We have a lot on our minds…

Inside Look at BrandJuice’s Senior Strategist, Emmy West

Emmy West, BrandJuice Senior Strategist, is the spotlight of our May employee profile. We sat down for a Q&A to deep dive into her refreshing way of thinking and insightful vision that drives our team every day.

Tell us about where you grew up?

I grew up in a beautiful little town on the border of Iowa and Illinois called Bettendorf. As a fourth generation Iowan, it was one of those places where everyone knows you and people leave their cars and homes unlocked. Fun fact: Abraham Lincoln won his first court case in my hometown!

What brand is your personality most aligned with?

This is a tough one! But my friends here at the office are suggesting I’m like those little oranges – Cuties! Because I’m accessible and sweet!

What led you to choosing this profession?

It’s always been about what I can do, not what I can be. My curiosity and ability to persuasively communicate complex ideas in simple terms and get teams to consensus has led me to BrandJuice.

Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?

My best self inspires me to try make every day great. Other people and things that inspire me include my colleagues at BrandJuice, ah hem, Oprah, my spiritualist, Cate Gersperger, my family, friends, and all the children in my life. They remind me to look at the world with new eyes and remind me to ask myself, “What kind of world do we want to these kids to grow up in?”


What’s your most irrational fear?

Government spying. Not to say I’m a prepper, but my goodness, our location tracking on our phones, internet tracking, even the spying Elf on the Shelf, plus acres and acres of warehouses in Utah that house government databases, gives me some discomfort!

If you could keep only 5 possessions, what would they be?

Are dogs possessions? If so, then I’d definetely keep my two dogs Dakota West and Grady Glancy! Then my chacos, my water bottle, my phone, a prayer card from my Grandma Glancy, and my wedding ring.

What are you drinking come five o’clock?

Water or White wine!

Best restaurant in Denver?

I’m old school, I still love Root Down, Watercourse and the Cherry Creek Grille.

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

The Brand Gap. Hands down, it made me think differently about the work to be done to seamlessly connect design and strategy. Ever? The Power of Now by Ekhardt Tolle.

When you’re in need of creative inspiration, where do you go? What do you do?

Head outside. Fresh air always helps me clear the noise.

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I went to brunch this weekend and took some pictures of my crew. Before that, it was two moose I saw in my neighborhood! They were so big and beautiful.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?  

Do you – and everything else will fall in to place.

What’s the best part about working at BrandJuice?

The culture: great things happen when everyone sincerely wants to work hard and have fun together. I learn something new everyday and we push each other to think and ask the tough questions.

Follow along on our social media over the coming weeks to find out more about what Emmys’s life is like when she’s not cultivating creative genius at BrandJuice.

Front End of Innovation // Disruptive Trends & Tech and Growth Strategy


The immersion that is FEI (Front End Innovation) will again take BrandJuice to Boston this spring, a city pulsating with innovative thinkers. We’ll gather at FEI to learn, collaborate, and enhance how organizations approach innovation.

Across the sessions we moderated last year we heard how company lifecycles are becoming shorter and the pace of disruption is moving faster than ever. We also saw many examples of how many organizations are evolving their stage-gate innovation process to create more dynamic and fast-moving innovation ecosystems. Environments where ideas can be quickly sourced and accelerated into commercialization through increasing reliance on technology brokerage, rapid in-market testing and commercialization partnerships.

This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at the landscape that is chronic innovation—where speed has become an ante and a strong vision, leadership and healthy funding may also be table stakes.

So join us on May 9th and 10th as BrandJuice CEO, Peter Murane, hosts the Disruptive Trends & Tech and Growth Strategy tracks with in-depth focus on trends coming down the line, hot tech sectors to be aware of, and a thoughtful approach on how to link them all to innovation growth strategy. Presentations for the track capture an inspirational depth of versatility and perspectives delivered by innovation gurus from Zipcar, Mars Inc., Lululemon, Hershey’s and more.

