Episode 86: The power of purpose and leading with authenticity with Cheryl Farr and Cristina Ferreri from SignalCSK

At one point, having a purpose-focused organization was a bit of a differentiator. Lately, the term comes up a lot, and for those organizations that are truly leading with purpose and have a mission that drives their decisions and daily activities, kudos to you.

At Relish Studio, we like working with people with a purpose for a variety of reasons. Mostly, helping organizations and their leaders who have a “giving back” ethos just feels good. However, we also see that many of these organizations just have a stronger culture and drive and the purpose they are embracing unites their teams and provides an added thrust that can be absent in those organizations that just have revenues to motivate performance.

That’s why my conversation with Cristina Ferreri and Cheryl Farr from Signal CSK was so much fun. These two are definitely on a mission. They help develop brand strategy that goes above and beyond just logo creation and simple messaging. They help their clients lead with real authenticity to build a strong culture that gets teams engaged and gets audiences motivated to take action.

If you are interested in taking your organization to the next level, this conversation is definitely for you. Cristina and Cheryl will help you harness the power of purpose and lead with authenticity to make your organization shine in the marketplace.

Hope you enjoy the show.

Signal CSK Brand Partners
Moose International

Lead with authenticity. take time to consider the purpose you are chasing. live it out loud. Look at brands you engage with in a new light to understand how that brand relates to YOU. Learn and apply lessons learned.

Listen to the podcast here:

Cheryl: Well, and then when you teach them how to signal that right. To tell that story, not only to say it, but to show it to live do it right. Really act on that. It was it’s, it puts the power of the brand in their hands and they become really great brand stewards. There’s nothing more exciting than when your client gets better at telling you what’s what on brand looks.

Then you are, you know what I mean? Then they own it. And it’s really, really exciting to be able to see our clients really. And I think this is really exciting in the nonprofit space when people understand that their brand is really a key asset of their other organization that can help leapfrog them forward.

You know, nonprofits we’re always, no matter how big or small, they’re always trying to get as much bang for their buck as they can. They want to be good stewards. And really investing in a strong brand story really helps them connect to their customers so much more effectively and create a consistency of message that really can shoot right to the heart.

Right, right. Really connect right to the heart and the mind in a way that is so powerful.

Are you looking for ways to shorten your marketing, learning curve and help your organization survive? Welcome to relish this, the purpose marketing podcast, a show for purpose focused leaders who want to use marketing techniques to fuel their organization’s growth. If you’re a returning listener and you haven’t subscribed already, we love to have you also please consider leaving a review wherever you listen to podcasts.

Now here’s your host, author and marketing specialist, Stu swine Ford.

Stu: Everybody’s doing. You’re more and more these days about the power of purpose and leading with authenticity and how that can help your brand really shine in the marketplace, whether you’re a non-profit or a for-profit entity. My guests today are Chris, Christina Ferrari and Cheryl Farr, and they are both part of signal CSK, brand partners.

And. Cheryl is actually part of another organization called logic everyday community. And they’re doing some really, really cool things with brand positioning and most non-profits and many, many for-profit organizations don’t really think about brand positioning and how much it is an effective way to have.

Reinforce the story that you’re trying to tell to do more good in the world. Our conversation today was amazing. I really, really had a great time talking with both Cheryl and Christina, and would encourage you to listen to this episode with kind of an open mind in terms of how you can apply some of the things that we talk about to.

Your organization to help it stand out in a ever, ever increasingly crowded marketplace. So here we go.

Cheryl and Christina, how are you today? Doing great. I am. Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining me. It’s a, it’s a really real pleasure to have you both on the show. I’m looking forward to chatting with you about brand positioning and how important that is for, for people who are trying to do more, more good in

Cheryl: the world.

Glad to be here.

Stu: Well, tell us a little bit, you have three organizations that you primarily are focused on. One is signal CSK, brand partners. The other is an organization, a nonprofit called logic and a third organization called moose international. So I’d love to get a feel for, for all of those great things that you’re doing and, and learn how they came about and what amazing things you’re doing in the world.


Cheryl: So, Our organization is signal CSK, brand partners. We are a brand strategy and creative firm focused on brand strategy and marketing strategy and business strategy and how those intersect really help businesses, both for-profits and nonprofits take a great leap forward in their business. We’ve been in business since 2009 based here in Colorado.

Now virtual, like so many others. We actually, Christina and I actually met before that we’ve been working together for about 15 years. Started our agency in 2009, as I said as part of a larger agency called the CSK group, which is where you get that signal CSK from. And. We really met prior to that at an agency in Arizona, where we met and bonded over the idea of strategic signaling and branding, really how you represent yourself and what kinds of signals.

