When Brand Messaging Resonates Inside and Out

When developing a creative campaign, time and energy is overwhelmingly spent on crafting a message that resonates with a target audience. Makes sense, since a brand is paying to reach its customers. The downside is that the positioning of a product or service sometimes feels disconnected from the everyday reality of working inside an organization. It’s great to hear a story in which a brand message inspires across audiences.

As a member of the digital marketing council for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), we spent a bit of time at our recent quarterly meeting discussing their new brand campaign with the simple tagline "We Got This." It's been used cross-channel and highlights real doctors speaking directly to the audience, telling us that they've got it covered. For customers (in this case, parents), the power of the CHLA campaign rests in the sense of reassurance it provides.

While the message is successfully impactful to parents, it has also energized the CHLA team internally. "We Got This" has become a battle cry across the organization.

When a brand message resonates with its own employees, there is a visceral strength to it. Owning this tagline internally increases the emotional connection that the CHLA team has to its important mission.

 This didn’t happen passively. The marketing team did an internal brand launch and rallied the organization around the message. It is simple and powerful and awesome. It’s difficult to measure the lift when an organization’s internal and external north-stars align. But, when it happens, it is palpably felt across the organization.

It may seem like an easier lift because CHLA is already such a mission-driven organization, but I would argue that it’s harder to inspire a group that is already so committed to a mission.

What are the core values that differentiate your brand from the competition? What experience do you provide? How should your brand evolve to stay relevant? Momentum can help your organization answer these questions and make sure that your brand strategy aligns with your internal and external teams.

Edahn Small
Hypothesis Announces Launch of New Strategy Group

Momentum by Hypothesis helps answer the “Now What?”

June 12, 2018

Los Angeles, CA – Hypothesis is pleased to formally announce the formation of Momentum by Hypothesis, an in-house group launched to oversee brand and strategy capabilities. Motivated by client need, Momentum is a natural extension for Hypothesis. While Hypothesis interprets and brings the consumer voice to life, the Momentum team works with marketers and internal stakeholders to activate and implement the insights. In essence, Momentum picks up where Hypothesis leaves off, helping clients with the inevitable “now what?” question that so often follows a research project. Capabilities include whitespace exploration, brand strategy and marketing implementation.

Jessica Tornek will serve as president of the newly-formed group. She comes to Hypothesis with 15+ years of brand building and marketing experience from Westfield and Spark Networks as well as agency-side work for clients from Series-B funded startups to Fortune 50s. “After working with insight teams for years as a marketer, I recognized an opportunity to address the pain point that valuable research was often left on a shelf,” Tornek commented. “I’m excited to evolve the Hypothesis capability by translating consumer insights to inform new products, brand strategy, and marketing campaigns.”

Jeff Seltzer, Hypothesis Managing Partner added, “Momentum was developed based primarily on client feedback. Too often, the consumer voice is heard, but then mitigated as internal teams develop strategies and tactics. Jessica brings great business and marketing experience and is a really consumer centric, strategic talent. She’s an expert at making sure the consumer voice is pulled all the way through to activation. Momentum is a natural next step for Hypothesis.”

The Momentum team currently shares office space with Hypothesis in Downtown Los Angeles, but will look to move to nearby creative space in the near future as the team grows.

About Hypothesis

Hypothesis is an award-winning consumer-centric, insights, design, and strategy group specializing in solutions that are foundational, holistic and forward looking. Our consultants, analysts, moderators, marketing scientists, and designers are all in-house and work closely to develop and effectively communicate insights and stories in a compelling style through beautiful reports, workshops, immersive installations and video. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, with an office in Seattle, Hypothesis is proud to work with many of the most innovative, established, and distributive brands and agencies in the world. Hypothesis is proud to be one of the largest independently owned firms on the AMA 50, which helps us be nimble, maintain our culture of empowerment, and truly focus on our client-partner needs. To learn more about Hypothesis please visit www.hypothesisgroup.com



For more information regarding this news release, please contact:

Jessica Tornek
(213) 533-7012


Jessica Tornek
3 Simple Ways Stakeholder Interviews Can Set You up for Long-Term Success

