The A Game Podcast – Episode 67 – User-Generated Content’s (UGC) Role In Strengthening Relationships With Your Brand

Jeff and Nadya sit down with RIDGID Tool’s own Becky Brotherton, Director of Brand & Engagement Marketing, to discuss her success using a variety of marketing tactics that include sharing user-generated content to increase authenticity. Becky also talks about planning for RIDGID’s 2023 “RIDGID Experience” – the brand’s 6th annual contest for its social followers and influencers. Ultimately, this innovative way of engaging with its community became a turning point for the brand.


Announcer: Adcom presents the A-Game podcast hosted by Jeff Culliton and Nadya Scheiner. Today we’re talking about the role social media can play in strengthening a brand. Becky Brotherton, Director of Brand and Engagement at RIDGID joins us to share her firsthand experience in shaping what has become an essential and vibrant part of RIDGID’s overall media plan. User-generated content, influencers, sharing, posting, liking. It’s all in today’s episode of the A-Game.

Jeff: Welcome to Episode 69 of the A-Game.

Becky: Is it really?

Jeff: I believe it is Episode 69 of the A-Game. With us today, longtime friend Becky Brotherton.

Becky: Oh, thank you.

Jeff: So Becky, I mean there’s a lot of words to go through here, but Director of Brand and Engagement.

Becky: Yes.

Jeff: For both RIDGID and Greenlee, which is an Emerson company.

Becky: Yes, it is.

Jeff: Emerson has eight quadrillion companies that you guys own.

Becky: Yes.

Jeff: You guys are the two coolest of those companies.

Becky: I will not disagree with that. I believe we’re the coolest as well.

Jeff: I agree. And I think there’s a lot of reasons to say you are the coolest. With me as always, Nadya Scheiner. Nadya, who now has just turned into a Swiss Army knife. What are-

Nadya: Sorry?

Jeff: PR, brand positioning.

Nadya: Oh, right.

Jeff: Creative.

Nadya: I do it all.

Jeff: Is there one particular that you-

Nadya: Copywriter.

Jeff: Copywriting? Is there just any creative pursuit is something that you feel comfortable launching into now?

Nadya: Anything.

Jeff: Wow, gosh lee.

Becky: Wow. Swiss Army knife.

Nadya: I know. I like that.

Jeff: Swiss Army knife. She’s really quite something. So today-

Nadya: And Jeff, introduce yourself.

Jeff: I’m Jeff Culliton and I’m the president of Adcom. But you already knew that because this is our 69th episode and my parents and my brother and the other people who… No, we have 5,000 subscribers. So we got some peeps on this.

Becky: Nice. Nice. Got some skin in the game.

Jeff: We got some skin in the game. This is always been neat for us because our market changes so fast. And the reason that we asked you to come in today is you guys have kind of a neat high low in the marketing world. You’ve been very, very forward on some trends, especially in social, also in experiential. But you’re a hyper traditional brand. So if you want to take two seconds and talk about what it is to be Director of Brand and Engagement for RIDGID and Greenlee.

Becky: Sure.

Jeff: And what that entails for you.

Becky: Sure. So thank you for the introduction. Becky Brotherton, I’m close to eight years now already with RIDGID and Greenlee. So two brands under the Emerson umbrella, like you mentioned. And it has been really rewarding. I always say, selfishly, I feel like I have one of the coolest positions in the company. I do get to do from the outside looking in, I think, a lot of the work that I do is fun and add the word engagement in there. It’s kind of a mix of you’re doing the traditional, like you said, trade shows kind of things, but bringing that to life through events. So we do events, I know we’re going to talk about it later, but RIDGID experience, Greenlee experience, really connecting with our end users in meaningful ways. That’s where I say laser focused on, where can we connect with them, where it’s meaningful, not just for them but for our brand. You have the traditional marketing work in there, obviously. You do so much photography videos and then a lot of storytelling. How do we bring these stories and nuggets to life? And one in particular I’m going to talk about is the history we have with our brand. We’re embarking on a hundred years in 2023, which is amazing. So traditional, again brand, but how do we take it to the next step? So in… Yeah. Am I going way to far?

