Drink Like a Lady Podcast

How to Build a Brand with Engagement with Ruth Bernstein

November 08, 2022 Joya Dass/Ruth Bernstein
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
How to Build a Brand with Engagement with Ruth Bernstein
Show Notes Transcript

Join Joya in discussion with Ruth Bernstein of YARD to find out how you can build your brand in a manner that will result in engaged clients. They will discuss 6 key points to consider:
*Go to the heart of your brand and identify its purpose and core values
*Determine your brand’s aspirations and potential challenges
*Understand the difference between target audience and brand muse
*Focus on how your audience is feeling in this moment, and how they will be feeling when they will be purchasing your product or service
*Meet your audience where they are
*Utilize your real life experiences for inspiration

Ruth Bernstein is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at YARD NYC. As CEO, Ruth leads the strategy team and blends insight, intuition and intellect into an uncanny ability to see straight to the heart of each and every brand. Whether it’s problem-solving, uncovering brand equity and purpose, or foreseeing untapped potential, she is constantly connecting the dots, and using her keen awareness of the landscape to carve out the right road for every client. Prior to co-founding Yard NYC in 2002, Ruth worked with Robert Redford as his brand guardian for the Sundance brand (including the channel, film festival, catalog and resort & spa), and was a Senior Strategist at Tattoo in San Francisco. She has worked with such brands as Gillette, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Colgate, Discovery Channel and Cirque du Soleil.

Joya is currently enrolling members for international (Europe) and domestic (NYC) strategy days. She also leads a year-long intensive mastermind of C-Suite level women, which is accepting applications for 2024.



[00:00:57.290] - Joya

Welcome to the Drink Like a lady podcast where we say that we get you a seat at the bar and we get a seat in the boardroom. And with me today is Ruth Bernstein, who is co founder and CEO of Yard NYC. This is a creative company that turns brands into cultural beacons. I love that tagline. Ruth, what do you mean by turning brands into cultural beacons? And I would be remiss if I didn't share that you also work with Robert Redford on the Sundance brand, so I suspect I have an idea, but share it for our audience.

[00:01:27.240] - Ruth

Yes, so thank you for having me today. Cultural beacons for us, let's just start with the world doesn't need any more brands, right? So we've got so much choice, so many things that feel like copycats, feel like why do they exist? So we believe that brands should act more like cultural beacons. Beacons is exactly what it sounds like. They illuminate the way, they attract like minded people. They stand for something. They give you something to believe in, consumers to believe in. So really, if the world doesn't need any more brands, they certainly need beacons.

[00:02:09.760] - Joya

Who is a brand that's doing it really well right now? That's putting the spotlight on things we care about and doing it well.

[00:02:17.860] - Ruth

It's interesting when we think about beacons, right? There are so many brands that have started to obviously embody who they are and have a very meaningful connection with their audiences. When you think about what's happened in the news, most recently with Patagonia as an example of a cultural beacon, that it goes so much more than marketing, right? Giving the brand ownership away is a very radical act of behavior, really embodying the brand, the values. And so for us, being a beacon is so much more than the way you market. It's who you are at the core from the inside out of the organization. It aligns all the leadership, it aligns all the people who work for the brand. And again, it gives the consumers something to really belong to.

[00:03:22.140] - Joya

Talking the talk, and walking the walk. And for those who are like,

[00:03:25.170] - Ruth

Singing the song and,

[00:03:29.260] - Joya

For context, patagonia is committed to say, sustainability and fighting climate change. And so I think they've given a significant amount or committed to a significant donation of their profits going forward to fighting climate change and sustainability. For those who may be under a rock and didn't read the headlines, is that right, Ruth?

[00:03:47.940] - Ruth

Well, for sure. They've been doing that for many years. They're the ones who say, don't buy this jacket. We are creating products that will last so that once you could be putting us out of business. So, yes, they've always been behaving in a way that aligns with their values and culture beacon. But I was talking about the founder actually giving away ownership of the brand, giving it to the people. So that means that the very motivation behind the business is not to increase their own personal wealth, but to create the action. So that's the ultimate gift, right, when you give away the ownership.

[00:04:42.240] - Joya

So that's really upping the ante behind the brands and what they stand for.

