Dan Kiefer, Patrick Daugherty

Creativity

Patrick Daugherty

Patrick Daugherty is a seasoned marketing and creative veteran. He has more than 20 years of experience leading and developing powerful CPG marketing teams and strategies across a variety of brands and channels. Patrick is the Principal at ​​BrandCraft Collective, a consultancy specializing in branding strategy for small to midsize CPGs.

Dan Kiefer

Dan Kiefer is a creative with deep experience on both the agency and brewery sides. He is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder of Ahead of the Curve Strategy. Previously, Dan was the Vice President of Creative at CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective. He helped create and launch brands including Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water and CAN-O-BLISS IPA Series.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dan Kiefer and Patrick Daugherty explain how they each ended up in consulting roles
  • Which is better: 6-12 month contracts or 2-3 year contracts?
  • Patrick shares how he met and began working with Dan
  • Patrick and Dan describe previous successful marketing campaigns 
  • How do Patrick and Dan collaborate in the larger agency world?
  • Creating a welcoming company culture
  • Using constructive criticism without taking it personally
  • Why data and insights must be paired with guts and intuition

In this episode…

As a creative marketer, it’s easy to get tired of your own ideas. You draw and redraw logos, write and rewrite tag lines. How do you know if your idea is worth pursuing? 

A little bit of data goes a long way. Data and insights are the perfect pairing with your guts and intuition. While data alone wouldn’t be enough for a creative campaign, it can give you insights into human behavior. With that, you can explore endless branding strategy possibilities. Your creative thinking can help you find a new angle to reach people — making a fresh, successful marketing campaign. 

In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Host Sonja Anderson is joined by Dan Kiefer from Ahead of the Curve and Patrick Daugherty from BrandCraft Collective to discuss creative marketing strategies for breweries. They talk about previously successful campaigns, why a welcoming agency culture matters, and how to handle constructive criticism from clients. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by zo agency, a tight-knit team of online and offline marketing pros.

At zo, we serve as the marketing department for small to mid-sized businesses.

We know that marketing and advertising can be demanding and time-consuming — that’s why we make the process so easy-breezy that you don’t have to sacrifice precious time to get the results you need.

To learn more, visit zo.agency or call (541) 633 4725.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:04  

Welcome to It’s Not Just Business Talks With Sonja, where we get down to the real business of How Great Leaders dug through their own trenches and climbed some epic mountains to get where they are today. Now let’s get started with the show

Sonja Anderson  0:21  

I’m here today with Patrick Daugherty seasoned and accomplished marketing and creative veteran with more than 20 years experience leading and developing powerful CPG marketing teams and strategies across a variety of brands and channels. My gosh, that’s a lot of information, good for you. And Dan Kiefer a creative with deep experience on the agency and brewery side. And I was going to introduce what he does, but instead I’m going to have Dan do it because the list is so long. Go ahead.

Dan Kiefer  0:48  

You know what, you nailed it. I have worked at more years than I care to acknowledge. brewery side agency side done a lot of brand and retail and promotion work across the board. Blue Moon Artfully Crafted is probably the biggest dent I’ve made in the advertising world to use the Steve Jobs for is make a dent in the universe. And more recently, I was at CANarchy. I went client side as a crap recollected work there with Patrick, where we we created wild bass and boozy sparkling water. I am now working with Ahead Of The Curve Strategy, a company that I helped co found with my partner Ethan Steenstrup. And that pretty much brings you up to date.

Sonja Anderson  1:32  

And awesome right about the bar though.

Dan Kiefer  1:34  

Yeah. I am a beer. I’m a beverage craft beverage expert, but no, which means I like to drink a lot. Oh, I am a co owner and founder of Beer Station Craft Beer Bar in Kansas City, Missouri. So I like to talk about alcohol I drink alcohol. I like to market alcohol.

Sonja Anderson  1:54  

Fantastic. Well, you’ve got you’ve got kind of like alphabet soup slash alcohol soup after your name because that’s just a long list of a history and experience and not to do Patrick any just um justice on this. Do you? Do you want to tell us a little bit about your background aside from what I what I shared with the with the audience?

Patrick Daugherty  2:14  

Yeah, I mean, you you summarize that there although I think that that was some PR Maven wrote that for me.

