Sep 14, 2011 • By

Martha Stewart visits General Mills

Martha Stewart’s career certainly offers business lessons to entrepreneurs of all kinds. In 30 years, she built a media empire that took her from catering to cookbooks, and to magazines, television, the web and more.

She shared some of those lessons and offered advice for our marketers this morning at a monthly marketing event hosted by leaders of various brands within General Mills.

Stewart told our packed auditorium – and General Mills employees watching the live videostream – that the key is knowing your values as a business, and then creating lasting value for customers.

“Our brand values for the company have endured because they actually reflect the unchanging ideas that define our brand,” said Stewart. “Everything we do and everything we offer is inventive, thoughtful, inspiring – I hope – and of course beautiful, with the goal of making everyday living better. And, better for our families and our loved ones.”

While she’s branched out many times to new areas in her publishing and broadcasting career, Stewart’s business foundation is strong.

“Successful brands evolve with the times, and they must be founded on something that has to be very authentic, very meaningful, and very enduring.”

In her remarks, she shared fond memories of her experience with General Mills brands.

She said her brothers each used to eat “a box of Wheaties every single day,” and they loved Cheerios too. She closed her remarks at the event by focusing on Betty Crocker.

“I feel a special connection to Betty Crocker,” said Stewart. “She’s more than a trusted name on a box or a brownie mix. She’s that cultural icon that we have looked up to for many years.”

Stewart joked that we’re doing a great job with Betty, but she had one suggestion for how to improve the product line.

She then showed a photo of her face on the iconic Betty Crocker red spoon – printed on numerous cake and cookie mixes, drawing laughs and applause throughout the auditorium.

(Photo from

Stewart created Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 1997. Her empire has bridged traditional media to numerous digital properties including mobile apps for her publications. She’s also active on social media, including a blog and Twitter account.

Editor’s note: Martha Stewart has blogged about her visit, and posted some photos, including this one with some of our colleagues in the Betty Crocker Kitchens:

(Photo from

You also can read about Stewart’s visit from Kayla Knudson, on