Building a Personal Brand With a Manufacturing Podcast

Episode 119

January 26, 2021

As younger prospects prioritize digital spaces for information-gathering and networking, how can manufacturers create influential, opportunity-generating content? In this episode of The Kula Ring, Adam Peek, Business Development and Channel Partnership Manager at Fortis Solutions Group and Host and Founder of the People of Packaging Podcast, talks about using social platforms to build a personal brand and how he translated visibility gained from the podcast into new business opportunities. Additionally, he talks about how his experience as a former pastor and full-time packaging industry expert plays into his podcast content and he shares tips for how to create and own content that no one else is talking about.

Building a Personal Brand With a Manufacturing Podcast Transcript:

Announcer: You’re listening to The Kula Ring, a podcast made for manufacturing marketers. Here are Carman Pirie and Jeff White. 

Jeff White: Welcome to The Kula Ring, a podcast for manufacturing marketers brought to you by Kula Partners. My name is Jeff White and joining me today is Carman Pirie. Carman, how you doing, sir? 

Carman Pirie: I’m doing well. Thank you for asking. 

Jeff White: Oh, my pleasure. 

Carman Pirie: You know, it’s good to be chatting as always, and look, I think today’s guest, Jeff, is going to… I guess what I’m really excited about with today’s guest is that we hear a lot of… I don’t know, it’s almost cliché, you hear the word personal branding tossed around in marketing, and I think it started with Tom Peters back in the day with the old Fast Company Magazine. Now I’m dating myself. 

Jeff White: Oh, boy. 

Carman Pirie: Cover with the tied brand. But it said, “The brand is you,” or whatever, and this was like a revelation at the time, like a person can have a brand, and then he had The Professional Service Firm 50 to teach people themselves how to act as though they were a professional service brand in their organization. It’s been being talked about for over 20 years. And I think a lot of people in the categories of manufacturing, I don’t know, they maybe don’t feel that they can play that game. And today’s guest has done it and succeeded really well. 

Jeff White: Yeah. Here to prove them wrong. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I think it’s kind of cool. 

Jeff White: If you go back that far, I think you can also credit Robert Scoble and the Naked Conversations book with really getting people thinking about creating their own content to become an expert in something. At that time, it was to become an expert in becoming an expert. 

Carman Pirie: Exactly right. 

Jeff White: Now we’re a little more… We’re going a little bit tighter and a little bit more specific with this particular conversation. 

Carman Pirie: And if it all doesn’t work, today’s guest has a former life or a current life, I’m not sure which, as an ordained minister, as well, so he can maybe save us on the podcast if we can’t do anything else. 

Jeff White: I don’t think we can be saved. 

Carman Pirie: We got 30 minutes to give it a go, my friend. 

Jeff White: Joining us today is Adam Peek. Adam is the Business Development and Channel Partnership Manager at Fortis Solutions Group and also the Host and Founder of the People of Packaging Podcast. Welcome to The Kula Ring, Adam. Glad to have you here. 

Adam Peek: Thanks. Yeah, it’s all true, and I’ll get you saved. There’s no doubt that’s gonna happen. Yeah, I think I told you guys earlier when we first connected that I’m probably one of the top five pastor/rapper/packaging podcast hosts in all of the Greater Salt Lake area, so it’s a piece of pride for me. 

Carman Pirie: Well, it’s important to know your niche. Yeah. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. You’ve really gotta hone in on what you can do and that’s certainly it for me. 

Jeff White: If you choose enough things, you can be the number one in the world at anything. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah, you just gotta try, like-

Adam Peek: Just keep adding. What is it-

Carman Pirie: Yeah, enough intersections in the thing. 

Adam Peek: Instead of six degrees to Kevin Bacon it’s six titles to the only person in the world who can do that one thing. 

Jeff White: I like it. 

Carman Pirie: Have you ever done a sermon about packaging? 

Adam Peek: Let’s see. Done a sermon. I mean, I’ve talked about packaging, because for eight years I was preaching at a church in Colorado Springs, and I was working full-time in the packaging industry, so you kind of pull from your life experience when you preach, and so my life experience was it’s like, “Hey, this last weekend I was speaking about branding and packaging at a cannabis business conference on 4/20 in California. And here we are today, breaking down the book of Philippians.” It’s like, “How do you transition?” I don’t know. 