It’s daunting to look at a timeline for a research project. You have a deadline; you need answers. But, the first phase that can contextualize a project with your internal team is important, really important. I’m talking about stakeholder interviews. There are three key reasons to let an experienced, objective third-party conduct these interviews. Here’s why they’re so important:

1. Establishing goals and vision is a strong indicator of project success. Imagine your project is a broad-reaching effort to understand your customer and why your business just isn’t breaking through at the right moments. You may have hypotheses as to why that is. It’s in the teams’ best interest to figure that out as soon as possible. But, it’s also important that the team understands what you’re trying to achieve and how you can help. If you don’t get this bird’s eye view from key players, you risk going down an entirely wrong path with your research.

2. Discussing metrics for success is critical in measuring how the team can achieve those lofty goals. It’s amazing how the gauge for success may vary from group to group. This makes the conversation around defining success even more important. It can inform a better research question and a much better output. What would success look like to different business units or to cross-functional teams? Can that be clearly articulated?

3. Gaining the broad perspective from a variety of team members gets to the real business issues faster. When given the opportunity to talk to an objective third party, your stakeholders offer incredible insight and candor from their unique experience and place in the organization. Sometimes the issue is not knowing what you don’t know. This can be dangerous, but mitigated by the collective knowledge of your team.

A cautionary tale, if you don’t take the time in the beginning to understand the foundational motivation of your key team members, the importance of your work may be minimized. Once a stakeholder takes the mental space to commit time to a pointed, productive discussion about the business challenge, you have won a small victory for buy-in later. That will come in handy when you want to engage them at the end of the project to gain alignment, build strategy and move into next steps.

Will you get consensus from these interviews? Probably not. But, that is the beauty of the process. It allows key team members to feel ownership at the beginning stages of the exploration. So, by the time you get to the heart of the project, the team understands where it all started.  

Momentum by Hypothesis understands that you aren’t just asking a research question, it’s a business question. Taking time to sit down with your internal team is one way we ensure that we help to get to the bigger picture. We look forward to partnering with you and making these interviews the first step to moving your business forward.

Edahn Small
Activating Brand Trackers

A brand tracker is like a check of your company’s vitals. It’s often the first thing a new consumer insights director either establishes, dismantles, re-invents, or pulls from an existing vendor. It’s almost always the single most expensive research initiative. It's considered critical and high-profile, yet its value is often questioned.  

Having been on the brand marketing side for years, trackers always had a special place in my office: a folder on my computer that I promised myself I'd look at later. (No really, I will one day, I promise.) The reality is that well-intentioned marketers and business owners rarely have time to translate a tracker’s insight into action. That's why I recommend an insights activation workshop as a critical component of an effective brand tracking program.

These sessions are typically either a half or full day, ideally held “off campus” and almost always include a wide variety of cross-departmental stakeholders (20-30). They can be held once a year and/or aligned with read-outs. A moderator facilitates sessions that include exercises and small group activities designed to generate creative action steps grounded in research insight.


Workshops are a relatively small-budget component of a tracker, but arguably the most important for several key reasons:

1. Workshops allow findings to be more effectively socialized. Emailing tracking highlights along with a bulleted cover note is unsurprisingly ineffective. A workshop provides a dynamic environment with a captive, cross-functional audience to ask questions and engage in a dialogue. Workshops can include large infographics, video, and other artifacts to bring results to life.

2. Workshops generate action steps (the “what now?”). Most often, tracking data provides the 30,000 ft. view, but the implications and the next steps are not obvious. A workshop effectively translates these insights into marketing and product tactics derived from the consumer voice. Participants walk away with solid ideas instead of data points.  

3. Workshops create a sense of ownership among stakeholders. Because stakeholders are part of the process, they feel a strong sense of ownership of the results specifically, and of the program in general.

4. Workshops keep the tracking program top-of-mind. Importantly, these workshops show stakeholders how to use tracking findings in their day-to-day decision making, keeping the tracking program more visible and salient. This is especially helpful when it comes to evolve the tracking program.

If you’d like to discuss an activation workshop, please reach out. I'd also love to hear about your experiences with brand trackers, good, bad or ugly and ways you’ve successfully activated findings.

Edahn Small