This is The Growth Fire Podcast where we focus on talking about growing your business. We will be discussing digital marketing, or your culture to help listeners get better every day.
The Metaverse: The Next Hot Trend for Large Brands
Ann Hand is the Chairman and CEO of Super League Gaming, a NASDAQ publicly traded company and global leader in the gaming metaverse on platforms like Roblox and Minecraft. Before joining Super League, Ann was the CEO of Project Frog, a company specializing in wholesale building materials to streamline design and construction processes. Ann has garnered many accolades, including the Forbes 50 Over 50 Award and being named Ad Age Leading Women of 2022, 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs, and the 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs by Fortune magazine.
In this episode… The metaverse is a collaborative, immersive virtual world with the potential to revolutionize how we work, learn, and socialize. People can use this space for entertainment, playing games, shopping, and attending virtual events. Is this the next innovator in big brand marketing?
It’s a common myth that gaming is an unhealthy pastime appealing only to introverted young people. According to seasoned marketing executive Ann Hand, the metaverse shifts the video game landscape through eSports, activities rooted in STEM learning that offer fair, safe, and inclusive environments. Ann elaborates that companies can save money and reach new audiences by promoting their brands through the metaverse, much like advertising during the Super Bowl. Additionally, companies can conduct real-time focus groups using digital products produced in less time instead of navigating excess inventory and complex supply chain operations.
On today’s episode of The Growth Fire Podcast with Kevin Hourigan, Ann Hand, Chairman and CEO of Super League Gaming, discusses how the company innovates large brand marketing. Ann talks about her career progression, how transitioning from global corporations to a small startup groomed her for her current role, and leveraging the metaverse as a marketing tool and focus group.
How Positive Language Shapes Company Culture
Raymond Watt is the Global Chairman of YPO, an American-based global leadership community, and the Chairman at RIMAR Capital, a tech-driven investment firm. He is also the Co-founder and CEO of Omnislash, a platform that helps gamers capture media and stats while playing their favorite games. With 25 years of experience in software development and enterprise systems, Raymond was a three-time CEO for various companies in South Africa. Beyond his leadership duties, Raymond is a voting member of the Television Academy and a member of the Producers Guild of America.
In this episode… Clear communication and language are integral to attracting and retaining talented employees, improving team morale, and boosting productivity. Creating a culture aligned with company values starts with using language strategically.
Your company language is a powerful tool that can shape your organization's culture. Executive leader Raymond Watt affirms that using company-specific vocabulary and creating new words can influence how your employees think, act, and feel. Establishing your company culture on the first day of onboarding is essential for clarifying team expectations. You can accomplish this by creating a behavior code, holding regular meetings to discuss company values, and providing training on using the company language effectively.
In this episode of The Growth Fire Podcast, Marc Reifenrath welcomes Raymond Watt, Global Chairman of YPO, to discuss language's impact on company culture. Raymond shares his inspiration for joining YPO, how the organization impacted his views on company culture and core values, and the responsibilities of an effective CEO.
Credit Unions | More Than Just a Lending Institution
Dana Karzan is the Chief Marketing Officer at VyStar Credit Union, a member-owned cooperative providing financial products and services such as investments, insurance, retirement planning, and financial counseling. At VyStar, Dana leads branding, marketing, advertising, social media, and community engagement. She has 20-plus years of experience in banking and fintech, with rich expertise in marketing, product management, and brand strategy.
Before Vystar, Dana held leadership roles at Facebook, Citibank, Wells Fargo, GE, Lloyds TSB, and US Bank. Her ingenuity in leadership earned her the 2022 OnCon Icon Top 50 Marketer Award, which recognizes top marketers worldwide. In addition to her work in the corporate world, Dana is an active board member at Groundworks JAX and the Jacksonville Symphony.
In this episode… Financial institutions can easily engender fear or anxiety in customers when it comes to service provision. Credit unions offer an alternative solution when it comes to financial services. They strive to make the customer experience as stress-free as possible while supporting local communities in various ways.
Marketing professional Dana Karzan explains that cooperatives like Vystar seek to live up to their mission of improving their members’ lives by providing better financial services and being a force of change in their communities. Beyond opening accounts and lending money, Vystar provides members with educational resources to learn how to save, grow equity, and consolidate debt. Credit unions help people achieve dreams such as buying a home, getting a college education, and taking once-in-a-lifetime vacations while revitalizing neighborhoods through supporting local businesses and serving on organization boards.
