The Podcast Brainstorm

Creating a custom podcast is an exciting step in any brand’s creative journey. The ability to build trust with your target audience through uninterrupted periods of true engagement can be the secret sauce to building a holistic brand campaign.

Though the audio space grows more competitive by the day, the Ruby team is here to help your brand create an engrossing podcast that cuts through the noise – one that simultaneously offers an opportunity for your audience to connect with brand messaging at a deeper level. It’s a job we take very seriously.

But to do it right, we’ll need some information to get the creative juices flowing. Before we start ideating, we ask that your brand’s creative team fill out our Creative Questionnaire to set us all up for success. Here are some key questions to focus on while filling out the brief:


In order for us to turn around an initial concept, we first need to know why you want to create a custom podcast. This might seem like a simple answer, but it does vary from client to client. Here at Ruby we want to be as familiar with your brand as possible, so hearing these insights directly from the source is the best way to set the tone and help our team understand what you’re looking to accomplish. We use every detail you provide to generate creative ideas encapsulating your key messaging. Here are some points to think through:

  • What impact do you want the podcast to have? For example, when we partnered with to build Force Multiplier, their main goal was to highlight the exponential impact we can have on the world by working together. The podcast was designed to supplement their core tenets of real impact, including technology, investment, and community by creating a global conversation about workforce development and community engagement.
  • What are the key messages you want to promote? Do you want to establish your brand as an expert in a certain field, or spread awareness for a specific problem?
  • Who is your target audience? Let us know who your brand speaks to and who you want the podcast to speak to.
  • What are your KPIs? In other words, what actions do you want the audience to take after listening to this podcast? Custom podcasts see huge success in upper funnel metrics and are a proven way to spread awareness. Supportive media can be paired to hit on lower funnel metrics as well.


Now that you’ve considered the basics, we can dive into the fun stuff! How do you envision your custom podcast coming to life? As we kick off our partnership, a vital stepping stone is understanding the unique attributes you want to build on to help your brand’s voice shine through. Your team will fully influence the creative, but here are some important thought starters to help lead conversations:


What tone best represents your brand messaging - do you want to create something light-hearted and funy, or more serious? How about eucational, yet approachable? Here is your chance to define the overall feel of the show, which will ultimately impact the message listeners take away.

When iHR partnered with Miracle-Gro on Humans Growing Stuff, we aimed to teach listeners about plants in a light-hearted way, striving to grow curiosity throughout each season. By keeping the podcast delightfully human throughout, with upbeat music and a cheery, relatable host, we created a bright spot in listeners’ weeks, which further established Miracle-Gro as a go-to source for any and all plant insight - and also skyrocketed the show into the top 5% of leisure podcasts!


An integral part of building out a strong podcast is finding the perfect voice to lead the charge - someone who can bring their own flare to the podcast, and help craft the overall narrative. When Under Armour was looking to create a show that re-positioned their brand as a “human performance” company, iHeart proposed The Only Way Is Through, a podcast that featured elite athletes at the summit of determination, dropping listeners into their lives over the course of each episode. Legendary journalist Cal Fussman was the perfect voice to help bring these stories to life; with his years of experience in sports writing and proven knowledge on crafting meaningful narratives, he helped elevate each athlete’s story and build an all-encompassing audio adventure in each episode.

In the early stages of brainstorming, our team will work closely with your creatives to find the perfect voice, but we’ll lean on you for traits you’d like to seek out or avoid. Do you have a particular voice in mind when you envision your podcast? Perhaps there are certain archetypes you’re considering: the journalist, influencer, or the explorer? The more information you can provide, the better. Check out “How To Select the Right Host for Your Custom Podcast” for more granular information on what to consider.

Brand Integration

How do you want your brand to show up in the final product? There are many ways your messaging can come to life within the podcast - and different brands have different preferences. Some want to be front and center, while others want the content within the podcast to speak for itself. Should we build your brand into the content or find space in mid-roll breaks to allow for key messaging? Either way, we’ll work closely with your team to build creative that not only highlights brand messing, but also tells meaningful stories.  


Ultimately, we’re not just building a custom podcast, but a partnership with your brand. From start to finish, iHeart will work hand in hand with your creatives. We never want podcasting to feel like a second job for our partners - we’re here to do the heavy lifting. Taking the time to think through your brand inspiration and all of the elements that can make your custom podcast unique will help us hit the ground runnig, and ultimately allow us to create the best possible podcast – together.

The results