That you send through your visuals, your verbal messaging your tone of voice, your environmental experience. What kinds of signals that you’re sending, sending cognitively about your, about your brand and your story? So we were really, we really bonded over that and the. It was love at first sight light.

Christina, do you want to say anymore

Cristina: about that? Yeah. So I’m a designer at heart. I that’s what my training is, but I had a real strategic backbone to that, and I never understood the idea of following a trend. And so when Cheryl and I kind of crossed paths and when we met. It was just love at first sight about this idea of really using strategic foundation to signal perceptually, what you were trying to own.

And we bonded over that and the rest is a little bit history

Cheryl: and it was a great pairing. I come out of I’m a writer by trade and an editor by trade. Love to copyright, but I’m a real, I’m really a brand strategist. And so Christina brought that verbal I’m sorry, that visual thinking. I brought the verbal thinking.

We both are strong on both sides of that equation, so we really compliment each other and have really been able to build a really strong brand building discipline around. Really helping organizations to identify what’s theirs to own and really live it out in everything they say and do really to drive really clear, consistent messaging.

And really break away from their competition. We use a way of thinking a lens to process, how to help organizations signal, what they stand for. We call true, meaningful and different. What is uniquely true about you as an organization? What is most meaningful to your target audiences? Those you have in those you want and what makes you dramatically different from your competition?

And when we think about competition and yes, non-profits have competition, right? We’re always competing for mine. Wallet share and heart share. So not only your direct competitors, but any, sometimes your competitor might be doing nothing, right. Maybe people aren’t participating at all and you’re trying to invite them in whatever that looks like.

And we use that lens to really get to the real sweet spot of what a brand stands for. And when we finished. Oh, I’m sorry. Sure. No,

Cristina: you go. I, and we found that we’re able to do that. So dynamically across almost any medium, whether that is print or digital or environmental or experiential, the signals really drive that experience at all times.

And it kind of doesn’t matter what the expression is, as long as you’re intentionally managing those perceptions.

Cheryl: Yeah. And what we found is that organizations really love that formula because it allows them. It makes a lot of sense in some ways it’s a really simple formula that really what we’re doing is reaching in and able to help them articulate.

A story that they haven’t been able to articulate previously to sort of articulate what makes them special and what makes, what purpose really drives that. In a way that they haven’t been able to do before. So it’s not layering on stories. It’s really getting to the authentic heart of who you are and what you care about most, and really

Cristina: sorry,

Cheryl: and really helping organizations raise their hand so that people who will resonate with what they have to offer confining.

Cristina: And so many of our clients have actually said that we’ve been able to tell their story in a way that was even deeper and more than they were ever able to articulate themselves. And I think that’s because of that formula that becomes really powerful.

Stu: Yeah, we’ve we experienced the same thing over here at relish studio, where having people get to their differentiator and get to that brand story.

It can be real challenging on your own and, and having an outside consultant and somebody who comes in, who does this stuff all the time and, and can look, look around the corner. You know, it’s all, all a matter of your perspective. But, but digging out those differentiators can be a real, a real challenge, particularly in that purpose driven space, because so many purpose-driven people in the nonprofit world or, or just in general, you know, are fairly you’re modest, I guess.

And so getting people to talk about themselves is, is hard enough and then getting them to recognize where they’re amazing. Or at least at least be able to articulate that is, is it’s such a. It’s so hard to do on your own. So having, having people like you out there, helping, helping organizations figure that out is just, is just fantastic.

Cheryl: And then when you teach them how to signal that right. To tell that story, not only to say it, but to show it to live do it right. Really act on that. It was, it’s puts the power of the brand in their hands and they become really great brand stewards. There’s nothing more exciting than. Your client gets better at telling you what’s what on-brand looks like.

Then you are, you know what I mean? Then they own it. And it’s really, really exciting to be able to see our clients really. And I think this is always really exciting in the nonprofit space when people understand that their brand is really a key. Of there other organization that can help leapfrog them forward.

You know, non-profits, we’re always no matter how big or small, they’re always trying to get as much bang for their buck as they can. They want to be good stewards and really investing in a stronger story really helps them connect to their customers so much more effectively and create a consistency of message that really can shoot right to the.

Right, right. Really connect right to the heart and the mind in a way that is so powerful. And it’s really fun when non not-for-profit organizations begin to see their brand as a key asset reach for achieving their purpose. So, so. Christina. And I bonded on that, over that topic. And we’ve been working on that ever since for the last 15 years.

