Mar 15, 2024
40 min
Episode 61

TOP CMO: Michelle Peterson, Kendra Scott- 'Crafting Connections'

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  00:00

You don't want to be playing the paid media game in the future as consumer acquisition costs continue to go up, and it's harder and harder to message to consumers.

Ben Kaplan  00:09

This is the podcast where we go around the globe to interview marketing leaders from the world's biggest brands, fastest-growing companies and most disruptive startups by am a total of zero. This is TOP CMO with me, Ben Kaplan. today I'm chatting with Michelle Peterson CMO of Kendra Scott, a popular jewelry brand known for its customizable jewelry in a wide variety of colors. We


don't just create jewelry We exist to create good in the world.

Ben Kaplan  00:45

The company operates more than 100 store locations across the US. Michelle has held leadership roles at IHG Hotels and Resorts pressed the cold pressed juice and plant based treats company and General Mills where she worked across the various brands from Cheerios to Pillsbury. So what is the real power of brand storytelling? And does it have a measurable ROI? And what are the key lessons of consumer engagement across the physical and digital divide? Let’s find out with Michelle Peterson! Michelle, one of the things that I think is very in vogue that Kendra Scott epitomizes is this idea of being a lifestyle brand. And I know you spend time thinking about what are the pillars of a lifestyle brand. Lots of other brands aspire to be a lifestyle brand, or they just call themselves we are a lifestyle brand, whether they are or not. So in your mind when you're trying to embody that and and sort of reinvent the jewelry buying experience as a lifestyle brand. What are the pillars of that? What are the things that you focus on?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  01:53

We're super lucky at Kendra Scott, because Kendra created this business as a super authentic business. And while I don't think at that time, she said I want to be a lifestyle brand. That was essentially how she built the business. So we think about five pillars that again, have always been really part of this brand. The first is connection making that connection with the consumer. And Sandra has always said connection over transaction. If I develop that relationship, if someone has a great experience, they may buy that they may tell a friend, they may come back, but ultimately the transaction will happen. So that connection is key. The second is being purpose driven. She talks about how she created this business, to sell jewelry, but really, for the philanthropy efforts and to do good in the world. And that's our purpose to be a force for good. And we leave that into our marketing. But that's a part of everything that we do as being philanthropic. The third is community, we run over 20,000 events in our stores over the year. And that's you know, events, serious money, it's part of shopping party, and all sorts of things to connect with the community. The fourth is experience. We look at the you know all of our channels, but we look at the retail store, like an event space. It's a space somebody wants to come and be optimistic and joyful and have an experience. And I think that's, you know, helped lifestyle brands but helped our brand post pandemic, when everyone talks about the death of retail, that is not the case at all, because we've always been focused on the experience. And then the last is innovation. Again, back to the roots. Kendra wanted to disrupt this industry, she didn't want stuff behind glass pieces, she wanted people to be able to try and play and touch and feel. And as always, every category and every section we've gotten into, we've always looked at how we can disrupt it from product launches to just how to disrupt different categories.

Ben Kaplan  03:59

And when you put all that together, how does that equal lifestyle brand? Or how is that different than just being really good marketers in terms of making being accessible, you know, bringing people into your store, giving them a differentiated experience? How does that extend to like we're a lifestyle brand now. And in your mind?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  04:19

I think it extends to that because it's a very authentic journey. So it connects with consumers and then it connects with them emotionally and to me. Yeah, to your point, though, those could be five pillars of any framework, but it's the pillars that allow consumers to know that we're an authentic brand and to emotionally connect with us. I saw that firsthand. Kendra did a book tour about a year ago. And you know, she signs books of everyone who walks up and everyone who walks up has a story to tell her not about this earring that I love. But about you know you donate to this cause or I had an event at your store you connected with me in this way the employees connected it's all about this emotional connection that they have with the brand.