Sonja Anderson  2:20  

I feel like it was a little bit crafted so I’d rather hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Patrick Daugherty  2:25  

Very similar to Dan you know, I’ve been in marketing advertising for I’d like to say 20 plus years now instead of the actual number because then it starts to age out even to the extent of owning a bar myself, although mine floundered and while dance thrives so long owner of that bar anymore in Vail

Sonja Anderson  2:52  

in Vail and so um, you know, there’s there’s there’s population issues with things like that. But there’s also if if you’re drinking the profits, Patrick, I don’t know. I don’t know.

Patrick Daugherty  3:05  

That wasn’t it? I think it was. rental cost per square foot was the issue we had.

Sonja Anderson  3:10  

Yeah, well Vail’s a hard, hard, tough crowd. tough place to, actually is to bend a little bit to now.

Patrick Daugherty  3:19  

But uh, look, I think in summary, yeah, again, very similar to Dan spent most of my time on the agency side, across spirits, brands, soft drinks, macro beer and craft brewing, jumped to brand side, similar to Dan at Cannes. archy. Spend about 15 minutes in cannabis, which is a total shit show. I can expound on that if you want. PHIL Yeah. And then, you know, kind of in the middle of the camp, pandemic, had an opportunity to kind of start my own thing. It’s very similar to Dan and Ethan. Mine is called Brand Craft Collective. It’s funny, though, that started off as, you know, kind of a strategic marketing model for small, you know, call it craft brewers and or smaller CPGs. And it’s more orange consulting, freelancing kind of a gig, right?

Sonja Anderson  4:14  

I’m really curious about that, because you both kind of ended up on your feet in that role, right? Where you’re, where you’re coming in as a consultant or a freelancer as Is that Is that true? Right? It’s kind of I you both the we we we met through Deschutes Brewery, but you’ve since you know, launch them and they’re flying and crushing it doing great. So where did you both land now you both working with individuals or organizations are kind of in between or

Patrick Daugherty  4:40  

once you go first, Patrick? All the above. I mean, hunting and consulting and, you know, hunting I think is a lot more of this gig than I knew or was aware. You know, I think Dan can probably attest to that too. And Sonja, you know, owning your own agency as well. But you know, a lot of the networking and then a lot of you know, nothing like what we were doing on the shoots where it was kind of a long term, big project for, I don’t know, eight or 910 months. So nothing, you know, to that as a project for the calendar year like that right now, but more in and out freelancing, like I said,

Sonja Anderson  5:23  

Do you enjoy that? I mean, that, Dan, I want you to have a chance, but that you didn’t you own an agency, Patrick, where you basically are you and I in the same field, right? Where we both had agent you I have an agency, but you had an agency? And you and you did you sell that or close it or leave it or abandon it or,

Patrick Daugherty  5:41  

Owns would not be accurate. I worked at the image while I worked in multiple agencies, but spent 17 years at a big agency, headquartered here in Colorado called the Integer Group. It’s an Omnicom agency. And when Miller and Coors had their joint venture back in Oh, eight, you know, they went from Milwaukee and Denver into Chicago. And so my daughter and I moved to Chicago, and I opened and ran our office for Miller Coors for eight years, downtown Chicago.

Dan Kiefer  6:17  

So you were asking, though, what are you doing now post shoot. So great, great things talk about. So I am full time Ahead of the Curve Strategy. And, you know, you could say it’s freelance, but we basically we come in and consult, and we do two ways we do project work, or we do retainer work. And with the shoots I was doing, it was project work. And so we worked with the shoots, Patrick, who was the one who said, Hey, got an opportunity here, we’d like to bring you in as a creative. So it was a great opportunity, and did that. And then you know, when the time is up, I will say it’s kind of difficult, because you get super invested in the brands, and you kind of feel like we Hey, we we helped co create this great campaign with shoots, and we feel great about the work. And man, I’m invested. But you know, the truth is, time’s up. You know, that was that was project work. And so as you said, they then fly and do well, and they have a great team they’ve assembled. So that’s something that I hadn’t anticipated. You know, I think I prefer the long term retainer model. Right. And I say long term, but we still work in six to 12 months. At a time, right. But, but that’s something that I really wasn’t used to, because I think you get so invested in the work and the brands and the people that it’s hard to not take it personally, even though that was the deal.

