Join us for VISIONS Summit NYC  - June 11
Season 3 Episode 2
May 30, 2023

Millenni-olds and Gen Z-ers

There have been many noticeable changes in the workplace over the past few years. How does your brand authentically align with your values? How do you build that in a way that is authentic and meaningful while still being professionals? How do you use how you show up to work and the norms of that as a way to create less distraction from the meaningful work that's done, but not in a way that is gatekeeping access to everyone? Listen now and join the discussion!

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Infinite Shelf - Wunderkind

There have been many noticeable changes in the workplace over the past few years. How does your brand authentically align with your values? How do you build that in a way that is authentic and meaningful while still being professionals? How do you use how you show up to work and the norms of that as a way to create less distraction from the meaningful work that's done, but not in a way that is gatekeeping access to everyone? Listen now and join the discussion!

The Art of Simplification

  • {00:02:22} “There's a lot of conversation out there about artificial intelligence and what it's going to replace and what it's not. And the reality is that marketing is human-centric. Marketing is empathy. And so I think there are a lot of things about marketing strategy that will never be replaced.” - Orchid
  • {00:09:09} “We were able to fail in a very private or limited way in which this generation cannot because everything is public. Think about how many parents created a special hashtag for their kid or created social media accounts for their kid. And so this failure becomes permanent because everything on the Internet lives forever.” - Orchid
  • {00:20:16} “There is a lot of nuance that is lost in this really valuable and lived advice that we are giving to the next generation.” - Orchid
  • {00:22:54} “If we work together, we can build this beautiful environment where, yes, we have boundaries, but we are also committed to doing the work until it's done because we take pride in our work as well.” - Orchid
  • {00:24:30} “As now rising leaders within our organization, we have the power and are gaining more and more power to influence the cultures around us to find that balance between hustle culture and not having work define who you are. “ - Ingrid
  • {00:28:18} “The workplace has changed fundamentally the same way that the retail environment has changed fundamentally due to eCommerce coming out, social media coming out, and COVID happening.” - Ingrid

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Ingrid: [00:00:19] Hello and welcome to Infinite Shelf, the human-centric retail podcast. I'm your host, Ingrid Milman Cordy, and I'm joined by...

Orchid: [00:00:28] Orchid Bertelsen. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:00:33] Yay! And if you're just tuning in to this season, we are exploring all things sort of the evolution of DTC. What do we do now? We're sort of ten, 15 years into this really disruptive channel that has evolved. There are so many things that were true ten years ago, five years ago, even three years ago, that are very maybe untrue or considerably less true today. And there are so many topics within that between growth and profitability, acquisition channels and what the expectations are for costs there, exit strategies, all of those things. And we intend to spend the entire season dedicated to sort of the evolution and the aging of the DTC channel, which actually happens to parallel really well with Orchid and I...

Orchid: [00:01:30] Aging?

Ingrid: [00:01:31] Graceful aging. I was like, how am I going to say this? But it's aging. You know, aging is not a dirty word, you guys.

Orchid: [00:01:36] No, it's not. It's just that men are allowed to age and women aren't. So let's just get into it... I'm just kidding. This is not what the episode is about.

Ingrid: [00:01:43] It is not. But it isn't any less true. So all of those things will be visited. I think that in the spirit of the fact that this is the human-centric retail podcast, I think we should be talking a lot more about the humans that are behind these brands. And Orchid, your experience right now in what you're currently doing, you see a lot of both sides, right? So do you want to just go through sort of what you're doing professionally, but then also what's happening internally?

Orchid: [00:02:15] Yes, of course. So when we talk about marketing, it is an art and a science. And I think obviously [00:02:22] there's a lot of conversation out there about artificial intelligence and what it's going to replace and what it's not. And the reality is that marketing is human-centric. Marketing is empathy. And so I think there are a lot of things about marketing strategy that will never be replaced. [00:02:38] And so that makes the humans behind the brand that much more important.

Ingrid: [00:02:42] Totally.

Orchid: [00:02:43] And I came from brand side. I've kind of done this strange ping pong between brand and agency side, and there are very marked differences between the two. And I'm now on the agency side, and the reality is that agency talent tends to skew younger. You have a lot more folks who are early in your career. And in my experience, my agency, I would say that that season of my life when I started an agency, was about trying to figure out what I wanted to do as it pertained to marketing. And so when you're in those early stages, when you're trying to figure it out, it just looks very different.

