A Q&A with the CEO of Walton Isaacson
Kellogg is a company with heart and soul, driven by a diverse and inclusive community of passionate people making a difference. We are firmly committed to diversity and inclusion in our workplace, marketplace and communities where we work and live. This includes developing a diverse supplier community inclusive of minority-owned and historically underutilized businesses.
We are proud to highlight one of our diverse suppliers, Aaron Walton, CEO of Walton Isaacson, a marketing and advertising agency. As the leader of a certified Minority Business Enterprise, Aaron provides insight into the history of Walton Isaacson, his relationship with Kellogg and the value added that diverse suppliers provide to companies.
Tell us about Walton Isaacson and how you got started.
Walton Isaacson (WI) was born almost 15 years ago with the mission of becoming “The Planet’s Most Interesting Agency”. After a successful tenure at Pepsi, I opened my first agency, Aaron Walton Entertainment, which was later acquired by another company. From there, I started Walton Isaacson – with the goal of infusing the power of culture into the development of creative and strategic 360 campaigns. I’m really proud of how the team has brought our vision to life for a variety of diverse brands and consumer segments.
How was your relationship with Kellogg formed?
The relationship with Kellogg extends back almost a decade to a National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) conference in Las Vegas where I presented. Since then, we have visited Battle Creek a couple of times to familiarize Kellogg with our agency. Our relationship has now expanded from a strictly marketing role to more in-depth projects with the D&I team.
From your perspective, how do you see consumer expectations changing?
There was a time when consumers didn’t expect much from companies, particularly consumers from various cultural backgrounds. They were passive receivers of information. Today, they expect brands to know, represent and respect them through customization of the brand experience. They demand high levels of engagement. They also expect more than advertising – they want experiences that tie the brand with their core beliefs.
How do you explain the benefits of partnering with Walton Isaacson or other diverse suppliers?
Clients must understand that diverse suppliers are innovative. Diversity isn’t simply about hiring people from different backgrounds. It is about knowing how to retain them and having collaboration amongst diverse teams. WI’s teams bring different perspectives and embrace disruption as a catalyst for innovation. I believe diverse suppliers are more connected to the cultural insights that matter to today’s fastest growing consumer segments.
How does Walton Isaacson celebrate diversity?
The best way to celebrate diversity is to create a culture that is fearless about differences and fears the status quo. Our entire workforce is a reflection of society as a whole. We celebrate diversity by educating one another on our intersectional backgrounds. We also celebrate the diversity of our consumers with solutions tailored to their needs, built on strategic insights that speak to their whole selves.
What insight into doing business with Kellogg would you like to share with other diverse businesses?
I truly believe Kellogg lives its founder’s values. W.K. Kellogg instilled the understanding in the company that a critical part of running a good business is doing good for society. Recently, Kellogg released its 10th annual Diversity & Inclusion report, Features. It is packed with proof-points that speak to Kellogg’s depth of commitment in this area. At Walton Isaacson, we’re proud to work with a partner like Kellogg, and encourage other diverse suppliers to work with organizations that share their values.