[00:04:45.830] - Ruth

It's raising the bar for many, many of us who are building brands and wanting to really sort of reinforce our purpose. I think it's set the bar very high for all of us.

[00:05:00.600] - Joya

Before I move into our six points on how a brand really gets engaged clients, I want to put a little bit of a spotlight on your time with Robert Redford. With the founding of the Sundance festival, the catalog, the lifestyle, the spa, the resort. What was the thing that you were spotlighting at that moment?

[00:05:23.560] - Ruth

I think for the Sundance brand has always been a little bit of a disparate organization, right? So, as you said, there was obviously supporting independent film and independent artists and really championing the voice of those who were working outside of the Hollywood system. So that's clear, right? And then at the same time, there was a catalog that was selling somewhat lifestyle products, very much based in the aesthetic of the west. And then there was a resort and a farm. So somewhat disparate, at the heart of what pulled everything together was a target audience who really cared about, and it was way ahead of its time, conscious consumerism really wanting to think about things in a different way. To create change through their products. And so really what we were able to do was pull together these disparate organizations that all carried the name through a central sense of who we were serving and how we were serving them.

[00:06:40.910] - Joya

For anyone who's building a brand today, what was the hardest part about bringing all those disparate things together?

[00:06:50.190] - Ruth

I think from the hardest part was from within the organization. Just being able to get a range of leaders with different PNLs to believe in the power of what brought them all together. We were talking about profit and nonprofit. You're talking about a mixture of organizations, some that were in partnership with huge multinational companies like Viacom or Paramount. So it was really sort of very different characteristics of organizations that we were pulling together under the Sundance name. And really so you had to demonstrate the power of what you could do together, the shared belief system that could actually create even greater results. And so that really was to go to the heart of defining the audience and to define what really brought how each of the entities could work together to serve that greater purpose.

[00:08:06.860] - Joya

The power of the collective.

[00:08:08.570] - Ruth


[00:08:09.240] - Joya

So six ways, we're talking about six ways that a brand gets engagement today. And so your first point is to get to the heart of your brand and identify its purpose and its core values. If someone is doing this for the very first time or they're at the precipice that Sundance was where they had to bring a bunch of different entities together. How does this exercise go?

[00:08:34.360] - Ruth

It's quite different when you're doing it for the very first time. So let's start with doing it for the very first time, because I think that it's we often get involved in a brand at the very beginning, or we get involved when a brand is at a key inflection point that you just described. And when you're at a key inflection point, you might have some history and you might have some baggage. There's sort of those other challenges and hurdles that you would also have to overcome. If you're doing it for the very, very first time. I think from our perspective, it's again understanding why do you exist? Why why does the world need you, this brand, this creation? What is the purpose? And it's not because you've got this great product, although the product is essential, right? You have to have a fantastic reason for being based on a product, but why competitively to set yourself apart? Why do you exist? Why are you waking up in the morning? What are aligning all your teams? What is the purpose? And your purpose is your North Star, right? It sets the course, and you will never reach your purpose.

[00:10:05.010] - Ruth

It is that moving horizon. And the purpose can be true today, and it can be true in 30 years and 50 years. In fact, most of the purposes we develop with brands are the same purposes. When a brand is ten years old, when a brand goes into their adolescence, when a brand becomes, you know, all grown up. They have the same purpose because it is something that is always your North Star and it is pulling you forward.

[00:10:38.040] - Joya

I think of the example of Victor Frankel. I think he's somebody who, to me, embodies purpose. When he was in the concentration camp and his book that was his sort of project was destroyed. His sole purpose for getting out and manifesting his escape was that he wanted to make sure that book made it out into the world. And that gave him real purpose and gave him meaning to get up every morning and be in that camp and think about the next day and the day after that and the day after that.

[00:11:05.110] - Ruth

Yes, when you think about a brand. So we're talking about individual purposes?

[00:11:16.740] - Joya

I'm just saying, when I think about purpose, just to give it an example of purpose, right? I think that that's a person who demonstrated great purpose. Of course there's a brand, and I have one today, and I've done this exercise. And when I sat down and looked at my values, me as a person, which has now become the business. I remember realizing that if you put my back up against the wall, adventure and beauty are my top two values. And the two values that subset that are excellence and freedom as well. But when I think about my day and I'm structuring my to do list, if adventure and beauty aren't finding their way into my day, that's when I feel like I'm out of alignment. And so my messaging, the way that I do programming, all of those two values are finding their way into everything that I create for my leadership platform.