We had the CSK group at some point we split off, we were in the larger organization, kind of bifurcated. We had a marketing arm. We were doing outsource marketing and we had a brand strategy branding division. We really around about 2015, we split and took the. Branding component, which was really our specialty, so that we could fully embrace what we had the passion for, which was helping organizations build, build really great, powerful, effective brands that their people can, that they could learn how to live.

That there are people could rally around and magnet highs people to their organization that people want it to be a part of. And then of course could also attract the audiences that that they want. And we just fell in love with not only helping organizations do that, but helping. Helping people be great stewards of their own brands.

And so we really focused on that side of the business with our team starting in 2015. And it’s, we’ve been going since then in around that same time we were invited by. I was invited to a meeting with a couple of other folks by moose international, which is one of the largest and oldest fraternal orders and service organizations in the in the world.

Have you heard of moose international state?

Stu: I had not prior to doing some research for, for our, our discussion today, to be honest with you. But but it sounds like a really, really great organization. That’s doing a lot to help, help both kids and elderly and all sorts of people kind of get live, live great lives.

Cheryl: Right? Well, you know, people who do know the moves, whether you know them or not, once I say, oh, you know, like the Elks or like, You’re like the

Cristina: water buffaloes from the Flintstones.

Cheryl: I don’t think service organizations love that comparison,

but so moose international the reason they came into being at 125 years ago and. All across the service organization, landscape roundabout, the nineties, right throughout the 20th century fraternal orders and service organizations were really rising. It was very normal to the long, to a lodge in your community and participate, right.

People came together and in lodges that working people, they broke bread together. They did service projects for their community and they helped each other when they needed. Right. And that happened throughout the 20th century while starting in the early nineties, all of the fraternal orders started to see a rapid decline in membership because it was just not a concept that was.

Really wholly relevant anymore. It was kind of your parents’ thing. Right. And and not even millennial, I mean, even gen Xers and boomers to some that, to some extent, and they’re still thriving. Moose has still well more than a million members around north America and more than 800 lodges. And, you know, obviously we see so many others like them still out there going strong, but what ended up happening.

Moose international invited us in they wanted to do something new. They wanted to their challenge. The CEO’s challenge was all of the obviously new moose, internationals, and not-for-profit all of its proceeds from its lodges. Went to support. What it cared about most was is a school called moose art child city in school.

40 miles west to Chicago. And it was built in 1913. And its intent was to be a place where if you’re a part of a moose, if you were in the moose lodge and you were a working person, a working man, and you got hurt in a work injury, or you passed away or something bad happened, your wife and your children had a place to get.

And be, and be cared for. It’s a gorgeous campus 2000 acres over time, what happened was that that grew into it’s expanded out to children who had other crises in their family, and then extended expanded out beyond just moose members to where children can be sponsored children in crisis or need, can be sponsored from.

By any moose lodge, they come from all over the country and sometimes even internationally from babies to 18. And they if they have every ability to succeed but don’t have the family structure to support. They can come live at moose international in a family style home with parent teachers and be educated kindergarten through high school.

And they have an extraordinary campus. It’s almost college like, and then when they graduate, if they, if they stay and graduate from, sometimes they go back to other extended family or something. But if they stay in graduate from moose heart, they, if, as long as they have a B average or better, they get a free four year ride to college.

That’s awesome. Yeah. And a C average or better a associates degree. Sometimes they often also transition and they have they have training programs for, so you actually learn one of the legacies is you also learn a trade outside of college prep education. So people, they have a really high rate of success with children.

And so that’s the cost. So all of the, all of the all of the proceeds from the lodge structure supported moose heart, and the CEO came up through Ms. Hart. He was a parent teacher than the principal of the school’s superintendent and now CEO. And his biggest concern was as the membership was declining at, at the lodges.

It wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. But if we didn’t do something new moose would lose heart would lose its funding engine. So we wanted to do two things. He wanted to be relevant for a new generation while still letting the lodge structure thrive. Cause it was like I said, still going strong, but to create something new alongside it that could speak to new generations and also create another funding engine for moose heart so that moose heart could live on.

And so On behalf of signal. I was there and we we spent about a year doing a bunch of research and we came back and we said to the CEO, well, everything that moose has cared about for 125 years, which is really helping working families. Thrive come together, be social break bread together, do good things for their communities.

Helping children grow into healthy, productive, happy citizens who participate in their communities and helping each other out when the chips are down. Those things still matter that they matter more than ever. Right. And this about 2016 and we see. When moose was when moose came to be, it was really at a dramatic sea change when people were moving out of sort of small town, agricultural work into manufacturing and big, big, big droves.

