Hands On Podcast: When a Marketer is Your 1st Employee + How to Structure Creativity

by Bryan Offutt


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When a marketer is your 1st employee + How to structure creativity

Hanna McPhee was the first employee at Fellow Products, a design-driven coffee brand. She built the entire brand from the ground up, with a special focus on developing beautiful products that are also extremely functional. In this episode of Hands On, Hanna shares some insights to understand and master the middle ground between brand and product design, as well as the incubation process of creativity, the three levels of emotional design and the value of the things learned almost through osmosis in certain work environments. Join us and learn from this mastermind marketer behind the Fellow Products brand.

Listen to Hands On on Spotify. Also available on Apple Podcast & Simplecast.

Jump straight into:

(04:02) - Hanna’s childhood hero and words (not) to live by. “A lot of marketers fall into saying ‘you're about to buy the most perfect and amazing product that is the answer to your dreams’. And it most often isn’t.”

(06:37) - Growing within: The experience of being the first employee as a marketer. “If anybody is thinking about becoming a first employee, I wouldn't underestimate how emotionally attached you get to the company growing up with it.”

(08:26) - From Kickstarter to kitchen: A quick overview of Fellow Products. “What we're really known for is modern, beautiful products that are also extremely functional. It's going to look great on your countertop and it's going to make your morning easier.”

(10:56) - Creating a holistic user experience: The difference between brand design and product design. “Where I start with any brand is to find who really cares about what you're trying to do, and how do we get them to learn and care about you enough to tell all of their amazing friends.”

(17:43) - A marketer’s intuition: Creative influence and knowing your buyers beyond data. “I think the number one thing in this creative process and pulling inspiration is you can't force these things. It's an incubation process.”

(23:19) - Visceral, behavioral, and reflective design: Psychological insights that have impacted Hanna’s decision-making. “Don Norman's theory is that if you overlap all three of these key emotional elements, that is when you will truly have a consumer for life.”

(29:46) - Solving the puzzle: Creating a cohesive experience across product and marketing. “Giving the engineers and the product designers a voice in the room at kickoff for every key step of a project in marketing is how I've tried to really encourage that cross-pollination.”

(35:16) - Oddly amusing: Easter Eggs, Crazy Points, Brands as People and how Hanna has approached these concepts inside Fellow Products. “We have a hidden video game in the base of our electric kettle, it's like a riff off of Snake. It's called Wormy. We have a Wormy World Championship every year.”

Published — June 9, 2022