Nadya: Actually, you’re not going too far at all. I actually just want to explore for a second what you both meant. When you say traditional brand, it doesn’t just mean long standing.

Becky: Sure.

Jeff: So wow, that’s a really interesting question. So the way I phrased it, I meant legacy, I meant long standing. Not only a brand that has been around for a long time, but a brand that’s product lasts a long time, which is so interesting because we live in a time of planned obsolescence like my iPhone’s out of date.

Nadya: Fast fashion. Yeah.

Jeff: Fast fashion, all this stuff. And you guys have a brand that is generational.

Becky: Very.

Jeff: It gets passed down and that creates a couple of interesting things. It creates some unbelievable attachment to the brand itself and the work that the brand provides for those families. But it also creates this desperate need for product innovation, I would think. Because somebody buys x RIDGID or Greenlee product, they’re going to have it forever. So that’s what I meant by maybe my nomenclature was a little off.

Nadya: No, it’s not the wrong word at all. I’m just, we’re here to talk about social media and influencers and moving in directions that companies might be not comfortable moving in and you’re sort of at the forefront of that. But what makes it maybe all the more interesting is the juxtaposition of doing that for a brand that you guys are calling traditional. It’s not just that it’s been around forever.

Becky: Sure.

Nadya: But what you make is of a particular ilk for a particular kind of person. So that’s why I was hoping maybe if you explored a little more what you meant by traditional. Is it that you mean more every day?

Becky: I think two things. Our brand is traditional in the fact that it’s a legacy brand. It’s been around now for 99 years, almost 100, right? It’s also a lifestyle brand. I mean look online something that we post about on social a lot and you can Google it, but we get end users posting pictures of themselves with their RIDGID wrench tattoo, threaders. You don’t see that with other brands. And so our brand, even though it’s tenured, it’s still very relevant and the fact that that’s like a gold mine. So from a brand perspective, our marketing team, our product team, Jeff, you make a good point. We have to innovate. I mean we have tools. We have done a lot of work these last six months on our 100-year celebratory messaging and videos and it’s amazing a lot of these end users that have said, Hey, I have a whole toolbox full of products.
Come look at my uncle’s shed and my uncle’s shop, our band. They have products in there, we call them like the OGs, right? Some of the tools from the sixties, seventies that they’re still using every day. So yes, we have to continue to pump innovation in our product because we have to sell product at the end of the day. Our product is not a consumable, disposable product. So the warranty we have behind our product… And people beat up our product. I mean because they can. It has the quality built into the brand, that’s what people have come to expect from RIDGID.

Jeff: And I think, to me one of the most interesting pieces as you talk about innovation, because maybe people don’t inherently think of it in legacy brands, the same is what you all have done with your social channels.
Jeff: And to me, I can be both very optimistic and very jaded about these things because it’s one thing for us to produce these highly polished pieces about the benefits of my thing that I’m bringing to market, but it’s deeply self serving. And so you all started a journey on publishing primarily user generated content a handful of years ago, showing people using the end product of what you have and there’s a trustworthiness there that’s really amazing. But how do you in 100 old company, 99 and change, year old company, start to move in the direction of feeling comfortable using user generated content over that really polished stuff that most people are?

Becky: Sure. So I appreciate the question and I still, excuse me, still value both that polished content that comes from the brand. Obviously, we work a lot with your team with Adcom on understanding, okay, what are the true product differentiators? We talk about messaging hierarchy, what’s the most important? From a brand to end user, here’s our top message and that’s going to make that full page ad, right? That’s going to make that press release headline. Those are super important and crucial when we commercialize and launch a product and still remain top of mind for us internally. And then I love when we do talk to editors and to media on those product launches, they really do gravitate to that. But there was that barrier and talking about user-generated content, which is super trendy right now. I mean a lot of brands are jumping on board. If you’re not in it, another brand’s going to take your place.

Jeff: Sure.

