B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1673 · 4 months ago

Personality: The Superpower in Business, with Melissa Rosenthal

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji talks to Melissa Rosenthal, Chief Creative Officer at ClickUp

Melissa provides a breakdown of the importance of humanizing your brand and getting crystal clear on the personality of your company.

Conversations from the front lines and marketing. This is be to be growth. Welcome in to be to be growth. I'm your host, Benjie Block. Today I am joined by Melissa Rosenthal. She is the chief creative officer at Click up. Were thrilled to have her here. Melissa, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for having you. Then, Gee, excited to be here. Yes, so I got to say right up top, congratulations. Click up was on Forbes list of America's best start up employers. I think that came out yesterday, so congratulations there. Thank you. Yeah, it's awesome. Just kind of a testament to to our culture and what we've been able to grow over the past year. So yeah, pretty exciting for us. So you have quite the resume. A summer going to be familiar, but I'll list probably two key points, split time between B Toc and be to be. Two notable stops would be where you are now, click up, and then buzzfeed is on the list as well. Give me one thing about your current role, Melissa, that is maybe most exciting to you right now. It's been exciting from day one. I would say the most exciting thing when I started was the fact that I felt that the grass was so green for be to be and being able to bring like brand and personality to that. And the most exciting thing about my role right now is just the team that we have in place, the way that we've been able to kind of grow that flex our muscles and where we are right now and what's ahead of us in the future. So because of that too, obviously comes with like unique challenges and things like problem solving, which as creatives we love that stuff. I know you love that. So what's like one thing that you're actively problem solving, working to try to make better within your your purview right now? Yeah, I mean I'd say like we're always optimize and kind of everything we do across the board and you know, part of our roles is building the beast. You know, both performance ads and also brand ads, and performance changes based on the platform and the day and kind of what they want. A favor brand is a little bit easier because once you've kind of nailed that, you can build upon it, but performance is really this you know, constant machine of testing and learning. So really being able to scale that to be best in class, still being able to stand out and, you know, building that kind of repeatable growth machine is is definitely something that we're working towards like that always interesting to hear and what people are focused on. So here's the deal. So word choice matters. It matters to me as a podcast host, it matters to marketers, it matters to those listening. I know it matters to you and when we were talking before we actually hit record, there was one word that sort of sparked where I wanted to take this conversation. The word was personality, and you said it multiple times. I could tell it matter to you. Let's start with what does Melissa rose and all think when the word personality, specifically in the context of...

B Tob Brands, comes up? Yeah, I mean I think it's it's really kind of that that ecosystem of how the brand exists. And and what do I mean by that? I kind of mean every single touch point that you could ever have or engage with when it comes to a product or a brand. So that goes from, you know, an in in product in APP experience to a billboard you'll see, to a design on our site, to our social voice. It's kind of every single touch point that that you might have really needs to kind of encompass the same unified personality, and I'll say personality because that's the way that I feel it. It should kind of be, it should feel like a personality, but it's so much more than just, like you know, when you think personality, you think about like well, it's more that interaction that like, you know, wonder one and and it's a lot more than that. So I think it's yeah, it's definitely been something that I've thought about here since day one. How do we build that? What does it mean? What does that mean across the company? How do you get people aligned on that? And then how do you make sure that it's unified so that every touch point, that person, that customer, that user has, feels that way? Think specifically on the be tob side, even the word like brand were behind. So when you start bringing the word like personality and it's like even a further step in thinking, in process. So I want to do this real quick. Let's run a little bit of like a side side compared contrast when it comes like personality versus brand. What are the differences there the nuances and thinking? Yeah, I mean I would say brand is kind of that high, highest level, like you know, overarching view of the company and way that you convey yourself and market and personality is more distilled down to every single touch point. So it's a sum of all of its parts. I mean brand is to but her the personality kind of is much more nuanced than I would say and much more grindular when you're talking about the daytoday and the choice that you're making. And then also, I think what the other word that would come to mind, that I would want to throw in here would be tone, like what's the niche that the personality of the brand really satisfieses? That makes sense, like what is the personality verse the tone? Yeah, I mean I think the personality aligns with the tone right, and I think there's few things kind of go hand in hand and by establishing and it is kind of a hierarchy, right, like it depends on how you're thinking about brand, which affects how you're going to think about personality, which is how you think about tone. So, if you want to think about it kind of in that linear fashion, it certainly they they certainly like touch each other pretty closely. They're just at different levels of that engagement and that kind of like, you know, user touch point life cycle, I would say. And from your vantage point, you're coming in and personality was the word that like really kind of sparked...