[00:12:04.960] - Ruth

Yes. And for us, as yard as our agency, our three big values are brains, beauty and bravery. They seem sort of similar in that regard. That is how we align with who we work with, the kind of work we want to do. If an opportunity comes through the door and if the client doesn't feel like they share those ambitions of being able to sort of really appreciate the beauty in the world, whether it's craft or design, whether there's strong strategic thinking and then the bravery to make it happen. And I would say that brains, beauty and bravery if I could think about three that I embody. When you create something, you tend to create brands, especially founder driven brands that have your own values emanating from them. But the purpose is something a little different, right? It's that thing that sort of says, "Well, why am I doing this?" When it comes to brands that have, you know, those purposes tend to obviously be built on the core of the product, but it takes it even further. Right? I'll give you an example of Crocs, which is the brand that we recently, over five years ago, we did a rebrand of Crocs.

[00:13:47.640] - Ruth

And the purpose of Crocs was to be comfortable in your own shoes. This is a brand that's about individual expression. This was a brand that obviously was having some form of the club, love it or hate it, it was the club. But we wanted to find that purpose for Crocs that really allowed them to be exactly who they are and to be able to celebrate what makes Crocs Crocs. So to really help everyone be comfortable in their own shoes was a purpose that they will continue to strive for.

[00:14:26.670] - Joya

And I've seen kids with like little sort of metal things that they put in their Crocs in order to make it theirs and part of their identity.

[00:14:33.840] - Ruth

Yes, the gibbots help with self expression, but it's just an example, right? When Phil Knight created Nike, it was to sort of ignite the athlete in everyone. So obviously that sort of sets the guiding North Star and they'll never reach that because there will always be more, right?

[00:14:58.890] - Joya

There's always going to be more. And tell that to a New Yorker. Your next point is, understand the difference between a target audience and a brand muse. So let's define brand muse first before we do the distinction.

[00:15:14.040] - Ruth

Well, can I flip it and talk about target audience first? Because I think that's the one that most people understand, right? And so, in contrast, I just want so you know, who's your target audience? We all understand that a target audience is defined by you want to know who am I trying to reach? Who do I want to connect with? How can I size the marketplace? How can I segment a category? How can I target through media? These tend to be defined target audiences with demographics, through demographics and psychographics. And they're very useful tools. You've got to know who you're targeting in order to be able to reach them. Having said that, if you are a brand that obviously most brands have competitors, your target audience could be the exactly the same as your competitors target audience. So what makes you different? How can you stand out? That's where the muse comes in, right? So your target audience does not want their reality. You to just shine their reality unto them, a mirror to their reality. When we work with brands, we work in their target audiences aspiration. Who do they want to be when they wake up in the morning?

[00:16:48.960] - Ruth

Who would they love to become when it comes to being able to interact with your brand?  We tend to work with a lot of brands that are in fashion or beauty or wellness. A lot of this is about your aspiration. So for us, the muse is where your target audiences aspiration meets your brand values. Now you've got something very, very distinct. You've got your muse. And your muse is unique. It's your brand's muse. It's not the target audience that you're targeting. It starts to define your brand personality. It starts to define your brand voice. It helps to align an influencer strategy. So you start to go, okay, my brand muse, I'm going to find people, influencers out there that embody this, that look more like my brand muse. Because again, influencers aren't your target audience. They're just that a stepper ahead, right? They reflect the aspirations of the target audience. The best example I can give you of brand muse, just so you understand the difference, is when I think about two brands, I think about Michael Kors and I think about a brand like Tumi, right? Two quite different brands, right? They both might be going after the affluent traveler, right?

[00:18:24.780] - Ruth

Michael Kors' muse is the Jetsetter, right? So you can imagine that sort of like the type of traveler, a jet setter, you know, the person who does small planes, you often see the muse reflected in their imagery. The very fashionable jet setter who's like, you know, living the life. The Tumi muse is the global citizen. See the difference? A jet setter and a global citizen. They might both travel, but they do so in a different way. The Tumi muse, the global citizen is probably more conscious of the cultures that they're visiting and they're maybe a bit more practical or conscientious. You see the difference.

