‘Brand clarity’ for clients, growth

Modern Climate’s new executive hires — Lara Wyckoff as executive creative director and Pat Weas as director of strategy — are helping the Minneapolis agency clarify clients’ brands to make them stand out in the marketplace.

In focusing on “brand clarity,” Modern Climate develops consumer insights, defines brand and creative strategy and aims to delivers creative work that will incite customers to buy, interact with or ask questions about a brand, according to Wyckoff and Weas. The agency then measures and works to optimize the results.

“It’s about finding what matters and doing what matters,” Weas said. “That’s where we’re focused, helping clients find that clarity to simplify the complex and make the decisions that are right for the business and connect them in the most relevant and emotional and powerful ways with their customers.”

Modern Climate also is applying its brand clarity process internally to drive growth with clients and attract new ones, Wyckoff said.

Wyckoff has more than 15 years of experience building and leading multidisciplinary creative teams in Minneapolis and Kansas City. She has directed work for health care, financial, retail, consumer packaged goods and food companies.

Weas brings account, brand and business leadership experience from working in strategy and leadership positions at agencies including Carmichael Lynch and Campbell Mithun. He co-founded the Thorburn Group, a Minneapolis brand engagement agency.

Modern Climate’s 45 employees include strategists, technologists, creative talent and performance marketing experts.

“The combination of their experience, expertise and leadership will help drive our mission to move our clients’ businesses forward in today’s ever-changing marketplace,” Modern Climate CEO John Hyduke said of of Weas and Wyckoff in a release announcing their hires earlier this month.

Q: What brought you to Modern Climate?

Wyckoff: It’s digitally focused and that’s been my jam for a long time but not many companies can say that and also be well versed in brand and advertising. This is just a really good fit for my skills and background and the things that I love to do.

Weas: I can focus on what I love, the strategy portion, but also work alongside our ownership and senior leadership to help them craft their next direction.

Q: How do you approach your role as strategy director?

Weas: We believe that brands are built from the inside out, going back to say where do you stand in the world and then finding those consumers who can connect with that and understand the value proposition that those brands are offering. Where I sit is sort of in the middle, finding ways to gain that insight and then most importantly translating that. I like to think of myself as a catalyst for creativity, being able to refine and define and present ideas that bring that clarity and serve as a catalyst for our creative team to do great work.

Q: What are your responsibilities as executive creative director?

Wyckoff: It’s not only directing the creative itself but also the people on the team. I love nurturing young talent. I love being inspired by what other people bring to the table and getting a lot of camaraderie going and a lot of team chemistry going, and that’s what I hope to continue to develop here. There are already some incredibly talented people here. We’re all coming out of our caves after COVID and we’ve got that creative synergy again.

Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is todd_nelson@ mac.com.