We are also extending a special discount for event attendance. When registering, simply reference the code FEI17BrandJuice to save 25%.  Hope to see you there.

Inside Look at BrandJuice’s Brand Coordinator, Brooke Gunzelman

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Brooke Gunzelman, BrandJuice Brand Coordinator, is the spotlight of our February employee profile. We sat down for a Q&A to deep dive into her refreshing way of thinking and insightful vision that drives our team every day.

Tell us about where you grew up?

I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and lived in the same house throughout my childhood. Some describe Ft. Worth as “Cowtown” or “Where the West Begins”, but I would describe it as the perfectly sized biggest small town/ smallest big city to grow up in. Now that I’m moved away I appreciate the Texas way of life more and more.

What brand is your personality most aligned with?

Tribe Alive. Reflective, feminine, simple upfront with a world of complexities behind. (It’s also a FW based company with a global mission)

What led you to choosing this profession?

From when I was little, I always remember being lost in my thoughts. The element of storytelling in everyday life is fascinating to me, and the world of design in different aspects of life has always hooked me. I’ve been lucky to work with several nonprofit campaigns, which allowed me to see the purest version of a story and get to work hands-on with spreading messages I really believed in.

Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?

The women in my family endlessly inspire me. The simple joy of children inspires me. Creatively, I’m also inspired by the way people’s minds work—especially in this realm. To peak into the way people think is intriguing, especially if they are breaking the mold and are passionate, from the smallest things to the biggest.

Party 4 (1 of 1)

What’s your most irrational fear?

Watching crime shows, scary movies, too much news can give me rational fears, irrationally interpreted as always around the corner.

If you could keep only 5 possessions, what would they be?

Surprisingly, when it comes down to it there aren’t many things I truly, truly couldn’t live without, but:

  1. One digital: either my iPhone, because I can’t resist or my DVR, because… I can’t resist.
  2. My closest friend (possession?)
  3. My family’s chocolate lab Coco, or cat, Penelope
  4. A piece of jewelry passed down from my Gran
  5. Maybe some wine to pass the time, if this is an island situation?

What are you drinking come five o’clock?

Anything from some bougie Trader Joe’s $3 wine to a fresh marg with Mexican food to getting more into the brewery scene in CO—but throw fruit in a cocktail and I’m pretty sold.


Best restaurant in Denver?

Izakaya Den or Work + Class, followed closely by Butcher Block Café. I can never turn down a huge homemade breakfast deal, plus I live down the street.

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

This Year: Big Little Lies. (Can’t wait for Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman on HBO)

Ever: It’s hard to narrow it down to best book ever, but Hector and the Search for Happiness was purposely simply written, but a thought provoking read. A psychiatrist begins to realize he’s continuously seeing his patients, but none of them seem to be getting any happier, so he travels the world to observe what makes me people happy. Taking a break from the mundane everyday to peak into what instills the basic human emotion of happiness, or lack there of, into individuals in different cultures is compelling. Also, F. Scott Fitzgerald for classics.

When you’re in need of creative inspiration, where do you go? What do you do?

Being able to exercise usually clears and calms my mind, but for creative stimulation traveling and exploring a new place can always kick-start an expansion of the mind into a rabbit hole of creativity.

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What was the last picture you took with your phone?

Beautiful picture of some cupcakes.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?  

Still gathering advice, but a couple would be:

Your plans—big or small—will rarely work out the way you think they will, so spend less time thinking and more time in the moment. Try to apply this quote in your life: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

What’s the best part about working at BrandJuice?

It may sound overdone, but there’s a reason that everyone here harps on the fact that we are opened to a vast variety of industries. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be in a place of such massive, unexpected growth everyday. I love the challenge of getting to know a topic, industry or brand that I never would have anticipated or sought out otherwise in my life.

Follow along on our social media over the coming weeks to find out more about what Brooke’s life is like when she’s not cultivating creative genius at BrandJuice.


