Embracing the Positive Side of Cultural Tension Moments – Aaron Seymour-Anderson, Red Wing Shoe Co. – Episode 77

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How Red Wing Shoe Co. Embraces its roots and customers by finding cultural tension moments and embracing the positive side of things.  Aaron Seymour-Anderson explains how 3 storytelling campaigns came to light:  Out of Fashion since 1905, Wall of Honor, and #LaborDayOn. 

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Full Podcast Transcription


Aaron Seymour:
Calling fast fashion our enemy evolved to being a story about appreciating people who live out of fashion, do things differently, live life on their own terms, and in many ways that was reflective of a larger purpose behind us that Red Wing has done things our own way for 117 years. We’ve not, you know, when, when all brands were going overseas or follow the latest fast fashion trends, we said no, we’re gonna do it this way. This timeless way, you know, making boots by hand on the banks of the Mississippi.

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies, and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey, Kindred Speakers. Welcome back for another episode. As you know, I love filling your creative brains with different examples of what other brands are doing. And today we’re gonna do more of it. Today I have on an amazing guest from the Red Wing Shoe Co. Aaron Seymour Anderson works to connect brands and people through stories, and experiences. He has over 15 years of experience in this business. Worked primarily on the agency, and most recently on the client side, all while balancing strategic and creative roles.

Sarah Panus:
Aaron is currently head of brand and creative at Red Wing shoe Company. Prior to that, he worked as the creative director on Nike at AKA QA Portland. Aaron stumbled into this business through a past life on doing graffiti art, which I’m super curious about, and gotta ask him about crafting a message that not everybody wanted to hear in a place almost no one wanted to see it taught him many things, but above all, to respect his audience and hold his work to a very high standard. We’re gonna hear more about Aaron’s Red Wing Shoe company, storytelling experiences after a word from our sponsors. Aaron welcome to the show.

Aaron Seymour:
Hey Sarah, thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.

Sarah Panus:
Well, so first I gotta like touch on the graffiti art comment, right from, from your bio and your background, and kind of your roots of connecting with an audience through that. Tell me, tell us a little bit more about that piece, and then we’ll get into everything about Red Wing.

Aaron Seymour:
So I use it as a perfect analogy to the work that we do, frankly, most people kind of dislike, or despise graffiti, and you know sometimes we forget working in marketing that people aren’t sitting there just waiting for us to publish our next Instagram post right? At times what we put out into the world is seen as disruptive and not, not always in a good way that doesn’t mean it’s not effective or doesn’t drive value or impact, but I think it’s a good reminder that you know, to get out of our own bubbles at times, and remind ourselves that marketing needs to add value. And I think, you know, the idea of marketing with empathy, as much as it is, you know, about us as marketers and understanding, you know, the empathy that we need and we deserve.

Aaron Seymour:
It’s also about, you know, the empathy that we need to have for our audiences, and for our consumers. But I love the idea of challenging and subverting stereotypes, challenging the status quo of turning something that people may not be asking for, or maybe even despise or dislike into something that not only do they notice, but they find inspiring or better yet helpful and useful. So yeah, that’s, I guess that’s me in a nutshell and how I stumbled into, you know, marketing through a past life of graffiti art.

Sarah Panus:
Amazing, amazing. Well then let’s transition into Red Wing. Why I invited you on the show, so we could talk about the really great storytelling work that you guys are doing with, you know, a very old company right? And so first tell us more about Red Wing shoe company, and the role that storytelling plays in your brand in your creative work.

The role of Storytelling in Red wing shoe co. brand

Aaron Seymour:
It’s a 117 year old company privately held, based on the legacy, and great history, storied history no pun intended, but because of that stories, and storytelling are embedded in everything that we do. We have a corporate archive, we have a corporate archivist, you know, we have many people that have access to and tap into 117 years worth of stories not just to inspire marketing, but also to inspire the product that we create. Our product creation team looks back into the archive to find inspiration for new products. So I’d say, you know, that archive that we have is an incredible resource for brand storytelling. Not everything is just looking to the past either. But with this 117 year history and legacy, we do, you know, we have a challenge. It’s a beautiful challenge of keeping it real with the past and relevant with the future. And I’d say that in mind storytelling is one of the most effective ways for us to not only strike that balance, but to communicate what our brands stand for to our, to our audience.