Becky: But what user-generated content has been able to provide us is really that genuine authentic connection from the brand to the end user and letting them display their point of view, their perspective, and how they use that tool. How that tool has gotten them more jobs, even like that lifestyle story that they’re able to provide. They have three children now and now can the disposable income they’ve been able to provide because of the tools. All that that I just said, those little nuggets of stories from the user generate content, a brand will never be able to explain that.

Jeff: Totally.

Nadya: And you could try.

Becky: You could try.

Nadya: But it wouldn’t feel the same.

Becky: It’s not as authentic. It kind of reminds me an aged white paper or some testimonials in which there’s still time a place.

Jeff: There’s a time and place for it. Yeah.

Becky: Yes, there’s still a time and place. But I will say I think especially in this space, when you think of influencers and end user generated content, I think a lot of us think of the Proctor and Gambles or we think of consumer brands and beauty. You don’t think of the commercial industrial tools, but we saw that. We saw those people. We had relationships with some of them and we said why not? It was something transparently, internally we were all on board with. And we were nimble and we said, “Hey, if it doesn’t work, we’ll stop. We’ll pivot and we’ll go back to maybe something that we’re more comfortable with,” which has been obviously the paid, right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Becky: When I look at what we’ve done with influencers and end user content, a lot of that is obviously earned and organic. So we kind of dabbled in that in 2016 we re-skinned our brand. We did a all new brand debut. So we started the tagline, Built for Those Who Know. And I think that really connects deep to our roots and our end users. You guys both said generational, our brand is very generational. It’s usually like grandpa has patted onto their son or daughter, son and daughter has it then passed onto their son and daughter. So we’re in our third or fourth generation now of people getting the tool passed onto them, which a lot of brands can’t say that they’ve done that. But in that there’s so much storytelling, there’s so much trust and our brand is a lifestyle brand.
People wear the RIDGID brand on their sleeve and not just through a parable. Also, like I said, there’s tattoos. So to tap into that dialogue and bring it to life has been remarkable for our brand. I love, back to my position and in running the brand group. I live for brand stories and there’s a few examples I can give later. But bringing that to life and not just through a look at this full page ad that we paid for in Plumber Magazine, that to me is not necessarily a win. Finding that end user that can tell that story for us and guess what? Showcase the product. And oh by the way, they’ve been able to provide whatever for their family or put their kids through school. And even these stories where they give back to their local joint vocational school apprentice programs. That to me, it’s like an ecosystem of how really this whole influencer end user generating content has worked really hard for our brands.

Jeff: Well, and this to me, is one of the coolest things because a lot of disposable influencers in Pick Your Vertical, tradespeople are storytellers.

Becky: Yes.

Jeff: And whether anybody would have naturally put that together, tradespeople are unbelievable storytellers and they love to share it. They love to say, what was the most gnarly job? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen? And they’ve lived it.

Becky: I agree. They’re huge storytellers. Something else that RIDGID is really passionate about is the skilled trades gap. And because of their storytelling and because of their enthusiasm behind the brand, being able to bring that to life in our social channels and broadcast that to a larger net of people, we’ve noticed that even some of the trade schools that we have relationships with, they have pushed some of their students to follow some of these end users just to learn firsthand. You’re kind of in a odd way, following these people on their job site all day and learning the highs, the lows, what it means to be, are you working on boilers all day? Are you doing something with the city, municipality work? Whatever it is. They’re bringing those stories to life and they are true storytellers and I will pick that all day long versus finding talent, training them what to say and then having that broadcast on the brand. And to me that is the old marketing that I’m not a fan of. And bringing these true, authentic end users to the limelight has been beneficial for our brand.

Nadya: Some people could say, oh well if we did marketing that way, we’re giving up control over in some ways.

Becky: Sure.

Nadya: The creative process and the messaging. But I feel like you become less of a peer marketer and more of a curator of other people’s art and picking and choosing what that is has become a different way of constructing the campaign.

