International Women’s Day 2020: The Builders Behind the Brand

You may have heard that Maven Wave was recently acquired by Atos, a global leader in digital transformation with more than 110,000 employees, in 73 countries, and an annual revenue of over €11 billion. Our new partnership, mapped out thoughtfully by our team, is truly “a match made in the cloud.” Together, we are proud to be the top Google Cloud partner worldwide.

Being that Atos is one of the largest digital services providers in the world, we’re extremely grateful for a particular team that was an instrumental piece in helping our brand reach global recognition and attracting such a prominent buyer. That’s why, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re shining the spotlight on our all-female marketing team, who, alongside other woman-led teams such as recruiting & human resources (we will be spotlighting them, as well!), positioned the Maven Wave brand to be a buyable asset in 2020.

When founders Brian, Jeff, and Jason started Maven Wave in 2008, they knew they had something special – an idea that was capable of exponential growth. But they also knew they needed the right team to get it off the ground, as instilling a strong company culture played a crucial part in their vision. In a highly competitive market, the founders have always considered it critical to continually assemble the right group of Mavens who all possess that magnetic “X-Factor” that draws people in. With that team in place, a little masking tape and a healthy dose of luck (as Founder Brian Farrar would put it), Maven Wave was off to the races. 

But a few years in, the team recognized the need to dedicate resources toward officially establishing the brand. That’s why in 2013, when Maven Wave was really beginning to hit its stride, we welcomed Jessica Wesley (now Senior Director of Marketing) as the sole member of the company’s marketing team.

When asked what attracted her to such an adolescent company, Wesley said, “Building a brand was something I always wanted to do and having the opportunity to get in at the ground level and really influence the brand direction was particularly appealing.”

At that point, to the credit of the founders, the brand was positioned much like a springboard for marketing. The team had already seen great success with only a few basic branding elements in place, which instilled confidence in Wesley that there was something great here to work with. It was clear that the company had significant potential, but a full rebrand, messaging overhaul, and marketing strategy boost was essential to unleash the potential simmering underneath the surface.

“We needed a brand that reflected our capabilities, enterprise expertise, talents, and partnership with Google Cloud,” notes Wesley.

Like every great rebrand, we started with our logo, which provided a strong foundation for the rest of the brand execution. It took hundreds of sketches and revisions before we finally settled on the brand mark that we are still using today. To bring this to life, we needed input and agreement from all three founding partners, help from our in-house design team, and a thoughtful strategy for execution. The full rebrand was completed in seven months with a five-person in-house design team and a limited budget.

Once we had our new look, we were ready to take off. 

“When you are a small team trying to penetrate a big-player market with a new brand, your job becomes impossible unless you have an exceptional product. In our case, our exceptional product is our people,” Wesley explained.

And the Maven Wave “product” certainly delivered. Over the next seven years, Wesley’s marketing efforts were backed by some monumental accomplishments secured by the firm:

These accomplishments allowed Maven Wave to stand alongside some of the largest consulting brands in the world while we were on the way to becoming one ourselves. 

While the firm was hard at work securing wins and taking [enterprise] names, Wesley was still evolving the brand, year after year. She notes 2017 as a major turning point for the company, as the market began adopting cloud much faster and Google Cloud got serious about the enterprise.

Building The Team

Wesley knew that keeping up with these shifts required support from marketing in the form of brand awareness, lead generation, and thought leadership. As a result, she knew our marketing strategies needed to expand, and that she needed to build her own team to help get us there.

In 2018, Kelly Coughlin officially joined the Maven Wave team to expand our event reach, both vertically and within the industry. In 2019 alone, she helped us execute over 50 events, which drove significant pipeline for the business. “Kelly has grown an incredible amount in a short time, truly owning and leading events at Maven Wave,” states Wesley. “She is a leader within the company, always gets the job done well, and brings a comedic relief to the team.”

Later that year, we welcomed Paige Krzysko to our marketing team. In just under a year and a half, Krzysko has built out our content and digital marketing strategies and streamlined our process for content creation, which is a major reason as to why we are able to produce high-quality thought leadership pieces across a diverse range of topics. With her help, our wide-ranging expertise across the organization does not go untapped, and, as a result, our blog attracted nearly 30,000 readers last year. “Bringing Paige on board was a breath of fresh air for us. She is an excellent writer, a thorough editor, and can recommend a great concert anytime, in any city!” states Wesley.

Shortly after Krzysko was brought onboard, we also welcomed Kaira Teschke to our marketing team.  As a recent graduate and the youngest member of the team, Teschke started off with coordination responsibilities, but quickly outgrew her role. She now takes on a project management and brand strategy role within the marketing team. “She keeps the entire team organized, on schedule, and ensures that all of our work is of the highest quality. Kaira is creative, thoughtful, and always has a positive attitude,” Wesley explained.

But our new hire momentum didn’t stop in 2018. In February of 2019, we welcomed Mary Kellogg to our all-female marketing & events team. Kellogg joined at a critical time, as we were gearing up for our biggest event yet: Google Next ‘19. She jumped right in, contributing to our success from the first week. And since she’s been onboard, we’ve executed many exclusive executive events that have resulted in positive ROI over the past year. “Mary is organized, has incredible attention to detail, and can recommend the trendiest restaurant or event venue in every city,” states Wesley.

Looking back, it may have been the entrepreneurial opportunity that initially attracted Wesley to Maven Wave, but it was her passionate fellow Mavens and lively company culture that kept her going. Today, she truly believes she has the best team – a group of strong, smart, motivated, and fun women that each bring unique skill sets and strengths. Together, they created an unstoppable marketing force that boosted Maven Wave’s brand equity and ultimately helped the company become a buyable brand in 2020.

As for the future, we couldn’t be more excited to continue our momentum as Maven Wave, an Atos company. We’ll continue to operate with the same core values we started with in 2008, just on a much larger scale. This means more exciting opportunities for our women, and growth for the whole team as we start our next chapter. 

It’s stories like ours that we hope empower other companies to be #EachforEqual. Happy International Women’s Day to all the hard-working women out there. Keep going! 

And if you’re looking for your next career move, come help us write the next chapter of Maven Wave, an Atos company. We’re hiring! Check out our open job postings here.

March 6th, 2020

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