A marketing provocateur cross-trained in the discipline of brand development and the rigor of retail promotion, Lynne is the CEO/Owner of FAME. She has orchestrated hundreds of national campaigns for blue-chip, retail and packaged goods marketers in all channels of trade including Target, Dreamworks, IMG, General Mills, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Lynne provides inspiration and advice for running your business.
Prior to joining FAME, Robertson was VP/Management Supervisor at Campbell Mithun, where she also served as director of KidCom, one of the top three youth marketing agencies in the world. Her work has been recognized and awarded by Effie International, HOW International and the International Retail Design Institute. In 2011 she received the AdFed Silver award for her contributions to the Advertising industry and in 2013 was named a Who’s Who in Shopper Marketing. She was also tapped as a 2014 Women in Business Honoree by the MSP Business Journal and was featured as a Minneapolis Egotist’s Madwoman of the Month.
In May 2015, Lynne purchased Fame from Omnicom and its TBWA network to become a fully-independent, woman-owned enterprise focused on “Being done with what’s been done.”
She founded Lead Like a Mother (www.leadlikeamother.com) a business management philosophy and advice platform that applies the skills of motherhood to the day-to-day concerns of guiding and running a professional organization in order to teach others to Lead like Mothers.
She is the featured retail expert on the Small Business Revolution (smallbusinessrevolution.org) co-hosted by Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington.
A member of The Hub Braintrust, an honorary AdFed Board member and Vice President of the Twin Cities Retail Design Institute, Lynne has served on numerous industry panels for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, Shopper Insights and is an Institute Faculty Member of The Path to Purchase Institute. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of leadership and the humanity of brand experience.
What You Will Learn:
- What FAME looked like when Lynne purchased it in 2015 vs. what it looks like now
- Lynne’s transition from executive to owner
- The transformation of marketing, branding, and brand development
- How Lynne practiced humility as she adapted to change
- The importance of health in the role of a business owner
- Delegating responsibilities to your team when you’re away
- How health has influenced Lynne’s priorities
- Lynne’s work with Lead Like a Mother and how you can get involved
- Website: www.thisisfame.com
- Twitter: @RobertsonLynne
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynne-robertson-6a8925/
Running Your Business | Stay Balanced When Sh*t Hits the Fan
From Executive to Owner
There are a lot of benefits to being a part of a holding company while you are running your business. You have access to their resources, their benefits, and even their bank account. You don’t have to worry about making payroll or keeping the lights on. But you also have to bend the knee and adhere to their ideology. Lynne Robertson already had a vision for FAME’s future and she was determined to carry it out.
She was always passionate about FAME’s people, clients, and the work they were doing, and she wanted to preserve that by any means necessary. Lynne continuously operated from a position of vulnerability and humility. But when the holding company began introducing new programs that she did not believe in, Lynne refused to take it lying down. She was always in the trenches with her team and her clients, despite having international recognition in the advertising community. She made every decision with their best interest at heart. That is why everyone stood with her as the next chapter unfolded.
Running Your Business: Lynne’s Purchase of FAME
Lynne’s passion and persistence culminated in her purchase of FAME in 2015. It became a fully-independent, woman-owned enterprise focused on “Being done with what’s been done.” But entrepreneurship has a steep learning curve that you can’t understand until you are running your business with no strings attached. That holds true, no matter how prepared you are. And when your industry is undergoing a significant transformation as you set up shop, it takes a select type of unfuckwithable leader to keep things moving forward.
Agencies used to make their money from fee retainers and media commissions, but times are changing. Media is ultra-fragmented, the gig economy is booming, and UX/environmental design is becoming less relevant in the B2C market. With FAME’s roots in the retail sector, Lynne had to restructure her business model and expand her offerings out of the gate. It was not a smooth transition. But FAME’s retail sensibility, graphic design centricity, and worship of the holy deadline enabled Lynne to make a quicker pivot as she targeted clients beyond retail.
In the flux of any industry, you have to get humble quickly. When you are running your business in its infancy, you must sacrifice vanity and check your ego at the door. Only you can see the big picture, and people will talk. But unfuckwithable leaders can’t hear them. Lynne Robertson ignored the stigma and focused on what mattered. She made sacrifices and difficult decisions to move FAME in a new direction. Now, Lynne is watching her vision materialize, and many of the critics will never know what that’s like.
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