[00:19:18.920] - Joya

Yeah, they're a deep thinker. They're thoughtful about what they're seeing and doing. It might be a more intellectual pursuit versus the Jetsetter, who might be more after the flash.

[00:19:27.950] - Ruth

One might be more outer directed. One might be more in a directed. Exactly.

[00:19:33.690] - Joya

And this is a great new point that I feel like I just learned as a result of this conversation.

[00:19:38.410] - Ruth

Good. I think that the muse is one that then starts to set the influencer strategy. If a brand is going to align with a celebrity, you start to think, well, who would my muse be? If I could align with any celebrity in the world, who would it be? They tend to be it helps to really not just align with anyone. They have to start to be more choiceful. And so that you literally finding the celebrity partner that embodies your brand values and your consumers aspirations reflects the muse.

[00:20:23.810] - Joya

So for those of you that are just joining us, I'm seeing the audience count go up. I'm in conversation today with Ruth Bernstein, who is cofounder and CEO of Yard NYC. It's a creative company that helps brands become cultural beacons. And we're having a conversation today about the six ways that brands get true client engagement. And if someone has ever been on this exercise of either starting a brand or rebranding, we are running through the six points. And point number one is to get really to the heart of your brand, identify its purpose, and identify its core values. Number two is identifying and knowing the difference between what your target audience is right now and what's just that little aspirational bump that they're seeking. Who is that muse that represents that aspirational place that your target audience wants to be? That's where the real magic is. And Ruth, your point number three is determining your brand's aspirations and potential challenges. So this is layering nicely on top of what we just shared.

[00:21:21.420] - Ruth

Yeah. So we work with what? We create a framework for brands. And the framework starts with the brand values. Sorry, the purpose, if we're sort of like creating a little bit of a framework, you start with the purpose. You got the brand values that we've talked about that brainsputing bravery. As an example, we start to talk about an ambition for the brand. So that's where you start to think about, well, from a business perspectiv. If the purpose is why I exist, what's my North Star? The ambition for the brand reflects the brand's aspirations. Right. Who do we want to be? In the case of Ollie, which is a nutrition brand that we worked with with the founder, Eric Ryan, you know, it was really they were, you know, Ollie wanted to be, you know, a nutrition brand for the millennial generation really take really disrupt nutrition. It was a category that was very much stuck in an old generation and it needed refreshment and it really needed disruption. So that's your ambition and you really need to know, what is it that what does success look like? And then of course. How do you get there, right?

[00:22:58.040] - Ruth

And what are the challenges that you might meet along the way? And so this framework that we help brands fill out literally becomes the roadmap to success for a brand. And without knowing your brand purpose and your brand values, without having identified a muse that can bring to life your personality and your voice and your influencer strategy, and without knowing what your ambition is from a business perspective, and then what the potential roadblocks and challenges are along the way, you can't really map out the plan.

[00:23:40.190] - Joya

Yeah, I do a brand day with some of my female clients, and doing three in fact this month. Where we're doing like 3 30 minute, 90 minute sprints of doing exactly this kind of work. So I'm curious what your process is. What I have my set of exercises that I run people through in order to be able to arrive at these conclusions. But what's an example of an exercise that you run people through to arrive at some of these ideas?

[00:24:05.040] - Ruth

Well, it really depends on what we're trying to get to. Right? So for us the purpose and the ambition go quite hand in hand, because ultimately a client might come with they know what their business ambition is. But it's getting to the why. The why and getting to a brand purpose is really an exercise of keep pushing beyond what we're thinking. We want to disrupt nutrition, let's say. But why? Why? In order to do what? And it's just you keep asking. It's like a ladder and you keep climbing up the ladder until you get to the very top. Now, the top can't be, you know, because it still has to be based on the rungs that you've gone up. Right? You can't just start at the very top and not have the foundation. Yes. So there's a point where you reach the summit, and you know you can go no further. And often we identify a number of options, and then you really challenge each of those options. Does this really stand up? Can we really deliver on it? Do we occupy a fresh territory? Is this something that we can say and we can deliver on?