We compiled office-wide opinions to gather a diverse list of what caught each pair of BrandJuice eyes this past year. From humorous campaigns to political revolutions, ideas that struck an emotional chord to everything in-between, here’s the BrandJuice list of brands who brought their A-game in 2016.


1. Airbnb

The “Don’t go there. Live there.” campaign went further than word of a mouth and digital with a big idea—an emotional vs. transactional idea. A media agnostic vs. digital idea. They convinced consumers to like more than the apartments, houses and vacation properties of Airbnb, they convinced people to connect emotionally with the organization itself. Well done, Airbnb. Well done indeed.

Watch one of our favorites here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AtjOKph7-k



2. Yeti

The Texas-based lifestyle brand launched branded content videos to show they haven’t lost the values associated with their original outdoorsmen audience by featuring authentic storytelling in a series of short films. The homegrown stories delve into American values to show consumers they remember where it all started, with people.

To watch: https://stories.yeti.com



3. Netflix

Redefining how we consume content, Netflix continues to lead the streaming game—even providing an alternative for those looking to cut the cord with their traditional cable companies. This year, the streaming service upped their game with new—and very noteworthy—original content including the unexpected hit Stranger Things.

Read more about their growth: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/18/netflix-fourth-quarter-2016-earnings.html




We know, we know… the explosive phones were a major issue. But prior to that, Samsung’s marketing was actually able to compete with the monopoly-like nature of Apple in the world of smart phones. The ads were a funny peak into real-life, but also strategically made consumers realize a missing feature from previous smart phone capabilities, which happened to be Samsung’s new point of difference.

Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el9D3bjmx50


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5. Sonos

This tech underdog, a home sound system, opens consumers’ eyes to the inconveniences around most services in the market through sarcastic tonality and clean, simplified design.

Rethink your listening habits here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR8KFXaE1sw



6. Rio Paralympics 2016

The “We’re the Superhumans” video pushed the envelope in an industry that is often forced to tread lightly to be sensitive to disabilities and remain politically correct. It evoked feelings of “what can I be?” and “how can I be better?” to inspire confidence and generate empowerment.

Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IocLkk3aYlk



7. Maltesers

A Mars candy company creatively followed suit with a humorous storytelling approach in their new ad series. Taking all audiences by surprise, Maltesers made light of the challenges that face the challenged. Maltesers took a risk–some consumers judged them, others loved it, but those in the ad world praised them for their courage and creativity.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgUqmKQ9Lrg


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8. The Kardashians

The Kardashians are old news. But the way they refreshed their public image in 2016 is not. Whether it was through refining their approach or reframing perspectives entirely however, is up to you to decide.

You may remember our take on this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/fashion/kim-kardashian-west-family-video.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0



9. Donald Trump

Albeit controversial, Donald Trump created an uproar of conversation through a truly one-of-a-kind brand—one that amassed an unexpectedly powerful following. 2016 saw Trump uproot the way politics have traditionally been done in America.



10. Artifact Uprising

A master in the art of storytelling, Artifact Uprising continues to cultivate a brand built around capturing and showcasing simple human moments in their purest form. That, and they are making a new name for print in a now digital era.
See more: https://www.artifactuprising.com/



Nothing’s better than gaining recognition for your work from the industry’s most creative minds. Well, maybe world peace and a cloak of invisibility. Maybe. But still, for us winning awards holds immense meaning. Beyond the internal excitement and positive vibes boost, they acknowledge that the work we do—the work that occupies 99% of our daily mindshare and contains not only our heart, but a decent amount of our blood, sweat and tears as well—is helping our clients rise above the high tide of competitor content.

2016, both in and out of the proverbial four walls of the BrandJuice office, was spent collaborating with several clients across a segment of diverse industries to execute projects in the realms of strategy, innovation and design. As a result, our portfolio of purposeful brand work and inspiring creative expanded to include some of our most compelling work yet. And Ad Club seemed to agree. Two client projects we completed this year were submitted in the tenth annual Ad Club Fifty Awards, both winning highly coveted spots among Colorado’s top 50 ideas of 2016. Below is a closer look at our two winning submissions.

