“5 Things You Need To Do Build A Trusted And Beloved Brand”, with Fredda Hurwitz of RedPeg
Empower your team and give them a voice to be your best brand ambassadors. When RedPeg rebranded a little over a year ago, we overhauled our website to feature every person who works for the agency, not just the senior team. At the same time, we launched Women of RedPeg, our Mentorship Program, a PR strategy that actively tries to find opportunities for as many people as possible across the agency to comment or contribute to an article and our most recent initiative, RedPeg People of Color. We’re incredibly fortunate that the agency believes in the team as much as it believes in the work we do and the clients for whom we work. Ultimately, we are the best brand builders out there and if we feel supported, encouraged and invested in, our agency will flourish, and shine and we’ll attract more great talent to help keep that momentum going and growing.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Fredda Hurwitz, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer at RedPeg. Originally from Boston, MA, Fredda left her studies at the University of California Berkeley for an eight-year stint in Paris, starting with the then named International Herald Tribune and Associated Press before moving back to the states as the Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, RedPeg in Alexandria, VA. Fredda has worked on a diverse group of brands throughout her career including American Express, Bacardi, Barclays, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Eurostar, FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, MINI, the NBA, Nestle, Yahoo! amongst others, and has had the privilege of working on large-scale international programs, brand experiences and integrated marketing campaigns from World Cups to music tours to fashion weeks to the Olympics and everything in between and beyond.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
At the tender age of 23, when I was doing everything I thought I wanted to be doing (i.e. working as an up and coming foreign correspondent in Paris for the then bureau chief of AP), he crushed my dreams and my world in one sentence: “You’re a great writer, you’ll just never be a great journalist.” Ouch. I’ll let you fill in your own expletives and times that to the power of a zillion to understand how I was feeling. Without necessarily knowing what the effect of his words would be, he ended up permanently altering my future. Rather unsurprisingly, fear and anger are great motivators to find a job and my determination to prove him wrong became the stepping stone to my first big job at the Paris-based European HQ for Disney where my professional career truly began.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if it’s funny, but it’s connected to my first job at Disney and it tickled me pink at the time. I kept calling this number I was given but the secretary refused to put me through. Eventually my youthful exuberance, tenacity and just plain “I won’t take no for an answer” approach wore her down and the gentleman I was hoping to speak with took the call. I explained who I was, that we had a common friend back in Boston (where I grew up) and that I was hoping to get some advice from him so that I could continue to live and work in Paris. He very matter-of-factly told me that he wasn’t who I was after, it was his brother I meant to call. Again, youthful bravado had me saying, “well then who are you?” He rather calmly told me that he was the President of Disney Consumer Products EMEA. He then said, “who are you young lady?” Suffice it to say, I felt like a total idiot. Bless him though, he told me he liked my chutzpah and set up an interview for me the following day. But that’s another story for another article…
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I believe there are a number of things that make RedPeg stand out. In no particular order, a few include:
The endless supply of optimism, determination, and “can-do” attitude for ourselves and our client partners that our founder possesses and infuses into the rest of us — the likes of which I’ve rarely encountered;
An extremely strong ethos around diversity, inclusion, and relevant support — our culture is off the charts and was one of the many reasons I decided to join the team;
The ability to get things done without having to consider layer after layer of stakeholders’ points of view — if an idea or approach feels like it has legs, there is nothing holding the team back from giving it a shot. Being independent certainly has its advantages. An example of this point in particular.
Before joining RedPeg full time 1.5 years ago (I was previously living and working in London and consulting at this point), I was asked to assess the agency as a brand: what was working, what wasn’t, what was our competition saying/doing etc. At the end of this project, I shared my findings along with a vision that demonstrated where and how RedPeg could evolve. After joining full time nearly six months later, the work I had undertaken as a consultant was approved and I set out to turbo charge our brand into what it is today. Although not an objective, we won a Platinum MarCom Award for best brand refresh. Why this story? Because for me it encapsulates how we are as a team: if it feels right and there’s rationale as to why we believe our approach should be considered, we have the support and encouragement to try it out.
To read the full interview, head over to Authority Magazine.