Sarah Panus:
And so for anyone listening, that’s not familiar with what you offer, like your services can you tell us a little bit more about your shoes and that?

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So at Red Wing shoe company there are four brands that kind of fall under our house of brand if you will. We have Red Wing work, which is primarily boots that we create for tradespeople, and that’s the legacy of the company that we started. Like I said, 117 years ago making purpose built footwear for those that are building the world around us. So that, you know, Red Wing work is kind of the heart and soul of our brand, and our company started making boots truly focused on those women and men who build the world around us. Those in the skilled trades, and we really still focus on them today.

Aaron Seymour:
We also have Red Wing heritage, which is our lifestyle line. You know, many of us working in marketing departments or ad agencies, you know, will probably be familiar with that side of the house, the hipster side of the house if you will. Then we have Irish Setter, that’s another brand. It’s our hunting boot brand, and then we have Vasque. That is our outdoor and hiking boot brand. And our, our product is, you know, it is what we’d call premium product really well built. And I would say it makes our job in marketing really easy when we have such great product that we can stand behind right? In many ways the best marketing can and should be the product itself in

Sara Panus:
In your role then as the head of brand and creative. What do you oversee? Like what are the fun things you get to work on?

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah. So I look after all of our creative output, all of our marketing creative output across all four of those brands and categories at, Red Wings Shoe Co. And I do my best to do it globally as well. So I’m based in Minneapolis, St. Paul area in Minnesota. Our corporate headquarters are in Redwing Minnesota, which about hour, hour south of Minneapolis, St. Paul. We have an office in Amsterdam and an office in Tokyo too, that we plug into, and those are kind of our G O teams in Europe and Asia respectively. So I do my best to look after all of our creative output globally, but we also know that our local market teams know their audience’s best. So they’ve got a lot of autonomy to do what they need to do as well.

Aaron Seymour:
And I’ve got, you know, one hat that is a creative director hat, and that’s, you know, what much of my background has been spent on as, you know, being a creative director. And then I also wear another hat, which is the kind of head of brand as a client. So looking after our capital B brand efforts, brand campaigns, high level, you know, brand strategy, conversations, and efforts. And of course, I’m fortunate to partner with a lot of smart people here at Red Wing individual brand leads, as well as with agency partners along the way to get, you know, great great work, great storytelling, great brand actions out into the world across the globe on behalf of all four of our brands and categories.

recent Storytelling initiativeS

Sarah Panus:
I’d love to talk about a few of your recent storytelling initiatives. So first we’re gonna talk about your out of fashion 1905 campaign or project. Tell us all about it, and what it entailed.

out of fashion since 1905

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah. So out of fashion since 1905 is a campaign that we created, you know, during the heart of the pandemic, honestly. And because of challenges in product creation, you know, closing factories manufacturing, slowdowns, we didn’t have for our heritage line a lot of new product. And so we started thinking about the best way for us to create energy, and heat around the brand. And we said, you know, we looked at our core iconic style. It’s the Red Wing, 10 8 77 also known as the classic mock. And so, you know, some of you may know what that boot is. Many of you may not. But if you see it, it is pretty recognizable, and really kind of iconic and synonymous for Red Wing as a white or an off white wedge soul. And, you know, a six inch, well we have two versions, a six inch and a nine inch tall leather boot.