Jeff White: Was there a lot of pearl-clutching? I mean, I have to imagine there was-

Adam Peek: Just a lot of circumcision jokes. 

Jeff White: Oh, boy. 

Carman Pirie: Of course, there are. Yeah. 

Jeff White: What else could there be? 

Carman Pirie: What else could there be? 

Adam Peek: I mean, cannabis, weed, and the Bible, circumcision, both involve trimming, so I thought, “Why not?” No, I didn’t. I don’t think I actually made that connection until right now. 

Carman Pirie: Well, I’d say you are a man of intersections here. I gotta tell you, I think I may well be beyond the being saved part, but I have always wanted to deliver a sermon. I’ve always thought like, “Man, just give me… I want a good 45 minutes to really roll one out.” 

Jeff White: To build up to something? 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I think I could be a decent preacher other than the lifestyle part. Like I think the oratory is…

Adam Peek: I don’t know if you follow much recent news, but there are plenty of stories of very well-known preachers who have secretly been not desiring the lifestyle part and that is being unearthed on a fairly regular basis. So, you may find-

Jeff White: Yeah. The mighty are falling. 

Adam Peek: You may find more friends. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Exactly right. 

Jeff White: Yeah. The mighty are falling frequently. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Man, I’m on my way to finding a niche here. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. I can help you out. I can help you craft a solid three-part sermon while we drink whiskey together. 

Jeff White: I think that consultant role, Adam, is something that you could really play up here. 

Carman Pirie: Exactly right. 

Jeff White: He’s buying, so… 

Carman Pirie: Well, Adam, look, let’s jump into the real reason why we’re here, and you’ve really, through the People of Packaging Podcast, have really kind of grabbed ahold of this notion of personal branding within a space that a lot of people think is just frankly boring, and they don’t maybe think it even lends itself well to that. 

Jeff White: This coming from two guys who host a podcast about marketing for manufacturers. 

Carman Pirie: Right. Which would fit that definition pretty strongly for most people. 

Jeff White: For sure. Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Not the idea of what gets folks out of bed on a Saturday, often. Adam, take me through that a little bit. Let’s start with the choice, the decision to do it. When did that happen and how long have you been at it? 

Adam Peek: I started the podcast… I guess it was the idea was probably three and a half years ago. I don’t know, it’s BC, before COVID, so time to me is just totally crazy. I can’t figure things out. But I think it was somewhere around then and I was at an industry event called LUXE PACK. For those of you who don’t know, there’s like a packaging trade show for everything. There’s one that I heard a guy refer to as… He said, “I’m at the chicken plucking packaging show.” It’s the International Poultry Processing Expo. And yes, I’ve been there, so don’t get too excited. 

I was at the luxury packaging show in New York City and was enjoying an adult beverage, which a Christian pastor is allowed, because it was Jesus’s first miracle, water into wine. It was not the other way around, so everyone’s gotta back off. We were hanging out and I was talking with this guy who I just met, and really we connected over a mutual love for hip-hop music. Most of these trade shows, you don’t meet a lot of younger people. People don’t grow up thinking like, “I want to get into the packaging industry when I get older.” People accidentally get into it, and that’s kind of the story that we tell a lot on our podcast. 

But Ted, my co-host, grew up in the Bronx. He is a hip-hop and R&B producer. And he’s also a packaging engineer. And we were just talking about the lack of representation at a lot of these trade shows, where you go to these keynote addresses and it’s always the same kind of person, and so we wanted to find a way to highlight the stories of people in the industry that maybe have different backgrounds than I grew up in my grandfather’s pulping facility and I just always wanted to work in paper my whole life. We still have some of those guests on, but it’s a lot of people disproportionately focusing on women, and people of color in the industry, and we tell their stories and we share it. 