Becky: Yeah, you do a little, you do lose some control. But I think in a good way and I think that’s something that we’ve been mindful of that we haven’t just completely divested in PR, divested in paid. But I would say it’s a healthy mix of this authentic storytelling through end users with the mix of paid. And it’s really been beneficial for us looking at all of our marketing efforts across multiple mediums and how they work and pulling back where they’re not working and investing where they are. But the user generated content, I mean not just on social channels, we’ve been able to pull that through even on our email platforms that go out to roughly 300,00 people a month that have subscribed to our email. Also through our website, that traffic. And then we also send some of that content to our distributors. So these distributors are selling product on behalf of RIDGID, giving them some of those stories and tidbits have been effective as well.

Nadya: Yeah, no, thank you for reminding me that it is a concerted effort. It’s not just leaning totally on user generated content.

Becky: It’s a big puzzle. And something that has worked hard for us and we rely heavily on it, is we find these end users that have these stories. And one of the better examples actually, just coming out of RIDGID Experience 2022, John Snyder, he’s a big plumber out of Philly. And a week after RIDGID Experience, the editor in chief, a plumber reached out to him and captured content about him in October and it just came out in December’s piece. So he’s on the cover of The Pub. He’s got two spreads in The Pub, it’s in their e-newsletter.

Jeff: Whoa.

Becky: It’s on social. And as a marketer, my investment on that was nothing. Right? What did I do? We built the connections, our team built the connections, we knew that he was a huge RIDGID advocate. And we were able to connect him with somebody that could broadcast his message. If I wanted to buy that front page ad, if I wanted to buy two spreads, I wouldn’t have-

Jeff: Tens of thousands.

Becky: And I was able to get that all through earned. And he’s a hero. He’s shown his dad, he’s shown his family. So that whole program has worked really hard for us. And now we’re taking that content, we’re baking it into social media, we’re baking it into our pipeline email new series. It may even become a poster that we use at a big industry event. And it’s a testimonial that I didn’t have to put the pieces and parts to. I have an editor that knows what he’s doing, he knows his end users, he knows his readership. It has been beautiful on… It’s been a win-win.

Jeff: That’s awesome.

Becky: And then now John even more than ever is even a bigger RIDGID fan because, “Hey, RIDGID, you guys got me on the cover of The Pub. My wife thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.” So it has been very effective and I don’t always put every end user in front of the editor, but we definitely have those connections.And then the editors have been really good with us. Something that we’ve really pushed hard with editors. Hey, rely on RIDGID for your stories that fall through. I mean, you know how it is, a lot of our brands are placing those front page ads or spreads dependent on a product launch. And every brand faces this, but product launches get delayed, get pushed back or budget changes. So we have been the relied upon source in many of these heavy B2B pubs. So when they come to us, we have a Rolodex of these end users and it’s also we’re able to kind of authorize them. So some of these end users are like, wow, RIDGID, are you sure you want me to be in this.

Jeff: Yeah. You’re like, you’re the blue check mark. You’re the verification.

Becky: And because guess what, I don’t always want our product manager interviewed.

Jeff: Totally.

Becky: Because the end user wants to read from peers. When I am buying something for my kids, I want to hear what other parents have thought about it, right? Yeah. I mean you think of ratings and reviews and the whole e-com and I mean, I could talk about that too. That’s a whole nother world that we’re investing in and leaning on heavily. But people want to know what people like themselves are buying and why the authenticity. And that’s really where we’ve been able to take that user generated content, the entire ecosystem and plug and play between PR, email, social. It’s been a wild ride, but it’s been a lot of fun. And like I said, we were early pioneers in this space, very heavy consumer driven, and we said let’s just try it out. And some of the early adopters of social, we’ve been able to lean in heavily on them, elevate them, and because of that they have been very good to us as well, so.

Jeff: Share the audiences.

Becky: Share the audiences. Yes. But it’s remarkable. I mean, some of the growth, I think Eric Aune with Mechanical Hub is probably one of the best examples I have. Some of his team, they came from bigger pubs, like Contractor Publication, they left Contractor, they took a risk, they started Mechanical Hub, which also has another extension called Plumbing Perspective. They went heavy on social, they do a YouTube series, they do Hub on the Road. And we were one of the first to really sign with them from a media perspective. And they always say, “We’ll never forget you guys took a chance on us.” And now fast forward, I mean their following is greater than half a million.