Sonja Anderson  7:45  

Yeah. Well, it’s, I mean, I don’t know how old your children are, do you both have

Dan Kiefer  7:51  

Mine’s 15. So I need all the help I can get if you have any words, well, he’s not leaving the nest

Sonja Anderson  7:57  

at 15. You just put them outside at the end of a rope and throw them food every once in a while and try to try to wait until 25 When they grow up. How old are

Patrick Daugherty  8:06  

Be glad If they’re 15, that they’re still, you know, willing to hang out with you or talk to you?

Sonja Anderson  8:12  

Oh, yeah, if Yeah. Well, mine are 20 to 26. And the the the top three are, are, are starting to be, you know, come around as adults and the younger three are still very much in that active space of needing a lot and be feeling very entitled and not really, and I love you kids if you ever hear this,

Dan Kiefer  8:32  

but because your kids are for sure listening

Sonja Anderson  8:37  

Totally listen to this podcast. But here’s the thing. It’s kind of like having a kid though, is what I relate it to. Because I feel the same way with every client that we get involved in, you know, you kind of you really do have to get invested and and input everything into it. And then they treat you like crap. Sorry, not all clients treat us like crap. But they and then they leave. Right and that’s sort of the the arc of being a parent as well. And and so you have to and and you can’t complain, because that’s the deal. You made the baby so I get where

Dan Kiefer  9:06  

you live. Yeah, this is the life we chose. Yeah.

Sonja Anderson  9:09  

And I love

Patrick Daugherty  9:11  

that level of smoke jumping in and out. I’m not really used to and I wouldn’t say that it sort of says what Dan said it’s it’s a little uneasy, you know, when you get vested and you build relationships, and then you know, the wires cut? Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely

Sonja Anderson  9:30  

so but in your perfect world, then you would be in a situation, putting words in your mouth, but tell me if this is true. Were in a sort of long term relationship that’s two to three year contract, maybe with more than one client so you might have to kind of going side by side or you just totally invested in one and then when the wire cut, wires cut, you have to go to Thailand.

Dan Kiefer  9:53  

I would love to say it’s the the ladder with one client but I just think those days are gone. I think agency model, in a lot of ways is just tougher and tougher because people are parsing out the work. You know, they’re specialists are so many pieces of what omni channel marketing means that I think you have to have more than one client. I think you, but yeah, I’m with you. I mean, in a perfect world, I’d like the stability of saying, you know, there might client for a year or two years, but I don’t I don’t see it happening. I really don’t I do see it continuing to be six then six month one year, rehab, and let’s be honest, it’s like contracts in the NFL. It’s not really guaranteed anyway, they can say it’s a year long contract that things change.

Sonja Anderson  10:39  

Right. I love that. You’re an NFL player. Dan, that’s a very close like this right there.

Dan Kiefer  10:44  

I will have some. I’ll have some great mixed metaphors. I’m not the sports guy. I’m more of the Star Wars guy.

Sonja Anderson  10:51  

Oh, I see that. But well, you’ve got the Northern Lights right now. But how did you come to work together? I mean, did you know each other for years is that or what was the

Dan Kiefer  10:59  

I let Patrick go but Patrick was the wise sage just just a couple of years older than me that i But yeah, we worked together for 15 years. I mean, maybe I’m maybe that’s not right, Patrick, but it sure feels like I think that’s close to right. And he headed up the account side. And I was a creative and eventually headed up the creative side. So but why don’t you tell? Tell our love story?

Sonja Anderson  11:25  

Oh, love story.