[00:25:54.990] - Joya

I think the challenges piece is an interesting question because I don't think most people, even when they're doing the seven Y's and going up that rung, are they considering what the roadblocks could be to realizing those Y's?

[00:26:07.360] - Ruth

Yes. That's where the framework is so important, because it's the pieces of the framework that all have to go very well together. You're creating a puzzle. And sometimes once you've started to map out the framework and you realize that the roadblock or the ambition, there's pieces you have to go back and tweak. And then it's only when it's all laid out do you know you have a road map that is strong.

[00:26:38.340] - Joya

And you basically plan the work. And then you work the plan moving forward.

[00:26:42.710] - Ruth

Yeah. And you also know that there are fixed and fluid elements to any of these things. All the best laid plans. Right? But I think that when we get this right, the framework is pretty set. It really is. The only thing that changes are the actions a brand can take. I mean, basically they change that's completely fluid. That's based on what's happening in the world from season to season, new products. So much change in the actions a brand takes, but everything else, from purpose to values to ambition to a core brand idea that all stays the same.

[00:27:29.340] - Joya

The next is focus on how your audience is feeling in this moment and how will they feel once they have interacted with purchased your brand. Let's unpack that.

[00:27:42.320] - Ruth

Yeah. So I think that what this is about is we are in a very changing I mean, there's so much change happening, right? So we've just come out of a pandemic that now there's discussion about recession. What we tend to do with our clients is we're working way ahead. Right? So you're working on a piece of communication or you're working on a chapter in the brand's history and you're not only thinking about where the consumer is right now, but where the consumer is going to be. There's a lot of change. It's a lot less predictable than it used to be and so really keeping your eye out and sometimes it's your best guess. But you don't want to come across as tone deaf in communication. I'm going to give you an example. When we were working during the pandemic, we were working on Kohls and their holiday spot. We were working on that holiday spot at least six months before it was coming out. So being able to think about how will consumers be feeling for that first holiday during the pandemic? What will happen, what's the right way to show up? Right, the year before they had shown up with a woman running down a football field, catching a ball, winning the season.

[00:29:29.940] - Ruth

It was all a lot about promotion and the thought and the thinking about where will the consumer be at that point? What does the consumer really need to hear from the brand? Then we had our insights and then ultimately it was intuition and really sort of thinking about we feel like at that moment we need to lean into emotion and really what the consumer needs is a good cry. And that was the swing that we took and it actually turned into a very successful, probably one of their most successful holiday seasons. Plus it got the spot, got a spoof by SNL, which is always a good thing.

[00:30:24.460] - Joya

How did you show up if you're working six months out and you don't realize that this thing that we were locked in for upwards of 18 months was going to go for much longer? How did you show up then when you're planning six months out for that person that's really lamenting and in despair about the holiday season because they won't be with their loved ones and celebrate in the way they traditionally have.

[00:30:48.060] - Ruth

We were inspired by truths that were happening, ways that people were communicating at the beginning of the pandemic. And so we were very much inspired by the act of generosity of people writing notes to each other and putting their notes in the windows. And so we use those truths to say, let's create a relationship between a neighbor, two neighbors, a young girl and a woman who clearly is an older woman who was in the spot, was very isolated from the rest of her family. She felt alone, whereas the little girl was surrounded by her family. And so we created this new conversation, this point of connection. But the way we did it was to really lean into a real truth. What was happening already in culture, understanding that this new behavior was starting to start to ignite all over the country. But people were acting in different ways, and we wanted to celebrate that. And it was clearly a risk, but it was a well informed best case. It was like, we feel this feels like it's informed by real consumer behavior. We are informed by where things are going in the future. And so we took the risk.

[00:32:30.440] - Joya

I want to welcome anybody who's joining us right now to put their questions in the comments section. I will ask them to Ruth, as we are winding down on our six ways that a brand gets engaged clients. Ruth, your next point is to meet your audience where they are. I actually gave a talk at a law firm yesterday, and I was saying that one of the ways that I coach women to be accessible, especially the ones who are really in technical fields, is to ensure that they're always being accessible. Explain it to me like you would explain it to your grandmother. Don't go down that rabbit hole of technical jargon, and then you're going to lose, me because I won't hear the next ten words that you say. So when you say meet your audience where they are, what is the lens with which you're sharing that point?