Ingrid: [00:03:26] Different than before or different from the brand side on the agency side?

Orchid: [00:03:31] Different from the brand side, I think, of course, and we'll talk about this more as well. I think what it meant to be agency side is different between creative agency or marketing performance agency. I mean, there are those dynamics, but it is certainly a larger contrast when you look at agency versus brand. So when I first went from creative agency to brand side, I noticed that marketing associates at a brand all had MBAs. I was the only one that didn't have one. And when you talk to a marketing manager or a marketing director, you're talking to someone who might be already 15 to 20 years into their career. Whereas on the agency side, if you're talking to an account director, it's likely that you're talking to someone under 30. So one of those mismatches in titles and also what the title represented in terms of experience was a pretty big gap going from agency to brand side.

Ingrid: [00:04:32] Totally. Yeah. And I would even add that the evolution of agencies and how they're configured is fundamentally different today than it was even when I was on the agency side. Shout out Barbarian group.

Orchid: [00:04:50] {laughter} Am I supposed to do that with my old agency?

Ingrid: [00:04:53] {laughter} I'm just like, I'm one of those corny people who like, loves my old agency. But ultimately what it was was we were a full service agency. And the landscape of agencies and what agencies do has changed dramatically. And I don't want to change the topic, but that's another thing where it used to be, where you were like this jack of all trades and you had to know a little bit about performance and a little bit about creative and a little bit about awareness and top of funnel stuff. And it was just a little bit it was very much that, but when you didn't know, there was always someone to your right and to your left who did and who can help fill in those gaps. And I think that some of the challenges with agency personnel today is that they're so specialized and they only think about their component that it can be challenging when you're the client side and you're like, "Wait, you didn't think about the repercussions of what is going to happen here?" So there's that whole element to it. But I think originally when we were talking about this sort of in preparation, we were talking about the actual quality of people that we are exposed to. And I think the younger generation and I think there are just some differences in how we approach work and the world and problem-solving and taking initiative and things like that. And so I was curious, Orchid, how are you feeling about this new generation coming into the workforce, like the Gen Xers?

Orchid: [00:06:32] Oh, the Gen Zers? I think we're closer to Gen X, right?

Ingrid: [00:06:36] Oh sorry. Yes.

Orchid: [00:06:37] Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of it is cultural and contextual. So when you think about Gen Zers entering into the workforce and what their experience was like relative to ours, I do think that COVID and remote working has done them a disservice. I mean, remember early on in our careers where people would last minute pull us into a conference room and they'd say, "Stand in the back, shut up, take notes, watch how it's done." And we did so much learning by osmosis. We remember, in an open office space, watching the top performers walk by and just seeing how they engaged and interacted with different people on different teams. There was so much that you could absorb that wasn't a part of you heads down, working on the project or the task that you were assigned.

Ingrid: [00:07:24] Totally.

Orchid: [00:07:24] Whereas now when you look at the remote workforce, your experience is in a Zoom box, right? And so it becomes very transactional, it becomes very specific, and it also becomes, in order to succeed in this world as a manager managing someone across Zoom you have to be incredibly intentional about the coaching and the training and the documentation and the guidance and the documentation when it comes to something that a tangible thing that they can reference back to. Like, "This is what good looks like." And so I do think a lot of it is contextual of this age of COVID. And then I think when we think about culturally and we were talking about this, we graduated or I graduated college in '05, so a couple years before you and I was lovingly referring to Zuck because we're about the same age, similar levels of accomplishment, obviously. And Facebook was created my sophomore year.

Ingrid: [00:08:24] Are you destroying the world to Orchid and I don't even know?

Orchid: [00:08:27] I don't know. What is he even doing? I mean, I take my sunscreen cues from him, really. Really got to get that zinc oxide. Yeah. {laughter} So you got to keep those wrinkles away. So I think we grew up in this age of Facebook where I remember studying abroad in Germany my junior year of college, and there are all these embarrassing photos that were captured on a digital camera of which I never connected to my laptop. So thankfully, those things do not exist. If for some reason one of my old college buddies is in the audience and has those photos, please also pretend like those don't exist.

Ingrid: [00:09:07] Also, how dare you?