Right. And we said, well, we’re at another sea change. We’re moved. People are moving into on demand, independent employment. And so we believe there’s a way to reinvent what Moose’s about in a whole new business model. And we called that logic everyday community LOD, GIC, a logic everyday community.

And what logic everyday community is. It’s not a membership organization like the loyal owner, the mousse. It is a intersection of co-working childcare, a restaurant. And events all in one integrated business model. We. Sit in a community. It is a nonprofit, but it presents as a for-profit. Right. But then we behave like a for-profit.

But what we do, all our proceeds go to support the things we care about reinvested, obviously at moose heart and into local causes in the communities in which we live. It’s a really cool model built for how people live today. Probably even more resonant than ever post post pandemic. Soon to be postponed pandemic.

People can use any piece they want. Right. Every line of business is optimized to perform, to compete in its community. We are restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky just got voted best new restaurant in the city. We have coworkers, we have coworkers who just come in and coerced. We have parents who just dropped the children off at childcare, or you can use them in an integrated model.

You can work and drop your child off. You can come and book events with us. We, so it’s a model meant to flex with whatever you need in any given day. And then you can switch it up tomorrow. It’s a super cool model really creates a new sense of community. But in a very modern fashion, very hospitality forward.

We’re able to serve people in co-working in a way that we normally couldn’t. Because we have such a hospitality infrastructure around. So we can take care of them. So basically what ended up happening we built three locations, actually two during the pandemic. So we have three locations and then Mo I led the development of that.

So we came up with the concept for moose and the CEO. Well, now you have to go build it. I said, oh, okay. So we led the team. I led the team that built the first location designed and built, brought together all the experts in each category to build design and build the first concept and to launch the first three.

And then in 2019 the CEO asked me to step in as CEO of logic. And so I was able to do that because Christina had done such a wonderful job excelling, and she really stepped into the number one seat at the agency. While I stepped over a logic to run logic assi. So it’s a pretty interesting combination because she, of course, is still sitting, driving in the agency seat.

And I of course am sitting in the lead seed in a brand new concept. That is a nonprofit concept that we’re working with. Yeah, that’s really cool. Yeah.

Stu: So that’s, it’s really interesting to see that, that intersection I guess, between, or the overlap between the non-profit space in the for-profit space and how bringing.

Bringing that for-profit concept to, to logic in terms of, of co-working spaces are typically run as, as, as for-profit entities, childcare is typically run in that fashion. And, but applying that with this purpose driven focus to create a nonprofit that, that runs in that fashion is, is really quite interesting.

I think that the nonprofit. Tend to discount the business part of the nonprofit business phrase. And and so it’s really cool to see how one can, can take that purpose focus and apply it in a new way to really live that out. What were some of the challenges with launching that brand where. Did you have, you know, pretty much immediate buy-in by people or what was their skepticism?

What, what were some of the things you ran into as you were trying to develop

Cheryl: that brand? That’s a great question. It’s I think one of the things people would say is what we. Really found is finding the balance in communicating because each, you know, fundamentally there’s four lines of business under the logic everyday community roof everyday kitchen, which is the restaurant and cafe brand, project kids, camp, logic, workplace, and logic events.

What we found is that we actually had to mark it. We don’t actually mark. From the umbrella brand logic, everyday community. We market from the lines of business because people find us because they have a need right. In place to work, they’re hungry and don’t care. And then what happens is they come in and they discover.

Yeah, what else there is plugin never the

Cristina: purpose behind it. Right. That’s one of the things that I think is the most beautiful about logic’s concept. And we heard this from the very beginning is, you know, I can buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks and it goes to the big corporate entity, or I can buy a cup of coffee.

That’s just as delicious, if not more. So at everyday kitchen, cafe and experience, and actually do good in this community. That’s in my backyard or in. And moose hurting as well. And so it becomes this, you know, additional created, added value where you’re, you’re buying that cup of coffee. Anyway, you need that coworking facility anyway, but you can do good at the same time by doing the activities you would normally need to fill.

Cheryl: It was a learning curve to figure out how to balance those messages, right? Because in reality, Sometimes you just have to tell when you’re brand new, you have to say, because people won’t come in just because you do good. They’ll come in because they’re, they want, they heard they can get a great meal or they heard that we have great offices.

But when they discover the purpose side, sometimes it early on, it was hard to balance those messages. Sometimes we actually walk too far away from the purpose message and weave that back in because people are so excited. It’s a, it’s a delight. When people see what we offer, the high quality of the experience, the customer experience we offer and then realize wait, and everything that I spend.