Patrick Daugherty  11:28  

It was it’s more than 15 years for sure. It’s probably damn close to 20. And I’m guessing but Dan and I first again, we were both at the Integer Group. Dan’s on the creative side. I was always on the account side. And I think we first what I guess what pops in my head here is working on a couple key brands for Coors Brewing Company, Keystone being one of them. And Commerzbank would be in the other one, which we did some fantastic campaigns for both of those brands. I know, Dan brought up Blue Moon, and wild bass and I can’t archy. So Dan, and I worked on both of those as well. But I really started in like probably Oh, one with Keystone and Coors banquet, and then work through the years. Blue Moon, I remember in Oh, I’ll tell you in Oh, 405 probably was three or four. But we’re working on Blue Moon. And it’s right when Blue Moon started off as they had a neon, a name and an orange garnish. Okay, that’s all we had for that brand. And it was really just a regional brand. But it started to really pick up steam. And some clients came to us at the imager side, the agency side and just said, look, we’ve got something here. We don’t know what it is. But we bet we sure ship better start branding it and doing something to be more purposeful around it. And so Dan, and I led an effort on the agency side. And I do remember that the first off site that we did in on the agency side, we came up with a life on filtered. And that was the winning one until Dan and I and it was Dan and I and I think it might have been one other person went and sat down with Keith via who was the head brewmaster and invented Blue Moon. And we just listened to him talk right, which is often what you do from an agency standpoint, just listen to the background and the story and try to pull up nuggets or try to connect threads and listening to keep talking about the idea that concept and brewing Blue Moon. It’s like we were listening to an artist talk about his creation is just Keith used the brew kettle is for his palate instead of Canvas. Right? Sure. So wow, that was the big aha moment. And that’s where Artfully Crafted the campaign that we launched and branded Blue Moon with came from, but the the live a life on filter, which again, I told you was initially our concept, but that ended up a few years later. Dan, tell me if you remember this, and I shot top, top top. Yeah. Also Madison competitor,

Dan Kiefer  14:24  

a Blue Moon. So it’s a direct competitor. Well, I mean, they found it on their own. But it’s it’s ironic because their product is so similar that you just kind of say, well, maybe it’s good. We didn’t come we didn’t go with that. Or, you know, just proof that something I think I don’t know if you guys have had that happen. It’s like it’s creative serendipity. It’s kind of like, either we’re all hacks or come to I’ve heard comedians do that with jokes as well. Sometimes comedians can come up with the same joke, believe it or not,

Sonja Anderson  14:57  

it is a bit weird, and we’ve done that we’ve created the most Gorgeous logo work before where I am so excited. And I mean, I’ve been through the process. So I know that it came from scratch. And then you know, six months later, you’re randomly looking around on online and there’s something that’s so close to it that it’s you know, exactly. It’s either they had took it from us, or the universe conspired to give us the both the same inspiration, I don’t know. But it’s yeah, definitely happens well, so you never actually used no life unfiltered. So they just gone cracked,

Dan Kiefer  15:26  

we use Artfully Crafted for 10 plus years. And I think that’s the thing that I’m always reminded of on that is that as, as, as marketers, we get sick of our ideas much faster than the real world. They don’t see the they don’t they’re not exposed to it, or they’re hyper exposed to so many messages it doesn’t get through. I mean, that is one of the first things that I talk about from Creative Execution is repetition. You got to stick with the plan. You know, you’ve got to Gird your loins when people say, Well, I don’t like that line or somebody new comes in and everybody wants to put their fingerprint on it. You’ve got to stick to the plan. I’m telling you, good things usually happen.

Patrick Daugherty  16:08  

I have to jump in this when he when he said the gird the lions. Yeah. So, you know, we pointed somewhere, just reminded me of something. Okay, I have to tell the story. Tell me. So then you’re gonna know exactly where I’m going with this. But But jump in. So I already know. So I said that we worked on the Keystone business and Keystones this awesome, you know, below premium brand, right that you know, tool for 21 year olds right now looking cheap. But, but so the original tagline that they pummeled media TV with was always smooth, Never better. Right. And that came from FCB in New York, Marty stock and all of his creative strategic team. And that ran for a number of years, I don’t know call it five plus years. And awesome campaign. But then Dan and I were brought in from the manager side and it was kind of a jump ball. Have we got to change this up? We got to reinvigorate this brand. We need some we’re open to new campaigns. Right? Yeah. And so we led an effort and and one of the ideas presented is the one that we went with for a couple years. And it was always smooth. I mean, when you’re not always smooth even when you’re not presenting that idea. When you’re when you’re zeroing in on 21 year old feternity college kids was phenomenal. Right? So whole out of home campaign of always smooth even when you’re not like and I have the one example here that I’m going to give but but Dan Do you remember any of like some of those those one liner out of home or line?