Orchid: [00:09:08] Exactly. And so [00:09:09] we were able to fail in a very private or limited way in which this generation, this new generation cannot because everything is public. From the time that they were born. I mean, think about how many parents created a special hashtag for their kid or created social media accounts for their kid. And so this failure becomes permanent because everything on the Internet lives forever. [00:09:35] And so I do think that there is a cultural context that is shaping the new workforce as well.

Ingrid: [00:10:27] I think that's really well said. And I would even say that like Gen Z, the point you made initially about having no actual workspace to go into for the most part as we benefited from, what is happening, at least from my vantage point, is those soft skills of being able to watch those high performers and just like see how they navigate conversations and see how they problem solve and see how they continuously add value outside of even their little box that they're in. And that sort of just introduces you to more and more people and shows more people how valuable you are. And that whole loop, I think that they've lost that opportunity, and even just the... I have really, really distinct memories of having those like happy hour moments with someone who I admired or someone who I wanted to learn things from and getting the chance to like over a cocktail, ask them questions, share some vulnerabilities or whatever it was. And it's unfortunate. I love the work-from-home thing based on where I'm at in my world.

Orchid: [00:11:50] Same.

Ingrid: [00:11:51] I had the privilege of having my first ten, 15 years of my work relationship to build those relationships and have those soft skills developed and watch the masters in action, if you will. And then now, I'm a mom and I have all these things that I'm juggling. And so being able to be flexible with when I'm working and I can after bedtime, log back in and do what I need to do and all that kind of stuff. So in my phase, I'm largely benefiting from it and my work is actually improved too because I have the time where I can really focus. I'm not like commuting. All this nonsense. But for the younger generation, man, they're really missing out on being able to form those relationships, observe those soft skills, and all of that. I think it's also a totally separate thing of, I don't know if it's generational or not. Like, I kind of hate putting the big like generation tag on everything. I think it's just maybe it's an expression of this same sort of soft skill miss, like not being able to cultivate that. But I think it's also this ownership conversation where it's like, "Oh, this is my job. I'm going to log in, I'm going to log off, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. But then, if I can't complete a task because there was like a small thing in my way..." That's all of a sudden something that I think the younger generation or the newer people in the workforce feel is appropriate to say is what's happening. And I don't know, have you had any experiences along those lines?

Orchid: [00:13:39] Yes. {laughter} So part of it is that, again, we occupy an interesting space in history as the elder millennials, geriatric millennials, millennials, whatever your preferred... I love millennials. Whatever your favorite moniker is for our generation. We sit in that gap of pre technology to technology. When I was ten years old, I logged on to Prodigy for the first time through my parents' landline. And so you what's interesting is that when you grow up in that world and all of a sudden all the world's information is at your fingertips and you're able to literally Google anything, I think that that's actually a lot of the difference is that if I don't know something, I'm just going to Google it. I know I'm not supposed to have all the answers. And so whether it's a white paper or whether it is a template for an org chart that I want to put together, I know that that information is out there. And I don't really know what it's attributed to, but it feels like I've had interactions where people want to be given the information versus seek it out for themselves. And I actually don't know if it's tied to media literacy as, as a piece because the running joke is that, hey, if it's on the Internet, it must be true. We also sit in this gap where Wikipedia started while I was in college. And the question of whether or not it can actually be cited as an accurate source. And so it's entirely possible that this generation coming up in the world might not trust or have the experience to know which sources of information to trust versus not. But that's just me playing armchair psychiatrist.

Ingrid: [00:15:37] Yeah. I mean I think there are points to that, but I guess we're maybe there's something in we lived in the world before the Internet and we knew how difficult it was to get access to information and resources.

Orchid: [00:15:58] I faxed. I sent faxes. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:16:00] Right. Yeah. Oh, me too. I would go to the library and look up the encyclopedia and write...

Orchid: [00:16:07] Dewey Decimal System.

Ingrid: [00:16:08] Yes, totally. And so I think that there had been back then when it first came available to us but even still now there's this spark of joy that happens knowing that we can go on the Internet and find a resource for us, at our fingertips. And that's so cool. And I think there are going to be further implications of AI in that too. And I think that's the next evolution of that. That's a whole other topic. But I guess having had the two different worlds and being able to sort of take pride in the fact that we can go on the Internet and fend for ourselves and get the information, there was an excitement to that that I don't know if because of the time that they grew up, they didn't have the old world to compare it to. And so they were just like, "Yeah, of course everything's going to be like handed to me. And it's already on the Internet." And they've missed that joy of the seeking to find it themselves.

