125: Kim Wijkstrom believes brand is key in the strategic growth of a company

Kim Wijkstrom, CMO at OneMain Financial

This week’s episode of “Marketing Today,” finds Alan talking with Kim Wijkstrom, CMO for OneMain Financial. In his role there, Wijkstrom is responsible for development and execution of the company’s brand marketing, and he has overseen OneMain Financial’s first-ever brand campaign: “Lending Done Human.”

During the course of his discussion with Alan, Wijkstrom talks at length about what led him to join OneMain Financial, his belief that the company provides a necessary and responsible service, and the company’s new brand campaign. He also revisits his time at TBWA Chiat Day, where he worked on some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Apple and Absolut Vodka.

Working on Apple set the tone for Wijkstrom’s career. “I don’t think, at the time, I realized how lucky I was to be thrown into that situation,” says Wijkstrom. “It was more trying to absorb as much as possible from the moment and roll with it and make sure that we could deliver on the relationship.” He goes on to add, “It was one of the most fundamental learning episodes of my career in seeing how, again, the storytelling that comes with brand is key to a business strategy. And then determining what the strategy is has everything to do with the brand, and then brand becomes the story that explains it to the consumer.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Wijkstrom discusses the genesis of his career and his time at TBWA Chiat Day. ([1:18])
  • What Wijkstrom learned in his role as “cultural translator.” ([6:49])
  • “If you have a story to tell, it doesn’t matter where you tell it.” ([9:18])
  • “OneMain Financial is the largest consumer financial services company in the U.S. that you’ve never heard about.” ([10:47])
  • Wijkstrom talks about the thinking behind OneMain Financial’s “Lending Done Human” campaign. ([15:42])
  • The fully integrated “Lending Done Human” campaign has already changed perceptions of and established trust in OneMain Financial. ([21:02])
  • His life experiences have made Wijkstrom a cultural omnivore. ([24:01])

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