Everything we do at Superhuman starts with strategy. We’re passionate about transforming a process that can often be complex and bogged down by information into something human, evocative and most importantly, useful. As we’re growing our strategic approach, we’ve looked far and wide for talented strategists that can increase our arsenal. We were impressed with Carly’s leadership and storytelling abilities, as well as her many inspiring case studies. We’re so excited to add her to our team.
Tell us about how you became a director of strategy.
I had no idea the discipline of strategy was a thing until seven years ago. I was at General Mills working in marketing and communications as a digital specialist when I first worked with a strategist at a partnering agency. We did consumer research together and ideated brand positioning concepts. Then the strategist went away to make recommendations, coming back with creative, insight-driven ideas that brought the brand to life. I desperately wanted to tag along and be a part of her team. Within two years I landed my first agency strategy position and finally felt like I had found my calling.
Surprisingly, before General Mills, I spent six years at the Guthrie Theater in the marketing department, planning and executing marketing plans for productions and running social media. I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to reach new audiences in untraditional ways. I didn’t see it then, but in reflection I see that I was trying to infuse consumer insight into the creative decision making process. Turns out I’ve always had a little strategist in me.
What do you think is one of the biggest challenges facing brands today? How do you want to help solve it?
A topic I can’t seem to escape in my work and personal life is the presence and persistence of anxiety in the world today. I realize it sounds bleak and maybe even pessimistic but from my perspective, part of being a strategist is having an acute and pragmatic understanding of what motivates people and how they make decisions. Those two things are intrinsically connected to the world around us and brands, for better or worse, cannot escape considering the pulse of our current culture if they want to be relevant and meaningful. I like to think I can help by being an unfettered voice for the people brands want to reach. Our lives are complex and so are businesses. I hope to be someone that can untangle some of those complications to help illuminate a path forward.
What do you hope to experience at Superhuman?
I love the name Superhuman and what it represents. The idea that the qualities of this small group of really smart, talented people can exceed those found in bigger, more traditional agencies is incredibly appealing. I’m really excited to be working with clients who come to Superhuman entrusting us with building or sometimes recreating their brand.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately and why?
Thanks to my 3-year-old, I read a lot more books with pictures than I do adult literature or non-fiction these days. Thankfully there are so many good children’s books that are able to maintain some magic even after the 75th read. Islandborn by Junot Díaz is phenomenal. It touches on the power of memory and oral history, cultural identity and what it means to belong in the transient world we live in today. I do have Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence on my night stand now and can’t wait to dive in. I just have to find some time where I can keep my eyes open.