“Brand is a gut feeling.”
— Marty Neumeier
Author and Director of transformation, Liquid Agency
I spent 20 years in NYC working in an arena where strategy was an assumed component of a successful brand. It is called branding, after all. It isn’t marketing. It isn’t advertising. It is not about the what you are providing. It is about the why. Brand strategy is the story that identifies who you are, what you do, and why it matters. I do branding because I believe that finding the truth in your business will set you apart, shape the character of your company, and provide insight that will lead to an impactful and positive perception or “gut feeling.” As Marty Neumeier points out so brilliantly, “your brand is not what you say it is. It is what they say it is.”
“Your brand position distills, focuses, and bottles the essence of who and what you can be on your very best day.”
— Austin McGhie
Author and President Strategy, Sterling Brands
Brand is not design. Design is the critical aspect of a brand that connects with the senses, sparks an emotion, and helps to communicate and differentiate, but it is not the foundation of the architecture. Design needs focus and that focus is found in a brand position. Who are you? Where are you? Who are you talking to? What makes you different? What makes you better?
See Jane will help you answer all of these questions and very literally define your positioning. I will also provide a strategic communication platform and brand voice that will ensure brand continuity. It is your story that will help your brand come alive.
Areas of Expertise
Brand Development – Naming Development – Marketing Leadership – Project Management – Advertising – Social Media – Client Relations – Print and Packaging Production – Creative Management – Budget Management – Event Planning
Clients I have worked with in brand implementation and strategy include:
Kraft, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, Nabisco, Nestle, M&M Mars, Stonyfield Farms, Trey McIntyre Project, Boise State University, Simplot, JUMP, Boise State Radio, Conservation Voters for Idaho, Pluto, Blueback Accounting, Hip Shot Productions, Lee Pesky Learning Center, Non-profit Center of Idaho, Michell + Palmer, Red Sky Strategic Communications, Goodwin Design Group, Idaho Public Television, Idaho Meth Project, Idaho Kombucha, Grove Hotel, Shore Lodge, Business Psychology Associates, OBG Associates, Walter Knox Memorial Hospital, Don’t Miss A Beat, Inwork Inc, Move(NYC)
the early years
1987 - 1989
I moved from Idaho to NYC in 1988 to work for A&M records. You see, music was my life and I wanted to make it my career. The career lasted for about a year and a half when I came to the realization that the music industry was not that glamorous.
With a communications degree from BSU, I decided to take a direction that would provide a creative outlet, and I landed at a brand packaging firm where I was hired as the receptionist because they liked my smile and my lack of a New York accent. I moved quickly into the studio as production manager and that is where my career in branding and packaging started.
the nyc years
1988 - 2007
It was the mid 90s and computers were taking over the industry. I worked on the first Mac and learned along with the rest of the world what would become a way of life. Landor Associates is where my world took a turn. It seemed I was more interested in understanding why people like a particular design than producing the design, and, thus, my eyes were opened to “branding.” It was at Landor that I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Communication Design while maintaining my position with the company. I would study more about why people like what they like and exactly what sparks emotion in consumer branding.
After leaving Landor, I joined Marc Gobé at Desgrippes Gobé where I learned Marc’s branding methodology called “emotional branding.” I also carried my production director title with me and continued to build on that expertise as well as retail marketing strategies. Ultimately, I landed at Sterling Brands where my passion with packaging, brand strategy, and account services collided. I started working with Kraft Foods on a very intensive production driven process and became the account manager responsible for design implementation. Sterling provided brilliant leadership in Simon Williams and Debbie Millman. To this day, Debbie is a good friend and continues to be an inspiration. The years following my tenure at Sterling provided further understanding of brand — brand as a gut feeling —brand as the foundation for my work with all other disciplines including marketing, advertising, and public relations.
the back home to idaho years
2007 - present
In 2006 after 20 years living in NYC I made a decision that would change my life forever. I had a baby. Her name is Declan. I thought long and hard about how to raise this human, and in combination with other variables, all arrows pointed West. I arrived in Boise in September of 2007 armed with a pretty tight resume that included design, production, marketing and my ever-expanding passion for brand. I secured employment at Oliver Russell. I wore a lot of hats and learned a lot about direct marketing and local advertising. Russ Stoddard (the Russell of Oliver Russell) asked me to help him run the branding division of the company. I would find the position would mean a role as marketing director, account manager, art director, brand strategist, and event coordinator. Most importantly, I continued building a large network of friends, colleagues, and vendors. It was that network that brought me to Trey McIntyre Project.
It has been my experience with TMP where I have felt most successful in combining all areas of expertise. As a non-profit organization, it was critical to combine skills and utilize experience in order to maximize efficiencies in time and money. It was also in the non-profit arena that I was able to experience the monetary value in building a strong brand.
In March 2014, Trey decided to disband the company, so my time with TMP came to an end. The only answer to a follow-up was to start my own consulting business. That business is called See Jane. I focus on brand strategy and marketing services for non-profits and independent businesses. My passion for brand will live on in every client with whom I collaborate.