MADE Magazine Global Impact Issue - Page 52

MADEINC For six months, I did it and it was probably the most valuable six months I would have spent at the company because I got to know not only our product inside and out, but also our customer base. I was able to speak their language and learn about what their pain points were, what their needs were and how to work with our entire team to be able to deliver to them. When I did transition out of that space and finally into marketing as I had intended, I had so much more insight and credibility in speaking to and with our customers. people don’t really read and so it’s also very important to able to really scale down the essential messages into as few of words as possible. It was all about extracting the fluff, extracting the BS and get down to the core essence, but in the process of doing so I think we developed a very succinct brand voice, especially for Bevel. MADE: What makes Walker & Company Brands different from the many hair and grooming products that are currently on the marketplace? IN TODAY’S DAY AND AGE, THERE ARE SO MANY PRODUCT OFFERINGS ON THE MARKETPLACE. BRANDING IS ESSENTIAL FOR DIFFERENTIATING IN A CROWDED SPACE.” Cassidy: I think for Bevel, we are a first of its kind in speaking to men of color about their grooming issues and their grooming needs in a way that’s been traditionally ignored. What I mean by that is, you either have a big conglomerate that is like, “Shaving requires 5 blades. This is the one way you do it and this is just the manly man way of doing it,” and there’s no education about it. It’s just a product delivered to an individual. Or you have other brands that believe Black men have [grooming] issues and we’re going to deliver them a kind of dangerous product, and put a dude in a towel drinking some cognac because that’s what this image of what black culture is. But again, it’s just product direct to consumers. We were the first person to be like no, that’s not an accurate representation of this community or what their needs are or what they need to learn about. We really kind of came in to not only deliver a high quality thoughtful product experience, but also one that was also backed by education and the same goes exactly with FORM. It’s all about educating people on their unique needs and how to use the products. Also, delivering to them an experience that for the first time is not a second class one. MADE: Walker & Co. has done a great job at doing that. Can you describe the process in finding the brand’s voice? Cassidy. They say that if first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. For Bevel it was really interesting. There’s so many copy exercises where I’ll get copy delivered to my desk and I’m like this is good, but take out like 70 percent of the words. We’re being too verbose here. Say more with less. It was also a function of realizing that in such a swamped digital landscape, in the land of Twitter, Instagram and Newsfeed, MADE: How has your experience as a blogger help you in your branding role? Cassidy: One of my greatest skills is writing and I think that that’s been able to really help me in the space of marketing because writing on the creative side is an art. On the business side, it’s communication at all levels. For me as a blogger, being able to communicate and connect with people via the written word and convey not only a sense of my identity, but also convey different ways of doing that via storytelling via humorous anecdotes via events. All of these things I had to pick up as a blogger in order to grow my online entity and presence and it really laid the foundation for me being able to do that here at Walker & Company where we do similar things. We have content sites and I will write content, I’ll write press releases, I’ll write copy for ads. My blogging experience really allowed me to hone that really sharp skill and precision in writing and to do it very fast. When you’re at a startup, things move so damn fast that I don’t have days to knock out an article or press release or even a set of ads. I have minutes, I have hours, I have half hours, so I need to be able to do it quickly and do it well. MADE: We really love the way FORM’s launch was executed. What other innovative ideas have you developed for Walker & Co. Brands? Cassidy: For Bevel, I say a lot of that work is reflected in our editorial and some of | 52