Dan Kiefer  17:53  

Yeah. Ask her when she’s pregnant. Or when she I sorry, asked her when she’s due she’s not pregnant. Always smooth even when you’re not that’s basically think of the worst situation you could be in well, at least you beer smooth

Patrick Daugherty  18:09  

and then it’s the one I’m thinking of So Dan and I we had like our international people from Integer offices in one day and so I was leading a big effort to go through the entire Cougars business. And we got to the Keystone portion and Dan came in and presented the always smooth even when you’re not campaign, and these are people that are drawn to us. So you know, Africa, South Africa and Australia and they’re not

Unknown Speaker  18:40  

21 Some of

Patrick Daugherty  18:41  

some of the creative you know, is nuanced. But he’s standing up and he goes I’m gonna stand up Dan goes out when in the junk

Dan Kiefer  18:55  

even when you’re not no it was caught a call. It was it was something about it was a sports thing with the softball it was like caught it caught a line drive in the junk. And nobody responds. And I’m just kind of like well, maybe they don’t quite get it so of course I start pointing to my crotch I go you know in the junk, the junk like I’m translating to people from Europe. The junk means my genitals. Not not not not the best moment. didn’t help. didn’t crack a smile. Oh, no. I am very sincere and genuine. And I was trying I really wasn’t trying to make it uncomfortable. But that’s just what I do.

Patrick Daugherty  19:35  

Well, and that’s what just popped to mind when you talked about guarding the lions and so that was probably a dozen years ago. Oh my god. I can’t remember.

Dan Kiefer  19:42  

I was a fantastic campaign though. I do remember that.

Sonja Anderson  19:45  

So how’s it how’s that work when you guys collaborate so you in the in the larger agent agency world do you feel like it was like madman where you know, Patrick is out there. Working with the clients and Dan’s in a room upstairs with a cigar like working on the design and Devo.

Dan Kiefer  19:58  

so much, I’m gonna say we always got really got our hands really dirty. It’s the way I work with Ethan as well now, but when I work with Patrick, we just bring different things. But I’m a big believer in breaking down the silos. So I don’t hold the creative precious and say, Go away account service. You know, it starts with them giving us great direction. And he and his people given us a great brief, right, and then we, we spit ball together, and we have a lot of check ins. And, you know, I think it’s a more magical process when everybody’s collaborating. And that’s really how we work. I mean, we sit there, you know, kind of, you know, nose to nose and build the decks together and rehearse together. Certainly, he would always take more of those client meetings, but we were in a lot of those together. And I think that the only thing that I would say is like madman, madman was like, probably being at bars till one and two in the morning, you know, on a Tuesday night before a meeting. I mean, I don’t know how we did it. We were younger, it was fun. I would die now.

Patrick Daugherty  21:04  

I totally agree that it’s it’s much more of a collaborative process. And I think that that is always better than not, and, you know, for the madmen aspect. The only thing bad bad about it is we came from, again, retail shopping from a from a core competencies. So you know, we got dirty a lot, you know, it wasn’t flashy. I mean, we were in Denver, we weren’t in, and then ultimately Chicago, but we were you know, we weren’t Madison Avenue, I would actually like to have a beer on tap in Chicago, I had that put in right away. So, you know, we would have that flowing

Sonja Anderson  21:42  

in, in the office. Yeah, no, no question. When we had our offices before COVID, we had a full I mean, if you’re a client, you walk into our doors, it was like, polite, you know, tea, coffee, water, soda, beer wine cocktail. Like, what do you want? And you know what, I think 99% I’m not even exaggerating at the time. They went for a beer or wine or a cocktail was I can’t I think I might have served tea once to anybody or had somebody served to you once. So you know, I think there’s that, that there’s that Enigma about agencies and marketing in general,

Dan Kiefer  22:15  

let me ask you a question on that. So everybody’s probably you’ve heard it to what I don’t know if it’s true or not. But people always say like, you know, you want to be the best part of their day. This is the exciting part of your clients job. You know, they’re, they’re talking about spreadsheets and ops, a lot of times we’re talking about budgets. Do you hold to that? Do you believe that as well? Like any any? Do you try to keep a mystique about it? Or do you always keep it loose and fun, because I know you’re, you’re pretty big personality.

