What do you do at Holstee?
In general, I’m not a huge fan of titles, but it seems to fit that very human desire to put everything into easily digestible boxes, often times at the expense of telling the full story. To the conventional world, at Holstee I play the role of a CMO, but something about the word ‘marketing’ never felt right to me. Since day one I’ve had two concrete goals- to generate 1) awareness and 2) good will for holstee. This combination more accurately equals brand equity.
‘Marketing’ often turns into desperate attempts to convince, drop prices, and engage in activities that most of the time have great short term prospects, but don’t build respect or integrity for a brand. Brand equity was a focus for us even before we knew how to define it. When Dave asked me, what do I want people to say when asked about Holstee, my immediate response was ‘I fucking love that company’. Thats brand equity. It goes beyond quantitative metrics like traffic and revenue. Yes, it’s harder to measure, but it does things that traditional marketing metrics will never do for you. Brand equity, means you have customers that forgive you when you make a mistake, it means people will be eager to tell friends about your new initiative, and that it’s easy for folks to get excited to work with you.
I’ve noticed this shift in mindset happening more and more in recent years. I think it reflects a new wave of thinking from ‘marketers’ that were disgusted with the way they’ve been marketed to their entire lives, and looking to change it any way they can.
While we have started to experiment with online ad spend, Im not super interested to make it a focus of our resources.
Some examples of when we chose to put time and energy into initiatives that felt right over traditional marketing campaigns include the holstee fellowship, block friday, #moreofthis, flash of good, mylife and agent 99.