I’m not really one to sit around and just complain, I guess, so when we’re having this conversation, I thought, “What could we do?” We quickly got out our phones and I started searching for podcasts in the packaging space. I listen to a lot of podcasts, but mostly about philosophy and the Denver Nuggets. You know, just as one might do, and I saw there were no packaging podcasts, which I thought was silly because it’s a trillion-dollar global industry. It’s one of the largest industries in the world, actually. And I looked at Ted and I said, “Ted, I listen to four podcasts about the Denver Nuggets basketball team. There might be 100 fans in the United States of this particular team and I’m one of them. How is there not a single podcast about packaging?” 

And I said, “We should start it.” And so, we just did. Podcasts are easy to start. They’re free to start for if you want to start a podcast, you can start it. That’s why there are so many that are started. But to be going now into our third season has required a lot of effort. It’s required a lot of learning. Our early podcasts are bad. They’re just… They suck. Because we weren’t very good at interviewing. Our equipment wasn’t very good. Anyway, that’s kind of how we got into it, all because we saw a problem, and it’s just sort of evolved into this thing. We didn’t think anybody would really listen, honestly. 

And it turns out lots of people have and lots of people reach out, and it just kind of, like you said, it’s evolved into this personal branding thing that I certainly did not anticipate. 

Carman Pirie: I want to kind of talk about the two sides of the impact of it, like the business impact of it if there has been some, and the personal impact of it. Even your life as an employee, potentially. I don’t know. I’m gonna say choose your own adventure. What do you want to do first? The business or the personal impact? 

Adam Peek: Oh, I loved those books. Those were my favorite books. You dug really deep. You must have called the librarian from my elementary school for this interview. 

Carman Pirie: Exactly. That’s just the kind of research we do here on The Kula Ring. 

Adam Peek: Wow. You guys are way better than me. In terms of just business impact, I work for a large company and prior to this large company, I worked for another large company, and people are great. I have a lot of good friends at both of the companies, but when you realize what has happened over the last… I guess it’s been 20, 25 years, and where we’re at today, which is really you can have like as a person, so I am just a single person. I’m married. I have one wife and five kids. The fact that I can have influence over a trillion-dollar industry from an office in my basement in Salt Lake City is pretty wild when you think about it, because of the reach, especially right now, the organic reach of a platform like LinkedIn. And that’ll probably change. Facebook had ts day, Instagram had its day, there’s a guy named Cory Connors who is in the Pacific Northwest, he’s in Portland, Oregon, he has a TikTok account and he’s in his late 40s, and he just talks about corrugated packaging, and he’s got all sorts of people following him. 

Whatever the platform, I don’t really care, but from a business perspective, it provides a lot of validation when… Like I’m in business development, and so creating content when especially younger buyers, the first thing they do is they Google your name, and my name’s not Jeff White, so there are not 50,000 people. There is me and a Scottish rugby player. Typically, your LinkedIn profile is the first thing that comes up, and so it just shows this person is valid. They know what they’re talking about. They have a decent following. I think I’ve got 14,000 followers on LinkedIn now and I’ve got this podcast, and so I just started getting a lot of inbound requests because people just know that I have a very large network, and that provided a lot of value. 

I wouldn’t say that I set out to do that, but it’s just sort of what I’ve stumbled into. I found that to be extremely valuable, much more so than say a sales rep who says, “I’ve got this book of business and you should hire me and I’m gonna bring it over.” Because it never happens. You don’t ever pull over your business, you know what I mean? 

Jeff White: Well, certainly not a significant portion of it. 

Adam Peek: No.

Carman Pirie: No. Exactly. You’re making me think. I really wish there were a few more Carman Pirie’s out there on the internet, because really-

Jeff White: You can’t compare it against anything. 

Carman Pirie: No. It’s just you search my name, you’re gonna get all the skeletons in the closet, right? Like you find out the election I lost like 20-some-odd years ago within the first page of results. I need a little Jeff White action with my name. I need a little obscurity. 

Jeff White: Adam, it certainly sounds like it’s been an incredible way for you to build a personal profile and a personal brand, even within a business environment like LinkedIn, but has it also translated into potential new business and opportunities that maybe were not out there before without having that kind of visibility that you get as a result of the podcast?

