A very special brand
Recognizing women who lead, innovate, and take Madison to a higher level.
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From the pages of In Business magazine.
Members of this year’s Women of Industry class have something in common: a professional brand that can be summed up with one characteristic — problem-solving.
In all, 45 nominations were forwarded in our third annual Women of Industry program, mostly on behalf of business and nonprofit executives who have demonstrated strong leadership in their respective industries, including several who have forged successful careers in male-dominated industries.
Leadership, however, is but one criterion for this honor. The 2017 winners presented on the following pages also have come up with an innovation or idea or program that moved the needle in the right direction and did so on matters ranging from branding to health therapy, and from the fight against domestic violence to animal welfare.
We also honor a woman who is leading the way on diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Madison Metropolitan School District. In so doing, she’s paving the way for private businesses that want to step up their “D&I” game.
Thanks to her keen “understanding of branding,” Marsha Lindsay has been anticipating the future for nearly 40 years. A lot of the modern thinking about brand psychology — locally, regionally, and nationally — can be traced to the differentiating work of Lindsay and her staff at Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, including the former meeting of the minds known as Brandworks University.
Her contributions to the science of human decision-making go beyond launching new products and brands, and driving business performance at startups and Fortune 500 companies. In her research and her work, she has found that the science of customer behavior offers clues into why even the most researched brand makeovers fail to change ingrained consumer habits. Hint: A compelling emotional connection, one that adds value to a consumer’s life, certainly helps.
What has transpired over the past 40 years has only reinforced Lindsay’s beliefs about brand psychology, but the most fascinating discovery this Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Famer has come across in her life’s work is that branding is an ancient pitch. “It really boils down to very basic human instincts that go back thousands of years,” she states. “We are attracted to things and people that help fulfill our self-concept or aspirations.”
Lindsay, the 1971 Alice in Dairyland and 1984 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year, even had an impact as a graduate student at UW–Madison, where she not only conducted research on the psychology of persuasion, she used her emerging advertising acumen to help elect a governor, Lee Dreyfus, one of her old communications professors and a former chancellor at UW–Stevens Point.
“He’d always ask us, ‘What are you doing with the time and the talent that you’ve been given?’”
In Lindsay’s case, quite a bit — especially giving us all a better understanding of what constitutes effective brand strategy.