A Q&A with Jodi Duncan on the Rebrand
For more than four years now, we’ve partnered with an organization, known as Ladyboss Midwest, on a monthly basis to highlight women in the community working to make a difference. Recently, that organization added a second arm to the Ladyboss Midwest brand, Lotus Midwest. We chatted with Jodi Duncan, Flint Group President and Lotus Midwest rebrand Strategic Lead, to learn more about the move.
Q. Why the change to Lotus Midwest?
A. It’s more of an evolution of the Ladyboss Midwest brand. We wanted to evolve the brand to have a stronger focus on small to medium-sized businesses and business issues that are relevant to women. We know that women leaders have some different and unique challenges that men don’t face. Lotus will focus on that type of information to help women grow their business and their leadership skills.
Q. A lot of people in the business community either have rebranded their business or have thought about rebranding at some point in their existence. However, there are challenges that come with this. What are some of the challenges you have/ are facing in the rebrand? Do you have any advice for our readers on rebranding that you have learned over time?
A. Companies should spend time considering what their objectives are for rebranding and at what level. We often find that a brand refresh is a better option than a full rebrand. The trick is taking the good equity you’ve already built up and advancing and growing that. Ask yourself “would a rebrand increase our company value and/or make customer acquisition easier?” If so, how and why? In the case of Ladyboss, the audience has dictated the content and direction for the Ladyboss brand. We decided to embrace this in a way that is authentic to the Ladyboss audience. That left a gap for us regarding the business focus which led us to create Lotus Midwest. Essentially, it’s grown into two separate entities with some crossover at the audience level.
Q. In the past, there have been some outward-facing members of Ladyboss; who do we need to know going forward?
A. There are many women involved in Ladyboss behind the scenes. We’re not focusing on any particular people at the moment. However, the power of Ladyboss is within the active audience members. Ladyboss has emerged as a lifestyle brand. We will be adapting the content to map from questions and comments that bubble up from this group. We want women to be able to ask and get answers from this group. We want them to be able to easily access information and support openly. We will be adding features that will make it easier to find the kind of information they are seeking.
Q. What else is changing with the organization as it rebrands?
A. As Ladyboss Midwest refocuses on lifestyle, content will be readily accessible on all kinds of topics that are relevant to women in today’s environment. This will be largely influenced by recurring questions that women are asking in the social spaces currently. Our plan includes expanding these groups throughout the Midwest. What is beautiful about the Ladyboss brand is that it ebbs and flows with the audience. Lotus Midwest content is all things business at its core. Lotus Creative is the agency arm of Lotus and works with small businesses generally owned or operated by women. We support women in business to help them grow their business and also grow as leaders within their company. Lotus Research does primary research, leveraging the Ladyboss audience to develop insight and generate feedback for other businesses and topics from a woman’s perspective.
Q. For those of our readers who aren’t familiar, what is the mission of the organization? How is that shifting with the rebrand?
A. An easy way to think about it is that Lotus is all things business. Ladyboss encompasses broader life challenges. Lotus is a B2B brand. Ladyboss is an audience brand.
Q. Is there anything else we should be excited about?
A. Women are incredibly powerful. More powerful than they sometimes realize. Women have tremendous purchasing power, influencing 85% of consumer spending (Source: Forbes 2019). We know that there are areas where women can step up and be change-agents for a better community. We want to help women fully embrace and leverage their influence and power. It’s the intersection of business and life.
Q. Who are you looking to get involved in the organization?
A. Ladyboss appeals to women ranging from earlier thirties to fifties but is suitable for all adult women who need a resource to help them navigate anything from legal issues to businesses they can trust, to finding someone who can bake a specific cake. It truly runs the gamut. Lotus appeals to mid-level positions to senior executives, and to women who own or are growing a business.
Q. Is there anything else we should know?
A. It’s time for women to step into their power and influence. Lotus will be researching the differences for Midwest women versus women nation-wide and digging into some unique circumstances at a more granular level. We will work to generate change and hope that one day it won’t be necessary to have segmented programs for women. But for now, statistics support a different approach.
- Women make up 25% of C-level executives at the top 1,000 U.S. companies (by revenue). (Source, Forbes 2019)
- Since 2007, the number of women-owned businesses has grown 58% vs. overall business growth of 12%. (Source, Forbes, 2019)
- One out of every 11 American women owns a business. (Source, US Department of Labor)
- Women control over $31.8 trillion in worldwide spending. (Source, Catalyst. org/research/buying power, 2020)
- Approximately 40% of US working women now out-earn their husbands. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)