Jeff: It’s huge.

Becky: And just their values and core and what drives them, I love how they’re doing a lot on the educational side with apprentice programs and stuff. So it aligns really well with RIDGID and what we believe in. But those early relationships have been helpful, not just for them, but also for us.

Nadya: I just wonder, so there are brands, as we alluded to, that are scared to go in the direction you did. And I’m wondering if it’s because maybe you just lucked out in the sense that the product that you sell doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s better with wear versus some other brands that might need or want a more perfect, crisp, fabricated kind of looked to their marketing. You know what I mean?

Becky: Sure. I’m trying to think of a brand that might be… Something that may be more in… I’m sure some of the work that you in Cleveland Clinic is going to approach this a lot different.

Jeff: Anything Kardashian related.

Becky: Okay, or Kardashian related.

Nadya: Yeah. I don’t know. What would you say to a brand that was hesitant about…

Jeff: Showing their imperfection?

Nadya: Yes. And that’s what I’m saying is do you just fall into that lucky nexus of yeah, we’re so confident to show our imperfection, but that’s because what we do is a messy, imperfect thing.

Becky: Well, I will say we have done some brand workshops and we identify RIDGID as a quiet, confident brand. So internally, the way that we operate and kind of pitch ideas is it’s okay if we fail, but what is our backup plan? Let’s be transparent. And so when we first started playing in this user generated content world or influencer world, we said, if it doesn’t work for us, we’ll pause, we’ll stop and we’ll pivot. And that’s, I mean everything. And I think whatever you do in marketing, you really have to have that mentality. And also just everything that changes. Five years ago, I don’t think that, I would’ve thought that we’d be talking about this on a podcast.

Jeff: Totally.

Becky: And who knows what we’re going to be talking about in five years from now. But I do feel, and I still feel strongly, if you are not in this space, somebody else will be. Especially with the younger generation, you think of TikTok and YouTube and the way that search engine optimization is now, the way people search for content, you have to be available. You have to be present. And people are not always going to your website and searching what they think they need. You need to tell them what they need.

Jeff: One of these neat things, and it does affect your particular vertical, is we’re starting to see search bifurcate into Google. Google is being used for things that are more in your wheelhouse, things that have complexity. How do I fix X drain or Y or I’m looking for product specs. And then there is lifestyle travel somehow to search. That’s really deeply happening in Instagram and TikTok because the user has already curated the people that they trust and they feel comfortable with and they want to consume that content and video capacity versus, as silly as this might sound to some, Google makes me work a little bit harder for it. It makes me go through a series of ads. It makes me click and read and try and get down to something that I think is trusted and verified. And so we’re starting to see how that user behavior is really changing.
And what I think is interesting about that, because I want to get to RIDGID and Greenlee experience is there’s these two sides of this user behavior spectrum. Now there’s this hyper digital scrolling, getting my content very, very easily. And we are all deeply inundated with that. But something that you all also pioneered was something that is starting to be really, really meaningful again, which is experiential. So having the physical experience, touching, being together in those specific and curated instances. And so a handful of years ago you all started the RIDGID experience, which then turned into mimicking that with Greenlee as well. So talk about how RIDGID experience started. Because I love to see where it’s at now and how much that’s completely blown out.

Becky: So the RIDGID Experience really started with… We’re about to embark on our sixth RIDGID experience in 2023, which is crazy to think about. I love it. I love that it’s grown and we’ll have our second Greenlee experience in 2023, but it has grown quite a bit. So the very first one, we only had three winners. So it was a contest that we opened up on Facebook. Now, this wasn’t really before we got heavily involved with Instagram, but it was a Facebook contest. We had three winners and they could bring a guest. And the reason we started this contest is we have a training program onsite. We have a tool school, our global training schoolhouse, which is right next door to the headquarters. And a theme when people come in to train a lot of our distributors, end users, we have a hard time getting them out of our plant.
They love it. They love the smell of it, they love the noise. And as marketers we’re like, whoa, we are sitting on something here. Why aren’t we doing something? So we said, let’s just try it. So I want to say that was in ’17.

