Meet Jo Gryniewicz - President of Branding Science US

Posted in March 2023

In the first of our ‘meet the team’ series, we sat down with newly promoted President of the US operation, Jo Gryniewicz to find out what makes her tick and what she’s got planned for the future…

What does the future look like for Branding Science US with you at the helm?

My focus is really two-fold. One is on building a market-leading company culture where employees are happy, emotionally engaged and focused on solving client problems rather than just ticking boxes and the other is a very clear strategy for business growth. Both require a systematic approach of looking at what we want to achieve, thinking about how to build it and deciding who is going to manage the various aspects. I’m incredibly lucky to have a wonderful Senior Leadership Team who share my focus and vision and have been incredibly supportive in helping me begin to implement these plans.

From a company culture standpoint, it starts with our company values. We’re very clear on what those are, which makes setting a culture strategy that much easier. Building a strategy to further embed the values into the company’s fabric means that when anyone joins the organisation, and throughout their time at the organisation, they can live those values, know what good looks like, and experience the best of Branding Science.

In terms of growth, it’s about being clear on what our goals are and then being disciplined and deliberate about planning to achieve those goals. When I joined Branding Science, there were just a handful employees, and we’re now around 50, with hopes to keep growing further while maintaining our great work environment, , so that clarity and discipline needs to be there for everyone in the business to ensure we’re all pulling in the same direction and achieving our potential.

What are you most excited about in this role?

I joined Branding Science just over ten years ago because there was the opportunity to create something almost from scratch and grow it. And that really excited me. Since I joined, the growth, both personal and professional has been tremendous, and it’s been an amazing experience. What gets me most excited about this role is that I’m still growing and creating things, but because of the size of the company, it’s a completely different level of challenge to what it was back then.

The way you think about growth and culture in a company of fifty people is different to that of a five person company. It requires a very different set of processes. How do we become successful beyond something that you can see and touch every day? When you’re leading five people you see those people every day, they see you operate, and they see what good looks like and follow your lead. But with upwards of fifty people, you need to start thinking about how to disseminate the values and what the culture looks like when you’re not there and how to get the best out of everyone. That’s the really exciting challenge. As a business, Branding Science has also evolved: we have truly moved the needle from a pure market research agency to an insights-led consultancy, which was always Peter’s vision and what led me to joining Branding Science in the first place. I love figuring out how to help clients improve their brand strategy, and I really enjoy helping them embed patient centricity in their organizations – that really speaks to our purpose, so it’s very motivating.

What do you think you can bring to this role that others can’t?

To me the organisation can only be successful if we understand what our clients need and act as a supportive partner. I think I can do that better than most people because that’s what I’m truly passionate about. I think our clients know that which is why I have a lot of very long-standing relationships. For me it’s about asking clients, ‘what are the challenges you’re experiencing right now?’, ‘How’s your team?’, ‘How are you feeling about this year?’ and as a result ‘How can I help?’ That’s how an organization needs to work. If your purpose is to make a difference to a client, you’re going to ask a very different set of questions than if your purpose is just to win projects.

What do you think sets Branding Science apart from its competitors?

One of the things that makes Branding Science so successful and such a great place to work is its culture, which is why a lot of our employees are staying with the company for a long time. This allows them to build meaningful relationships with clients and grow to really understand their businesses and their needs. I think this is in big part down to our values. They create an environment where we encourage people to have fun, to be brave, and to take every opportunity. I think that makes people enjoy working and feel comfortable to push themselves professionally. A great example is that recently one of our junior employees said that they wanted to develop a specific initiative around women’s health and they were encouraged and supported to go and create it. There’s nothing that we want to encourage more than that kind of thinking.

What is your proudest achievement during your time at Branding Science?

There are so many things that I’m incredibly proud of. So many great projects and products that I have worked on which have gone on to make a real difference to the lives of patients across the globe. But I think what I’m truly proudest of is knowing how much I have changed personally and grown over the past ten years. I have grown so much as an individual to be deserving of this role today. And I’m truly having a lot of fun with these new challenges, and am most thankful that my team have been incredible supporters in this process. They are really what I am most proud of today: a pretty incredible group of people, highly motivated, fun to work with and be around, who don’t take themselves too seriously but take a huge amount of pride in doing great work. I wish this kind of work environment for everyone, it’s a real blessing.