Adam Peek: Oh yeah. I think that the people that I have met on the podcast, so if you think about this, networking is still a big deal. It should always be a big deal, right? We’re human beings and we’re communal creatures, and we’re made to be with each other. My network of people that I’ve been able to spend an hour with, one on one, on a podcast interview, is quite large. And there’s this term that I heard that I don’t know who crafted it, but it was called OPN, which is other people’s networks, and they said there’s a lot of power in that idea. 

When I interview somebody, they have a network of people that they share the interview with. Because nobody in the packaging industry gets interviewed for a podcast. There are like three podcasts in the packaging industry now. People are not used to getting interviewed, so it’s an exciting thing, like you have crafted content that’s professionally done, that’s put together about your story, so they share it, which is awesome. And there’s a lot of power in that idea. Now, like the multilevel marketing folks, they’ve known this for years, and I’m not trying to sell anything, so I feel okay in saying that. But the idea of network marketing has been really powerful to me.

As a matter of fact, I got a note today saying, “Hey, I heard you were interviewed on my friend Evelio Mattos, his podcast, which is called Package Design Unboxd.” Said, “I heard you were interviewed on there. You had a lot of great ideas. Can we connect up and talk?” That was just today. A total stranger at a very large company that I’ve never met sent me a note today and most salespeople are just struggling to get somebody to talk to them. And in my inbox, I probably get two or three requests a week just to talk to people about things because of the podcast. 

There’s a lot of value in that not because necessarily of the podcast, but I think because of the reach that, that organic reach that somebody shares it, and it gets listened to by 500 of their closest friends. Most of them are in the packaging industry, because you know, they went to Michigan State, or Clemson, or Florida, RIT, or whatever. And they’re younger, so they share, “Hey, I was on this podcast,” and most of their friends, there’s kind of the diaspora of packaging engineers, so yeah, there’s a lot of value in that, for sure. And it’s unintentional, but it’s fantastic. 

Carman Pirie: I think that’s the important part for listeners to maybe keep in mind is that, the unintentionality of it. 

Jeff White: Well, it’s crazy. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. It’s a great way to make something happen indirectly, but if you’re trying to draw a straight line between A, initiative, and B, result, and there’s nothing in between it, then the world of podcasting and most of modern marketing may not be for you. 

Adam Peek: Correct. 

Jeff White: It certainly is a long game. I mean, I’m just thinking 10 minutes before we started this recording, we received an email from our second or third guest on the show like almost three years ago now, introducing us to the Global VP of Digital Marketing for a massive company, like one of the largest in the world. I mean, there is no way we would have been able to connect with that person, just as you were saying. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. They wouldn’t have returned a phone call had you placed one. And you probably wouldn’t have gotten around to doing that. 

Jeff White: Now we’re getting introduced to this person by somebody they trust. 

Adam Peek: Yeah, so I’ll give you another example. The company I work for, we make standup pouches. You know, put like dry goods, or whatever, you guys have seen them before. It’s a really popular item in a grocery store, so I took a picture of this standup pouch for Gerber, who is owned by Nestle. And I just… The printing was awful. It just looked bad. And you know, Nestle is not a small company, so I put it out on LinkedIn, and I said, “Hey, does anybody know somebody at Nestle? Because this is really rough. I can’t believe that they let this get out in the public.” 

This was on Saturday, on a weekend, I put that out there. It took me two minutes to craft the post. And by that night, I had somebody who had already put me in touch with somebody at Gerber, at Nestle, saying, “Hey, you should probably talk to him about this.” Because I offered, like, “This is what I would have done differently.” 

So, I mean, am I gonna cold call Nestle? I wouldn’t even know where to start. But when you have that, when you have people, and you have a platform, then that’s been built up both through the podcast and through in this case LinkedIn, there’s a tremendous amount of value in that. For personal branding, this is what I try to tell people, is number one, you can’t be fake, because it’s personal branding. It’s your brand. It’s who you are. Number two, you can’t be just a company parrot. You can’t just always be putting out the content that your company’s marketing department tells you to put out all the time. Sometimes, you gotta put a cat picture up or whatever. You have to be yourself even on a platform like LinkedIn that’s more professional. 

