Curb Convo with Emily Stickler: Director of Strategy

We’re back with another feature on the faces of Curb! This week, meet Emily, our question-asker, insights-lover, adventure-seeking director of strategy.

Tell us about your role at Curb Crowser & how you got into strategy.

I met Shandra, (our VP here at Curb) about 5 years ago doing some pro bono strategy work with a local nonprofit, and we immediately hit it off. She’s one part strategist, two parts retail innovationist, and that, combined with my two parts strategist, one part brand storyteller, led to some awesome collaborations over the past few years. I joined the Curb team full time about a year ago as the Director of Strategy, after spending the first part of my career in brand marketing and strategy on the client side (at a nonprofit, then in corporate retail, and most recently at a university), itching to see what brand strategy opportunities and challenges the agency side could bring.

What’s the coolest part of your job?

Hands down, getting to create awesome work with my incredible coworkers. Brand building truly is a team effort, and I love seeing everything come together.

Your passion project is with Fit Foodie Finds, a Minneapolis-based food & lifestyle blog. What’s it like to be a part of a social influencer team?

My work on Fit Foodie Finds constantly fuels my more creative side. I’m the brand manager on this awesome three-woman team, and oversee brand partnerships and collaborations. As a healthy living blog, it’s been awesome to see how relevant brands can play in this space and truly come to life through influencer partnerships the way no other advertising execution can (in my opinion). My favorite part of working on Fit Foodie — in addition to working with two of my best friends — is seeing beautiful recipes or kickass workouts resonate with our readers. The Instagram Stories of recipes made by our readers at home, or comments on the blog of how much someone loved having one of our workouts while traveling, never go unnoticed.

What do you see as the greatest asset of social influencer marketing and how influencers can do it well?

I think the influencer marketing space is still growing up a bit. And many brands are still in those awkward teenage years when trying to collaborate with influencers. We’ve all seen these executions: the ones where a food blogger who has never posted about a nutritional supplement in the history of their blog, suddenly has a (clearly) paid collaboration for ONE social post about their brand and expect it to drive immediate sales. The way brands (and influencers) will win in this space is to be authentically themselves. Consumers are hungry for real connections and collaborations, and the influencers who can stay true to their brand and mission while growing will come out on top.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I LOVE to run. I grew up in a family of runners and learned to love exploring areas on foot at an early age. Since college, I’ve gotten more into running longer distances, so today you’ll often find me training for 50K trail races and checking off my bucket list of National and State Park hikes with my fiancé and fur child, Thor.

We’ve got more awesome stories from our Curb crew in the coming weeks, so make sure to stay tuned!