Brave Commerce Podcast: Investing in Brand Through Tough Times

CMO Heather Malenshek on the importance of listening to drive innovation

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In this episode of Brave Commerce, Heather Malenshek introduces hosts Rachel and Sarah to the full breadth of what Land O’Lakes offers not only to customers, but also to the farmers who make their products possible. She shares that Land O’Lakes is on a mission to promote the critical role that farmers play in putting food on our tables as part of the full complex story that is the Land O’Lakes brand narrative.

When Malenshek transitioned to Land O’Lakes after years at Harley Davidson she learned that these seemingly disparate companies had one key thing in common—customers who are passionate about the brand. This brand passion helped not only Land O’Lakes but the farmers they work with to grow through the pandemic. During that time they leaned into telling the story of being a farmer and retailer-owned cooperative with sustainability at its heart.

In her current role as a CMO in a leading cooperative, Malenshek underscores the importance of listening to her team and customers, continuously learning from them to drive innovation and enhance the brand’s identity. Malenshek points out that even in tough times, it is important to invest in brand and marketing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Consistent brand messaging is vital for developing key retailer relationships and long-term growth.
  • The essence of a company extends beyond a product or a logo—it’s about the story, ethos, and values it represents.
  • Collaborative team efforts are crucial in the process of building and redefining impactful brand narratives.