Aaron Seymour:
That’s our icon, that’s a style we’ve been making for close to 70 years now. And, and we thought, well why don’t we just really look at what’s unique about us rather than, you know, fabricating a story. You know, we don’t have new products, let’s embrace that. Let’s, make some, you know, lemonade here outta lemons. And, and so we took the idea of owning our truth to heart. And that is the fact that this style is timeless. Literally it has not been redesigned in 70 years. So let’s own that. And that led us to the idea of not chasing fast fashion trends, not trying to chase trends, rather trying to be timeless, you know, hence that tagline of out fashion since 1905, since our inception, we’ve not been chasing fast fashion trends. So that was the, you know, the insight and kind of the idea that was illuminated through us just looking really at our truths, and why our audience and consumers appreciate what we create, what we make.

Aaron Seymour:
So from there we said, all right, what do we do with that? How can we celebrate our consumers, and people, and not just talk about ourselves. So the idea, you know, evolved from that concept of outta fashion since 1905. Basically, you know, calling fast fashion our enemy evolved to being a story about appreciating people who live out of fashion, do things differently, live life on their own terms. And in many ways that was reflective of a larger purpose behind this, that Red Wing has done things our own way for 117 years. We’ve not, you know, when all brands were going overseas or falling the latest, fast fashion trends. We said, no, we’re gonna do it this way, this timeless way, you know, making boots by hand on the banks of the Mississippi. So it led us to look around the globe and find stories of incredible people that shared that similar ethos.

Aaron Seymour:
And there are three stories I’ll touch on really quickly that became the tent poles of this campaign. The first was an octogenarian couple, so an 83 and 84 year old couple who run a laundromat in Taiwan. And they became sort of, you know, I’d say social media darlings around this time for modeling people’s forgotten laundry in their laundromat. So people would leave, people who had left their laundry, you know, this 83 and 84 year old couple started modeling it, and getting styled out in it all in an effort to, you know, to do two things. One to remind people to pick up their laundry, but more importantly to raise awareness around the importance of circular fashion not letting things go to waste. And so in addition to sharing the similar ethos of doing things their own way, and you know, against the grain, the sustainability story behind that was also a connection to the fact that we make boots that are designed to last a lifetime, to last decades.

Aaron Seymour:
And so that circular fashion, if you will, element what was important there. So it wasn’t just that we shared a similar ethos, but they were doing it for good, the Wong Shoer laundry team, Wong Ji and Shoer were their names. And they were just a pleasure to work with. We did, we shot a whole campaign with them remotely during the heart of the pandemic, which you know, probably a topic for another time, but that was an interesting challenge and they were great partners. So that was the first story. Let me really quickly outline two other stories that were part of it. Another story as part of this campaign, same idea, people, you know, living life on their own terms, not just dressing out of fashion, but living out of fashion, A woman by the name of Erin Brown, who goes by, you know, the nickname the Concrete Cowgirl. She lives in Philadelphia and her mission is to, she runs an organization called Pura the Philadelphia urban riding academy.

Aaron Seymour:
She grew up riding horses in inner city, Philadelphia, and now runs that nonprofit to help at risk youth you know, stay outta trouble if you will, by riding and raising horses. So check out the Concrete Cowgirl on Instagram, on social media, her story is incredibly fascinating. You know, she lives out of fashion, but again, you know, everything she does serves a larger purpose. So we were really honored to tell her story as well. And then the last, the last main story, you know, we told dozens of stories as part of this campaign, but like I said, there were three that were kind of the 10 poles, was a gentleman by the name of Beoni Sam and Bion is a, is a DJ and beekeeper in London. And he makes music literally with the sounds of bees. So he records all these sounds from bees and turns it into electronic music, really, really fascinating check out Sam for anyone listening.

Aaron Seymour:
His music is, is quite interesting. And again, it all starts with the sounds of bees. He again, reiterating this, you know, he lives outta fashion and, and more importantly, he does what he does for a larger purpose, which is to raise awareness around the importance of be is for our ecosystem. So all three of those were, were stories. We were incredibly honored to tell as part of the larger out of fashion campaign for Red Wing. So yeah, it was an exciting campaign for us to work on. And one that just really allowed us to, to look at ourselves what this brand stands for this idea of, of creating product that is timeless, that doesn’t follow fast fashion trends. And along the way, we got to tell some really incredible stories. So big thanks to, to those that allowed us to do that.