In this episode of The Growth Fire Podcast, Kevin Hourigan sits down with Dana Karzan, Chief Marketing Officer at VyStar Credit Union, for a riveting conversation about marketing in the financial space. Dana shares VyStar’s mission and the benefits it provides, how to evoke emotion in marketing, and how to leverage community service to drive business growth.
Driving Top and Bottom Lines Through Effective Leadership
Scott K. Edinger is the Founder of Edinger Consulting, where he helps worldwide Fortune 50 CEOs and executive leaders develop leadership strategies to drive top and bottom-line results. Scott is also a published author, having penned over 100 articles for prominent publications like Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. He’s written three books, including The Growth Leader: Strategies to Drive the Top and Bottom Lines, set to be released in October 2023, and in 2015, he co-authored the best-selling book The Hidden Leader: Discover and Develop Greatness Within Your Company.
In this episode… For many businesses, the ability to sell solutions is the missing link in their sales strategy. In some organizations, companies need competent leadership to train their salespeople effectively. How can executives bridge the gap between sales and strategy?
Entrepreneur and growth leadership expert Scott K. Edinger offers a resolution in his upcoming book The Growth Leader. Senior executives can generate healthy profits by merging strategy, leadership, and sales tactics. Once leaders realize that growth strategy must align across all company levels, a company can reap a viable competitive advantage. Scott also argues that sales and strategy shouldn’t be separate functions. Instead, they should integrate the two into a cohesive whole to achieve their goals.
In this episode of The Growth Fire Podcast with Kevin Hourigan, Scott K. Edinger, Founder of Edinger Consulting, discusses leadership and sales. Scott explains the differences between management and leadership, how leaders can drive results, and how to differentiate the sales experience for customers. Plus, Scott discusses his latest book, The Growth Leader: Strategies to Drive the Top and Bottom Lines.
Strategies for a Successful Company Rebrand
Joel Swanson is the VP of Marketing at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, a Minnesota-based financial cooperative offering full-service personal and business banking products. At Affinity Plus, Joel leads all marketing, public relations, and community initiatives. During his five-year tenure, he and his team have implemented a brand refresh responsible for the credit union’s record growth. Before joining Affinity Plus, Joel offered his leadership talents at UnitedHealth Group, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Bethel University, and Education Minnesota.
In this episode… Differentiation is critical to company success because it helps focus on a market niche. Initiating a brand refresh is necessary when an organization no longer appeals to its target audience. What are essential strategies to concentrate on when rebranding?
Marketing expert Joel Swanson explains the first step is to analyze the problem and target audience you want to serve. Once those areas are determined, establish a clear brand identity and story. Joel offers that customer surveys aid in this process by asking critical questions. Using the data correctly adds authenticity when creating campaigns using digital marketing. Joel advises avoiding the use of stock photos to tell a story. Instead, create bright images using real customers and employees that resonate with your core demographic.
On this episode of The Growth Fire Podcast, Kevin Hourigan welcomes Joel Swanson, VP of Marketing at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, to discuss rebranding strategies. Joel shares how customers benefit from rebranding, why digital marketing is critical to company branding, and how to build and motivate a team.
Creating Extraordinary Leaders and Experiences With YPO
Thayer Smith is the CEO of YPO, a global leadership community connecting elite chief executives and cultivating extraordinary leaders to improve lives and businesses worldwide. Before joining the C-suite at YPO, Thayer led Bayshore Capital as an Operating Partner. Thayer has lent his expertise in complex manufacturing, financial management, strategic planning, and leadership development. He’s also been a YPO member since 2007, serving as the Chapter Forum Officer for the Florida Chapter and Regional Chair for the Southeast US and Caribbean Region. From 2019 to 2023, he served multiple roles for the Global Board of Directors before accepting his position as CEO.
In this episode… A company is only as good as its leaders, who are often tasked with making difficult decisions. Where can executives in power go to sharpen their leadership skills and gain support?
Seasoned business leader Thayer Smith recommends joining YPO, which brings together top-tier company heads to brainstorm challenges. Thayer believes that the essence of YPO is the forum itself, the relationships that members build, and the exposure to new ideas. He also recommends that members attend network and chapter events to reap the most benefit from their YPO membership.
In this episode of The Growth Fire Podcast with Marc Reifenrath, Thayer Smith, CEO of YPO, discusses the benefits of being a YPO member. Thayer explains the value of YPO and its influence on members, how the organization helps leaders navigate change and challenges, and shares memorable YPO experiences.
My Go To Business and Leadership Podcast
Kevin is incredibly knowledgeable and is a great source of insight into a variety of topics including digital performance across verticals. Can’t recommend highly enough!