Ben Kaplan  05:09

Well, and and how does that, you know, work in terms of when you have a strong founder with a clear vision. And I take it now she's probably taken a step back from sort of running it and operations. How does that translate one? How do you how do you sort of like keep what made it this founder led company alive, but also evolve it because if the founder is not there to you has to continue to evolve and grow, it can't just be stagnant, or be kind of like, almost like a photocopied version of what it was before just like kind of the same, but maybe a little bit less forceful, because the founder has gone. What are the sort of the benefits and drawbacks of transitioning from a sort of strong founder led company, I would say

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  05:53

we're still Kendra's, still very involved. She's the Chief Creative Officer of the company, she's still very involved in product and marketing. Tom, our CEO, runs the company and, and leads the organization as well. So I think they're amazing pairs in that. They're still both they're both very involved in the company, and Kendra is as well. She also is always looking to evolve. So, you know, we know that the consumer is our boss, and we're focused on the consumer. And that is an important evolution for the company, I think, to not just be focused on creating jewelry that the company wanted to do a while ago, we now focus on multi generations on different segments of consumers. And that, that is at the heart of what Kendra wants to do, as well as serve the consumer and focus on the consumer. So I don't I don't think we have that. That tension, because she's so forward looking. And because she has always wanted to disrupt

Ben Kaplan  07:01

and how does that make its way towards messaging. I mean, I recently watched a video clip of Steve Jobs, of course, Apple founder, talking about why Nike is such a good marketing company. And one of the things he was saying this, you know, quoted quoting kind of legendary, you know, obviously, CEO and marketer himself, Steve Jobs, he was saying that Nike is amazing, because they sell a commodity product, they sell shoes, yet, you see their advertising uses and messages, no one's usually talking about, like, you know, the functional benefits of the air soul and what it does, it's, it's not about that at all for Nike, and it elevates it from what essentially is a commodity product that they sell at a premium price. So this is kind of Steve Jobs and paraphrasing, talking about actually interesting admiring Nike. So how do you how does all of that make its way to messaging that might be different, whether it's the founder vision, whether it's the lifestyle brand, whether it's that sense of you mentioned words like connection and community and experience? How is that different than then sort of, then just another brand in jewelry? That's functionally functionally selling jewelry? I?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  08:13

Great. That's a great quote. And also, right, that's what Steve Jobs did with Apple. So it's wild to hear him talk about another brand building that, but what is in that ideas that brand talking about the why and not the why right? Not the specifics of, of the shoes that he sells, but the fact that everybody is an athlete, and it makes you an athlete, and there's, you know, that motivation and inspiration. And I think that's consistent with how we think about a lifestyle brand. Because nowhere in those categories that I say, although it's very important to us did I say, we're creating jewelry with color and clarity and real gemstones, we're doing that in that the base of the company, but that that's not necessarily how we're connecting with the emotion of consumers. We're connecting with them through our why through the philanthropy that we do through the experience that you have in the store, through the way that you the optimistic and joyful way you feel when you were and again, the our product is amazing. And we have a ton of amazing design principles behind that. But it's for the motion that connects with consumers, which I think is very similar to the best best in class way those brands do that as well.

Ben Kaplan  09:30

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Ben Kaplan  09:54

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Ben Kaplan  10:12

you get your podcasts. Michelle, when we've chatted before, you mentioned that you don't believe that marketing should be so siloed that we make it more complicated it is. And I remember you using the example of like, well, if this is performance marketing, that's what we call it. What is everything else like marketing that doesn't perform? Like unperformed? Marketing? Right? So So what do you mean by that? And practically, how do you try to break down the silos and specifically the sort of the disciplines that like, generate money, and marketing disciplines, or platforms or channels that like, don't generate money that you can measure directly? How do you bridge that divide and think about it differently than typical marketing department?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  10:55