Sonja Anderson  22:42  

We’re very grassroots. And that’s how I like it. Because I have to live in my job. You know, and I don’t just work 810 12 hours a day, I work seven days a week and I’m think percolating all the time as well. So I have to love what I do to to do that. And all of our team are very much not not because I chose a persona per se, but our fun gregarious down to earth, you know, our offices where people came in and, and flip flops and bicycles and beer and dogs and our clients like that, because it really makes weed. There was no charade. We don’t have we don’t have. We don’t have an office on Madison Avenue either. We have clients on Madison Avenue, right, but we don’t have offices there. And people fly into Ben because it’s a cool place to come visit. So we’ve had clients fly in from Australia, from the east coast, from you know, anywhere in the world, really. And to come to bend and then that’s what they don’t want to facade that we want to be that fun, like, Okay, this is where the, the, you know, there’s obviously a lot of strategy, but there’s obviously a lot of creative fun, and it is exactly that. Um, yeah, I mean, I had one client say, he gets really excited when he gets an email from us, because he knows it’s like Christmas, like, what do I get to look at, like, round to the data? Yeah, sure. Don’t you think that’s how it was? It wasn’t?

Dan Kiefer  24:01  

No, I do. And I love what you said about living in your job or your work. I know, I heard this maybe 10 years ago to the agency Patrick and I used to work at had a great culture at the time. And, you know, they did a lot of kind of personality tests. And I mean, it gave may sound a little bit like, well, Whoa, you’re getting in my head. But the truth is, like, almost every creative took the test, you know, their work self and they’re, they’re out of work. So we’re very aligned. And apparently it’s not true for a lot of industries, which I felt I’ve always felt great, right, you know, I can wear that T shirt. I can, you know, maybe have a little bit of a different perspective come off a little wacky, but you know, you get to truly be your authentic self, which is the best way to be in a lot of industries. You can’t do that.

Sonja Anderson  24:50  

That’s it. You nailed that, Dan.

Patrick Daugherty  24:52  

I would I would just agree with kind of that idea that you know, make it the best part of their day. You from an agency standpoint, but but I will just correlate it to like when I went to CANarchy. And, and Dan join me I CANarchy I preferred spending as much time as I could on the marketing and the creation and and the idea aspect as opposed to budgets and board meetings. I mean, good lord. Yeah. You know, so it, it was the best part of the day. So I mean, makes sense to me.

Sonja Anderson  25:25  

Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s the only hard part. And Dan actually brought this up. In one of our previous lives of meetings, um, well, actually, it was with with Ross, the animator, and in you take you take feedback really well. And I struggle with feedback when it’s not positive. Even though I know it’s just, it’s like going, you know, akin to going into a dressing room and coming out with three different outfits. And, you know, your friend is saying, Well, I like that one, or I don’t like that one. Either. You don’t take it personal. But I find that I have a hard time getting client feedback. And you said that you actually, you know, from your world, they teach courses in that how to just take feedback. Well, and

Dan Kiefer  26:06  

yeah, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It just means that I try to separate the emotion of it. And I mean, honest to God, if you know me, I’m an open book. And people that know me that watch this are gonna say, Yeah, you’re not so good at hiding your emotions, because I’m not i I’m an open book. But a lot of I think what I’ve learned is to try to separate constructive criticism or strategic input, you know, versus personal. But I mean, I’m, I’m extremely emotional as well. So sometimes I just have to go cool off. And a lot of times, Patrick, as well as Ethan scenester now are my consigliere re or my, you know, they’re my Calm down, guys. Like, I feel like I’m the underdog. I’m like a foot soldier in the mob. And I’m calling them and saying, Hey, these things, motherfucker, say, they disrespected us. Angry, you know, and they say, What, whoa, whoa, whoa, what’s not good for business? You can bleep that out, by the way. And they get me

Sonja Anderson  27:02  

not edit on the only thing I’m editing out is the beep maybe later, but

Dan Kiefer  27:06  

they tried it. They tried to get me to calm down. But I mean, it is hard. But I just tried to realize, like, a lot of times input makes it better, right? Yeah. Or, Hey, I may think it’s a stupid point. But then let’s make it bulletproof.