...something in you. You would say yeah, because I think it's easy to talk about brand and it's easy to talk about, you know tone, but like personality is such this this way of thinking about humanizing it, and I think people start to take it seriously. Your question it, which is great, when you start to say a word like personality, just to your point, like it's not really a common, you know descriptor, I would say, mentioned in Beta be so when you start talking about that, people are it's often confusing. It's like well, what, how do you apply a personality to a product? And I you know, that's what we all should start thinking about, because when you when you're into such a hyper competitive space and you need to figure out what your differentiators are outside of product and features, you have to start thinking at that brand level and then distilling that down to the the things that you can actually have a huge impact with, and I think that notion of a personality really is one of those big things, one of those key factors for sure. Okay, so let's go here. Let's go personal for a second. As a chief creative officer, what part do you play in ensuring that that personality is surfacing in in the right ways? Like how does it inform the things that you're pushing people to create and in the vision you're giving? Yeah, I mean, I think it's it's sometimes it's easy to get caught up in like the day to day of what you have to produce, and you have to do so. Whenever I'm working with my team on whether it's like a design asset or it's a piece of social copy, I always have that gut check of like is this Aligne to you kind of the personality of the of the brand of our of our tone of our company, and making sure that we're kind of double checking on that. Ever, every time, because it is it becomes like, you know, it's so easy to just not do that and all of a sudden, like its kind of sound like every other company out there. So I would say there's a huge impact there. And then, you know, creating things that feel so unique and differentiated in terms of that like that hyper like we're fun, we have a sense of humor, we're not too selfaware, we help you. So we empower right, and you know, that's sort of the the like the personality we like to give. It's a humanization of the products. He's basically your productivity best friend who's cool and witty and smart and funny and selfaware. And I like to take all of those, those kind of descriptors and and try to think about every single thing that we create, like whether it's a static asset or emotion graphic. If and you know, one good example of that is we we were thinking about, you know, as we just kind of thinking about our personality and and our motion graphics language. I was working with the motion team on on kind of like can we create languages in motion graphics that are like nuanced to the personality that we that we are right, that we stand for something that is very uniquely up and the team came up with this kind of liquefied radiant motion wipe the end of our ads. Every ad will have that. We loved it, like this is this is super creative and we circulated across the company in the product team loved it so much that they were like, well, this is really great. We should incorporate break this into the loading mechanism where everyone interacts with this...

...when they're loading, and you know, that's sort of the way that I think like a like click up is just great because the visibility allows us to do that. So the notion of having a personality from the brand level easily can kind of manifest itself in ways that you see it in the product and in other parts of the company. So there's there's a definitely like a benefit of like you know, we're not working in silos, working very closely across the entire organization. So something like that can happen and it should happen like that should inspire product, that should inspire tone, that should inspire kind of all the other all the other things that we do here. Hey, everybody, Benjie here as a member of the sweet fish team. I wanted to take a second and share something that makes us insanely more efficient. Our team uses lead Iq. For those that are in sales, or you're in sales offs, let me give you context. What once took us four hours to gather contact data now just takes one. That's seventy five percent more efficient. We are so much quicker withoutbound prospecting and organizing our campaigns is so much easier than before. A highly suggest that you check out lead Iq as well. You can find them at lead iqcom. That's L ADIQCOM. All right, let's jump back into the show. That should inspire product that should inspire tone that should inspire kind of all the other all the other things that we do here. Yep, I think of a couple linked and buzz words that naturally just come up in this conversation. One would be humanizing be to be. The other would be emotional marketing, because I think personality ends up playing into both of those. But I think they're cliches for a reason. Right there are things that we're thinking about, their things that we need to be talking about, and so much of the industry is kind of at this place where it's yet to fully adopt those things. Any kind of examples where you see that playing out where you're going? Then we we really do it, and maybe from your experience that click up. You're like, we need to see a shift in the way be to be thinks about humanizing be to be and this idea of emotional marketing. Yeah, I mean listen, like I've been doing emotional marketing for for my whole career, so I've seen the impact of that and it works and in you taking that application and not necessarily copying and pasting it, but understanding like what drives, you know, what drives intent and and what resonates in a world where, like your attention span is probably a couple of seconds, like you're scrolling through your feed, your you know, like something has to kind of catch you and resonate with you enough where you're either going to share it or talk about it or it stays with you. And I think going into it with that perspective, like how do you do that? Well, it's creating, you know, a voice that stands out, it's creating a brand that stands out, it's creating something more than just like a product to use. And then, you know, what that creates is that creates ambassadors who feel like they are championing like something that's real to them. First, just a piece of software, you know, like...

