Kicking It Up at Kick—Adding Seasoned Talent with Cross-Category Expertise


By Egotist / /

Minneapolis-based brand strategy + design agency, Kick, is growing its cross-pollination expertise with the addition of two new players with extensive experience in categories including animal nutrition, outdoors, CPG, retail and wellness. Kick’s philosophy on building successful growth brands includes understanding and applying cross-category insights and expertise, and together they bring a combined 40 years of experience from both the brand strategy side and the design world.

Kris Burns is a marcom veteran with 25 years of experience working on national brands from the corporate side and the agency side and will lead Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy for Kick’s growing client base.

Most recently she was with Purina Animal Nutrition, a division of Land O’Lakes, where she led brand building and strategic communications through an internal team and a roster of agency partners.

Prior to this, she was with General Mills as Director of Integrated Marketing Communications for the Convenience and Foodservice division responsible for driving customer engagement across multiple channels through partnerships, promotions, digital and content marketing. She has also led strategic partnerships and promotional campaigns for many brands including Cheerios, Yoplait, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and Fruit Roll-Ups.

She began her career at several marketing and advertising agencies working on 3M, Ergodyne, Red Baron and Freschetta frozen pizza.

“My favorite work is defining brand purpose and developing iconic visual brand strategies. Brand building is complex today, and I love applying new tools to reach and engage consumers. Kick’s work shows how tapping into emotional insights can unlock growth and I’m excited to join their team.” said Burns.

“The addition of Kris to our Kick team signals our continued growth. She brings a unique blend of strategic planning and business skills. She’s been on the client side of the table and knows the challenges of brand building within the broader context of managing a business. There aren’t many people with her type of experience on the agency side and we are thrilled that she is joining our team,” said Mary Kemp, co-founder.

Bud Snead is a 15-year veteran with design and branding experience. A Southerner at heart, he grew up in Virginia, where he attended undergraduate school and then the Portfolio Center in Atlanta. In 2004, he moved to Minneapolis, MN where he worked at design and advertising agencies, as well as client-side.

Snead brings extensive experience on big brands in many categories including sports, outdoor, retail, CPG, home products, and energy. Most recently he was in-house at Life Time Fitness and has deep expertise in the sports, fitness and outdoor categories on brands like US Soccer, Seattle Sounders, American Flag Football League, Northstar Canoes and Par Aide Golf Supply. He has also worked in the health care and medical device category with Medtronic, Health Partners and CHI Franciscan, CPG/retail on Walgreens, Best Buy, Man Cave, and the home category on Elkay, InSinkErator and Doran.

Snead’s work is always idea-focused, grounded in research, strategy, and detail. He has spent his career working on and leading a variety of print and digital projects. Snead will be a design lead at Kick.

“After being in this business for a while, I’ve realized success hinges on what you do before the concepting and design even starts,” explained Snead. “Research, combined with actively listening for deeper issues and opportunities with a client will result in a better understanding of the opportunity and ultimately a stronger and more satisfying outcome.”

“Bud’s diverse vertical market experiences, visual communication expertise and leadership skills make him the perfect addition to the creative team at Kick. His passion for diving deep into subject matters always result in concise communication solutions,” says Stefan Hartung, co-founder of Kick.

“I’ve admired the work at Kick for over a decade,” adds Snead. “I am most looking forward to working with the wide range of industries, and different areas of design and creative that Kick is integrated in.”

“We’ve won several national and international clients,” says Kemp, “and the added expertise and leadership both Kris and Bud bring are a great addition to help us serve our growing client base. We’re excited to have them on board.”


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