Thinking Big with Brigette Peterson

As a Senior Account Director at Ingredient, Brigette Peterson works closely with clients to help them achieve their goals. She oversees projects, solves problems, and helps manage all the complexities and variables that crop up along the way. In her free time, she enjoys the great outdoors — especially in winter, when Minnesota’s sweeping snow dunes and arctic temps keep her safe from her great outdoor archnemesis. (Read to the end to find out what it is.)

Brigette recently talked to lead copywriter Laine Bergeson Becco about the work, life, and the joy of having been part of the Ingredient team for the last 23 years.

Wow, your work self is old enough to drink.

Cheers! Okay, tell me. You’re the Senior Account Director for Box Tops and the WIC program at General Mills. What does that look like in practice? How do you spend your days?
We come up with a lot of ideas for our clients and I’m the one who brings those ideas to them. I oversee all the projects we’re working on for our clients, and I write up estimates and statements of work for new projects.

I think of you as a strategic thinker. You played such a strong role in transitioning Box Tops to a digital platform. That’s a big job! Tell me about it.
Box Tops has been around for about 20 years, and for the first 19 years it was all clip and send. You had to buy a product, cut out the Box Top, send it to a school, then the school had to somehow get those sent in to General Mills. Finally, General Mills had to calculate all those clippings and get money back to the schools based on those calculations. They talked about going digital for years and years before they started the process.

In 2018 we helped figure out, well, how does Box Tops go digital? Do we put a code on each package? Do we create an app? Once those decisions were made, we redesigned the logo for the new digital experience, launched the new Box Tops website, and helped mock-up how the design would come to life on the packaging. We created a brand guide to help inform what the new branding would look like and we provided design assets that were pulled into the app.

You have a background in graphic design. Has that helped you in your current role?
Yes. When I first started at Ingredient, I worked as a graphic designer and a technical designer. I designed emails and websites, and I built out the HTML for those things. The benefit now is that I understand all those processes. I understand how the design process works and how the technical design process works — and even though a lot has changed since I was writing HTML, I know what’s involved in the process and I can help with troubleshooting.

I heard a rumor that back when you were coding, HTML editors didn’t exist yet. And you created animations before FlashPlayer was even a thing?
Oh man, yes, this is true. At my first agency job out of college, I learned how to write HTML code. It was a traditional print agency that was just starting to dive into digital experiences. I did win an ADDY [an award for excellence in advertising] for one of the sites I helped design and build waaaay back then.

What excites you about your current role?
I love when we can come to a client with a great idea and they're excited about it, especially when we can work on new creative concepts. I really enjoy working with the team we have at Ingredient because everybody is super smart and brings so much expertise to each project. That makes it fun and rewarding to do the work because I know the work is going to be great.

People change jobs frequently these days. In addition to all of us being super smart (ahem), what has kept you at Ingredient for over 20 years?
There's always been a really great culture at Ingredient, and the value the company puts on work-life balance and flexibility has always been really important to me. I also think the work we do is really fun and I'm really proud of the work we're doing.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I like to be outdoors, especially in winter. I like to go downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Winters in Minnesota can be … harsh. What do you love about winter?
I really just love winter activities like skiing and skating and, okay, this is going to sound super, super silly, but I like that there are no snakes in the winter. I'm terrified of snakes and doing outdoor activities in the summer, like going for hikes, you just sometimes run into snakes. I feel like I can just do whatever I want in the winter and I don't have to worry about something sliding over my foot.

And my daughter is a pretty good figure skater. I do some skating, too, though obviously I’m not as good as her.

I’m a recreational skater who can skate in circles; my daughter is starting to work on triple jumps! But I’ve been a co- president of the Buffalo Figure Skating Club for the past four years and I lead all the creative marketing for the club, which is super fun since I do have a design background. I put together all of the creative materials when we have a show coming up or any kind of classes, and I manage all the social media for the club. It lets me have a little bit of that creative outlet.

Last question, and arguably the most important given the work we do: What’s your favorite food?
I love sweets and desserts, especially brownies and cake. When I was a kid, my mom loved to bake and we had homemade cake on our countertop almost every day. I think that’s why I love dessert so much.

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