Brand Strategists Hilary Laffer and Amy Swift Crosby tackle business questions with candid, (mostly) serious and definitely unscripted workshopping sessions. Guests – from small business owners to CEOs, executive directors and founders – bring their head-scratchers, hunches and conundrums to Hilary, the owner of a boutique creative agency in Los Angeles, and Amy, a copy writer.
“We recognize that each challenge is different and quality thinking doesn’t come in one size.”
Steering clear of prescriptions or templates, the hosts approach each 30-minute conversation with the benefit of a couple decades of experience helping brands express themselves with originality and authenticity. As entrepreneurs themselves, the pair shares honest and practical advice as to how a brand can best support a business.
This lively show features one business owner or team with a specific question. The hosts’ mission is to unpack the situation quickly and deliver real-time insight, feedback and recommendations designed to help move the needle, while also guiding listeners to better leverage their own brands for better business outcomes.
Audiences benefit from hearing about how real businesses of all sizes in different industries avoid pitfalls, navigate challenges and make informed decisions.
Work Session with Leo Knight, Neighborhood Nerds
Everyone needs a nerd, yet no one is (really) looking for one. How should this tech founder enroll consumers in a membership model when they’re used to paying for support only when something breaks?
Leo Knight calls Amy and Hilary (bourbon in hand) with a situation that needs to be addressed prior to moving into his vision of franchising. Leo thinks Neighborhood Nerds would be so much more successful if only customers would break up with the break/fix model of tech support and move to a membership model; he figures the problem must be about ‘education’. But is that the only issue?
The Brandsmiths get busy giving feedback about what it means to create a new category, how to ‘date’ a business before settling down, why Neighborhood Nerds may be harnessing the wrong message, and why what an owner wants and what customers perceive that they need are often two different things.
Work session with Jay Sweet, Newport Festivals Foundation
Amy and Hilary go behind the scenes at the Newport Folk Foundation - and talk the future of the festivals. Executive Director Jay Sweet shares the bigger vision for the iconic Newport Folk and Newport Jazz festivals. These three day music gatherings are anything but average - they sell out in 8 minutes, attract the best, most celebrated names in independent country, folk, jazz and independent music and bring a history of integrity and loyalty - pretty much unlike any other festival on earth. With so few independent music festivals left, Jay is one of the last leaders standing in a field of mega-music monoliths.
Work session with Jenette Goldstein + Aaron Noble, Jenette Bras
Warning: mature content. Hilary and Amy talk to the hugely successful owners of Jenette Bras, a five-location, by-appointment-only bra shop in Los Angeles, known for their exceptional service and fit. This husband and wife team are introducing a line of 'night' wear and kink – a more provocative collection of under-wear. They've come to The Brandsmiths to stress test the new brand's name and the messaging to go with it, so that it can live in the same family as Jenette Bras.
Work session with Keith Grayhorse, Grayhorse Framing
Amy and Hilary take the mystery out of brand for master framer Keith Grayhorse. The Los Angeles craftsman calls in to ask a reasonable question, one that resonates with anyone who is mystified by the idea of branding or wonders if it is worth the effort. The Brandsmiths took the opportunity to talk through what branding really is (not what you may think) and how Keith’s digital marketing outlets – his website and Instagram – could be better used to showcase his brand. On this show: social media strategy, branding explanation and application. Got a question yourself? Hit us up at email@example.com - you could be a guest!
Work session with Deming Maclise, Caffe Vita
Amy and Hilary work session with Seattle coffee guru Deming Maclise.
How can Caffe Vita evolve... without alienating the OG’s?
Seattle’s favorite restaurateur phones in from the road where he’s shuttling between his 8 successful restaurants and handful of independent coffee shops. Caffe Vita (his secret favorite child) has gone through an ownership transition – and not everyone was in the mood for change. This is a great example of a business with a strong brand DNA (and loyal following), who could be leveraging it in an even more strategic way. Local hero (and Soundgarten’s favorite barista in the 90’s), Deming embodies the wisdom of a humble – but highly strategic – leader. On this show: Brand DNA, brand essence, positioning, culture as brand, ownership transition.
Work session with The Glasers, Communication Gurus
Amy and Hilary talk to Susan Glaser PhD and Peter Glaser PhD, renowned communications experts.
Now that they can’t blow minds with live audiences, how do they maintain rockstar status...through a screen?
The Glasers founded their communication consulting business a few decades ago, and have never had to market themselves to attract clients like Microsoft or the governments of the U.S., Scotland and New Zealand (how nice.) But now, with auditoriums, stadiums and many workplace venues off limits, they have to rethink how to land new clients virtually and help teams build trust through conflict (they really do that.). On this show: Copy writing, process, (re)positioning.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thoughtful and interesting
The podcast gave me a lot to think about. Hilary and Amy were able to translate common business problems and distill key insights. I can’t wait to hear more.
Amazing podcast - free advice!
My family loves this podcast. The hosts are great and have a great chemistry. Learning about the different companies and their branding challenges is fascinating and makes us look at the advertising and marketing all around us in a whole new way. Love it!
Solid and succinct analysis with great banter
Amy and Hilary are astute in the analysis of brand, delivering sound and relevant advice to some amazingly successful people in business. It’s clear that their many years of Agency experience provide them with the tools to dissect the challenges and offer up actionable solutions. And they are really funny...love the first few minutes of banter. It’s like listening to sisters laughing about the news of the week. Keep it up!