Nadya: But it’s a contest open to whom for what?

Becky: Sure. It’s a contest, you can be an apprentice or you have to be an end user in HVAC, plumbing or contractor. So it’s pretty loose. But you do have to be an end user and you don’t have to necessarily use RIDGID Tools. But in the contest entry forms, you do have to have a photo of yourself on the job site with your favorite RIDGID tool. So the first entry, we had over 2000 entries, again and then from a marketer lead generation, right? So we did some lead gen there, but we picked three winners and it was based on criteria on their entry.
Also questions like what do you do for the industry? Do you do training? All those things that are important to our brand. Those three winners were able to bring a guest. The first year, the one guy did bring his wife and the other two brought other end users. So we had a total of six people. And a lot of times we see this in our industry. A lot of these plumbing companies, they’re family run. So she was very active with the family business. So essentially we had six customers. We made three days of it. The first day we do a grand welcome where we pretty much have anywhere between 30 to 40 people outside of our headquarters. We kind of create this fun tunnel.

Jeff: Cool.

Becky: Yes.

Jeff: That’s awesome.

Becky: So we celebrate the skill trades and that’s… Something when we’re planning, we’re like, is this necessary? Do we think we should do this? And every little piece of these little details that I talk about, we have not stopped them because it has always come back either in a post survey or somebody’s like, “I cannot believe you guys did this for me.” Because they’re not used to the red carpet treatment. They don’t get this. So it’s really three days to celebrate you and the profession that you chose, and let RIDGID celebrate you and elevate you.
So they come in, we do a grand welcome and a welcome to RIDGID presentation. So a lot of them already love and breathe RIDGID, but it’s crazy to understand that they don’t know the rich history. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t know. I knew you made these kind of tools, but I didn’t know you and went that deep.” So we do a little bit of that. We do time in our lab. So obviously these people, these guests, have to sign NDAs because we are sharing information with them that’s confidential. Again, if you’re a diehard RIDGID fan and you’re now seeing stuff behind the scenes, how cool is that?

Jeff: Oh my God.

Becky: So it just keeps getting… It is fun to watch our guests because like, oh my gosh, right when they think it’s going to be cool, it just gets cooler. So it’s fun to be part of that process. In the plant, they get to see a lot of the tools being made. Wow, my grandpa has one of those. One of our 300s, when I started in the trade, this was in my shop. It’s fun to see those stories and get those nuggets. But in the plant, one thing that’s always a showstopper is when they get to make their own heavy duty wrench.

Nadya: That’s so cool.

Jeff: I’m telling you is… So you would love this at one point, and we have one around the office-

Nadya: they’re like pouring molten steel and stuff like that?

Jeff: They did a mashup. They did a collaboration with Supreme.

Becky: Yes.

Nadya: You did?

Becky: Yeah.

Jeff: There’s a supreme RIDGID wrench around this office. You talk about-

Nadya: Where?

Becky: She’s going to take it.

Jeff: Yeah, I was going to say it’s in a lockbox. You want to talk about forward thinking for a tools and trades brand? That’s pretty sick.

Becky: Yeah. Those dropped and they were gone within minutes.

Jeff: Oh yeah.

Becky: It’s amazing what Supreme can do, but talk about them authorizing a brand that was… We were good enough for them. They were good enough for us. It was a really fun collaboration. That was a good one.

Nadya: When was that?

Becky: I want to say 2019. Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah.

Nadya: How many winners are you going to have in 2023, February?

Becky: Our plan is to have nine. And I’ll talk a little bit about how it grew. So we make the wrench and you asked about them actually doing the molds and stuff. That is actually done in uric, which is an Erie, PA. Our wrench components are all a 200 mile radius, but we do the assembly in Elyria, Ohio.