I think about it, I try to really simplify, because as we were talking, marketing, of course, has gotten more complicated. Over time, there's many more channels, there's many ways to reach the consumer. Obviously, we've always had different segments and different messages. And I think you can get, you can get overwhelmed by how complicated and segmented it is, and how quickly it changes. And yet, this will probably be the slowest pace of change, we all experience, right, it's not going to get slower in the future, it's gonna get more complicated, and it's going to change faster. So I try to simplify that we're here to serve the consumer needs. And particularly in my role in a retail, and E commerce and wholesale DTC company, my role is to drive traffic. So I've that's my metric for, for my marketing, driving sales, I'm driving traffic in a way that's serving the needs of the consumer. And I don't divide the team by like we said, marketing that's performance driven, and those that aren't performance driven, everything we're doing needs to deliver against traffic. And, and those are like the simplifying principles that we use. Now, of course, underneath that is a lot of detail on consumer segments and campaigns and the way we do different messaging, but it all has to ladder up to those simple principles.

Ben Kaplan  12:22

If I'm going to look at maybe what's implied by this by this, if you're like traffic is the single driving metric. And I'm thinking about a typical sales funnel, and what's at the top of the funnel, but lower, it looks like you're finding something in between top of funnel and lower funnel, meaning if you were top, you could just be like, if you're just doing brand awareness, you're like, are we doing impressions? Are we doing audience reach? Are we doing things like that, but you're saying no, we're going a level deeper, we're driving traffic. And that might be kind of the sort of ecommerce some of you have retail stores, but it sounds like your focus there. I don't know if you measure that the in store traffic as well, or how you do that. But it's a little bit lower down in the funnel than, say, impressions or general awareness. But it's a little bit higher than the funnel for like, if you're gonna drive, you know, sales revenue is something there as well. So it was is that an accurate statement where you've kind of found this like medium between the two to try to bridge the gap to be a little bit lower than the very top but a little bit higher than than that kind of like revenue metric? Yes,

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  13:18

I think that's true. We it is, it is sort of in the middle, we know that that drives sales in the retail stores and in our E commerce channel, like we know what the conversion is and what the AO v is. And we have amazing teams focus on driving that and increasing that. So that's why I couldn't have the marketing team focused on driving traffic. But yeah, to your point, it's sort of in the middle, I can see I can always measure brand awareness in terms of traffic, the number of people who organically are typing in Kendra Scott, or on our site and going directly to our site sort of measures that organic brand awareness, the number of people who search for Kendra Scott or retail store by me gives me a sense of the overall brand momentum that then links to traffic. So yeah, to your point, it's sort of in the middle. How do

Ben Kaplan  14:12

you then measure? I mean, I think one of the challenges and there's different sort of technologies maybe or technology companies that are invented to sort of say, this challenge, particularly if you if you have significant e commerce operations, and then an in store operation, which is like, how do you know let's, let's say this person that every year for their anniversary, his wife's birthday, he goes to Kansas, I hear he's prolific on your site. But now for the first time he discovers a Kendra Scott store, and he walks in and now he's in the store and he's like, you know, you know, your most prolific online buyer but he's in the store and he's a VIP, do you have a way to know he's there? What do you do now to kind of connect that retail with the E commerce because ecommerce is so much easier to track?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  14:56

Yeah, it's the idea of having one view of the consumer We first of all across retail and E comm. We track all those metrics Traffic Conversion ARV. So I know across both those channels the impact that we're making, we also have an insider loyalty program. So if somebody gives their email, we then know what they've purchased before we know where they've shopped. If it's somebody who isn't, you know, identifying themselves by email that we don't have, to your point, that one view of the consumer, we're we're just as we're expanding our loyalty program, that's how we're getting better at our first party data. I mean, that's the brilliance of being a DTC business is that you have all that data from your consumer, but there, I think there's always ways to improve that. And that's the path that we're on is getting tighter on, okay, we know what you've purchased. But we don't necessarily know your interest, we don't have a sense of what you might be shopping for in the future, what other occasions interest you that that type of information will gather in the future? Okay,

Ben Kaplan  16:07

knowing that hypothetical example this this customer, you know, you know, they do anniversaries, big him and his wife, they're doing big, and he knows that he wants some way to top last year's anniversary, he's trying to top himself and Kendra Scott is a way that he does that. But He does it through otherwise, if you would like to know all of those things about him, other than the fact that he's buying jewelry at the same time every year, before this date, that's important to him.

