Minute with a Marketer: Cheryl Berman, unbundled
In this month’s Minute with a Marketer, we speak with unbundled’s CEO and chief creative officer, Cheryl Berman, to discuss her background and distinctive approach to marketing. Unbundled is a creative company specializing in branding and "The Big Idea," which is a concept, a promise, or a movement that fuels a brand’s way forward. The creative company specializes in high-quality strategic and creative expertise for brands.
Read more about Cheryl, unbundled, and her thoughts on creating a unique marketing approach.
Q: Please share a bit about your background and current role.
A: I was referred to Leo Burnett by my uncle who fired me from his newspaper after three weeks. He decided if I wanted to make things up, I should be in advertising. So, I started working at Burnett as a copywriter at age 21 and eventually became the chairman and chief creative officer of the company. This was actually Leo's old job. For three decades, I was fortunate enough to be able to help grow brands like McDonald's, Kraft, Kellogg's, Hallmark, Allstate, Coca-Cola, Nintendo, and Disney. I believe a journalism background helped make me a relentless fact finder and storyteller.
I started unbundled to get back to copywriting, creating, and being able to apply my expertise to help brands grow, thrive, and leapfrog competitors. We recently formed a partnership with Rise because I believe the agency represents the future of marketing— the place where creativity and big ideas will be best activated.
Q: What do you feel makes you distinctive in your approach to marketing?
A. Brands like United Airlines, Altoids, the Beef Council, and Disney are still promoting the same campaigns I had the opportunity to work on years ago. This proves how powerful "big enduring ideas" really are. Our unique approach which begins with brand strategy, then moves to branding and “The Big Idea,” is based on finding that perfect place for a brand to live.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge marketers currently face?
A. The biggest challenge marketers face today is figuring out how to activate big ideas. The multitude of options available can be mind blowing.
Q: What do you think is the biggest area of opportunity for today’s marketers?
A. The biggest opportunity lies in actually doing what Rise has been able to do so successfully for so many brands. Its Interactive Investment Management (IIM) approach uniquely helps clients see, shape, and act on opportunities others can't provide. Rise activates "Big Ideas" and that's particularly exciting to me.
Q: What was the best piece of business advice you'd offer to others?
A. My advice to anyone in business and in life is: Do what you love, love what you do, and the rest will fall nicely into place.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I grew up wanting to be a writer...songs, poetry, newspaper articles, commercials. I wanted to be pretty much exactly who I am, but you never want to fully grow up. What fun would that be?