And it’s about influence. It’s not about selling. You’re not on there just like, “Hey, we have the greatest blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Be useful. Be helpful. Show up. Comment. Be part of the community. And that will go further than almost anything else that I could ever tell anybody. 

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Carman Pirie: I think the notion of being yourself, so many people find that frankly challenging or scary. To me, I always think it’s almost like it’s permission to make content creation easier. Like if I had to come onto the podcast and put on some sort of a front or what have you, I don’t know how I could do it, you know? 

Jeff White: It would be very hard to maintain. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. You know, whereas now, it’s fire up Squadcast to start recording and before you know it, an episode’s in the can. And I find that almost all of the best content creation patterns or habits are born out of that. If you can get them the most closely connected to how you operate naturally anyway. 

Jeff White: There is something to be said for creating a persona to live into. I mean, I think you can look at some of the… Certainly, in the marketing space, the Vaynerchuks and so on of the world that created something larger and then kind of grew into that just through pure force of personal will. 

Carman Pirie: It’s gotta be exhausting. 

Jeff White: Yeah. I think so. But you know, I think most people do better if they try and be themselves. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. There are two of my favorite quotes, and I use them a lot. One is from Lauryn Hill from her album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and she says, “How are you gonna win if you ain’t right within?” And there is a big part. The second is actually from Ice Cube. He says, “Get your mind right, get your grind right. We gotta keep going.” And I literally, I listen to these songs all the time, because it really goes back to the fundamental core identity thing, which is like if you meet me at an event, like I’m not a different person than I am when I preach, or when… Because you know, it is exhausting. I don’t even know what that would be like. I remember one time I talked to a guy who had three different phones because he had three different girlfriends and none of them… He had three cell phones. And I was like, “Dude, your life is miserable. Why do you complicate everything so much? You gotta be a different person over here. It just sounds exhausting.” 

Know who you are, be firm in who you are, and start from that foundation. And if you’re not, then content creation and personal branding is gonna be tough, because it’s not gonna be personal. You’re removing the personal out of branding and it’s just gonna feel something different. I don’t really know what it would be. Impersonal branding. 

Jeff White: Forced. 

Adam Peek: Forced branding. Yeah. 

Jeff White: Yeah. 

Carman Pirie: Well, and as part of that, of course, I think you need to be comfortable with the notion that not everybody’s gonna like it. And it’s not gonna be for everyone. And I would have to think… Adam, I hope you don’t mind my saying, but I mean you’re a preacher. Not everybody’s into that. Have you thought… That had to have gone through your mind at one point, like you know, the kind of the combination of personal and professional, because in your case, it’s personal and professional and professional and personal again almost. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. I mean, maybe it’s that the pastoring and the preaching has really prepared me for personal branding, I guess, because it is a lot about you have to be very assured in your identity when you get up and preach. I started at a church with friends, and when people leave your church and they tell you, and they say it’s because of you, and your sermons, it’s hard to not take that really personally. But I couldn’t be another person. I mean, I literally had somebody, a family leave our church because I told too many circumcision jokes, so there you go. 

Then it gets into the political stuff, and okay, he’s not right-wing enough, or he’s too progressive, whatever it was. You realize you can either try to be everything that everybody wants you to be, which is impossible, because everybody is different and unique, or you can be yourself, be honest, have a lot of self-deprecation, at least I am. I try to exercise a lot of humility, try to learn, and grow that way. And understand that nobody’s gonna like… I mean, there are probably people who don’t want to work with me because of stuff that I put on LinkedIn. I don’t know. Or the fact that I’m an ordained pastor. Or I remember once I put up a… It was on Blackout Tuesday during the George Floyd thing and I made a whole poem about… It was a very politically charged poem about the situation and the racial unrest, and I did the Blackout Tuesday thing, and I lost a lot of followers that day. 

But you know, for me it was a principle that I wanted to stand on.

Carman Pirie: Yeah. You could have made it easier on yourself, too. I mean, you could have picked a popular basketball team. But I mean, you’ve just made it almost impossible on yourself every step of the way. 

Adam Peek: I know. Well, actually, you know what’s funny is that there’s nobody who hates the Denver Nuggets, because there’s nothing to hate about them. 