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  16:31

Yes. And we have a sense, you know, based on your purchase history, we have a sense on what you're buying that for or what you might be interested in what other things we can recommend. But some of that almost psychographic information we don't have we have through a segmentation, but we don't have it specifically for each consumer to have that one to one communication.

Ben Kaplan  16:54

And I've heard you talk about sort of People First marketing versus performance marketing in the past. does that relate to understanding the person? Or do you mean more of the experiences in store, you've talked about, you know, wanting to like touch things and not be kind of separated and not being supposed to? What do you mean by people first marketing?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  17:12

Yeah. So what I what I mean is, we can get almost the conversation we had before we can get very overwhelmed by the purchase funnel, and what vehicles we should use and how we should measure all of those. And what centers all of us is the fact that we need to serve consumer needs. And the consumer will will tell us, if they're at the stage that they need to learn more about the brand. And we're in the education stage, if they're at the inspiration stage, or if they're searching for something specific, then we know we just need to capture that demand and serve them up something really specific. It's the idea that we're marketing to humans. This isn't this isn't a metric piece. This isn't this isn't a funnel, we're marketing to humans.

Ben Kaplan  18:01

I know that Kendra Scott used social media as a traffic driver, in particular, you're on Tik Tok, and your role on tick tock has been significant. So how does this translate into and I'm thinking specifically, I was reading about the experience of like Khalid sororities going through the rush process. They're creating content that's very authentic and organic, you're trying to amplify that take us through how sort of being people first or being a lifestyle brand, you know, impacts how you approach tick tock and call it sororities creating content that might be different than what another brand might do. I have

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  18:43

the most amazing social team and I share with them all the time that you're you're driving traffic, you're delivering on the goals of marketing, which is driving traffic and ultimately driving sales. And I think we used to think about those channels as grand building, which they are, but but this team is really driving the business. And a lot of people want to talk about the Bama rash, tic tac effort that the team did this year and the year before. And I think that's really relevant. But I think what the foundation that was set before that is what's really relevant, because they always had the focus to be part of culture. And that was to be part of the cultural conversation. And that's what that team constantly was looking at. And company and the brand has a really good sense of what the brand stands for. And I think with that the team is able to be really empowered to posts that they what they want to pose to be part of cultural conversations that are relevant to the brand, because they have a really good sense of what's on brand and what's not on brand when the Bama rush piece happened. The team moves incredibly quickly. We responded with content we engaged In the conversation, we responded with entertaining content that added value to the conversation. But they had been doing that for a while, wasn't just in that moment. So they knew how to do it.

Ben Kaplan  20:13

If you don't have the foundation, it's not like you can like flip a switch and be like, you know, this is breaking like tomorrow, let's postpone if you if you haven't done a lot of the legwork beforehand, what does approval process for that look like? Like? How empowered are people? What is what is the approval that has to go through? Or are people free to just post or what does it look like on the back end,

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  20:31

and they're super empowered, is the reason you know that part of the magic that the team posted something last week, within 24 hours, it was a million views. And they're they're super empowered, they have a plan for the week and the month that my brand VP looks through and make sure is generally aligned with the brands. So you know, so they are looking at, and posting about amplifying really specific brand messages so that, again, we're driving traffic and the things that are important to the brand. But when things happen in the moment, and when a post goes viral, and they want to build on it, the social team has full empowerment to do that. And to move quickly. Because again, they're very clear on where we're headed on what the brand stands for. And what's what's important in our vision. And