Shout-out to both of these amazing clients for allowing us to collaborate, push their boundaries, and take them on the unconventional, yet wonderful journey that constitutes our branding and creative process. We’re excited to see what 2017 has in store.






Quickie was a pioneer and industry innovator in the performance wheelchair category, but new competitive brands were stealing share by mimicking product features. The clients asked for a way to reinvigorate the brand externally and empower their sales force with a competitive sense of identity.


Real consumer juries led to a new positioning around “The Human Endeavor.” The goal was to forget the serious tone of wheelchairs and limited function and think of Quickie as “the vehicle of choice” for fun and social maneuverability.

To boost energy, the campaign was scheduled to unveil between the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic games. All 25O Quickie reps attended a torch lighting ceremony at the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. The campaign presentation that followed was met with applause. Quickie’s sales team enthusiastically engaged the shift from product features to a more human and authentic user focus.


Agency:  BrandJuice
Design Director: Heather Thill
Creative Director: John Bellina
Senior Designer: Kim McDonald
Account Director: Amanda Cook
Strategist: Lizzy Bakhaus
Photographer: Dave Lehl
Client: Sunrise Medical; Teresa Adkins,Vice President of Marketing







In a fast growing industry saturated with pot leaves and pun, BlueKudu, a chocolate edibles brand, decided to earn premium status and price point in category by repositioning their product line with a standout naming structure, elegant packaging and a more user-friendly form factor.


The goal of the design was to move beyond just premium taste or a quality cannabis experience by connecting each flavor with a relevant location and mood. The location-based design supported the overall brand strategy and tagline of “Unwind Anytime.”

BlueKudu revealed their new brand at the Cannabis Cup in Denver. The design shattered all industry norms and the consumer response was immediate. Dispensaries reported a 35% increase in sales in the first two months, regardless of price increase, proving a more sophisticated and inviting look and feel could earn a higher share of wallet and establish a differentiated and premium position.


Agency: BrandJuice
Design Director: Heather Thill
Designer: Avi Kommel
Account Director: Erin Blood
Strategists: Lizzy Bakhaus, Joanie Bier
Product Photographer: Will Rutledge
Client: BlueKudu;
Andrew Schrot, CEO

Inside Look at BrandJuice’s Director, Amanda Cook


Amanda Cook, BrandJuice Director, is the spotlight of our December employee profile. We sat down for a Q&A to deep dive into her refreshing way of thinking and insightful vision that drives our team every day.

Tell us about where you grew up?

My dad says it’s “God’s Country,” the majority of Coloradans say it’s “A Cow Town,” on the map it’s officially known as Greeley and it’s 60 miles northeast of Denver. It’s the kind of place you never think you’ll miss until you move on. Now every time I go back I’m flooded with great memories and as I watch my kids revel in the simplicity of life in a small town I realize my Dad is right. It really is God’s Country.

What brand is your personality most aligned with?

BuzzFeed. Crazy, smart, influential, innovative, and massively underrated.


Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?

My family. Creative thinkers. Floral arrangements. Teachers. Small details that no one else notices. Wine. Feeling in the moment. Old friends. New friends. The gratification that comes from knowing this is my life.


What’s your most irrational fear?

Fluffy the hamster who just so happens to live in my house. He’s a creepy little dude.

If you could keep only 5 possessions, what would they be?

I’ve never been one to own the biggest or best of anything, but over the years I have purchased and acquired things that conjure memories, and the memories I would miss.

  1. Bellular Shape Show // A wildly entertaining talk show my cousin and I created when we were obsessed with bellbottoms and The New Kids On The Block.
  2. J Sparkling Wine // The bottle of wine my parents bought me when they came to visit me in San Francisco and we toured wine country.
  3. Photo books // Lots of them. From my wedding albums to my growing collection of photo books that capture highlights from the past year.
  4. Art Collection // Perry and Jack’s artwork that’s proudly displayed on our art wall.
  5. iPhone // Because everyone knows that staying connected is my thing.

