Wendy's Carl Loredo on Growing the “Challenger Brand with a Charm”

The CMO Shares the Brand's Recipe for Success, Beyond Breakfast and Really Good French Fries

Leaders from Glossier, Shopify, Mastercard and more will take the stage at Brandweek to share what strategies set them apart and how they incorporate the most valued emerging trends. Register to join us this September 23–26 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Carl Loredo always had aspirations, not expectations, of becoming CMO when he joined Wendy’s six years ago, having previously been in the chief marketing seat for lighting and ceiling fan brand Craftmade. Throughout his career, he’s taken pride in building up the underdog – often taking challenges head-on and focusing on problem-solving to drive value.

“There’s nowhere to go at the top but down” says Loredo.

And while the brand is well-known for its clap-backs on social media, there’s a lot of listening happening behind the scenes to drive true consumer engagement. Like when a tweet from Chance the Rapper about spicy chicken nuggets went viral. Wendy’s took note, listened to their audience, and soon enough, the cult-favorite menu item was revived. 

So what does a brand have to do to be like Wendy’s? Well, according to Loredo, “please don’t try to do what Wendy’s does.” He goes on to note how brands need to figure out who they are and find the space that makes sense for them. 

In addition to leaning into its core values, Loredo claims the brand’s other key ingredient is built on trust and cross-collaboration to bring people along. Listen to get Loredo’s candid advice for aspiring CMOs and why problem-solving goes hand-in-hand with marketing today.