Carman Pirie: It’s true. 

Adam Peek: A team that’s never even been past the Western Conference Finals, whereas like the Lakers, everybody either loves or hates. You know, they’re very polarizing. I actually think that’s probably the most politically correct statement that I’ve ever made, is being a giant Denver Nuggets fan. 

Carman Pirie: That’s fantastic. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. 

Jeff White: Yeah. It’s funny how your personal likes and interests come into these things and start to play out, but I think one of the big lessons to take from this, or at least one of the lessons that I take from this, and I say this as a podcaster, and just as learning from you as we go through this, is that the opportunities for creating a niche piece of content and owning that space, I mean, it’s not that they’re disappearing rapidly, but it’s that there’s enough niches that you can choose something that nobody else is talking about and own it. 

And that is really something that I think more marketers should take advantage of. You know, we’re well equipped as a group to be able to own a particular piece of media. 

Carman Pirie: And we could help the personalities inside of our organizations to achieve that. 

Jeff White: Exactly. 

Carman Pirie: Often help them connect the dots that they… You know, it may seem like too heavy a lift for some, but you know, you can survey your organizations and you can see the personalities in it. 

Jeff White: You know who’s gonna do that well. 

Carman Pirie: Right. What could rise, the cream that could rise to the top there. 

Adam Peek: And if you think about it, on the subject… I mean, Gary Vee even talks about the idea of you don’t have to have millions of followers to create influence if you have a really solid niche. Packaging feels super nichey, but it’s not. It’s an incredible industry. It’s actually very exciting. It’s super dynamic. It’s really engaging. I think lots of people should get involved. It’s got marketing, you’re dealing with legal, it’s engineering, transportation, supply chain, all the stuff.

But within packaging, there are so many opportunities, because packaging is so much stuff. There’s this guy, Corey, who’s making TikTok videos about corrugated boxes. It’s just a shipping box style thing. There’s influence to be had there, there’s bottles, there’s sustainability, there’s logistics, there’s engineering. My buddy Evelio, who’s got packaging design. You can even pare down within the industry, the pharmaceutical packaging industry, the medical device, the health and beauty, the food and beverage, personal care, whatever it is. I think that people just get so scared that they’re not gonna succeed the way that the big podcasters succeed, but it’s because they have the wrong idea of definition, or they have the wrong definition of success.

Success might be getting 100 followers within this one industry. Let’s say you work for a bottle blow molding company. You have 100 people who are following your content. That could be so much more valuable than anything that is gonna be created outside of that, whether it’s a podcast, or in this case, I would argue podcasts are an incredible tool right now, because it’s just growing so much, but you know, don’t be afraid of it. Understand it. Like you had mentioned, Jeff, it’s a long game. You know, create it. It’s not gonna be like Facebook where you put up a cute picture of your kid and 700 people like it. It’s gonna take some time. You’re gonna have to cultivate it. You’re gonna have to work at it. 

But I would just say as somebody who’s on the other side of it, it’s definitely worth it. There’s a ton more opportunity. I’m down to help, as I’m sure you guys are as well, anybody who wants to jump into it at all. I’m willing to help out just to get this stuff going because it’s important. The packaging industry is incredibly important. We solve very large issues when it comes to very large issues, like global warming. Packaging plays a big role in that. Ocean plastic is all packaging. Landfills are being filled up with packaging. We need creative, innovative people to be putting out good content and helping people solve these problems. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. I think it’s a point well taken and you’re quite right. I mean, the packaging space, even the sustainability side of it can be maybe obvious to some people inside of the box, but even things like its impact on food waste and how the environmental impacts of food waste, and so… All of these kinds of nuances as you get into any category, part of getting into it is seeing more complexity than what people who aren’t in it typically would see. 

And what a great thing to embrace as you go start down this path, right? Know that you’re going to encounter more aspects of your industry that you may not be currently exposed to, and the encountering of them will lead you to not only understand it better, but to even carve out a deeper niche for yourself as you move forward. I mean, it’s hard to see the loss in all of that. 

Jeff White: Yeah. 

