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160: KoAnn Skrzyniarz, “Be Bold, Not Perfect”

KoAnn Skrzyniarz, CEO and Founder of Sustainable Brands

This week on the “Marketing Today” podcast, Alan talks with KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands Worldwide. Skrzyniarz has worked as the founder and president of Organizations That Work, and in the roles of senior vice president, vice president, and group director at Miller Freeman Inc.

Skrzyniarz discusses Sustainable Brands Worldwide’s publishing platform’s impressive growth, the goals and aims for Sustainable Brands, all the offerings they provide including education, research, content, and events, and the opportunities and threats to current marketers. Also, get a deeper understanding of Sustainable Brands’ peer-to-peer corporate member learning group that is made up of about 80 global companies at the commit stage to finding sustainable solutions. The organization’s corporate members include National Geographic, Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Target, CVS Health, 3M, BASF, Cisco, UPS, Dow, and ALDO among others.

Skrzyniarz shares a few of the stats released to Sustainable Brands’ efforts: “Today we have about 2 million readers every year that are reading our digital publishing material,” Skrzyniarz says. we have about 35% of our audience that is coming out of brand strategy, marketing, and communications.” Skrzyniarz goes on to explain, “We decided early on that we would have the most leverage if we really targeted trying to drive system shift primarily in consumer-branded companies.”

Tune in next week for Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, and Virginie Helias, chief sustainability officer at Procter & Gamble. Pritchard and Helias discuss new announcements at Sustainable Brands Summit and new initiatives the company is undertaking around sustainability.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • KoAnn Skrzyniarz discusses herself and how she got her start in her (01:13)
  • What was KoAnn’s mission with Sustainable Brands? (04:50)
  • What is the “theory of change” model that Sustainable Brands has? (06:23)
  • What has been the impact of their publishing platform and conferences? (08:19)
  • How has their membership evolved? (10:29)
  • What are the goals of their events and who are intending? (14:18)
  • What does she feel are the great opportunities for brands in sustainability? (16:02)
  • What has KoAnn learned about revenue growth and talent decline? (17:17)
  • How has the feedback loop been broken by brands? (19:24)
  • Are there any companies, brands, or organizations that KoAnn believes marketers should pay attention to? (21:18)
  • What advice would KoAnn give to new CMOs? (24:39)
  • Has there been an experience in KoAnn’s past that made her who she is today? (28:52)
  • What advice would she give to her younger self? (30:44)
  • What drives KoAnn these days? (31:55)

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