Show Spotlight: “Keeping You Organized” by Smead
If you’re anything like me, then this first full post-New Year’s week has been a time of ruthless decluttering. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I was not content to merely discard the Christmas tree and pack up the boxes of ornaments and festive decor. Rather, I felt inspired to sift through (read: tear apart) our files, bookshelves, and three closets.
With this fresh-start spirit in mind, I’ve chosen a truly charming podcast for today’s Show Spotlight. Smead’s Keeping You Organized is the perfect accompaniment for your post-holiday organizational rampage.
Does “Smead” sound familiar, but you can’t quite place the name? You’ve likely seen it before on a package of file folders, labels, or dry erase boards. The company creates products that keep you organized — and a podcast that explores in more depth just what that means.
What it is
Keeping You Organized is a quick, easy slice of friendly advice from people who want to help you get your life together a little better. Each week, host John Hunt interviews a professional organizer about a different topic: how to organize a home office, for example, or how to prepare your home for the holidays. Episode topics aren’t just limited to organizing physical space, though — other past subjects include how to make habits stick and the myth of multi-tasking.
Each episode, an unscripted conversation between Hunt and his guest, clocks in at about 20 minutes. The company releases a video recording of the conversation (which typically features a guest appearing via webcam) as well as the audio in podcast form. To date, Smead has released 285 episodes — that’s 285 snippets of advice to get (and stay) organized.
Who it’s for
Literally everyone. Brilliantly, Smead has chosen not to segment its customer base and offer a show only for those personas. The company could have chosen, for example, to create a show for the very type of person it instead invites to appear as guests on Keeping You Organized: professional organizers.
Instead, Smead has created a show that’s much larger than the products it sells. It’s a show for anyone who wants to feel a little more organized and in control — of their environment, their business, their holidays…the list goes on.
If the success of Marie Kondo (and the content related to her) is any indication, tidying up really can be life-changing — and a huge group of people who want tips and advice to help them become more organized exists. In this show, Smead doesn’t offer anything particularly life-changing or revolutionary, but it does offer approachable counsel that listeners can apply to daily life on a consistent basis.
Why it works
1. It gets what it’s selling.
At the end of the day, Smead is selling file folders, right?
Wrong. At the end of the day, Smead is selling a means to an end: a more organized office/home/life — and associated tranquility and peace of mind — for its customers.
Smead totally understands that its value proposition transcends paper products and whiteboards. The products it creates and sells are merely tools toward a better, more controlled lifestyle or workday. That elevates Smead to a partner in efficient, effective living — not just another vendor.
The best shows are those that allow a brand to say something meaningful that improves its customers lives. Smead does that by demonstrating the value of organization: of thoughts, of habits, of physical spaces, of work. It occasionally references its products, yes, but the show is not about selling products — it’s about selling a certain lifestyle, which Smead hopes to help customers attain.
2. Its guests lend credibility and passion
We’ve said it before: no industry is too boring for a good show. A show needs to highlight human emotion — passion, interest, intrigue — and that can exist at any company, in any industry.
By welcoming a rotating crew of professional organizers as guests, Smead harnesses that passion and adds credibility. These are not hobby organizers: these are professional organizers. They know what they’re talking about, and they’ve devoted a career to understanding both the art and science of organization.
While the format can get a little repetitive, the show never feels rushed or half-baked, largely thanks to the passion of the guests who seem to truly love speaking about what they do.
3. It’s homespun…in a charming way
Nothing about Smead’s digital presence is flashy. The show’s landing page has a distinctly clip-arty feel to it. The show’s interviews themselves — largely held via webcam — have a definite DIY feel to them, and there’s little production of either the podcast or its associated videos.
Rather than be off-putting, this home-spun feel can be both friendly and charming. It makes the show (and the company) feel more accessible. Listeners don’t end up feeling that they need tons of fancy, expensive equipment to get organized; they just need commitment, advice, and — yes — maybe an analog product or two.
…and one thing that doesn’t quite work
One thing that Smead doesn’t quite nail with Keeping You Organized is its approach to video. The videos are simply recordings of the conversations captured in the podcast. That’s too bad, particularly because video could be an interesting, HGTV-style medium to bring some of the physical projects described in the show to life. For now, though, there’s no real reason to choose to watch the episode rather than listen to it, and that feels like a missed opportunity.
Catch an episode of the show below
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A somewhat accidental marketer, I’m first and foremost a writer. I’ve spent a decade working with global brands to craft on-target content and streamline complex ideas into clear (and even…exciting?!) language. Now, I get to spend every day immersed in content and strategy here, as Managing Editor of Marketing Showrunners, at my company, Molly Donovan Content & Communications. I’m thrilled to be a part of this community of eager next-generation marketers and marketing showrunners.
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