What are you drinking come five o’clock?

Diet Coke. And please don’t ask me what number I’m on. I admit it’s a problem.


Best restaurant in Denver?

Esters. It’s a modern day Cheers. “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot…”

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

I’m currently reading The BFG with my kids. It’s a wild and fun book but I really wish I would have listened to my mom and resisted the urge to read everything the giant says in a ridiculous voice. It has been a bit taxing but I love every minute of it.

When you’re in need of creative inspiration, where do you go? What do you do?

I study, explore, and engage with others but what I read, where I go, and whom I talk to all depends on what facet of my life needs a dose of creative inspiration. If it’s work related I read Fast Company, if it has to do with décor or fashion I go explore Anthropologie, and if it has to do with parenting I call my mom.


What was the last picture you took with your phone?

A picture of Clyde. He’s our mischievous elf who magically appeared riding a reindeer this morning. He’s always up to crazy shenanigans and I just don’t know where he comes up with them…

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?  

Don’t get caught up in the rat race. Slow down, live in the moment, and embrace it all.

What’s the best part about working at BrandJuice?

I get to spend my days with really amazing and passionate people who make me better. I count myself very, very, very lucky.

Follow along on our social media over the coming weeks to find out more about what Amanda’s life is like when she’s not cultivating creative genius at BrandJuice.

An Inspired 2016 with BrandJuice


At BrandJuice, we are inspired realists. We know there’s much to be learned from the world around us, true to life. We take inspiration by seeing, doing, experiencing. It helps us make brands mean more. Seeking inspired realism wherever we go, we are constantly on the quest for thoughtful innovation.

This year’s calendar has been a collection of our travels and a glimpse into the moments, places, and cultures that have inspired us along the way.

We’re thankful for the journey through every day, month, and year.

As we wrap up 2016, here is a final downloadable calendar for the month of December.

Cheers to a year,
Your friends at BrandJuice

Inside Look at BrandJuice’s Strategist, Joanie Bier


Joanie Bier, BrandJuice Strategist, is the spotlight of our November employee profile. We sat down for a Q&A to deep dive into her refreshing way of thinking and insightful vision that drives our team every day.

Tell us about where you grew up?

I grew up amongst the ski bums and champagne powder in Ski Town, USA. Also known as Steamboat Springs, CO.

What brand is your personality most aligned with?

I’d like to think Artifact Uprising. It’s a collaborative, soulful brand that celebrates all creative and exploring natures, and has an immense appreciation for all things beautiful.

What led you to choosing this profession?

A passion for both creative and strategic thinking, and an inability to choose between the two. This job requires equal parts left and right-brained thinking.

Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?

People blessed with wild minds inspire me. Those who are a little strange, a bit off-beat and are able to see the world from a completely different perspective. The ones who risk curiosity and wonder, embrace spontaneity and delight in the unknown—to me, those are the people who embody the truest essence of the human spirit.


What’s your most irrational fear?

Sharks. Even though I’ve lived in a land-locked state since birth.

If you could keep only 5 possessions, what would they be?

  1. My sister’s puppy, Balto. Though she’d never agree to it.
  2. My sister. Does she count as a possession? Maybe I should rethink the order of this list.
  3. My camera.
  4. My Mac laptop. Can’t use Lightroom without it.
  5. My passport.

What are you drinking come five o’clock?

Anything with an alcohol content above 5%. I’m not picky.

Best restaurant in Denver?

Work & Class—their green-chile cheddar biscuits changed my life. Hand to God.

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

This year: The Nightingale – It’ll move you to tears
Ever: Every Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling is my spirit animal

When you’re in need of creative inspiration, where do you go? What do you do?