I think the end of the day, it just becomes you're able to, you know, capitalize on a larger market when you're able to do that. So I think it was kind of a bet we took. I mean, I hadn't really seen it much in the space. I mean, of course you know, there's there's good brand design out there and people have very like clear visions of what that looks like. But in terms of personality, I hadn't really like come across any any beab companies where I was like wow, actually, you know, huffpot had done a really great job with their content and also web flows has a great personality and some of their their video content. So you know, there are instances of it, but it was I think it was far from felt. It was far from feeling unified across everything that I had come in contact with with that company, that product. So that was kind of my goal, Min North Star of being able to do that. What's been most helpful for you in creating that, that cohesive personality? It's been most helpful, I think, the the buying from from leadership, you know, across the board that like and and the company that like. You know, everyone is excited to to you know, excited to share out the stuff that is being created, is excited about our brand voice, is excited about this. I think that by and gives us the confidence to want to create more, be able to iterate on that and keep it going. So I think that's been a huge driver of it, seeing the growth and market over the past year and and knowing that we stand out, that you know, this is this is how we come across. We're bright, we're vibrant, we're selfaware. Where we're witty, we will be bold, and I think, you know, allowing that to kind of really shine through and seeing it resonate with our users and community has definitely been like a really nice thing, because there isn't a ton of examples in be tob that were like just really, really crushing it. Where do you start with personality design, like what was some of your first steps to lock in? Okay, we're going to be witty, we're going to go down the humor out, we're going to have bright colors. Yeah, I mean like when I started, you know, it was still a company of like seventy people, so they had had certainly thought about you know, Zeb Zeb coming in with a CEO like that is really kind of a blessing because all of a sudden you have a CEO who is, you know, young, who gets it, who is wearing very vibrant shirts, who is very, you know, has his own really strong personality, and you're able to then capitalize off of his brand a bit and you know, also the company that he's built looks different than everyone every other company. It's part of the reason I joined right like I didn't join a Betab company that where the the coloring and the design esthetic was dark blue and gray and you out like prison. Yeah, like there was a reason why I felt like this could work. So I think coming in and seeing the copy that had been written in some of the really clever tactics that that had already worked, I was like, well, this is great, this is a fantastic jumping off point. You know, I had...

...a little bit of a runway, given like everything that had been done before, and it was just like that perfect runway, perfect amount of runway. I would say to then say, all right, this is great. You know there there's already buy in here. It echoes the you know, the feel and vibe of our CEO and our company as a whole, and you know, there's a lot to build off of if you're teaching personality to a new employee that's coming in. What are you just summing it up in the words that you've said here? Are there some specific things that you're going we want to make sure people understand this or is it just is it more cought than taught at this point? Yeah, it's more COT and taught. I think there's so much now, like you know, across everything that we're doing that you get the feeling of who we are. It's also at throughout the culture, like very much. So like I feel like our our mission, you know, our mission and our vision and our core values certainly echo the personality of the company a lot. So when you have that tied back to the feel, the tone, the brand, it all feels very unified. There's not it's not very it's not out of place. You kind of feel it from day one. Went that you step in the door and the more that you you know, are on boarded and you interact with the product and the brand and you know it comes across very clearly. So right now, because you guys are in a great place around personality, do you see you know, people will say vision drifts. People will talk about as you you know, company expands, there's so much opportunity for something to leak and it just kind of fade. I wonder how you think about that as you guys are scaling. Is that something that's on your radar. Are you just feel like, like how do you keep that forward momentum? Yeah, I mean that's a great question. I think like, first of all, you constantly need to be experimenting and iterating and like trying new things, and we do that every day. HMM. And some will be seen and some won't be seen, and I think that's the beauty of it. Like there's a lot behind the scenes that no one sees and and you know, people imagine that like wow, how did they just do that? And it's like well, we tried a lot of different things. But yeah, I mean, of course there's always like the conversation. It's like, as you go up market, as you go enterprise, do you have to become serious? Do you have to lose that? You have to drop it? Please don't become serious. The answer is the answers. No, like, I mean, you know, there are certain things that we tried, I would say day one when I came in, that were briskier, you know, a little bit more on the air of like I was trying to figure out what that personality was and maybe that wasn't it. So things I wouldn't do back then that I you know, that things I did back that I wouldn't do today in terms of our marketing and our personality and our voice, but that was more in the process of establishing it and I think like going up market, you know, you can like I even look at like sales force, right. I mean I would say, like, if you want to point to anything and say, like, you know, Benny off, obviously no one's going to say that that guy hasn't nailed business and enterprise and been able to move up market with his set of woodland creatures. So you know, if you want to talk about like someone that has a person that you know brand that has personality, who's established like a set of stuff, you know, living basically stuffed animals that come to the office and also our front and center and...