Ben Kaplan  21:27

what is your recommendation for it is becoming increasingly, you know, brands increasingly interested? They are surprising. That would be like yeah, we want to explore being on tick tock, let's figure out what we're doing on tick tock, what is your recommendation for a brand that hasn't played there? In thinking about the space and even obviously, the discussion about you know, is tick tock going to be banned in the US? Is there other other threats to it as well? What is your recommendation for other brands who want you know, tick tock or the next emerging platform that that isn't, you know, the sensation yet, but but would be could be soon, to sort of get involved in those if they're starting from relatively Scratch? Scratch,

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  22:04

I think a couple of things. The reason Tik Tok works so well, for us. Well, one of the reasons is that that is a consumer who Kendra Scott is relevant to. And I think that's the first screening. I mean, what I think about some of the challenges brands have run into my principal for our team is that every day, we walk the line of being relevant, we want to be relevant to a new consumer. And we want to increase the loyalty of our current consumer. And we constantly have to think about the balance of that, and the consumers that we're adding value to end targeting and sharing messages with. So that I just think is an important lens that everyone on the marketing team has to have, even if they're talking to only this specific consumer. So we knew that was a very brand relevant platform for us. And I think the second, the second piece of guidance is to you know, dive in and have a test and learn approach. And that you know, is very much my social team is constantly looking at metrics, changing things, revising, trying again, and constantly iterating they have a plan, but they don't have a perfect plan, they revise it as they get into it. And that is what helped us learn versus, you know, planning out exactly what we're going to do all the time, and probably about 30 Is it takes a lot of nurturing, it's a lot of content and a lot of nurturing, which know anyone who's in these social channels knows that it takes a good amount of resources to get started. And to keep that engagement and keep adding value to the conversation

Ben Kaplan  23:52

one of the most if you're gonna prioritize your marketing channels to get a sense of what are the ones what is like the most important channels that for your consumer, for your audience for different personas that you do target, what does that look like? What does that kind of hierarchy of most important channels for you?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  24:09

I don't think about it that way so much because we are a multigenerational brand. Kendra told me that in the interview process and and I felt well there's got to be you know, a core consumer target. You look at the data, this is a multi generational brand, evenly split across the generations. And then so we've reached those consumers in different ways. And we've very much customized our marketing to whatever campaign we're working on. So I wouldn't say we have a very clear template on like, this is always the channel that we use because we just don't think about our marketing and our consumer targets that way. I mean, obviously paid media is a piece that drives a lot of traffic to our website and it also drives retail traffic. Our Oh winter chattels are key to that we're building up, I don't want to, you know, be playing the paid media game in the future as consumer acquisition costs continue to go up. And it's harder and harder to to message to consumers. So we're continuing to build the importance of our own channels. So I would say like paid media, sort of third owned channels for us a second. And the top is our earned media channels, our PR, our local events, all of those things that scale and more authentically drive earned media for us. And when

Ben Kaplan  25:36

you think about jewelry, or beauty or fashion, I mean, what people sometimes think about as important channels and you can tell me if this is overrated or underrated, is there'll be influencer marketing. Okay? If we're if we're in these kinds of categories, influencer marketing, hugely important. So influencer marketing, overrated or underrated,

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  25:57

I think it depends on the consumer target back to back to the consumer. I think it's probably overrated, we're we're finding, we had a lot of very authentic connections with influencers. And that is the magic for us that we keep. But there are many influencers who want to work with us who are, you know, are doing it, maybe not many, but are doing it for the payment, and for the price tag. And that's not what we think resonates with our consumers. So we continue to find, obviously, we do paid influencer marketing, but we continue to find those more authentic connections.


Okay, so here's what I'm thinking. It's a Weston with a sci fi twist. But there's also a film noir plot running in the background. And dinosaurs because why not? Right? Take the dinosaurs down a little bit. Okay, no dinosaurs. But a little bit of romance is always welcome.


And zombies? Yeah, we just heard from zombies in there. Your vision, our craft? I don't know. Can I listen to the first draft again, back to the show?