Adam Peek: Yep. Totally agree. And the packaging, especially like food packaging, I mean, we’re gonna be at 10 billion people on the globe here by like 2050. Food packaging is not going away. Healthcare packaging is not going away. There are certain things that may go away, like if you’re in the tobacco industry right now it might be a little difficult, because there’s industries that come and go. If you were making cassette tape, the plastic, hard cassette tape packaging for a while, or like CD jewel cases, you’re probably struggling a little bit. 

Being the person when it comes to food packaging, you’re never gonna lose there. 

Jeff White: No, exactly. And I mean to your point a moment ago, having the platform also enables you to be open to ideas from other people that you can bring back as solutions within your own industry and your own company or whatever, so even though it’s your personal brand that you’re bringing to it and building with it, you’re significantly more valuable to potential employers and others with that platform along for the ride. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, at what point in time are you gonna start being asked how many connections you have on LinkedIn? I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not even saying that’s appropriate. But it wouldn’t be inappropriate. Or they’re just gonna find it. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Exactly right. Looking back, it’s been a solid ride in creating this podcast. It’s worked out well. If you had to do one thing differently, however, what would you do? 

Adam Peek: Hm. If I had to do one thing differently on the podcast. I would probably have started a secondary one that was something like Sustainable Packaging Podcast that was maybe a little bit more technical and a little bit more focused. On our podcast, it’s great because we have hundreds of thousands of people to choose from who are in the packaging industry, and then we interview people who interact with packaging, so it’s not just people who work for bottle, and cap, and bag, and label, and box manufacturers. We’ll have people on from CEOs of companies and brands and talk to them about packaging. 

There’s a lot of people there, but yeah, I would probably have nailed down something a little bit more focused. Maybe it’s the Food Waste Podcast or The Food Packaging podcast. I don’t know what it is, but I probably would have done something like that in addition to, but our podcast has been great. I don’t think I would have changed anything other than maybe getting a little bit better equipment at the beginning. But that’s just a lesson you learn. 

Carman Pirie: For sure. For sure. Well, it’s really been fantastic to chat with you about it on the show today. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. It’s been awesome. I’m on the other side of the microphone most of the time, so it’s fun to be interviewed and talk about stuff. 

Carman Pirie: Exactly. And I’m really happy that I set this new high watermark in interviewing your elementary school librarian. 

Jeff White: You know, it’s gonna be difficult to continue. 

Carman Pirie: Yeah. Precisely. 

Adam Peek: Yeah, they’re hard to track down, but I’m probably connected to her on LinkedIn. Actually, I’m trying to remember her name. I think it was Mrs. Linenbrink maybe. Lewis-Palmer Elementary School circa 1989. 

Carman Pirie: Well, if you’re listening out there, do get in touch. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. My parents have lived in the same house for 38 years, in the same neighborhood, so I’m sure my mom will listen to this. Guaranteed she’s listening right now, so shout out to Lydia Peek, because she listens to everything, and she’s gonna correct me and be like, “You know who it was.” 

Jeff White: On that note, we’ll let you go, Adam. Thanks very much for joining us. 

Adam Peek: Yeah. Thanks, guys. 

Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Kula Ring, with Carman Pirie and Jeff White. Don’t miss a single manufacturing marketing insight. Subscribe now at That’s

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E. Adam Peek

Business Development and Channel Partnership Manager

Adam Peek lives to serve others and elevate their stories. He is passionate about his family, his faith, and uplifting packaging as a source for positive change in both our local and global communities. He is the host of the People of Packaging Podcast and is a frequent speaker on packaging and sustainability efforts both in the US and abroad. He works for Fortis Solutions Group and lives in Utah with his wife and their 5 kids.

The Kula Ring is a podcast for manufacturing marketers who care about evolving their strategy to gain a competitive edge.

Listen to conversations with North America’s top manufacturing marketing executives and get actionable advice for success in a rapidly transforming industry.

About Kula

Kula Partners is an agency that specializes in maximizing revenue potential for B2B manufacturers.

Our clients sell within complex, technical environments and we help them take a more targeted, account-focused approach to drive revenue growth within niche markets.


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