Orchid: [00:17:14] Yeah. No, I totally hear that. I think, too, that as millennials are aging into leadership, we've made this transition from, "Oh, you get to own the marketing strategy," or I remember I was pulled in to do a pitch on and explain YouTube's SERP back in 2011, just by nature of being the young person on the team, to now we are in leadership. And what's interesting too is that we as mentors, I forget the word, we were also just kind of stretched too thin. We were given a lot of projects that were set up as growth opportunities in the best way. And we're like, "Yes, please, Thank you. I would like more of this." And I think that we worked long hours. I remember especially agency side. You probably remember this. You're staying until 2:00 in the morning to build a deck that a managing director is probably just going to tear apart the next day.

Ingrid: [00:18:23] At least you got to order burgers at 9 p.m. when the... {laughter}

Orchid: [00:18:26] That's true. Nine? I stayed until seven I needed and then like I wouldn't remember to submit my expense report and then I ended up having to pay for it. But that's a rite of passage, right? And so I do think there were a lot of things that we've tried to advise, that we have tried to give to the next generation that I think they just don't have the lived experience to interpret it in the way that we mean. So as an example, when we say bring your whole self to work, I actually don't mean bring your whole self to every single interaction, okay? What I mean is that feel free to be yourself in a lot of different spaces, but we still have a professional face that we want to put on because just as you have a different conversation that you have with your parents versus your friends, that is the same when you're having a conversation with your colleagues versus your boss versus some clients. And so just because I think the word comes to mind, just because we were exploited a bit in our careers, we're trying to give this advice that, again, when you don't have the lived experience, it can be misconstrued. And so another example I'll share is this idea of negotiating for what you're worth. I agree with this. You absolutely should do this. What I mean is base that on research and comps in the marketplace. When you go and interview, have an understanding or ask your network what an understanding of like a fair wages for this job. What I'm not asking you to do is pull out a random six figure number when you're 22 and ask for that out of a marketing team because that is the tech comp. And so [00:20:16] there is a lot of nuance that is lost in this really, I think, valuable and lived advice that we are giving to the next generation. [00:20:24]

Ingrid: [00:20:25] Totally fair. A small moment of checking ourselves and just like being a devil's advocate here. I think there's so much of what you just described as your experience in like working crazy, being up to a certain extent exploited, given these "growth opportunities" and whatever, and also not having the same coaching on like asking for salaries and things like that. I do think that if you had to label in 3 to 5 terms millennials in the workplace culture, 100% one of those top five labels would be hustle culture.

Orchid: [00:21:07] Yeah. Boom.

Ingrid: [00:21:08] We are. Yeah. But we are so ingrained and we have internalized hustle culture in such a real way and similar to but different than the salary conversation, I think that there is an extreme overcorrection of hustle culture with some of the newer generations coming into the workforce where they're just like, "Yeah, I'd love to do that, but it's 5 p.m." Could you imagine saying that to a manager of yours before? But also can you understand that actually is reasonable, right? Like in Europe, they're just like, "Yeah, that's what we do. We have to go. We have an aperitif to enjoy right now."

Orchid: [00:22:01] "And we're going to take the entire month of August off." Yeah, I mean, I think that's what makes me very hopeful of this working relationship that we are building between millennials and Gen Z is that I think as millennials, a lot of our self-identity, especially with high performers, is that my work speaks for me. My identity is my work. It's the work product that I put out there. I am defined by the things that I do. Versus a lot of Gen Z is like, "Hey, I am who I am and I'm going to show up as me. Work is a part of my life, but it is not my life." And so I think what we're effectively experiencing is the extreme ends of both sides. And I think that [00:22:54] if we work together, we can build this beautiful environment where, yes, we have boundaries, but we are also committed to doing the work until it's done because we take pride in our work as well. [00:23:05]

Ingrid: [00:23:05] Totally. Yeah. Yeah. I think there's a balance that needs to be struck between the hustle culture generation and there are so many elements of that that are I'm proud to have. I like the fact that with the amount of time that one spends working even let's just say it's not the 60 to 80 hours that at one point in our careers, I'm sure we did..

Orchid: [00:23:30] I did a 100 hour a week, like once. And it was awful.