Ben Kaplan  27:36

Michelle, what is similar? And what is different about selling jewelry in this experiential way, and selling cold pressed juice. What I mean by that, of course, is that this isn't your first CMO role. You were CMO at pressed, which is known for its cold pressed juice has I think over 100 stores that do that, what is similar and what is different about sort of that category and the one you're in now.

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  28:05

What's similar about I would say what's similar about those two businesses is or the suit of those is that they're both. They're both founder led businesses who have these amazing stories to that are and that drive a bigger purpose. And press was the exact same way press wasn't created for cold pressed juice, it was created to make real food nutrition more accessible to people. So I would say that that's what's very similar about those businesses. And what's inherent about a DTC business is that you're so close to the consumer, I used to think in CPG, we had so much data and we did about the consumer, but we didn't have that one to one relationship and that one to one connection. And these, both of these businesses are DTC retail businesses, where you have 1000s of retail employees who connect with that consumer every day. I mean, you have all sorts of consumer insights all day long. So those are that's the three similar I think, with jewelry and fashion. There's much more of an emotional connection that is maybe harder for consumers to articulate, it's very clear, you're putting something in your body, it's really important to you, but the emotional connection of wearing jewelry and fashion and the confidence that it builds and consumers, you sort of see it more than they can, you know, then they can articulate that

Ben Kaplan  29:41

it's more naturally emotional in the sense that whether it's jewelry or fashion, at its core, it's like what you are projecting to the world about yourself and also it helps bridge the gap from like maybe who you are to who you aspire to be or the growth process and all that and because Have that it sort of has these emotional underpinnings because it's really tied into you even even though a product like a press juice would, you know, maybe it's still tied into you because you want to be nutritional, you want to Yes,

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  30:10

it's a little bit more functional, though there's kind of a probably a rational part of that purchase journey. And And for sure, there is with jewelry, I need something to wear to in the bath. But it's much more I think of an emotional purchase. You're either declaring something about yourself, or you're wearing your team colors, you're declaring the tribe that you're in like, it's very much a emotional state. I think

Ben Kaplan  30:35

you also in your career. I mean, I mean, probably the largest chunk of time was it was it General Mills. So you were in CPG. And I didn't know you come from I think like, brands like, you know, I mean, well known brands, whether that's Pillsbury or Betty Crocker, or Cheerios, or, you know, Nature Valley snacks, what is the difference? And we've talked about the sort of direct to consumer and only the relation which is very different. But what is also the difference of those brands that are known but known in a different way. They sort of like our iconic, I've had a number of CMOS of really iconic brands on the show, I was just talking with the CMO of Campbell's Soup, for instance. What is the difference there versus these like newer companies, but also brands that are growing in meaning something founder LED? How do you think about branding? Is it differently based on sort of that the newness of that legacy?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  31:30

Yes, but the difference at General Mills, the many of the brands that I was on at General Mills, like you said, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker were these incredibly iconic brands, that also needed to go through a transformation to be able to appeal to different consumers and different consumers who have different food values. And that's, that's a challenging and inspiring transformation to do you have a brand that people know you have a p&l That's very worthwhile for the company. And you have to figure out how to change all of that, while keeping those consumers and appealing to others within essentially, what is the purpose of the brand and what the brand stands for. And I learned a lot about doing that. It feels very Betty Nature Valley was very much innovative and growing. During the time I was there, and still is. But that that was fantastic to learn. The I would say the difference with these founder led brands is it's it's there's so much story built in these brands, and there's so much opportunity, and it's about almost like prioritizing what are the biggest opportunities to run after I mean, we look at the multicultural, couldn't see where the male can see word Kenzi consumer, all of the stories that Kendra built this business on, there's so much to tell and do and then all of the new segments and areas that we want to get into. It's an exciting challenge to figure out, how do I prioritize and choose the biggest opportunity? And how am I constantly evaluating? Are we building on this brand? And are we delivering on the choosing? What

Ben Kaplan  33:22

would you like to be doing in marketing at Kendra rush that you're not doing now that you know, in the next I don't know, one to two to three years you think could be important for you and you're not there yet? What do you want to develop more from a marketing perspective?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  33:37