Patrick Daugherty  27:20  

Look, I think because we’re, we’ve got Dan on the culture. And now I mean, what makes him so good? Isn’t, isn’t just the creative and the ideas and the collaboration and the leadership, it’s the fact that he can represent the brand, and he can take feedback without getting defensive. And right, because he just said, input makes it better. And that’s not just lip service, that’s truth. And he will push back and he will defend work and try to steer it into where he wants it. But at the end of the day, clients make the decision, even if Dan or I disagree, you know, when when we’re on the agency side, when we’re on the brand side, when Dan and I were both at CANarchy. We used to sit in our in our office, and we’d be struggling between a couple of concepts. And I remember just saying, just for a second, Dan, pause for a second. Because if we go with A or B, that’s going to be our choice, like we decide now. I mean, that was the intoxicating part of being on the brand side.

Sonja Anderson  28:25  

Oh, love it. I mean, what’s that, from? When you say the brand side versus the account side?

Patrick Daugherty  28:31  

And your side versus I mean, I mean, we spent a lot of time together at the agency side, right? Where you are a consultant. Yeah, you present ideas, and you can sell and you can persuade, but ultimate authority resides with the client. Right? Right. When we around the brewery side on the brand side, right? I do remember being in you know, my office late at night with Dan and just pausing and being like, whatever we decide dude is up to you and me right now.

Sonja Anderson  29:00  

Right, I got you. Yeah. And is there a tremendous amount of weight that goes with that? Like, are you off the hook if you don’t have to make those decisions a little bit?

Dan Kiefer  29:09  

Hey, I was gonna say I find it slightly terrifying. You know, it’s like, I a friend of mine, he keeps donkeys, right. It’s Colorado and the donkeys they they broke out of their pen, like two weeks ago. And I was like, Oh, my God, you must have been so stressed. Where did you find him? And he’s like, two feet from the pen. Like they were just so terrified of the open world. They couldn’t move past where they’re supposed to be anyway. And I that’s what I found a little bit because I feel like as a creative, I get paid to see every possibility. Yeah. And say, Well, what if a what if B? Ooh, we could do that we could do this. You know, it’s very, it’s having a lot of different possibilities. So I thought it was it was a really cool experience. But I was glad to have somebody like Patrick there that ultimately was that decision maker.

Sonja Anderson  29:56  

And you didn’t feel the weight of fear of that, Patrick

Patrick Daugherty  30:01  

I wouldn’t say fear. It’s just look, I think that there’s this spectrum of democracy and dictatorship that you have to toggle between. Yeah, if you’re on either edge, it’s terrible. You know, nobody wants to live in an authoritarian, authoritative dictatorship and nobody wants to, you know, all ideas are taken right and inputs important, but at some point, make a effing decision. Yeah. And at some point, you have to do that. And yeah, I mean, that’s always been my role, whether it was agency side or, or brand and brewery side.

Sonja Anderson  30:36  

You know, sometimes we take

Patrick Daugherty  30:37  

it with a leap of faith or gut feel, you know, you can overanalyze, but you have to move shit forward. And

Sonja Anderson  30:43  

so, so true. And I mean, I, there’s one thing that has happened in the more recent years, and that is data. And I am not a data nerd, but I become one because sometimes when I have have to gut check something, I can either back it up or or dismiss, dismantle it, based on the data and the feedback I get, we can split test things, and we can just get some information to make me feel a little bit more about what we’re doing sometimes too.