Ingrid: [00:23:34] No, I mean, I wouldn't wish that on anyone and I'm never advocating for that. But so there are components of just the amount of time that we spend in our lives on our work that if we don't derive any meaning from that time that we invest, I think that's also problematic because then you start to find issues of like purpose and, you know, all those things can actually impact mental health too. So I guess my point is let's stop glamorizing hustle culture, which I actually think is something that we've already moved away from. And even your visceral reaction to like the term hustle culture, you're like, "God, no, don't say it." But that's because it's a real thing. I think that if we find that balance, to your point about hustle culture and also having work not be everything and define who you are as an individual, I think [00:24:30] we as now rising leaders within our organization, we have the power and are gaining more and more power to influence the cultures around us to find that balance. [00:24:41]

Orchid: [00:24:42] One hundred percent. I think it is about, I'm not trying to be dramatic, although I am a bit of a drama queen sometimes, how do we build this new world order where we're taking the best of both perspectives, and then we'll probably have to talk about Gen X too because I feel like they always get forgotten.

Ingrid: [00:25:02] I know. Poor Gen X.

Orchid: [00:25:03] But I do think that we have an opportunity to pave a path and build a world and culture that is sustainable and meaningful. And I think oftentimes when we have these conversations, we end up teeing a bunch of false choices. It's either this or it's that, it's this or it's that. But the reality is that two things can be true at the same time.

Ingrid: [00:25:24] Yeah. Yeah.

Orchid: [00:25:24] So I do think that to your point, there are things like, I mean, just think about all the things that were glamorized in hustle culture, right? Like Elon Musk sleeping in a sleeping bag under his desk and people were like, "Yeah, he's committed." I was like, "I don't know. That just sounds like pretty bad time management to me."

Ingrid: [00:25:42] It sounds like he should be committed. {laughter}

Orchid: [00:25:44] Yeah. So there are definitely things where I think we can be very intentional and thoughtful about the things that we celebrate when it comes to work and what does it look like to create an environment where we build something meaningful together? That to your point, we spend, you know, say 40 to 50 hours a week at work, that we feel like that time was well spent. Because no one will ever look back on their life and say, "I wish I had worked more." But I think to go to your earlier point too, about relationship building, that was a lot of what those early years were. Think about how many work friends you had at your wedding versus college friends. And so I do think that there is this disservice to the younger generations where it's like, work can... I think work was more meaningful to us because that was our friend group. And so I do think that that is a marked difference as well.

Ingrid: [00:26:41] Yeah, I totally agree. And I think in listening to this, you know, hopefully as a listener, we are in some ways involved in shaping culture and culture that hopefully delivers not only like a better place to work and to be and to spend our time, but ultimately I'm very much in the mindset of without that you don't get the other things, so you're not going to get the great inspirational ideas, you're not going to get the stronger connection to your consumer that you're after in your strategy deck. So to me, there isn't this dotted line. There is a firm clear line between understanding the dynamics that are underlying your workforce and the people that you rely on to accomplish all of your goals and how they're feeling and what is driving them and what is underlying some of the behaviors and actions that we have to now deal with as managers. It's like, "Well, let's just meet them where they're at," and just a foundational understanding of those generational differences now that, I don't know what the number is, but I imagine that we're the growing majority of the workforce between Gen X and millennials. And I'll even throw in some of the Gen Xers too, even though they sometimes... They are pretty cool. They are, I got to say, they don't get the credit they deserve. But yeah, so we are making up the growing majority of corporations. And so understanding these really meaningful [00:28:16] changes. The workplace has changed fundamentally the same way that the retail environment has changed fundamentally due to eCommerce coming out, social media coming out, and COVID happening. All of these things just, I think, deserve to be explored and not just because the human aspect is important, but because the human aspect is your highway into the strategy and the execution and the results. [00:28:48]

Orchid: [00:28:48] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, at the end of the day, no matter what business you're in, you're in a people business, and I think in marketing more than any other business. And so when we talk about this new world order of this opportunity to build a better workplace, and then when we talk about building something meaningful, that thing that you are building that is meaningful can be how a brand behaves. How a brand behaves with consumers. How a brand shows up. I mean, we can certainly talk about the Bud Light controversy over the past week, but there is this opportunity for us and I know I'm kind of going back on what I said before.

Ingrid: [00:29:27] It's ok. We evolve.

