Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on May 1, 2017

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How Nationwide Insurance Employs a Flexible, Memorable Brand Voice

seth sparks on brand

“Our brand values are up on the wall but there’s more to it. We have a very specific way of talking.” In addition to being a part of Nationwide’s Member Experience Team, Seth Sparks has a lot of the same non-branding interests as I do. In addition to talking branding, we managed to work in The West Wing, Doctor Who, and Star Trek on this week’s lively episode of the On Brand podcast.

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About Seth Sparks

Seth Sparks is a blogger, vlogger, podcaster, and aspiring author. Professionally, he’s the head of media and technology for the Member Experience Network, a private community for strategic partners of Nationwide, as well as a partnership marketing manager for national member-based organizations.

Episode Highlights

How does Nationwide share their brand culture internally? Beyond the standard style guide, Nationwide has what Seth calls, “A particular way of talking. Bullet points instead of paragraphs. Visuals instead of words. Speak simply.” While this could sound like clarity in communications the outcome creates a consistent brand across all touchpoints.

Doctor Who + Branding? Yep, we went there. When you have a couple of bona fide nerds talking, the podcast conversation can take a turn to the Whovian. We discussed how the Doctor regenerates/rebrands every few years but he’s still the Doctor. “They have their ‘Why’ statement down.”

So what does Seth do? I work in a small department at a giant company. His team works to develop affinity offers for member organizations. They do this by developing affinity of their own.

The Member Experience Network. With so many nonprofit organizations as partners, Nationwide developed a partner network to create value for their members by teaching them about fundraising and direct mail through hosted trainings and live events. “It’s an opportunity to take something we know and do something for our members.

What brand has made Seth smile recently? While an Arby’s gyro commercial made him laugh, Seth invited us to check out the Nerdwriter YouTube channel.

To learn more, follow Seth on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently, AQs Blog & Grill gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode featuring Kerry O’Shea Gorgone. Thanks for listening!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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