The atmosphere for Greater Cleveland Partnership’s (GCP) 15th anniversary celebration was electric on a summer night this past June, with about 1,000 guests in attendance at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Every detail for the annual meeting of the nation’s largest metropolitan chamber of commerce was in place, from hors d’oeuvres, decorations and servers to a massive LED projection wall. The wall, which spanned 80 feet, was in place to highlight a visual presentation from Goldfarb Weber Creative Media (GW).
The event proved to be lights out — literally. While the cocktail hour took place, the presentation was never shown due to a power outage, which occurred 30 minutes prior to the event.
Despite the circumstances, Megan Kim, GCP’s senior vice president membership development and marketing, was confident GW would find a solution. Instead of hosting another event, GW’s tactic was to create an online show for GCP a few weeks later, which allowed more than 12,000 members and other stakeholders of the organization to view the presentation.
“Ron [Goldfarb] and Tony [Weber] thought creatively for us to ensure people would still be able to view the presentation,” Kim says. “We weren’t sure if we should reschedule the event or not. Thanks to them, we came up with a creative solution.”
Goldfarb, the president of GW, and Weber, the CEO, have the word creative in the name of their business title for a reason. GW works as a consultant — not just a video production company — to craft targeted messages in its script-to-screen facility.
GW is a self-contained production company whose knowledge and experience in working with the community is evident in every video it produces.
“The best part about Ron and Tony is they are comfortable challenging us and encouraging us to think differently,” says Kim, who is also executive director of Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE). “Whatever you want, they will find a way to deliver it. They breathe life into our ideas and make us think.
“They are the most creative brains in the world. They inspire me.”
GW’s list of local corporate clients includes prominent names such as Lincoln Electric, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland-Cliffs and Steris. Its notable nonprofits include Destination Cleveland, Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.
Because of their storytelling approach, many times a company’s “why” is uncovered. They are as interested in the why as they are the what. They want to know what makes a company tick.
“We are workaholics with high standards and never-say-die attitudes,” Goldfarb says. “We are driven because we are passionate storytellers, and there is a lot at stake.”
The process may be referred to as a “purpose journey.” It’s why a company exists. It’s what a brand or organization stands for. It’s an honest, transparent message that resonates with customers and makes a brand relevant.
Although “purpose journey” is popular in C-Suite, it’s the way GW has been doing business from the start.
“When we humanize the story of a company, it allows the customer to understand what makes them tick,” Weber says. “We aren’t just producing videos of talking heads. We are telling documentary-style stories that connect with people.”
Telling these stories through video is effective. According to a Sept. 15, 2014, article by Thermopylae Sciences & Technology, “the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.”
GW visually tells stories by first determining what a company wants its audience to think, feel and know. In doing this, it humanizes a message that may require operational and cultural shifts that can impact every person in an
According to a March 2016 article by McKinsey & Co.entitled, “From touchpoint to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do,” companies are “not naturally wired to think about the journeys their customers take…For companies that master it, the reward is higher customer and employee satisfaction, revenue and cost improvement and an enduring competitive advantage.”
That is why companies hire GW, which is experienced in taking companies on a journey to discover their purpose. Once GW understands the message, it delivers lights-out results — as was the case with GCP.
“GW makes it a point to stay on top of everything that is happening in our community,” says Kim, who has worked with GW for more than 10 years. “It’s not like they have to learn. They have so much experience, and they always stay connected to all of the players in town.
“Ron and Tony are pillars in the community. People know GW and the work they’ve done. They help us break down the right stories to tell in a unique way through video. They are always looking for the ‘wow’ factor, and they help us deliver it. Sometimes, people are talking about it after an event.”