Sarah Panus:
Oh, that’s amazing. And such a great example of the company you keep, because you’re being true to your brand and then who are extensions of that. And that’s, what’s so great about storytelling. What I love about it is how you can humanize something like that to really connect in a different way. And through these really interesting stories, I’m really curious, how did you find these three different people? I, truly understand. It’s not, it’s not an easy task to find casting. I always think is one of the hardest things to find like the right stories.

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah. It’s, it’s a great, great question. It wasn’t easy. You’re right. Casting is, is always challenging. So, you know, once we had the, the Genesis of the idea, we, you know, we did a little bit of desk research, we’d come across want show laundry just through desk research. And we said they are, you know, they are the perfect archetype in, in so many ways. So what other stories can we find across the globe that, that, you know that are on that, on that level at that level? So our internal team we had you know, an, an awesome internal team working on this as well as a couple freelance collaborators that we work with quite a bit. And then we, we did also tap into our global team and a, a casting and then broke out individual documentary films for, for all of these stories. And let’s see I think that’s the majority of the, you know, the channels that we, we leveraged and, and pulled. And of course, all of our, our partners, so launch a laundry, Beoni Sam, concrete, cowgirl, all shared on their channels as well best and underlining.

Wall of honor

Sarah Panus:
And it’s a really good example too, of, you know, tapping into like influencers in a, you know, that aren’t as mainstream influencers, but the connection point is so strong. So it just creates this beautiful connection moment with your audience. So I thought it was really, really smart. Thanks for walking us through that. I’ll make sure I’ll put links in the show notes for like all the examples we’re talking about folks. So you can like click through and, and take a look at everything. So let’s move on then to the next storytelling example which is your wall of honor. I think it’s an interesting example of how you can talk about and show my understanding is it’s a every year there’s nominations, certain people make the cut for their shoe to be hung on the wall of honor. Right? Like tell, tell me, yeah. And us more about like the backstory of that, cuz obviously it’s seems like it’s been going on for quite a while. Right?

Aaron Seymour:
And you, you know, you’re, you’re exactly right. It is our, you know, part monument part museum you know, hall of fame, if you will, to those who, who work in the skilled trades, you heard me earlier talking a little bit about Red Wing work, how that is, you know, the heart and soul of, of our company, of our brand, you know, making purpose built safety footwear for those who are building the world around us, the wall of honor really focuses on and those who are now at the sunset of their career. So they’ve, they’ve, they’ve worked in the trades for, for, you know, decades and now they’re ready to, to hang their boots up on the wall after not just a, you know, a job well done, but a career well done. So we, we take this effort really, really seriously, not only because it’s, it’s about honoring people in the trades, but it’s about honoring people’s legacy in the trades.

Aaron Seymour:
So yeah, every year we, we introduce, you know, a new cohort, if you will. Similar between, you know, four and eight people every year you know, after we Wade through hundreds of submissions every year, get nominated to the, the wall of honor. And, you know, we, we make films about them, documentary films about them. I can, you know, speak to one really quickly a woman by the name of Shelly Abbott. Her story, we just released on some of our social channels and she’s, she’s a third generation trades person in her family. Now she’s taken over the business from her dad who took it over from her grandfather. And you know, the, the work that she does is just incredible. And the, the family ties and the, you know, everything that she does to, to work really, really hard day in and day out to support her family support her son in particular is just profound.