Dan Kiefer  31:11  

I love that because otherwise, it’s, you know, it’s just an opinion, you know, contest, and you know, who’s gonna win that the client, because it’s their dollars, ultimately, I mean, you may try to be persuasive. But facts don’t lie. To some degree. I think that’s a great point too, on, you know, where work is going. I feel like there’s so much data out there. Now, it’s important to have people that can actually sort through it and give you a human truth. You know, how do you how do you take that data and come up with some kind of an insight into human behavior? And I think that’s what I love about our industry to where I feel like you they can’t replace us. You can find data seven ways to Sunday, but then finding that kind of weird way to look at it. You know, I don’t know I’m just trying to think of what the brand that I think it was maybe Crispin Patrick and I worked on and, you know, the fact was, somehow we took it where nobody wanted to take it. Nobody wanted to put it on specials on a on a Tuesday or a Friday or Thursday because it was just too small of a brand. And so that’s where you kind of look at it and say, Okay, well, look here. Look how many accounts that carry it have patios, you know what, let’s be the summer patio, brunch brand, right? And it was really taking lemons and turn it into lemonade, but all of a sudden now everybody’s like, yeah, I see where that fits in the portfolio. And you just feel like, oh, we cracked a really cool way to look at the brand. You know, nobody wants it. But it’s got patios. So there’s your idea. Yeah.

Patrick Daugherty  32:44  

I love firmly believe the data and insights have to be coupled with gut and intuition. 100% not either or it’s both and right.

Sonja Anderson  32:53  

Well, and you know, there’s this, you know, ongoing concern or I don’t know if it’s a concern reality that artificial intelligence has an ever increasing footprint in our industry. The fact of the matter is, though, that every everything that we do with analytics and that type of data, has a human touch on it, we have to have a human literally taking it and teaching, teaching and informing AI what what we want it to continue to do it doesn’t get to do that by itself. Even if you’re Mark Zuckerberg, if

Dan Kiefer  33:23  

you did you guys see so I love collecting pop culture facts, but nerd somebody wrote an AI Nirvana song. They plugged in everything they knew about Nirvana, all the lyrics, and it spit out a song which is kind of nonsensical. But it does sound like or Nirvana song, surprisingly, but then your point they had to have a human band like a Nirvana cover band actually interpret it and sing it and it’s wild. Like look, look it up and see what you think it’s in there.

Sonja Anderson  33:53  

Yeah, I’ll check it out. For everybody at home. That’s your takeaway get the Nirvana AI. So actually, what I want to do though, is because we can have many more of these conversations, and I and I will behind the scenes anyway with you guys because I absolutely adore you and you’re the ones that opened the door to me originally with Deschutes Brewery so thank you again for that. So working with those guys.

Dan Kiefer  34:13  

I don’t remember it that way. But

Sonja Anderson  34:15  

awesome. I’ll take it. Yeah, yeah. No, it was fantastic. Still that relationship still strong and and I adore them and I adore that brand. So that that that was a rocker for me. But

Dan Kiefer  34:25  

everybody go look for your fresh family. Fresh family beers,

Sonja Anderson  34:30  

family IPA, let’s go. Um, so But where can people find you? Let’s just say someone’s listening and they’re like, oh, man, that Dan guy that Patrick guy want to work with them? Where do they look you up? Like your website had told me about that?

Dan Kiefer  34:44  

For me, it’s Ahead of the Curve Strategy. So you can look up AOTC Strategy Ahead of the Curve Strategy or just, you can find this webpage. Find me on LinkedIn. And yeah, anybody I guess, specializing in CPG but specifically more ALC Bev so if you have an alcohol beverage brand, we really pride ourselves in knowing the industry and delivering top notch strategy and creative. So whether that’s you need help with portfolio management, you need a campaign. You need to rebrand or I think it all starts with brand identity. Does your brewery or your winery know who they are? Yeah, come to us. We’d love to talk.

Sonja Anderson  35:27  

Awesome. Fantastic. Dan. Dan. Kiefer KIEFER That’s it. Patrick, will you give me your little bio?

Patrick Daugherty  35:37  

I’m like the cobblers kid who doesn’t have his own shoes. Hmm. I don’t have a website. Dan. So you know, you can find me on LinkedIn. My direct emails, Patrick@brandcraftcollective.com

Sonja Anderson  35:51  

easy to find you also people can find you through me because good chances are if we’re working if I’m working with anyone in that Bev ALC space, that I would be tapping both of you because you’re both brilliant, and I really adore you. So thank you for being on here today.

Outro  36:10  

Thanks for listening to It’s Not Just Business Talks With Sonja, a real life podcast to inspire you. We’ll see you again next time. And if this is your jam, click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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