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Startups and Brand Marketing with Claire Knebl, VP of Brand at Ritual

February 3, 2021

Claire Knebl is the VP of Brand at Ritual, a fan favorite company supporting women’s health.

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Claire Knebl is the VP of Brand at Ritual, a fan favorite company supporting women’s health. Kicking off her multifaceted career as an Online Editorial Assistant at Teen Vogue and even working for Glossier in the early days, Claire’s career journey is so fascinating and she offers all of her insights of what it’s like to work for a fast-growing startup, plus many gems of career advice you won’t want to miss.

Listen to the episode now on The Career Memos Podcast available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and Stitcher.


The inspiring origin story of Ritual.

Ritual has an inspiring story, starting five years ago when founder Kat Scheneider was pregnant and on the hunt for a perfect prenatal vitamin with clean ingredients.

The company prides itself on transparency and sustainability – they even share the details of their entire supply chain so you know exactly what you’re getting and where it was sourced.

When Claire joined Ritual as a Senior Marketing Manager before a promotion to VP of Brand, she was attracted to the incredible opportunity in front of her – to build a brand based around best in class products. Ritual now has hundreds of thousands of customers who trust them and according to Claire, they are just getting started.

When evaluating a potential startup, think about their trajectory.

If Claire was starting from scratch and pivoting to a new startup, her best tip is to consider the company’s trajectory. Have you thought about working at a startup? If so, Claire’s advice here is gold.

The first thing you can do is put your detective hat on and become obsessed with the brand. Explore the ins and outs of their social media channels, online reviews, recent press, and see what people are saying about them. Look at the brand through a customer’s perspective. Pour over the founder’s story and see if it resonates with you.

While you may not have all the answers on this next step, be forward-thinking. Where do you think this company is going to be in one year or even ten years from now? Does this brand ultimately align with your career goals?

And if you’re fortunate to get an interview, pay close attention to who you meet. Claire made it a goal to prioritize reporting to and working for incredible people. 

It’s sometimes hard to know in an interview process whether a manager is going to be a good fit, but notice how comfortable you feel in the conversation and ask strategic questions to encourage them to open up. Some ideas here could be, what keeps them motivated? Why are they excited to be part of the company?

The importance of strong communication in brand marketing roles.

Have you wondered what a brand marketer does day-to-day and what makes a strong brand marketer? 

Brand marketers are on the front lines of a brand’s core values and knowing how to connect customers to a brand. They are highly motivated with strong communication and presentation skills, while honing a deep appreciation of a brand’s past and future. There’s also an element of people management where you could be overseeing teams that communicate on behalf of the brand – like social media marketers, editorial, and community managers.

To find a dream brand marketer position, be your own best advocate and find ways to uniquely market yourself in a natural way. Share who you are and experiences you’ve had and why you’d be an asset to the company you’re applying for. If you’re in an interview with someone who would be your future manager, think about how hiring you will make their work life a little bit easier and show that to them in a subtle way.


“I want to report to and work for really incredible people and that’s something I’ve prioritized. Your direct team makes such a big difference.”


Claire would love to offer Career Memos listeners 20% off your first month of Ritual using the code CAREER20.

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Over the last 12+ years, I’ve done everything from work as a global human rights activist to lead marketing & partnerships initiatives at companies like Postmates and Apple. I’ve started businesses, lived in multiple cities around the world, pivoted careers more than once, and know what it takes to turn career goals into a reality. As a career coach & consultant, I’m passionate about sharing all that I’ve learned with you, helping you define tangible goals, and providing you with the tools and direct feedback you need to achieve them.

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