Aaron Seymour:
What we find really interesting is, you know, I’m generalizing here. So generally speaking people in the trades are, are pretty humble. It’s about getting the job done. It’s not about bragging about it. And so you know, finding, finding submissions, they usually come from family members. They usually come from friends. They usually come from, you know, apprentices or, or mentees who nominate them. And we go through a pretty rigorous process to you know, to connect with them, to meet with them, to understand, you know, what what’s important to them. And then, yeah, like, you know, at the end of the day, every year we nominate, like I said, four to eight people when it’s not COVID times we bring them to Red Wing, we host an event, you know, a very thoughtful and special event bring their, their families along with them in our flagship store, in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota, we have a wall that, that these boots hang on. So it’s, it’s our physical manifestation. It doesn’t just live on a microsite or social media, but their names, their boots and, and, and their placard is on the wall. And, you know, in perpetuity honoring everything that they’ve done to build and maintain the world around us. So it’s a really meaningful, important, and near end dear effort to, to Red Wing Shoe Company.

Sarah Panus:
What I’ve, what I thought was interesting about it too, is I feel like something like that, tell me if I’m right or wrong here. But my interpretation from the outside, when I saw that, I was like, that’s a really great way to one get stories to share externally. But then two, I also thought it has a, probably very profound storytelling impact internally for your employees to show the people like the true stories behind the people you’re helping and, you know, the salt of the earth, people that are the bread and butter of your organization. And it’s a really feel good. I would imagine for your employees to hear that and to see those stories too. Do you feel, do you use it from like an internal comms perspective too?

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. The trades are often looked down upon, right? The skilled trades are, you know, often ignored and sometimes looked down upon, right. It’s not the, the, the white collar American dream it’s blue collar and that carries a different connotation. Yeah. But for us, we take com we take total issue with that, and there’s a lot of reasons for that. Not only are these people building the world around us, maintaining the world around us, ensuring the world works right to the benefit of all of us. We, we take for granted, you know, the fact that lights turn on and the roads work and the water works, but there are people that, you know, work really hard to make sure that, that, that that happens. But also, you know, the trades provide a really, really incredible career opportunity for people. They, they pay well you know, some people just aren’t, aren’t set up or don’t want to go to college, you know, traditional four year kind of university approach and the trades offer a great opportunity.

Aaron Seymour:
For people who maybe don’t want to go to college or wanna work with their hands, or you know, a approach the world and wanting to build things physically. And, and so one of the things at Red Wing, one of the big storytelling elements for us is ensuring that we’re honoring this legacy, a legacy of work done right. And honoring, you know, our, our core consumer, right. With empathy and making sure that that their work is appreciated. So yeah, it’s what we’re out celebrating the trades and it’s for them, bring it back to your question. Apologies but our whole organization really appreciates when we do that. They see the power of it. So yes, it is very valuable internally as well.

#LaborDayOn

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. That’s cool. As you were saying, and I was thinking about my dad, so I, my parents are both farmers they’re retired now. And so I remember, you know, growing up, my dad farmed for over 60 years and he always, you know, he always had his Red Wing boots right. When he went outside, lace them up, like, so you’re right. Like, it is such a very humble group. They do what they gotta do. They provide, they help, you know, they’re very skilled laborers and super important. So I think it’s cool that you have that aspect to honor those each year in your wall of honor program. So yeah. Thank you then the last example. So the last example I wanna make sure we have time to get through is a program called #LaborDayOn, is it, I know you guys won like a three time can line and winning effort to help people find jobs. And it was called #LaborDayOn. Tell me about this one and kind of how that unfolded, like, how was storytelling a part of this?

Aaron Seymour:
So this, this project, you know, we started working on also during the heart of the pandemic outta fashion was for the heritage line. This is for, for Redwing work and, you know, to, to our previous point, the purpose of Red Wing work is to really honor and celebrate tradespeople. And, you know, during the heart of the pandemic, things have obviously shifted quite a bit, but during the heart of the pandemic, you know, there wasn’t an industry that wasn’t being impacted by by the loss of jobs. And, you know, we’ll rewind the tape here a little bit to 2020. And it’s, you know, it feels like that was, you know, on one hand so long ago, and also not very, very long ago. So, you know, coming through the, the summer of 2020 leading into Labor Day and Labor Day, you know, is a very important day for skilled workers.