[00:33:12.760] - Ruth

I mean, this could be emotionally, it could be physically, and it could be digitally, right? So I think that when we think about this and we think about it in the context of the brand framework that we're creating for brands, it's really through the stories a brand has a right to tell and where you should tell those stories. So just on a very basic comes from communication strategy perspective, this is really about the platforms in which you meet your consumer, right? So, you know, understand that just because there's a new digital platform out there doesn't mean you necessarily should be on it. All right, well, obviously, are you going to be the first brand on TikTok, or are you going to wait till your audience gets there and then everyone else is left. You know, again, it's knowing who you are, why you exist, what your ambition is, what your core values are. Your brand muse will probably inform your influencer strategy. Are those influences on those platforms? Do they feel right? And what is the you know, if my audience is there, then how should I show up? If my audience isn't there, then why am I even worrying about it?

[00:34:42.570] - Ruth

The massive verse. There's so many things that come up right, that you like, oh, wait, there's another new platform, be BeReal. What should we do? On be real. It's like, well, why should you be on BeReal? It's interesting. American Eagle Outfitters are experimenting with BeReal. They should be on Bereal because 

[00:35:09.660] - Joya

Median age of their audience is somewhere between twelve and 15 years old.

[00:35:13.350] - Ruth

Yeah, so that makes total sense. That's a smart, very good choice that they're testing and figuring it out. But that doesn't mean that other brands.

[00:35:26.090] - Joya

 A legacy brand like MetLife shouldn't be on there because no child is worrying about their life insurance policy on BeReal.

[00:35:32.550] - Ruth

So when it's meet your audience where they are to get beyond that emotional piece, which is I think we already talked about it in the last point, this is much more about the practical from a communication strategy, meet them where they are. Or even from a community building perspective. North Face recently rewarded consumers when they checked in from a national park. So it was just finding fresh ways of not necessarily getting the audience to come to you, but for you to meet them where they are, where their passions lie. Where your brand meets their passion. What they're already doing, where they already naturally want to gather.

[00:36:30.330] - Joya

What did North Face reward their consumers with? If you showed up at a park and checked in?

[00:36:37.210] - Ruth

I'm not sure I believe it was discounts or something. Honestly. I just thought it was a smart it's a smart example of being able to understand that the audience isn't always going to come to you. You should find the meaningful ways to meet them where they are.

[00:37:00.450] - Joya

And then your final point is to utilize your real life experiences for inspiration. I often hear women say, "What am I going to say that somebody else hasn't already said? The market is so saturated. There's so many people out there, you know, peddling their expertise." So where does your real life experience fit in? And how do you find the courage to channel that?

[00:37:22.740] - Ruth

Brains, beauty and bravery, right? You got to find the bravery. I think a really great example of this was and I go back to the pandemic, because it's just this moment of truth for many, a different way of thinking. So our team were creating a Mother's Day campaign, and we were actually pitching P&G at the time for a Mother's Day message. And I could tell from the work that was being created that the mothers on the team weren't really being that truthful. It was sort of like some of the work was sort of what an ideal mother would be doing during the pandemic. And so a few of us got together and we were like, let's just be totally honest. How are we really feeling right now? And if you remember, at the time, most of us were running ragged, but mothers were being, they were stretched so thin from being the teacher to being, I mean,

[00:38:33.090] - Joya

meal planner, the caretaker, the employee, the boss.

[00:38:37.740] - Ruth

Our lives were stretched in ways that we didn't even think were possible. So we asked ourselves, well, what do we want for Mer's Day this year? And it was just somebody said, "we just want to be left the F alone. I don't know what I can say on this." But the campaign was leave mum the F, we spelled it out, alone. And it was such a successful campaign because it was so true. It was a real truth. Now each of us have real experiences, right? So as mothers, that's an example of being truthful and honest and vulnerable. Because in that real honesty lies your real power, right? There's something that people can really relate to. And I'm sure that's the message you give, be yourself, but it's like, really be honest. How are you?