I get out and go exploring. The feelings, perspectives, and wonder I experience when exploring—whether in the woods, on the side of a cliff, by the sea, or even in the desert—trigger a magnetic-like pull for me to walk deeper into their beauty. It elicits an insatiable craving to know more, feel more, see more, and become more. Exploring out-of-category experiences and refreshed sources of creativity make a world of difference in reframing perspectives.


What was the last picture you took with your phone?

A buffalo skull adorned with dried florals I found in a shop over in Cap Hill. I was trying to resist the impulse purchase, but the photo is such a little temptress that I’ll probably have to give in and buy it.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?  

I think Dallas Clayton said it better than I ever could: “Get out from your house, from your cave, from your car, from the place you feel safe, from the place that you are. Get out and go running, go funning, go wild. Get out from your head and get growing, dear child.”

What’s the best part about working at BrandJuice?

Better question: what’s not the best part about working at BrandJuice? But in all seriousness, it’s a combination of circumstances—the wild-minded people, the unbelievable diversity of the work, the challenges that feed a beautiful learning process—that together contribute to making this job so wonderfully unique.

Follow along on our social media over the coming weeks to find out more about what Joanie’s life is like when she’s not cultivating creative genius at BrandJuice.




  • Our resident frenchie escapes to the mountains for the weekend. 
#weekendhangs #Tonks #beyondofficewalls #frenchies #frenchbulldog #dogsofinsta #hikes #optoutside #hermansgulch #colorado
  • Brand at hand #shotoniPhone7 
#eviltwinbrewing #CO #colorado #optoutside #hikes #camping #beyondofficewalls #weekendhangs #summer #brewery #packagedesign #creative
  • BrandJuice goes international. Adding a little frenchie flair to the BJC fam. 
#frenchies #Tonks #TonksTuesdays #HarryPotter #dogsofinsta #frenchbulldog #insidebjc #agencylife #ourhaus #newhire
  • There exists a place where jellyfish come in white, blue and orange. It's called the Baltimore Aquarium. Add it to your bucket list. .
#deepbluesea #aquarium #baltimore #insidebjc #bjcbackyard #creativitycollective #ideation #beyondofficewalls #eastcoast #fellspoint
  • Your Monday morning #brandism
  • Our new preferred mode of transportation: helicopter. Thanks @bluehawaiianhelicopters  for the views of Kauai from above.
#bluehawaiianheli #hawaii #Kauai #travel #insidebjc #bjcbackyard #agencylife #beyondofficewalls #brand #strategy #innovation #design
  • Extending a warm welcome to Lori, who is joining the BJC team as a Senior Strategist! Lori is a passionate brand builder who loves to push the boundaries of what’s possible. As someone who learned long ago to embrace the ambiguity, she loves creating clarity where there were once only murky waters. Excited to expand our fearless group of brand builders with you, Lori.
#insidebrandjuice #strategists #bjcbonding #agencylife #brandjuicers #branding #strategy #design #innovation
  • Mahalo, Hawaii for offering this week's most idyllic work setting 🌴
#hawaii #kauai #helicopter #helitour #perspective #branding #islandvibes #summer #july #beyondofficewalls #insidebjc #bjcbackyard
  • We are excited to announce the addition of a new Designer on the BJC team. DJ is a conceptual designer, thinker, storyteller, illustrator, writer, photographer, filmmaker and songwriter, with passions only limited by hours in a day. He’s decidedly Midwestern in terms of work ethic and waving ‘hello’ to complete strangers. 👋🏼, DJ!
#insidebrandjuice #designers #bjcbonding #agencylife #brandjuicers #branding #strategy #design #innovation
  • Baltimore bliss at @pendryhotels .
#waterfront #baltimore #insidebjc #bjcbackyard #beyondofficewalls #waterfrontviews #travel #agencylife #underarmour
  • Your morning #brandism
  • We set sail through the concrete waters of Denver to celebrate 18 years of BrandJuice
#insidebjc #bjcbackyard #hbd #denver #celebrate #branding #strategy #design

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