Aaron Seymour:
You know, that was the intent of this day, right? The intent of the day is to honor laborers, right? About 150 years ago. That was the, the purpose of, of this day. And unfortunately, you know the day has kind of been co-opted to be a day of sales and promotions and doorbuster deals and mattress liquidations, right? Like it’s, it’s lost its true meaning. So we looked at Labor Day and said, if there’s a day of the year that we could dedicate to honoring and celebrating those in the trades, well, it should be Labor Day. And then we looked at what’s happening in culture. And we saw, we saw that there were 25 million unemployed Americans at this time. And, you know, storytelling is as I already said, you know, so important to what we do, but with all those campaigns that I talked about there’s action behind all of them there’s brand action that we’re taking.

Aaron Seymour:
So it’s not just words and pretty pictures. And I, I don’t mean to minimize the importance of great storytelling, beautiful pictures and well crafted words, but we wanted to make sure that we were doing something useful action, action, based as well. And so thanks to our, our partners partner agency drove a five. They brought this idea to the table based on our brief of trying to reclaim the day reclaim Labor Day. And they said, Hey, highest rate of unemployment since the great depression it’s hitting the trades, you know, very acutely right now. What if we took all of our channels, all 540 stores in North America, all of our social channels, websites paid media, email, you name it and just dedicated them, all those channels to helping people find jobs and, and what a simple idea, but what a profound idea, when they presented it to us, it was a no brainer.

Aaron Seymour:
We were like, yes, that is it. Let’s go. You know, in addition though, we had to explain why. So we, we started this campaign with a manifesto that ran in the New York times and ran in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, our local paper, the Twin Cities, Minneapolis St. Paul area, calling out the need to help people find work, calling out the need to reclaim the day and calling on other brands to join us. You know, this is not a time to sell product at a discount. This is a time to help people find work. And 225 other brands joined us, big brands like burger king and new balance, local construction brands, local brands, and the trades joined us. And, you know, I, don’t mean to use this word lightly, but we created a bit of a mini movement if you will.

Aaron Seymour:
That ensured that all the brands I joined us were not promoting products. They were promoting possibility. They were promoting jobs and better yet, you know, you could come into our 540 stores and we had converted them into mini job centers. You could come, you could call 1-800-RED-WING and we would do everything we could to plug you into job opportunities. You came to our website and there wasn’t product on our website. It was job openings, including Red Wing job openings. So we were doing everything we could in our power to help solve the unemployment crisis at the time. Yeah. It was, you know really exciting project to work on big thanks to our, our whole team. And of course our agency partner drove a five to that brought that idea and we’re, we’re able to pull off such an ambitious idea is very, a very exciting one.

Sarah Panus:
That’s great. Such an important thing, again, just tying back to your roots, like what your company stands for and, you know, tying it into storytelling, topics and initiatives and things that make sense. So that’s really what every brand listening do do that. That’s, that’s what helps connect with your audience. Your people feel like they are connected to you because you’re speaking a kindred language with them. So really great examples. So thanks Aaron for talking through those three a little bit more with us today to share, and I hope it inspires you listening of things that you can do with storytelling to connect on a deeper level, to tie back to a deeper purpose for your own organization and with your audience. So Erin, we are getting close to wrapping up here. I do have one final question for you as before we wrap up, which is what piece of advice do you have for my listeners, like to help them think about how to better connect with their audience? Like if you had to leave them with one thing what would you say?

Better connect with your AUDIENCE

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah, it’s a good question. Simply put, don’t be boring. I’d say, you know, have a point of view. So many brands, so many campaigns, you know, so many efforts lack a point of view in, in my opinion. And it’s it’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s one thing that, that we’re always challenging ourselves with here. And I think there’s, you know there’s something to be said for being culturally relevant and finding attention in culture, right. And, and if we go back to some of the examples I was talking about, the tension in out of fashion was pushing against, against fast fashion, declaring that as our enemy, while of honor honoring these, these unsung, you know, hidden heroes, right? And then with, with Labor Day on, it was trying to take the unemployment crisis head on.