[00:39:49.230] - Joya

It takes a lot of courage, Ruth. I coach that. I teach that when I teach public speaking. And it's something that my first general manager at my first on air television station said to me, casper, Wyoming, population 50,000. He's like, stop trying to be what you think a news anchor should be and just be yourself. You're the most unique thing you bring to the table, but still you have to cultivate a little bit of courage to be able to bring that real self to the table, to the TV screen, to any milieu. So how do you encourage a brand to do that?

[00:40:23.790] - Ruth

How do we encourage a brand to do that? I think that when you really know who you are, you see that there's an opportunity to say something really, really important. I'll give you an example. We've worked with Athleta for many years. We developed the power of she platform for Athleta. And we were talking about a campaign for January, right? So new year, new you. Not this January. This was a few years ago. So many brands are doing New Year New You resolutions. And we as our team, ourselves in athlete, we understood the Power of She platform and how we were different, right? We were different kind of brand. And so for us, we understood that our audience knows that resolutions are something that you basically give up on the third week of January. So on the third week of January, we launched the Live with Resolve campaign. And our poster child was a 98 year old yogi. And so she lived to be 102. She was called Tao. She's absolutely amazing woman, but she became the poster child for living with resolve. So when you really know who you are, it's back to our framework, right?

[00:41:55.380] - Ruth

If you know your brand purpose and you know your values and you feel that from the inside of the organization out, you can only do what you need, and of course, they take some, like, wow, this is a brave move. Of course, that comes from internal teams aligning around, taking brave swings to be part of standing out in culture. I mean, brands need to do that to really stand out, to feel and understand that you've got competitively, something different to say that really will connect to the audience in a different way, in a way that feels more meaningful. It becomes the sort of, we got to do this. We got to take this moment to be brave.

[00:42:54.010] - Joya

If everyone could do this so seamlessly and easily, as we've explained in this process, they'd all be doing it. But I imagine that having an accountability partner like you or me to shepherd them through the process is really where the rubber hits the road. So I'm putting up your website. If anybody would like to work with you, Ruth. Yardnyc.com if we were to go there, what would we find?

[00:43:15.610] - Ruth

What would you find? You'll find some examples of work that reflects this process. You'll find examples that are from brands in a lot of aspirational categories. Whether it's wellness or whether it's travel, whether it's fashion, whether it's beauty, alcohol, water, lots of those brands that represent the aspiration of who we want to be. And you'll find brands that have a very unique voice, each different than the other, because they really know and understand their purpose and their values and the stories that they only have a right to tell.

[00:44:03.690] - Joya

What about a mission statement? I think about the moment where Jerry Maguire becomes more than just a sports talent agent because he drafts a mission statement. Do you do that with clients as well?

[00:44:13.920] - Ruth

We do. We do. And we tend to whether it's a mission statement or whether it's sort of in the form of a manifesto that reflects your belief and the actions you want to take in the voice that you've defined as a brand. There's a sense of rallying people around a written statement of intent.

[00:44:39.620] - Joya

And how is that different than your purpose?

[00:44:42.990] - Ruth

Because a purpose tends to be like we write them in a way that they're quick and pithy, right? So they identify the very, very tip of that mountain, that summit that you want to climb. But the manifesto that reflects the statement of intent is more that emotional rally cry for us. It absolutely embodies the purpose, but it's more than that. It's sort of like it's getting us all together behind some written piece. That's a motive. We love a great manifesto. Pardon?

[00:45:28.640] - Joya

What's a brand that has a great manifesto?

[00:45:33.910] - Ruth

There's quite a few. I think you'll probably remember Apple had a great manifesto to the crazy ones that was sort of that sort of sense of, like, really aligning people around, this sense of other, like, different change agents, so that it's interesting that a manifesto is Old Navy's original manifesto, I think, is still on the walls of stores. Imagine a world done right. I think it was written in the birth of Old Navy, and yet they still could stand behind this one written paragraph that really represents the way they see the world. So I think when it's written well, it can be enduring.

[00:46:38.790] - Joya


[00:46:39.600] - Joya

Ruth, this has been a great conversation. I really enjoy the framework that you're providing. I'm just sharing my email for anyone who wants to get in touch with me, and if anyone wants to get into touch with Ruth or work with her, if your brand is there, it's the Yardnyc.com. Have a beautiful Wednesday, Ruth, thank you for joining us.

[00:46:57.090] - Ruth

Thank you. Bye.