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386: Take a Calculated Risk and Have Some Fun with Aron North, CMO of Mint Mobile

386: Take a Calculated Risk and Have Some Fun with Aron North, CMO of Mint Mobile

Aron North is a lifelong Lakers fan who has been doing epic things as the Chief Marketing Officer at Mint Mobile since 2019. He joined Mint Mobile in 2016 (during the “pre-Ryan years”) as the SVP of Marketing and Creative, where he spearheaded the initial development of the brand’s marketing department and creative efforts. The early half of Aron’s career was all agency-side, while the second half has been client-side, first with Taco Bell and now with Mint Mobile. Through all of it, he’s learned that marketing is critically important to all businesses, but it is never a one-person show. It’s a team sport made up of the people you work with every day and the relationships and partnerships you build along the way. Aron has leveraged those relationships to launch countless buzz-worthy campaigns and initiatives and drive Mint Mobile to 90,000% revenue growth over the last five years.

In this episode, Alan and Aron discuss the hypotheses Mint was built on, how they were operating and gaining traction in the early years, and the way things changed when they were bought by Ryan Renolds and his partner George Dewy. With big ideas like chunky-style milk and subversive print ads, the marketing team at Mint Mobile has always embraced risk in their efforts to stand out from the crowd. With risk comes inevitable failure, but Arons says if you never fail, then you aren’t trying hard enough. That is why the leadership at Mint has created an environment where people feel comfortable enough to take risks they normally wouldn’t for fear of punishment while maintaining high accountability to ultimately build credibility. Their work is strategically driven, insight-based, and consumer-first, but most of all, it is fun!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The two big ideas that brought Mint 90,000% revenue growth in 5 years
  • Solving the issue of legitimacy: “How can it be any good if it’s this affordable?”
  • The Ryan Renolds effect: melding creativity, commerce, and efficacy

Key Highlights: 

  • [02:00] A lifelong Lakers fan
  • [04:25] Aron’s path to Mint Mobile
  • [07:00] Takeaways from working with marketing giants
  • [11:15] 90,000% revenue growth in 5 years
  • [15:45] Chunky-style milk
  • [27:40] Why Ryan came to Mint
  • [30:00] It’s like two Super Bowls every time he does anything.
  • [31:50] Ryan “hands-on” Renolds
  • [34:45] “The world will love us for bringing Rick back!”
  • [37:00] Flipping the dynamic between clients and agencies
  • [40:10] The insider secret to keeping the engine running fast
  • [42:20] The core values and how they apply to every team member
  • [47:10] Lessons learned in the port-a-potties
  • [49:15] “Have a little more fun.”
  • [50:30] We need to get back to insight-based marketing.
  • [52:00] Who is Gen Alpha?
  • [53:20] AI: Let’s be smart about it.

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