Aaron Seymour:
In all those instances, we’ve taken a cultural tension, something that’s kind of perceived as a negative being out of fashion, the unemployment crisis and turning it into a positive, without a cultural tension, without a, a point of view. It’s, it’s relatively easy for, for people to not care about what you’re doing. You know, what stands you apart? Why would someone want to get down with your brand or your effort? Like I said earlier, nobody is just sitting there waiting for you to post your next social media post. And you know, there’s a quote that comes to mind as I’m thinking about this right now that that probably summarizes my thoughts in a much more articulate manner. So I’ll steal the words of Eli Weisel the quote is something to the effect of the opposite of, of love is not hate it’s indifference. And so when it comes to brands and brand storytelling, you know, in my opinion, there’s nothing worse than your listener or your audience being indifferent, not caring, you know, snoozing, don’t put your audience to sleep and they won’t put you in their spam filter, right? So in all inspire your audiences provide value. Don’t be boring, you know, be as fearless as you can with purpose.

Sarah Panus:
I love it. That is a great way to end the show. But before we go, how can people connect with you online Aaron? Like where could they find you? And then also, where, where should they look to find Red Wing?

Aaron Seymour:
Yeah. you know, I fly pretty pretty below the radar on online and social media, but I’d say best place, you know, find me on LinkedIn, Aaron Seymour Anderson, Head of Brand Creative at Red Wing. It’d be great to connect, you know, reach out with any questions. And then, yeah, you know, keep, keep an eye on what we’re up to at Red Wing. Our social channels @redwingshoes and @redwingheritage is probably the best place to keep an eye on what we’re up to.

Sarah Panus:
Perfect. I’ll make sure I put those links in the show notes too folks. Okay. Well, thank you so much, Aaron for coming on the show and giving us some behind the scenes insight into your storytelling programs. This was great.

Aaron Seymour:
Of course, Sarah, thank you so much for the time. It was a pleasure. Appreciate it.

Sarah Panus:
Okay, folks. Huge thanks again to Aaron Seymour Anderson from Red Wing Shoe Co., check out the show notes for all the examples that we talked about, and we’ll see you here next week until next time Kindred Speakers.

Closing Remarks

Sarah Panus:
If you’re hearing my voice right now, you’re likely a corporate content marketer of some kind looking to level up your brand storytelling career. What would it feel to have the skills, confidence, and know how to advance your brand storytelling results and love the work you’re doing? In an ideal world you and your content team are high level strategic thinkers that know how to humanize your brand to drive seven X engagements and actions. You have the right creative mindset to attract your ideal audience and build brand trust and loyalty through storytelling. You’re viewed as top performers in the company and brand storytelling is valued because it’s driving business results and supporting multiple channel teams. But things don’t always go our way, right? Maybe your brand lacks, a cohesive content strategy. Maybe you and your team are asked to deliver a lot for your company and it’s hard to keep up.

Sarah Panus:
You know you need to invest in figuring out next steps in your company’s brand storytelling plans, but haven’t had the time to figure out how yet. And you need help integrating it across the organization. You personally want to level up your skills because you know, you need to know how to do these things to advance in your career. You want your work to be valued so that you love coming to work each day, attracting leads, increasing repeat, and referral actions or creating a loved brand. And in this competitive market, you’re looking for ways to stay competitive, for yourself or retaining and attracting top talent for your company. That’s why I created the Brand Storytelling Academy, a hands on three month group training program designed to help corporate content marketers attract upper funnel leads that drive bottom funnel results through storytelling. For one sixth of the cost to hire a person on the team or onboard a high level brand storytelling strategist, you and up to five people on your team can be developing and accelerating your brand storytelling skills. Think of it like a college certification program for you and your team, but you get the knowledge a lot quicker and your professor, me, has 20 years of hands on experience guiding you along the way. Curious? Fill out the application at kindredspeak.com/apply to learn more and I’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and discuss if it’s a good fit. Go to kindredspeak.com/apply.

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ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.