Brands are living, breathing, ever-evolving entitites—thanks to the living, breathing, ever-evolving people that conceptualize, manage and interact with them. At Monigle, we operate with a bias toward creating brands that work hard in the real world—and part of this is sparking emotional connection with consumers. Our Brains Behind the Brands series offers an inside look at the humans who help bring out the humanity of the brands we’re privileged to work with. First up, Monigle strategy consultant Jordyn Greenberg, whose passion for creating brand-driven cultures and defining what it means to “live the brand” informs her work for such clients as Northwell Health, Frontier Airlines, HonorHealth and the just-launched Ballad Health, for which she serves as lead strategist.
What originally sparked your interest in branding?
My interest began early in my college career after watching a video about building personal brands, and subsequently uncovering how brands build loyalty. It showed through a deep-laddering interview process how people understand a brand through subconscious connections and affiliations with products and relationships in their world. It truly caught my interest and got me thinking as to why people choose the brands they do, because at the end of the day brands go beyond just ‘Oh, it tastes good’ or ‘Oh, what a great product.’ Brands connect with people on much deeper levels.
What distinguishes Monigle from other agencies?
Overall, it’s truly the people. A lot of us highlight that when we talk about where we work or what we do. Here, the people make it easy. They’re smart, and they’re people you genuinely want to get to know, and see them after work or on the weekends. When it comes to the actual strategy, everyone pushes themselves and their teams to get the best answer and put ‘client shoes’ on to make sure everything is bulletproof. And with everything we bring to the brand experience table, when we start to show clients how brand can flex and adapt outside of a boardroom or brochure—how it can influence the language we use and how an organization acts—that’s truly where the Monigle magic comes alive.
What’s a common challenge clients face, and how do you help them come up with solutions?
There are two that come to mind. One is consensus-building. It’s about getting people that typically don’t talk about brand every day on your side, and equipping our clients to continue to socialize the work when we’re not in the room. Our clients don’t always think about brand and how it can be applied, so being able to walk out of a presentation with a lot of nodding heads saying, “That makes sense” is a huge win.
The other is bringing whatever we’re working on into context. A logo on its own, or a brand platform on its own, doesn’t go as far as actually seeing it in action. We need to provide real-world examples to show how brand influences every part of an organization and the experience they can create among their employees and communities.
How do you incorporate co-creation into the process of working with clients?
Workshops, sitting down live or via WebEx for a presentation, working through a task, together in real time—these all influence our relationship-building with the clients, and we get to work shoulder-to-shoulder with them to accomplish more.
Most often, I see this happen with naming. With iterations of concepts, we’ll present a small group of options—maybe 50 to 100 names—and see what’s jumping out, understand what gets them excited and what isn’t working. Then we go away and see what else we can brainstorm to hit what our client is expecting, while ensuring key ideas that originally resonated continue to come up as we generate names.
Co-creation signals that we’re all in this together. We’re not just in and out every once in a while for our clients—we’re dedicated to making sure we gain alignment among teams, ensuring everyone knows where we are now, what decisions have been made, and where we’re headed. It boils down to being a valuable partner, an extension of our client’s team at the end of the day.
What’s been on your mind at work lately?
Launching Ballad Health on Feb. 2. It’s been a long time coming; we were actually joking with the client last week that it’s been about three years since we kicked off the engagement. And in reflecting on the lifespan of this project, it has been quite the journey.
The launch was designed to create the same experience across the entire 22-hospital, 200-clinic system, so whether you’re at a flagship hospital or rural hospital, everyone feels like a part of the story of Ballad Health. It’s exciting to see how employees react and engage with the work I’ve been so close to for so long.
It’s been a lot over the last few years. There’s been a lot of file-sharing, document-sending and update-emailing. And now it’s real!
How are people reacting?
A lot of people have been a part of this just as long as I have. I’m eager to share new findings and updates with the entire Monigle team, just knowing it’s been such a long journey. I’ve made it my goal to continue to share the clients’ success with everyone.
In running employee brand trainings, and finally sharing the brand and strategy with those who will live it every day, we continued to talk about how the brand should feel authentic, practical and real for everyone in the room because it came from their stories, and the stories of their communities. The focus of the whole rebrand was constantly on the community and region, and the power of the two combined. It should feel digestible and easy-to-understand, and with their brand knowledge, employees can now go out and advocate for the new Ballad Health.
What outside of work influences your project work?
For me, the idea of Colorado as a brand has inspired my work and what I do here. My adventures on the weekends, whether in the mountains or running around town, inspire me when it comes to my every day. In Arizona, where I’m from, we don’t have a distinct brand, it’s just ‘hot.’ But when you say you’re from Colorado, eyebrows raise. There’s a connection between our creating brands every day and that we’re part of a brand story—of Colorado’s brand.