Within the age of division, be a brand you may trust


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Over the past few years of the COVID-19 pandemic, society has generally experienced a sense of division and distrust that has permeated every aspect of life, meaning people are “desperate” to find sources of truth that they can trust and loyalty to.

So say Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, co-founders and CEOs of theSkimm, a media company focused on the information needs of millennial women who performed virtually on stage at the National Association of Realtors’ annual conference, NAR NXT, on Friday to kick off the event.

Zakin and Weisberg showed up remotely at the party in Orlando. They were unable to travel due to Nicole’s tropical storm that hit Florida on Thursday and plunged possibly thousands of potential conference participants into uncertainty as their flights had been canceled. Cindi Bull, Chair of the NAR Meeting and Conference Committee, moderated the live broadcast discussion.

The need for reliable information “has put more pressure on brands, whether it’s your individual brand or … a bigger brand, to show your values, show … where they stand and show … they are trustworthy and real,” Zakin told participants .

Although “authenticity” is a popular slogan in marketing circles, she emphasized its role in building trust among the audience.

“It means people want to know you’re human and that is your moral compass, and people want to know you’ll be there, they can trust you,” Zakin said.

As she pointed out, buying a home is one of the most stressful experiences you can go through.

“I think this is the first time I bought myself gray hair,” Zakin said. “All you want to do is trust the person who helps you and I think that’s like the need, that need is what everyone is feeling right now.”

In the media, as in real estate, trust building is a continuous process.

“You may be the biggest platform in the world, but that doesn’t mean people will keep coming back to you,” said Weisberg, whose mother was a real estate broker.

“It’s not just about the first home; but is there an upgrade? You want to be sure that you are getting referrals from friends and family and that you grow organically. This is how we built our business, and I think that’s why it has grown and grown with our audience over the past decade. ”

According to Weisberg and Zakin, part of building trust is knowing exactly who your audience is and what their needs are. For theSkimm, this audience includes millions of millennial women for whom the company is committed to providing reliable, unbiased information to help them live smarter and make confident decisions.

“We had a good understanding of who our main target customer was,” said Zakin.

“We always knew how to talk to her, a thousand-year-old woman, and partly yes, we are, but we also really saw where she was not served. What was created went viral very quickly, and very quickly we created very angry, very loyal followers. “

According to Zakin, millennial women are different from previous generations because they surpass their male counterparts, earn higher degrees, and gain leadership positions in companies. But at the same time, they are facing a lot of new challenges.

“It’s a generation that earns 30 percent proportionally less than their parents at the same stage of life that cannot afford a first home because it delays life milestones and has children later in life. And with that comes a lot of financial and emotional burdens, including infertility treatment if necessary, bearing the burden of recovering from the pandemic and … making a double shift, and aside, hey, I probably won’t have Social Security later on because there is no money for that ”and“ by the way, the children I have later in life will also be my dependent parents, who live longer, but who are pushed out of the job earlier will also be my protégés, “Zakin said.

“It’s really scary and sickening.

“By the way, we highly recommend wine to our viewers and you can see why it’s doing very well,” she joked, causing the participants to laugh.

Millennium Women lead in many ways, “but they face obstacles and institutions that are not necessarily designed for or to serve them. And this is a unique opportunity that, firstly, we are looking for and secondly, we are trying to fix it, ”she added.

Two such activities are the company’s campaigns for paid family leave and voter registration.

TheSkimm has been launched #showusyourleavewhich, according to Weisberg, has now turned into a movement with more than 30,000 people signing a petition asking for a better vacation policy, and some 600 large companies have publicly published their paid family leave policy on social media. TheSkimm also offers leave the policy database.

“So if you ever think about knowledge, just making sure your policy is competitive, take a look at it,” Weisberg said.

“It is also a way to hold each other accountable as organizations that want to support family leave, seeing what is the norm, what is there, how can I be competitive? These systems in which we all lived were not intended to support women in positions of power or working parents. Having two parents working outside the home is definitely something different for our generation, and also necessary for the economic environment in which we live. ”

Weisberg and Zakin believed that no political party would move a needle on paid family leave, so they turned to the private sector.

“Talking about paid leave is not a bonus; it’s a requirement, ”Weisberg said, to the applause of the audience. “Must be part of the basic package. And it shouldn’t be polarized. This is just the basic way we support employees, regardless of whether you work in a corporation, start your own business or build a brand inside the company.

According to Weisberg, the company is also proud of its efforts to get people to register to vote.

“We have the privilege and responsibility to educate millions of people every day, and we firmly believe that there is a responsibility to go out and vote,” Weisberg said.

“And the other side is, we really don’t want to hear you complain if you don’t vote.” The crowd laughed and clapped.

“I also think voting for us talks about how your organization and your brand are bigger than just what you do on a daily basis,” she added, something that will connect you. “

The bull asked the panellists what would happen next with Skimm.

The company will focus on helping its audience to make informed decisions in “the unsexy areas of life in which we all try to navigate,” according to Zakin, such as the world of finance and parenting.

“We don’t tell her what decision to make,” she said.

“But we want her to know she has all the information to make an impact on her own life.”

Zakin noted that the company was focused on making purchasing decisions and suggested that the co-founders’ appearance at NAR NXT was not their last collaboration with nearly 1.6 million members of the trading group.

“What is a more important buying decision than buying a home?” she said. “So let’s talk.”

Send an email to Andrea V. Brambila.

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