Orchid: [00:29:28] I was going to say we evolve. We also have an editor. But I'm just I'm teasing. I'm teasing. But this idea of bringing your whole self to work, I think you can also bring your values into work in a meaningful way. Now, you're still going to have to make a judgment call on you're not going to show up to a Zoom call with a client in your club clothes. Do people still go to clubs? I don't know if people go to clubs anymore, but if they did, don't wear those clothes onto client calls. So I do think that that is an area of opportunity as well, which is, hey, you bring your values. How does your brand authentically align with your values? How do you build that in a way that is authentic and meaningful while still being professionals?

Ingrid: [00:30:14] I think it's kind of similar to the conversation about like and I do really want to get into the Budweiser thing just because it's fascinating to talk through, so let's do it. But in terms of being professional, there is a school of thought when it comes to manners. Outside of the workplace, the idea of manners and how to sit at the table and what to do with your napkin and all of those types of things, the origin of manners and rules around that actually stems from the intention to make everyone around you comfortable.

Orchid: [00:30:59] I thought it was so you wouldn't get kicked out of the tribe.

Ingrid: [00:31:02] Well, I think it's one of those things where like, yeah, I mean, it is definitely tribal, right? And it is like even to a certain extent, like classist. You can look at it that way too. It comes from royalty and all of that. But the whole idea was that when you go, think about when you go to a dinner party and there is like a table set up for, let's say, 25 people and there are no like place cards. And so everyone has to seat themselves. And there's a level of anxiety that that situation brings up that a host that has experience in running these types of things actually knows to avoid. So they actually do give you place cards and they can say, "Oh, this is just a recommendation. Sit wherever you want," but you at least have a go-to. Like, "Okay. And then when I get there, I know what to do. I know that this is going to be the first course," and taking some of the anxiety out. I promise there's a parallel to where...

Orchid: [00:32:03] I'm excited.

Ingrid: [00:32:03] Follow me. So there's a component to manners, maybe not the entire thing, but there's a huge component to it that is just meant to have a standard operating procedure that everyone can sort of subconsciously agree to that allows for the other focus. Hopefully a great conversation. Hopefully a delicious meal. Hopefully some laughs. Hopefully some new friends. All of those things that don't have anything to do with what fucking fork you're using.

Orchid: [00:32:34] The fish fork. To be clear.

Ingrid: [00:32:37] Obviously. It's always the fish fork. But those things, once they are thought of and taken care of and like sort of taken off the table, allows for the other magical things to start happening. And I do think that there's a component of work etiquette and work manners and professionalism. Some of it goes way too far and it's kind of stupid and outdated. Same thing with manners. But then there are some things that are kind of a relief to just know we're going to show up on time. We're not going to, you know, like we're not going to wear our club tube top, although that might be entertaining. Who knows? Tube top, too. Ingrid, you're really aging us. Well, although, I don't know, all the 90s stuff is coming back. Yeah, like the tube tops and the low-waisted. Anyway.

Orchid: [00:33:26] No, no, thank you. Hard pass.

Ingrid: [00:33:29] I mean, I'm seven months pregnant, so it would be really hilarious. I mean, I guess I do have some really low-waisted stuff these days. Anyway, but you hear what I'm saying? It's like there are manners and there's this thing and it's like, let's just do the bare minimum of that and just all agree that that's going to happen so that the actual work and the good stuff and the juices can get flowing and we can get the shit done.

Orchid: [00:33:52] Yeah I love that. Although wearing tube tops, which sometimes maybe they're miniskirts, who knows? But I do think to your point about corporate etiquette, I think that in the worst way it is used as gatekeeping, gatekeeping language. If you don't speak the speak, if you don't use the right acronyms. There's an entire TikTok series where a woman asks her friend, she says, "Well, I want to say like, stop emailing me because you're being annoying. How do you say that in corporate?" And then he interprets it for her, right? He was like, "Your constant reminders are appreciated, but not necessary," sort of thing.

Ingrid: [00:34:27] Yeah. {laughter}

Orchid: [00:34:27] And so I do think, again, when we talk about the new world order that we get to build, it is a how do you use how you show up to work and the norms of that as a way to create less distraction from the meaningful work that's done, but not in a way that is gatekeeping access to everyone?

