Customer-Focused Branding with FreshBooks’s Paul Cowan


March 29, 2021

paul cowan freshbooks on brand

“I’m constantly coaching my team on how we market the marketing.” As CMO of FreshBooks, Paul Cowan has a lot on his plate—even marketing the marketing! However, this is important as it helps everyone internally find the brand’s “true north.” We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan is the CMO at FreshBooks, leading its global marketing team. Over the past 20 years, Paul has marketed phones, food, alcohol, toys, and SaaS products at big companies and start-ups, with an expertise in driving sustainable customer growth and retention strategies. He’s built brands through the appropriate application of data and insights and is always focused on driving results. He’s even won some awards that sit on a shelf somewhere and has written things for various publications that his mom is extremely proud of.

Episode Highlights

What drew Paul to FreshBooks? After a storied career on the agency side of things, Paul was drawn to the iconic global SaaS brand by their growth mandate. He was also eager to decode this and figure out the best way to manage that growth.

It pays to know your people. FreshBooks has worked to define who their customer is—the small business owner vs. the corporate accountant who may be drawn to their competitors. “We wanted to understand the owner. To solve their pain.”

Consider forming a Brand Council. At FreshBooks, a cross-functional team called the Brand Council oversees branding. This group has been critical in maintaining the voice of the customer and on new initiatives like branding. This group recently helped launch a “Roll Up Your Sleeves” program aimed at helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

What brand has made Paul smile recently? Paul pointed to Nike for their powerful, emotion-invoking advertising around International Women’s Day.

To learn more, check out FreshBooks and connect with Paul on LinkedIn and Twitter.

As We Wrap …

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.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

  • Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcherTuneIn, and RSS.
  • Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast.
  • OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out.

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

This entry was posted in Podcast. Bookmark the permalink.

Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.




0 comments