes a favorite playlist, and pen to paper to grasp an idea, which grow more on creativity than money. In this episode you’ll learn: If your 6th grade teacher says advertising is evil, it must be good. To trust your own sensibilities to know the right answer. The more you do, the more confident you’ll feel. A brand is a character, the protagonist of your business. Everybody takes everything so seriously, the moment you don't, you stand out. Brought to you by Mekanism.
29 minutes | Oct 3, 2022
#21: Artsy CMO Everette Taylor | Marketing as an Artform
Everette Taylor, the CMO of the online art-collector’s marketplace, Artsy, is “just a kid from the hood,” which is not the typical profile of a global art dealer. His fast-track career is not based on connections but on something far more valuable–inner drive, creative risk-taking and listening to mom. Taylor grew up in a neighborhood where many were trapped by a cycle of street life, drugs and prison, so his mom nudged him to interview for a marketing job, which he got at the age of 14, despite wanting to work at Chick-fil-A with his friends. A natural marketer was born and Taylor’s career has been ascendant ever since. In this episode you’ll learn: A first job is humbling, you learn you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s good business to democratize spaces for everyone. A CMO’s job is to build a team that is the shit. Stay at the job that gives you the most opportunities to grow. Ultimately, there will come a time for CMOs to go for CEO. Brought to you by Mekanism.
29 minutes | Sep 26, 2022
#20: Vidcon General Manager Jim Louderback | Inside the Creator Economy
The creator economy has been valued at $100 billion, so it is easy to forget that a decade ago, it was dismissed by many as people listening to themselves talk on YouTube. Jim Louderback recognized what video technology and expression could become. He helped build VidCon, the professional conference and fan fest, into global preeminence and now chronicles it all through his weekly newsletter, Inside the Creator Economy. Louderback’s vision was evident early on, as he left a consulting career to capture the PC revolution at Ziff Davis, eventually putting “geeks like me” on camera for ZDTV/TechTV. He’s been ahead of the internet ever since. In this episode you’ll learn: To go on and answer the help-wanted ad. At start-ups, you spend 90% of your time building outward; big companies mean more managing inward. The metaverse is a new canvas for storytelling Like silents to talkies, not every creator will translate to the metaverse Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Sep 19, 2022
#19: Rare Beauty CMO Katie Welch | The Beauty of Leading with Purpose
Is Selena Gomez the next beauty billionaire, gliding along a path set by Rihanna, Kim and Kylie? That’s what Skinnygirl mogul turned TikTok beauty influencer, Bethenny Frankel, believes. Katie Welch, CMO at Gomez’s Rare Beauty, is helping build the brand along a purpose-driven platform that welcomes all and supports good mental health. Welch, who has marketed Bliss, Burt’s Bees and Hourglass Cosmetics, discovered beauty could be a career when she met a college classmate’s stepmother, who was an Estee Lauder exec. She moonlights as a TikTok influencer herself, with 80,000 following her marketing/career advice. In this episode you’ll learn: A brand narrative can shift a business forward. If you wake up at 5 a.m. to do something, you love it. It’s very easy to sell lipstick the same way over and over again, so don’t. Create a space where people feel welcome. Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Jul 25, 2022
#18: Proximo Spirits CMO Lander Otegui | Marketing Mixology & the Metaverse
As CMO of Proximo Spirits, Lander Otegui markets a host of spirits, including Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Boodles British Gin. But the most renowned brand under Otegui’s watch, legendarily comes from Mexico. Jose Cuervo is the world’s No. 1 tequila, and the first tequila brand on Earth. Now, it’s also the first tequila distillery in the metaverse. It’s one way Cuervo remains relevant with consumers. Sustainability is another. Agave-plant fibers, once discarded at the distillery, now fashion straws and other items, eagerly snapped up online. A native of Mexico City, Otegui was set for life as an engineer. But when he realized his love of drawing, building and deconstructing things applied to marketing, he never looked back. In this episode you’ll learn: How to be a David, when you are the Goliath Why category founders should own and uphold traditions There’s a tequila for every consumer and occasion Follow your gut, then get others to buy in Brought to you by Mekanism.
29 minutes | Jul 19, 2022
#17: New Balance CMO Chris Davis | 116 Years Young - Inside New Balance’s Brand Transformation
New Balance is not only “the shoe brand of choice for film stars, athletes and supermodels,” according to Urban Journal, it’s the brand for “the biggest, hype-inducing names on the street right now.” As CMO of the hotly resurgent brand, which was born in 1906, Chris Davis applies a risk/innovation model which puts 50% of the marketing budget into proven, demand-creation tactics, 30% into calculated risks (NFTs, for example) and 20% into purely experimental vehicles that may fail spectacularly or succeed later. Davis, who is also SVP Global Merchandising, says the only unacceptable risk is one that comprimes brand values. He tells us how to transform a 116-year-old product company into a world-class brand. Thank you, Chris, for joining me. Give it a listen, and fast forward your marketing mind in about 20 minutes. Brought to you by Mekanism.
30 minutes | Jul 11, 2022
#16: Vista CMO Ricky Engelberg | The Power of Community
Growing up, Ricky Engelberg loved both computers and playing baseball. While your basic 1990s high schooler would say the two sit on opposite sides of the cafeteria, it was the perfect mix for Nike, where Engelberg worked for almost 20 years after college. There at the dawn of the internet era, Engelberg helped Nike create digital products for athletes and sneakerheads alike, including Nike Plus Running, nurturing passionate communities. Today, as CMO at Vista (formerly VistaPrint), Engelberg is bringing a spirit of community among small business owners, who tackle marketing after regular business hours, helping them conquer pandemic-era digital transformations. In this episode you’ll learn: If you want to build a new line of business, go crack some eggs Community is a critical building block of brands today Be respectful of your consumers’ communities, realize you are a part of it Science plays a part, but ultimately, the future always involves a gut decision Brought to you by Mekanism.