Goes to good to do, to do a little good every day. It wants to, it goes toward not to line shareholders’ pockets, but to actually make the community a better place. And help kids. That’s really exciting. It’s like the cherry on the cake, you know, it keeps them coming back. Yeah.

Stu: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I mean, I love new minnows, but I also love the fact that the a hundred percent of the profits go back to charity.

So it’s like I get to, I get to eat my cookie and have it to,

Cheryl: you know, it’s so exciting. I think we’re living in a time where. You don’t actually have to, it’s not the same kind of thinking anymore of like, am I a non-profit and do I live in this bucket? Or am I a for-profit? And do I live in this bucket?

In reality, those things are starting to blend rare where you actually have for-profit businesses like Toms shoes and Warby Parker who are actually giving. Taking a good chunk of their proceeds and doing good with them, right? Things like that. And you have nonprofits who are stepping into a consumer space.

And I think really the, the unifying factor is this idea of, of being purpose. Purpose-driven people want to participate. Consumers want to participate with brands that are doing good things that exist for a reason. Beyond simply making money and by the way, employees due to, yeah,

Stu: absolutely. It’s really cool to see how that shift is happening here.

And and it, and it feels to me that, that you know, you can kind of hang that on, on the gen Z or the millennials or, or something. One of those generations is kind of like, okay, well, it’s, it’s this new generation that’s coming up, has this kind of baked in ethos where they want. They want to shop from, from, with brands that, that are doing something more than just selling them a t-shirt or whatever, whatever it is.

But they want to, you know, I think it’s, it’s trickling up in that capacity to you know, to the gen X. Generation as well, where, where it’s like, well, yeah. Why, why do I have to, why do I have to keep doing business as usual? And, and, you know, I think we’re seeing that more and more particularly as we’re coming out of these, you know, multiple challenges that are, that have been facing the world of, for the last few years.

You know, there’s just a new way of thinking about, about business and it’s, it’s really fun to see,

Cheryl: you know, and that’s. People want to re people, employees have choices now they, they can vote with their. Energy and right. And talents. And people want to be a part of something that they feel like is, is meaningful.

And that feels like it has a bigger driver right now, sometimes, you know, and logic is fundamentally in the hospitality business. It’s a tough, it’s been a tough business, a tough couple of years, and for hospitality and childcare and. And people, sometimes there needs to be a reason to put your feet on the floor and, and work in a really tough environment.

Right. It’s been a tough environment for hospitality and restaurants and childcare. But having something that you know, that you’re doing, that’s bigger. That’s bigger. That has a bigger purpose behind it. A bigger heart behind it and a bigger vision is really powerful being part of that vision.

And I think, I think, honestly, this is where I think we’re seeing this drive towards. You know, whether you’re a for-profit or a non-profit, how are you articulating your purpose and really owning it in a way that is yours uniquely to own and really rallying your people around it? Cause I, you know, I think I’ve been saying this for a while.

Christina’s heard me, but I think it’s more true than ever now that we almost live in. Post-consumer world. Your employees are simply early adopters of your brand, right? If, if, if they’re not in love with your brand and your purpose, how in the world can you expect customers? To be in love with it right there.

They’re the ones spreading contagious enthusiasm. Confusionism for the brand. They’re the ones who are showing up every day and doing the hard work and making things happen. And that is contagious. And if they’re really passionate about. That will make its way to your audiences. Right? And so I think in some ways, you, when you brand your branding for the inside and the out, and that’s where I think when nonprofits really, really leverage the power of brand, it’s such a powerful tool for leapfrogging your organization.

Forward because it’s, it works from the inside out. Yeah.

Stu: Where, where are some of the places that non-profits, don’t go far enough in that, in that capacity, in terms of leveraging that power of, of the internal positioning to influence that external engagement?

Cheryl: Ooh, that’s a good question, Christina. You want to go first?

Cristina: No, actually I would love you for, to go for it.

Cheryl: Nope.

Where it has to start. You really need to have your Full management buy-in right. It can’t just live in marketing. Cause if it, if, if you don’t have the full organizational buy-in and it’s just perceived as a marketing initiative, it doesn’t get ingrained throughout the whole organization. And it really needs to be, you know, we believe, you know, in the simplest of terms, you can’t say it until you.

So it only counts if we all understand how to, what our purposes, how to live it out in what we do, then we can talk about it. So it gets it when it really takes root across the whole organization from, and everybody’s excited about what the, what the brand stands for, you know, w years ago We did a branding exercise for a university.

We’ve done some university work and you know, who is when we, and we would go in and we do what we call brand role in trainings, right? Where you’re teaching the organization. You’re teaching everybody to learn the brand. You know, some of the. Powerful enthusiasts who couldn’t believe they were invited, but we’re so, so important advocates for the brand.