Nadya: Okay.

Becky: So the pieces and parts are there.

Nadya: Are already made?

Becky: Yeah. They’re not actually running the foundry, but that would take a whole nother-

Jeff: She’s like, wait a second, they have to pour molten steel.

Becky: Maybe we should add that in the next experience. And then we spend time over at our global training center with our training team, and they do a lot of hands on. And then we spend a lot of time with what’s next. So hey this, we’re 18 months out on this product. We’re 12 months out on this product. And that’s when we… It’s a win-win. We’re getting feedback from these end users on what can make us better. And we task them. Craig’s Ingwer, our president, that’s the first thing in the opening, challenge our team. Challenge us. That’s why you’re here. Give us the hard questions. And that’s what they do. They give us a hard questions and it makes for great discussion. Great round tables.

Jeff: That’s awesome.

Becky: And so it’s a lot of dialogue back and forth. And it’s so fun because these groups have kind of turned into this brotherhood sisterhood group. We kind of call them the class of 2022, 2019, and they grow together and they have this bond that it’s unreal to watch from something that we’ve kind of said, let’s just pilot and see if it works. It has been amazing. It’s really hard to say bye in that last day. And we always joke around that, I think we say 20 rounds of goodbyes because nobody wants to leave.

Jeff: Sure.

Becky: And then we even get, they’ll go live in the airport of their last hugs and stuff. But it is a fun jam-packed three days. How it’s kind of evolved is instead of having it fully a contest, because we did want some of the influencers in there. We have-

Nadya: I was just about to ask.

Becky: Yeah.

Nadya: Are you choosing people who have certain following minimum?

Becky: Yeah. And I don’t even know if I want to say it’s following minimum because some of them have low following and there’s the micro followers or micro influencers, and there’s the nano influencers, which are big impact. And I don’t want to lose sight on them, but also people that may have some clout in the industry. So maybe they’ve been active with a publication or they did something with PHCC, a guest speaker. There’s all kind of all kinds of ways that we kind of identify guests. So there’s guest and then there’s a contest. So this past year, for example, we had nine guests. Out of the nine guest, three were handpicked influencers. So it is a good mix. And that way it does drive a little bit more value from us from a brand play, which is completely fine. And we’re transparent about it.

Jeff: Nadya, you mentioned before this intersection of things we see a lot of people try and manufacture, no pun intended, this kind of following. And you guys have a cross-section of product quality, innovation, and then this brand storytelling, which some brands have and never capitalize on. And the innovation of doing that, especially all the way back to 2016, when this wasn’t as apparent to other people. This is a really interesting thing. So I mean from brand new experiential to UGC to being on the early cusp of influencers in a really meaningful way that, I mean, that’s why you guys get to reap the multiplier effect from it is because it’s authentic. I was going to… I’m all punny right now. I was going to say fabricate.

Becky: Go for it.

Jeff: You can’t fabricate. You really can’t. You can’t make it up.

Becky: Right.

Jeff: Because especially with an audience that is as detailed and in it as your audience is they smell bullshit.

Becky: Yes.

Jeff: Like that.

Becky: Yes.

Jeff: And they are gone. It’s one of the things we love about doing this show is you get to highlight some of those brand innovations and innovative brands that are pushing things forward that don’t necessarily get that kind of recognition, that kind of limelight outside of specific niches. So I’m going to cut you right there because we’ve covered a lot in the last half an hour.

Nadya: You said it all.

Jeff: You’ve said it all. Becky, thank you so much. Becky Brotherton, the Director of Brand and Engagement from RIDGID and Greenlee.

Becky: Thank you.

Jeff: Thank you for coming by.

Becky: Yes. Thank you.

Jeff: For Nadya and myself. You can always find anywhere you get your podcasts. We are hosted on SoundCloud. Please go and download us. This will be on all of our normal social channels and we can’t wait to do it again. So Becky, thank you.

Becky: Yeah, thanks for having me. It was fun.

Jeff: Absolutely.

Becky: Appreciate it.

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