Well, I mean, under the vision of being a lifestyle brand, we want to continue to expand the different categories and brands or products that we deliver to the consumer from. From a marketing perspective, one of the things I want to do is shift the model as I mentioned, we're you know, like many brands, focus on paid media and we want to continue to be an earned media innovative brand that earned media first innovative brands so that we're focused on earned and owned and that's the way we're connecting with our consumer. So that's the first area the second I would say is that the the heritage of the company has always been innovative and disruptive. So I don't know what that thing is that will continue to disrupt but that's something we'll you'll definitely see from us in the future as well.

Ben Kaplan  34:30

What is the split? What I mean by that is, you know, what is the split for like, either either in terms of resources or time or your focus between experimental and tried and true meaning tried and true, keeps the lights on tried and true helps you hit your quarter tried and true, you know, probably keeps your traffic number from up but you want to be innovative. So how much do you just like experiment what side of your budget your time your just mental bandwidth you focus on Excel permutation? And how much do you kind of stick to? You know, what, you know, proves to work?

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  35:04

Yeah, it's probably I mean, if I think about our budget and our, just our overall thinking time, it's probably 7030. I mean, we're, we're a holiday driven business, for example, like, we know the things that have to happen during the holidays, the products we need to launch the promotions are gonna have the events we're gonna have in store, the paid media, we're gonna have to drive traffic. But then every year, we're thinking about how are we going to tell this story differently? And what are we going to try that is better and, and different than last year? So it isn't that we separate those things, everything we do, we're looking at how are we doing? In a way that's more interesting and more innovative than we've done before, but probably 70% of it, we know is going to work. And it's going to drive traffic on the business. How


do you, you know, in those busy times, holiday season, Christmas giving season, all of those? How do you stand out from all of the noise there? I mean, I know that I've talked to a lot of CMOs and, and sometimes they're like, you know, yeah, holidays is the holidays. And you know, we just try to we innovate and other times, we just gotta get through it. And it's competitive and all these kind of things. How do you think about standing out during that time when there's so much concentrated, you know, kind of spend and effort at one time, our ability

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  36:30

to stand out starts months ago, and we're thinking about the campaign that we're going to launch at that time. While we know the levers we're going to use to support it will work that our campaign message needs to be aligned with a consumer mindset, it needs to bring out what's differentiated about the brand Kendra story, what's very differentiated about our products. And it needs to show our purpose of being a fashion meets philanthropy brand. So we almost start that at the way beginning of the process. That's how we stand out. And then how we execute it. Were through our sponsorships, through our events in store through our local events in different markets will do surprise and delight things that are innovative things that are surprising to the consumer that that are all part of this campaign, but will help us stand out and will help us connect to the consumer emotionally to you've


talked about modern marketing being a combination of sort of like head and hearts, right? Like you have to be kind of whether that's we won't use the term performance marketing, but you got to drive results, but you also have to like drive connection and engagement and experience to one final question, what is your recommendation for, you know, features CMOS who want to have the full? I don't know Swiss Army knife of skills of abilities, what kind of experiences should they have? What do you recommend that would set you up for success in you know, CMO land 2025 or 2030

Michelle Peterson - Kendra Scott  38:06

I'm so grateful for my time at General Mills because that's how the marketing roles were at General Mills we were jet with the general managers of the business and needed to understand the full business and the full p&l from top to bottom and we were responsible for driving the top line and I think that that classical training is what's helped me in the future, be creative and be innovative and take risks but also know that ultimately I'm responsible to driving sales and I think today CMOs are required to be the consumer champion where we need to be close to the consumer and understand we need to be the chief storyteller of the brand again, bless that this brand is full of stories and then we have to do the growth driver again for me traffic but the growth driver of top lot and and and my my General Mills training is what taught me how to manage all of those different pieces and learn the importance of of those to the business and to the ground. 

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