We’re the facilities, folks, the people who were keeping the place clean and making for that, though. Welcoming and everything was working. So often, cause you know, how many, when people come to a university, nine times out of 10, the person that the student, the prospective student and parent is walking up to and asking for directions is a facilities person is, you know, and often those are your longest standing employees.

And they have strong affinities for the, and so if it’s not lived out in how you’re directed to your welcome tour, how can it, you know, it, it stops there. And so when you can really bring the brand to life across the entire organization, and everybody understands that they have a critical role in. Yeah, the

Cristina: brand champions, just as much as the top of the chain as well, because that’s where, you know, behavioral signals really come in and what we do and kind of some of our philosophies is how can you, how can your behaviors, how can your every day movements actually affect the brand and effective.

People’s experience of the brand because that janitor that you might come in and you might be looking for the restroom, but, but they’re, they’re The experience that they give you by, you know what, let me help you take, let me take you over. It’s right over here. Can change your whole day and your whole interpretation of how that brand or how that business is behaving because all of a sudden, there’s so much more elevated in the hospitality.

Fashion. So it all

Cheryl: matters. Yep.

Stu: Yeah. And making sure that everyone on the team can articulate the why and, and, and really be committed to, and serving that purpose. When you can get that whole, you know, all of those, all of those people, all pulling in the same direction with a really solid understanding of the living, that, that purpose You know, in every capacity that they represent that brand, right.

That’s where that’s where magic really starts to happen. And

Cristina: I think understanding tactical ways to do so, because so often, you know, a brand strategy just sits on the shelf and collects dust because, you know, That you know what foundation you’re supposed to be standing on, but you don’t know how to bring it to life.

You don’t know how you can make a difference or how you can affect change. And so, and it’s not just for content creators, right? It’s for it’s for everyone within the organization. So finding those tactical ways that everyone can be a brand champion, I think is really empowering to all aspects of the, of the organization.


Stu: Yeah. So Christina, I’ve done a lot of work with organizations like EO and, and please just like that, one of the things, one of the lessons that you hear is like, you have to, you have to. Say your core values or your mission, mission, vision values. So often that you’re sick of it or else people won’t you know, they won’t get it.

You have to plaster it on the walls. You have to do all of these things. Right. But I think that there’s a reluctance to do that because, you know, as a, as a leader, it gets kind of. You know, you, you start to wonder if you’re being boring or if you’re sick of hearing this, right. What are some, some techniques or some tips that you would have for, for leaders who are trying to get that message across?

How, how would you recommend that they come at that from a, from a little different angles so that it doesn’t just become. Like, oh gosh, here here’s Stu goes again, talking about values and whatnot.

Cristina: Well, I think it’s about identifying, how do you signal that to someone else without just saying it? Right?

Cause I can say, you know, Hey, you should trust me, but if I’m not behaving in a way that that demands trust or that earns trust, then you know, It’s just words, right? So I think it’s, it’s starting to dig into what are the qualities of behavior and how I speak and how I, you know, how I express myself that start to live out those values, right?

Like one of the biggest and most important parts to signal is how we create. Quality customer relationships and how we do that is by making sure that they always know what’s happening in what’s coming, that they have more than just you know, client relationship that we actually have more of a friendship, more of a longstanding relationship.

And that creates that. That that owns that perception for us. Savannah’s mutually appreciative partnerships because that’s, what’s really important to us. That’s what we pride ourselves on. So I think it’s going beneath the words to how do you make someone feel that that’s, that’s the core of what we do and it, it stands for seeing the world in a whole new way, because you can see what everyone’s signaling at all times, because we’re all doing.

Regardless of whether we know it, we’re sending

Cheryl: and sometimes do you know, organizations are doing it because it’s who they are, but it’s going grained that they haven’t articulated. They take it for granted, right? That’s the part where you, you see, you can see something that they can’t see. And I can’t tell you how often we We an organization, right?

It’s its DNA or its culture is so strong in certain ways that you’ll, they take that. They don’t even realize it. And you can you point out look how special this is? You know? And they like, oh, well, that’s just what we do.

And you’re like people value that that matters, you know, or And when you can really own that and surface that and push away the stuff, that’s not really that differentiating. Yeah. Find

Cristina: a way to cut through the noise. Right. Like I recently started taking my dog to PetSmart’s doggy day camp and I mean, we’ve worked with PetSmart in the past and I swear from all the times I’ve worked with them before.

