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The author of What Would Virginia Woolf Do continues her mission to age without apology

It’s funny — OK, not so funny, but interesting — how so many frustrating experiences inspire people to embark on a whole new path or start a business. In Nina Lorez Collins’ case, her 2015 experience of failing to find helpful information about perimenopause was a big part of what led her to start The Woolfer, the thriving community for women over 40.

Now 51, Lorez Collins — a former book agent who lives in New York — not only owns her midlife experience, but she empowers other women to live their best lives, flaws and all. …


The New York writer and fashion icon shares a very real slice of life as a newlywed during the COVID-19 pandemic

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“How does one be happy, hurting, growing, and healing simultaneously?”

Good question, right? These are the jumbles that Lesley Ware, now 42, started working through when she turned 40. At the time, the author and educator was going through what she describes as a “major life transition”. …


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The first day of my twins’ kindergarten was kind of a shitshow. This is what remote learning looks like for a special needs child and another in a dual language program.

Not going to sugar-coat it — the first day of my twins’ kindergarten was kind of a shitshow. (BTW, I took the above smiley photo of my husband and our kids an hour before school started.) On Monday, August 24, Zoom conked out just as millions of other kids tried to log on for remote learning during the Coronavirus pandemic.

My daughters’ teachers pivoted to Google Meet — but not everyone got the memo. I watched as my daughter Lydia’s teacher, Mr. Perez, took virtual roll call, his mouth slightly obscured through a shiny plastic shield. Attendance took like 45 minutes, in part because only a few of us figured out how to change our screen names from the generic “User x 834” to our kids’ actual names. …


At the very least, your brand messaging framework should include your business value proposition, target audience, and a statement about what differentiates you from the competition.

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photo courtesy of Pixabay

Whether you’re launching a new business, pivoting in a new direction, or doing a brand refresh, sometimes it’s easier to chip away at the quick action items, right? As in, you might want to make one last product tweak or finish up your latest blog post.

At some point, though, in order to scale, it will become critical to get crystal-clear about your brand’s reason for being. Enter the brand messaging framework.

What is a brand messaging framework?

A messaging framework is a structured written representation of your brand’s unique selling points. A successful messaging framework is easy to understand and clearly differentiates your company from the competition. At the very least, your brand messaging framework should include your business value proposition, target audience, and a statement about what differentiates you from the competition. …


Bullshit slayer Dixie Laite talks openly about her love of bodybuilding, collecting femorabilia, and managing the seizures that make her “brain broke”.

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I have a number of favorite people, but Dixie Laite is hands-down at the top of the list. I’ve thought of Dixie, now 58, as a mentor ever since she welcomed me with open arms when I arrived as a fresh-off-the-boat Midwesterner in New York in my early 30s.

We’d originally met through my old magazine, Venus Zine, and at the time, she was a creative force at Nickelodeon. Dixie is a snappy writer who’s written for Martha Stewart, AMC, New York Post, CNN, Sesame Street, BUST, among many others. I invited Dixie to speak about building a personal brand for Etsy and content strategy for solopreneurs at the DIY Business Association Conference that I organized in 2011. …


Brand leaders from Saatchi & Saatchi, Purpose Brand, and more share their favorite examples of memorable brand voices.

This 2018 Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick generated $43 million in media exposure in its first 19 hours.
This 2018 Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick generated $43 million in media exposure in its first 19 hours.
This 2018 Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick generated $43 million in media exposure in its first 19 hours, and more than half of the responses to the ad were positive. (Source: Bloomberg)

To say that people are paying close attention to brand voice right now is an understatement. Some companies, like Nike, have a rich history of nailing their brand voice. For others, now is time for a refresh.

A brand is much more than your logo and tagline. A brand voice is the written and verbal expression of a brand. Brand voice is the general conception of what your brand sounds like.

Here, four brand leaders share their favorite brand voices and what makes them memorable.

Nike’s voice is intuitively human

By Diane Primo, CEO, Purpose Brand


After weathering her fair share of workplace politics, sexism, and racial inequity, Candice Nobles is returning to herself by helping to build businesses she believes in.

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“No one expected me to be Black,” says Candice Nobles, reflecting on the day she arrived for her first day on the job at a San Francisco software company in 2002.

This was the pre-Zoom era — she landed her marketing role through phone interviews while living in Chicago. “It was hilarious,” Candice says. “The HR person was a woman of color, so when I said, ‘Did no one know I was Black?’, she nodded and we just laughed.”

After that experience in a conservative business setting, she moved on to a fast-growing startup, Snapfish, where she shaped the company’s customer acquisition marketing strategy. Candice helped build the online photo prints company into an industry leader and prepare for a successful exit; HP acquired Snapfish for $300 million in 2005. …


A content systems leader talks about how the financial software company manages long-overdue language updates to their suite of products.

Intuit’s content systems team. Illustration by Vivek Saigal.
Intuit’s content systems team. Illustration by Vivek Saigal.
Intuit’s content systems team. Illustration by Vivek Saigal.

“Blacklist” to “blocklist”, “whitelist” to “allowlist”, “grandfathered” to “legacy status”.

These are just a handful of the words that content strategists, diversity and inclusion leaders, product designers, and engineers are challenging in light of recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Jennifer Schmich says changes in our everyday language are long overdue. As Intuit’s senior manager of content systems, she and fellow content leaders are prioritizing updates to product and site language for their suite of products, including Turbotax, Quickbooks, TSheets, ProConnect, and Mint.

With more than 9,000 employees, decisions need to be made efficiently in order to scale content across UX, brand, and other teams. That’s where Intuit’s styleguide comes in — which is not to imply that their styleguide has always been a lean, mean, aligned machine. …


Kirsten Johnson shows what it’s like to run two businesses — as a personal chef and doula — while single parenting and recovering from cancer. “It’s no fucking joke.”

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“Being a cancer patient / self-employed / single mom is no fucking joke.”

You can count on Kirsten Johnson to tell it like it is. You can also count on her to work through major jumbles by taking life one breath at a time. At almost 42, she’s gone through her fair share of challenges, and the pandemic hasn’t exactly helped. As an entrepreneur running two businesses in Royal Oak, Michigan — as a personal chef and as a doula — the bulk of her work was put on hold until recently.


This is how Modern Fertility guides customers through the ups and downs of uncertainty

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Jen Lehr is Modern Fertility’s customer experience team lead.

“My job is to learn about what our customers care about most,” says Jen Lehr, head of customer support and communications for Modern Fertility . The San Francisco-based company has built a foundation on the uncertainty that often comes with fertility, a feeling that has only heightened with the pandemic.

As Lehr explains, many of Modern Fertility’s customers’ fertility-related doctor appointments and procedures have been postponed indefinitely. “It’s not just uncertainty about what will happen if they become pregnant, but also the concern around delays to potentially time-sensitive fertility treatments,” she says. …

About

Amy Cuevas Schroeder

Head of Content, Jumble & Flow + Community Manager for Fable. Bylines in Abstract, Etsy, Minted, Pitchfork. Get my newsletter: jumbleandflow.com/newsletter

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