This is the third installment of a recap series spotlighting the many great leaders and founders who have volunteered their time to speak with the 2021 Target Forward Founders Cohort.

This week, our Target Forward Founders cohort switched their focus from consumer to themselves. We were joined by the teams from VMYLR and Smoketown Strategy. 

Our program week started off with Brian Owens and Kelli Anderson from VMYLR with the topic of brand purpose. The duo left us with very important takeaways on creating differentiation for your brand and grounding our founder’s confidence in their purpose. Later in the session, we were joined by a conversation with Pernell Cezar, Strategic Advisor Forward Founders and Brian Owens.

Pictured L to R: Ryan Pintado-Verner (Smoketown), Brian Owens (VMYLR), and Kelli Anderson(VMYLR).

To close the week, we were joined by Ryan Pintado-Verner and the rest of his team from Smoketown Strategy where they taught us all about the importance of consumer empathy. They spoke on the importance of connecting with our audience through different channels and how to do so depending on our category. Smoketown Strategy is Smoketown is a boutique consultancy that helps mission-driven consumer brands maximize their growth and ROI while having transformative social and climate impact. Our empathy-driven work includes: marketing & trade ROI optimization; brand strategy, innovation & consumer research; outsourced marketing leadership; mission refinement & activation; and go-to-market strategy. Circle back with us next week to see what we’ve learned next week! Interested to see who was selected for our inaugural cohort? Click here to learn about each brand and what they specialize in.