I don’t remember them doing this, but maybe they did. They end every phone call with tell Gracie who’s my dog. Tell Gracie. I said, And it makes me smile so much every time I see it. And that is a signal that tells you they care. They don’t have to tell you they care. They don’t have to plaster that on a wall.

They have specific behaviors built into their processes of how they, like, I’m sure it’s in a manual somewhere, right. That, that ended the call that way because it makes the customers. Cared for,

Stu: and that’s what show don’t tell sort of

Cristina: mentality. Exactly. And finding those threads is really a powerful mechanism to, to demonstrate.

What’s true. What’s really important.

Cheryl: Cause right. Marketing is a promise, right? It’s the beginning of the journey for the customer. Right. You’re making a, basically you’re making a promise. And how does that promise get fulfilled? So when you can create a straight line, even if the customer doesn’t say it, they just feel it right.

They just like Christina’s wonderful example. Even if you just feel it right. You get that. That becomes such a powerful, you know, She’s not going to go to pet. She’s going to go back

it. Yeah,

Stu: no, it would even be better as if they said I, I can’t. Did you say your dog was named Gracie? Gracie? She’s a good girl.

Cheryl: Yeah. And treat today, Christina

Cristina: Gracie would be a more loyal, a loyal patron that way.

Cheryl: But you know, it’s, and we all know that a lot of that is culture it’s in a manual somewhere, but you can’t legislate that kind of behavior. People want to participate or they don’t. Right. Like, no that’s authentic or it’s not right practice, but, but people have to want to be part of that too.

They have to part of that. They have to feel great about, about doing that. Or they’ll go somewhere else. And I think for nonprofits, you know, Are there, our loyalty relationships are so powerful. What do we know? It is that people are people are, our competition is stronger than ever for nonprofits to send out.

People move around in ways they didn’t before. Between, you know, they get, they get they move between things. They care about different chapters. And so how do we create those bonds and create really personal engagements and really create it can be tangible or intangible values. And relationship with whether it’s donors or whether we’re, we’re engaging them through some sort of product or service offering or whatever that looks like.

It’s the same, you know, in some ways it’s this, we believe it’s fundamentally the same challenge, whether you’re a B2B B2C or not for profit organization, that every, everybody, you know, you’ve delved into. At least the companies we work with, everybody wants to do something and wants a reason to get out of bed.

That’s bigger than simply making money and line lining shareholders pockets. And every business has tangible and intangible goals, right. Financial goals and nonfinancial goals. Right. And so I think when nonprofits really start to, when nonprofits start to think. Like purpose-driven brands and for profits, start to drink, think like purpose-driven brands, those lines, they start to look more alike.

The business structure doesn’t matter so much. Right. It’s how do you engage an audience? And how do you keep them engaged? Because you’re in a relationship that everyone values. Right.

Stu: Right. Who do you think is doing a really good job of this at this point? What are some of the brands that you think are, are doing a great job of kind of living that purpose and.

And that’s leading to the, the ends that they have, have sought out to, to accomplish.

Cheryl: Oh, that’s a great question. Do you have one Christina?

Cristina: I’m trying to think because,

I mean, there’s the obvious ones, right? Like, like Tom shoes or like some of the ones Cheryl that you met that you mentioned earlier. But I’m trying to think outside of that box.


Cheryl: think, I think honestly, I think Subaru does a great job at this right. Subaru. They’re really clear about how they care about being good stewards. They’re really cow. They really care about their customer, how they really care about the quality of their product and how they invoke loyalty in a way that is creates extraordinary.

And extraordinary passion and Subaru has become an identity brand and it’s such a powerful identity brand, but because I think, you know, it’s an it’s, it’s associated with a way of life. I want it to say a lifestyle, but that’s seems too shallow, right. A way of life, really. But, but it’s a brand that.

Makes it clear, they sort of do a nice job of standing apart from the big giant corporate crowd and really, really getting, being very clear about what they, how they, how they, how they care.

Stu: It seems like there’s an authenticity there that that may be missing from some of the other brands as well. And I.

I was just thinking about they, they seem to know their audience and have as much. Care and thoughtfulness about some of the things that audience desires, you know, I’m just thinking of like, they, it seems like in the last couple of years they introduced this whole dog line of stuff which, you know, that’s kind of a running joke up here in the Netherland areas, like a Subaru in every driveway, in a dog and every Subaru or something like that.

And and so just knowing that, that this is, you know, these are the people. That are really engaged with your brand and how, how can you, how can you at least appear to be coming at that from a very authentic space? And that is where a lot of that gold is mined.

Cheryl: They don’t have, they haven’t gone crazy with their portfolio.