...every advertisement they have, I said, I would say that's a pretty good example of a two hundred billion dollar, you know, market cap company that is done personality and brand pretty well. Yeah, definitely the top. You're seeing so much personality from be to be. That's what is so interesting in the space is the discrepancy between the ones that are getting it and then, I think, those that are hopefully next to adopt it. That's obviously our biggest thing we want to push people now. Yeah, and it's nice to have like that as a reference point because I think you know any of the detractors, for someone, you know, for someone saying that you can't have that at that level, I would say, well, you know, Look, look at this company. You know they've done it and I think it's ohevery you're always going to have to tractors until you do it or until there's examples to point to. But I think that's always like, you know, the riskier or the the more like, you know, experimental and and forward thinking people in any industry. I mean isn't isn't it the same thing? Isn't there always that kind of that huge set of doubt and like the ability to have something like transcend and industry before it actually happens? So Hmm, okay. So let's say a listeners listening to this. They're like, I want to take a step in the direction of more brand personality. They're in a creative role or their marketing director. What would you say, any advice you would give to someone that's trying to define that personality right now? Yeah, I mean I would say, like if they're coming in and there is something built. It's establishing, like what does that you like from like a design perspective, like when you look at at something, when you interact with it on the site, when you're having that experience as a user, how do you feel? And doing it on that user perspective? And then and then starting to think about can I mold this? Are there things that would make this feel better, make it feel you know, and it can be. It could be like unemotional empowerment, feeling right like you, your software is changing the world and you want to, you know, empower people to do certain things and that is the entire ethos of your company. It's an empowerment. We have that too. I just think we're we take a cheeker kind of play on it a little bit. But yeah, I mean I think it's really just kind of establishing what you have, like the assets that you have, the ground work that's been laid, and then figuring out how can I tweak this? You know, what do I want to add? What elements can I sprinkle in? Like how do you kind of dissect what what already exists in kind of insert certain things into it? It's like a nebulous answer, but it's kind of just like what I did here, which was what do I have to work with? This is my vision for it, and what is the what is the marriage of that? Okay, we're about to wrap up, but I got to ask you this. Do you imagine that all the companies that you would work for would end up being witty and humor? Like those would be driving factors? You mean, like all the companies that I would see? Yeah, like as like the personality. Yeah, if you were to leave and you're like, I'm going to go look for another company, do those become defining factors for Melissa, like I'm picking another witty, funny type of brand, a brand that allows me to do that up solutely? I mean, yeah, there are a couple of...

...companies I would certainly not work for, I'll tell you that. But yeah, absolutely. I mean it allows, you know, it allows and breeds this culture and this creativity within a company. I think when you're able to do that, that makes it really special and I believe in like, you know, culture and community is like, you know, a huge mode around any company. You know, like if you don't have that, at the end of the day, you know, we're working with no code products. At this point anyone can build anything. Something that would have taken years to build people can build in a in a week, you know. So it's when you when you get to that point of kind of parody with with technical expertise and being able to build, like, what do you have left? It's differentiation through brand and through tone and through personality. So yeah, of course I really believe in that. And Yeah, I mean just my own personality. I don't think I could work at a super serious company that had no like, no notion of being selfaware and understanding that people, you know, enjoy laughing and emotion resonates. Yeah, I think it just drives home the point that like, personality also attracts the type of people that you want. Like what a personality you allow your brand to take on is the type of people that you attract to it. And so I think that says it pretty well, both internally and externally. Those are the types of people were attracting. Most of this has been a really fun conversation. Plug Click up. I mean you have to live under a rock probably not to have seen a billboard or a bus at this point, but plug click up real quick, and then where people can connect with you. Yeah, absolutely so. Click up is an all in one productivity solution. Your tasks, your dogs, your goals, all your work in one platform. So allows your entire team and company to have like full visibility to everything everyone's working on and make you more efficient productive in the process. And you can connect with me on Linkedin on twitter. I'm unfortunately still touched the last in the name of my last company because I'm verified so I can't change it, but I'm a molissa on Cheddar on twitter and Melissa Rosenthal on Linkedin. But yeah, feel free to connect. I'm always happy to chat with anyone. Thanks so much for jumping on be to be gross today, Molissa. That's been an honor to have you. Thanks, Benji. Really enjoyed it. Appreciate you.

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