Ingrid: [00:34:50] Oh my gosh. I mean, if another term that now the digital people, like the second you have like a person that has any form of digital in their title goes into a room it's like prerequisite that they have acronyms and slang and ways of talking that are like I think at this point, intentionally gatekeeping and now it's just so cringy to me where I'll literally use like the most simple, like a ROAS or whatever, just the most basic things like I will now I'll say the acronym so that the digital snobs in the room know I know what's up. But then for everyone else who actually I want to bring along on the journey which I have now learned in my career, is really important, just don't talk in the acronyms. Or use the acronyms, but then explain what they are so that everyone can participate in the conversation. But holy shit, in terms of gatekeeping digital people, we created that whole thing.

Orchid: [00:35:52] Guilty as charged. I think it's paid media specifically, right? When you're talking about ROAS, MER, all those things. And I think that sometimes and this is something to watch out for as a manager of folks who are early in their career is that sometimes people use it to hide behind. And so so just by nature of being able to explain the thing... What does that actually mean? What does it mean in terms of business performance? Because it doesn't actually matter how many fancy acronyms you have if you can't simply explain to me what the business impact is. And now I am guilty of this early on because you think that you need to use all the fancy talk. It's like that scene in Clueless where she learns a new word. It was sporadically and she's like, "Now use it in a sentence." That's a lot of what I think my early career was. I learned this fancy new word. But what you realize as you become more experienced as you age is that the true art is to simplify rather than to complicate.

Ingrid: [00:36:58] Yeah. And to wrap this whole thing up in a lovely little DTC bow, I actually think that there's truth to that in business strategy as well. Let's face it there's a playbook for DTC brands and there's a font and there's a color and there's a...

Orchid: [00:37:19] The color is pastel.

Ingrid: [00:37:20] Yeah. This is the way, this is the way we do our photography. And it's just like there just is, there's a playbook and we can probably thank Emily Weiss for it. And so I will. But there's a playbook. And I think that the same way that we should take what we need and leave the rest as it relates to professionalism and manners and generational differences, I think it's the same thing with DTC. I think we need to take what we need, which is yes, simplification is important. Yes, disrupting old ways of thinking that aren't serving us anymore is super important. But now what? What do we do after we have those lessons? We can't just keep Emily Weissing our way through the universe.

Orchid: [00:38:02] The answer is we can do whatever we want. This idea of being able to... Now I'm also on tarot card reading TikTok, but the idea of take what resonates, and leave what doesn't, but the answer is that we can build anything that we imagine. And I know that for some folks that could be scary. But for some other folks like, that's very energizing. And then all of like the old sayings that seem very trite become true, which is be the change you want to see in the world.

Ingrid: [00:38:34] Totally. Yeah. And I think maybe our next episode will be all about the evolution of DTC and how we think our forecast is for what DTC brands are going to do in the next decade of their growth and evolution and aging.

Orchid: [00:38:50] I think seraph fonts are coming back. I'm just kidding.

Ingrid: [00:38:52] Thank God, I love seraph fonts. I love seraph fonts. Please come back. I love them. They're beautiful.

Orchid: [00:38:58] Sans Comic. Stay away.

Ingrid: [00:39:02] Prada did not participate in the grand dullification of luxury labels. When seraph fonts went away, Prada was like, "Nope, this is us. We're standing in our truth." And I have just so much respect for that. Miu Miu, you're a goddess. Anyway, I am so glad that you're here. And I just am having so much fun talking to you. And I hope the audience is as well. I'd be shocked if they weren't. But also... Audience, come on, you got to tell us what you think. Give us some hilarious war stories of generational conflict in your offices. Come to us with some of your questions or some of the drama that's happening. And let's go through it on the show. It'll be super, super fun to watch Orchid and I argue about that.

Orchid: [00:39:48] We're debating in a very spirited manner. That's corporate speak for being drama queens.

Ingrid: [00:39:55] Totally. No. And sorry, not sorry for that. Well, thank you, Orchid. Anything you wanted to share with the audience before we wrap?

Orchid: [00:40:04] Yeah. I mean, I just hope that this is a message of hope. This is a message of us being able to partner with various lived experiences that we have in our workplace and in our workforce to create something that's meaningful and better. And so I will echo Ingrid's point. I'd love to hear feedback from you all on what resonates. Leave what doesn't, do what my astrology TikTok says.

Ingrid: [00:40:29] Perfect. You're going to have to send me some of those TikToks because I want to get into that algorithm.

Orchid: [00:40:34] It's about like twin flames and stuff. And I was like, I'm married. Like, what do I need a twin flame for?

Ingrid: [00:40:41] Cute. I love it. Well, thanks again, and I'll see you all soon.

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