They have a really tight portfolio of products. They’re very deliberate about how they expand that portfolio of products to your, to your point. And they know what they do. Well, they’re confident. And nobody tries to hard sell you. If you go in and buy a Subaru, they’re like, it’s a great car. It’s a great car.

It’s never going to die,

but they stand behind their product. They know who your customer is. They know who they are. Yeah, I know who they are. Yeah. And to your point, they broadened that lane sometimes, but they do it with deliberate. They do it with deliberateness, they know where to go and where we’re not where they’re not just not interested in going.

And, and so I think that’s I, I really like the Subaru Subaru brand. I think they do a really nice job of being very real and I think that’s why they connect to. Yeah. Yeah.

Cristina: It’s a great example.

Stu: Wow. Well, I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of the hour that we had allocated here today. And I, I really appreciate you both taking the time to chat with me.

It’s been a really fun, fascinating conversation. And I think that there’s a lot of value to be gained from, from people really paying attention to their brands and leading with authenticity and, and seeing how they can, can, can better position themselves in, in whatever marketplace. They’re competing.

How can people find out more about, about you and the, and the great work that.

Cristina: Well for signal Sue’s K brand partners, you can check us out@signalcsk.com. For logic, Cheryl,

Cheryl: For logic everyday community, you can check us out at logic LOD, G I c.org. And we have three locations right now, champagne, Illinois, Madison, Wisconsin, and Louisville, Kentucky.

If you’re in one of those areas, please come visit us and hopefully more logics near you soon. So.

Stu: Yeah, that fact that would be fantastic. It sounds like such a great model. And I’m excited to see how, how it continues to expand. Particularly as people start to get more comfortable going back to you know, some sort of work environment.

Cheryl: Well, it’s really interesting to watch how coworking people, you know, humans are social beings been inside for a long time. Yeah. And, you know, different communities act a little differently, but fundamentally people like being around, you know, what they tell, what I hear from our coworking members is I just, I feel smarter.

I feel more energized and inspired. Even if my neighbor is doing something completely different than I am. I’m energized by that. I love learning things that I don’t otherwise know. Getting to meet somebody who can connect me to somebody else it’s and they just want to be around people. People just want to be around people, even if they don’t, you know, I’m there on their terms.

And that’s what we found logic really does for people. And people definitely want up there. People are ready to throw parties. I will tell you that everybody’s

Stu: everyone’s ready to party.

So I love having these conversations. Also taking action and getting people to be inspired, to take some sort of action if you had to, or if you could encourage people who are listening to the show today to take any action. After listening to our conversation, what would that be?

Cheryl: You want to go first, Christina?

Cristina: I would say I would say, I would say go out and, you know, really take some time to, to think about what purpose you’re chasing, you know, what’s at the core because it’s so. It’s such a sound so hallmark, and I hate that I’m saying this, but we all are just thirsting to get out. Right. We’re all just trying to to mean something and to matter.

And, and so I would invite you to dig into your purpose and, and really live it out loud.

Cheryl: Yeah. I would invite people to look around, right. And look at the brands that they engage with. Whether they’re for-profit or non-profit in a new light, asked ask yourself, right. I, I believe in object lessons, what does, what does this brand stand for?

What do I, what is it authentically about? Do I understand what it’s authentically about? How does that apply to what I’m doing? Right. How can what kind of from brands that I really believe in and brands that I don’t and then how do I take those lessons and apply? Because it’s really exciting. It, you know, it was just really exciting to talk about Subaru and we’ve really zeroed in on the fact that that’s an, a really authentic brand and it’s something we don’t talk about a lot, but you feel it.

And those brands are really inspiring brands like that are really inspiring. And, you know, how can you look around, think about the brands that you engage with. Who’s doing that really well. And. Bring into your own your own world from that the more authentic and real we can all be the happier. The world is right.


Stu: agree. I agree. Thank you both so much for being on the show today. I really appreciate it, and I, I’m very excited to share this with the world and see how we can help more, more brands, get purpose focused and, and do more good

Cheryl: for the world. Thank

Cristina: you so much for having us. Thank you.

Cheryl: Bye-bye.

Stu: And there you have it.

Another great episode of relish this. Thanks again for listening, you can find past episodes of the show@relishthis.org. And remember if you liked what you heard today, please subscribe and leave a review. Wherever you listen to podcasts. For more information on purpose marketing, grab your free copy of my book.

Mission uncomfortable. How nonprofits can embrace purpose driven marketing to survive and thrive. Get your copy now@missionuncomfortablebook.com. Thanks again for listening. Come back next week. Won’t ya.