Marketing Mambo

Helping Emerging Brands Grow with Brand Consultant Cheryl Wittenstein

February 07, 2022 Terry McDougall Season 2 Episode 6
Marketing Mambo
Helping Emerging Brands Grow with Brand Consultant Cheryl Wittenstein
Show Notes Transcript

Cheryl Wittenstein is Principal and Co-Founder of Growth Brands Co., a digital and retail consultancy partnering with emerging consumer goods brands for success on-shelf and online. She and her partner, Mary Cooper, each bring 25 years of experience with large, trusted brands including Kraft, Anheuser-Busch, Purina, General Mills, Five Star, AT-A-GLANCE, and emerging brands like Kate's Real Foods and Urban Ladle. 

Growth Brands takes a seasoned Discover-Guide-Activate approach to strategy and execution to help brands grow at all phases in their journey from product development to go-to-market. They discover consumer insights to build business and marketing strategy; guide brands through decisions for success at retail and through e-commerce including content and pack design; and activate for growth through digital marketing, media, and marketing communications. Extensive experience with major retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon, grocers, and specialty retailers, gives brands an added edge.     

With both brand and agency-side experience dating back to the heyday at AOL, Cheryl lends her digital storytelling and content development expertise to products of all kinds, services, and even nonprofit organizations who seek to connect with those they serve, donors and volunteers. She has some pretty crazy stories from tech’s early days too.

Based in the Chicago area with roots in Louisville and a serious soft spot for New Orleans, Cheryl enjoys live music and hot yoga with friends, and she cherishes long hikes and travel with her family. 

http://www.growthbrandsco.com

cheryl@marketingfordigitalgrowth.com

www.linkedin.com/in/cherylwittenstein

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If you'd like to talk to Terry McDougall about coaching or being a guest on Marketing Mambo, here's how you can reach her:

Website: https://www.terrybmcdougall.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/terrybmcdougall
Email: Terry@Terrybmcdougall.com

Her book Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms is available at Amazon

Hey everybody. It's Terry with marketing Mambo. I am bringing you a wonderful guest today. Her name is Cheryl Wittenstein and Cheryl is co-founder of a company called Growth Brands, co. Before founding her from last year, Cheryl spent many years as a tech marketer early in her career, working at one of the pioneers in  internet service providing, which is America online, also known as AOL. 

It's hard to believe that there was a time when  AOL was  an infant. In the tech industry. But Cheryl was there and she can tell some stories that, include encounters with some of the biggest names in tech. Super interesting.  I loved having this conversation with her. 

Cheryl also has had an impressive career in consumer packaged goods. And what she does today with growth brands co is helps emerging brands get off to a great start. So  they can find a healthy market for their great products and services. So one of the things that Cheryl and I talked about today was my book winning the game of work. She's read it. And I think she's a fan. Thanks Cheryl.  It's a book that can help anybody who might be a little burnt out on work or is wondering how the heck do I get ahead? I'm working so hard. 

If you feel like that's, you. And then stop what you're doing. Go out to Amazon and search for winning the game of work. It's available as an ebook and as a paperback, you could start reading it. And the next five minutes, and my hope is that it's going to help you to be not only more successful, but happier at work as well. 

And now without further ado let the Mambo begin

 Hey everybody. It's Terry with marketing Mambo and I have a wonderful guest with us today. Her name is Cheryl Wittenstein, and she is principal. And co-founder of growth brands, co it is a digital and retail consultancy that helps package goods grow and get their positioning.

Right. And I'll let Cheryl tell you all about it. But one of the other things that's super interesting about Cheryl is that she was involved in tech way back. In the nineties and she's got some great stories about her early career and her experience working in a tech firm that IPO, how exciting, like we all wish for that.

Right. So Cheryl, I am so excited to have you on marketing Mambo today. How are you? I'm doing well. Thank you, Terry. So thrilled to be here with you and yes, we'll look back and we'll look at. Yes, definitely. It's a good thing to do at this time of year. We're recording right at the end of 2021. This is probably going to come out in February.

So I just scratch the surface about what you're doing now with growth brands, co, but would you like to give us a little bit more insight into what you're doing and who you're doing it with and, yeah. What value your brain needs? Sure. Play it to a group. Brands co was founded, together with a partner, Mary Cooper.

Who's a delightful marketer, really steeped in research, here in the neighborhood we met and you will know and understand how valuable it is through networking, right? The way that you in our past has helped me connect with so many people. Mary Cooper. And I met, and decided that together we could bring, the best of each of our marketing experiences really end to end to consumer packaged good companies.

Mary, very steeped in market research, starts at the beginning, understands brand positioning where brands looking to go, what the competitive landscape looks like, puts together business strategy. I meet her at. That point, really understanding who the consumer is, who that brand is looking for, who the audience is, the brand is looking to meet and how.

We can help set a plan to drive growth, whether it is online, where much of my career has been spent, or if it is, on shelf.  I then lead us in marketing activation, really planning for the execution of the strategy of all the ways in which the growth plan, will go to market and will help ensure consumers meet the brand.

And both are delighted. well, I love that. And that makes so much sense to be,   looking out into the marketplace and understanding what is it that people need. And then you looking out and saying, how can we reach those people? That sounds like a great partnership between you and your partner, Mary right.

It's married. Yes.  You know what?  It's a great partnership. And I think  to help make it easy. For those, we work with, many of them, I should say, very emerging brands. So what is an emerging brand? You know, maybe they are brand new, little bit of funding. Maybe they've been around on having established product might even be selling on Amazon.

 In some cases, even, you know what some would say as the holy grail, they've got some shelf place Walmart or at target, but how are they going to hold on to it right  so Mary and I have. Positioned ourselves in an easy to understand way we like to call discover, guide and activate.

So working with clients we take a really deep dive into understanding their business, getting grounded in who their consumers are. what kind of product it is they're successful with and, where we think we could guide them to have greater success. We have one client who, loves  to make the particular kind of cookies in her kitchen and her husband loves her cookies, but nobody's buying those kinds of cookies.

So we're able to say, you know, here is the market for cookies and let's see, go ahead and call them a health cookies and wellness, granola bars. Right. It doesn't matter. But one can have an attachment to the brand that is so tight knit that you can't remove yourself from it. And what Mary and I do is really help guide after doing the discovery, getting really grounded in the products to say, God bless that your husband loves those cookies or that tasty soup and you go on and you keep making that for your family, but recognize that the consumer's not looking for that flavor profile, not looking for that kind of product.

So we take them down the path. Where we allow them then to understand here's where we can win. We put a plan together. It's strategic, it's detailed. We build out, the plan in many cases as a way to go to market on the web. So we're building websites while I'm writing. Copy. Right? You know, it's fun growing up in marcomm is, you know, and I've shared with you  in marketing communications, it just flows out of me.

And so I pretend to be a copywriter, and I  value that discipline just as a value, the creative discipline. So we work with others to help us in that guide and activate phase,  to really build the presence online, , in collateral, we're still using print, whatever it may be, , and getting them ready for success with retailers.

Well it's so fascinating what you're doing thing because. To your point, people can come up with fantastic products, but marketing is a discipline that is so multifaceted and it requires so much that a lot of times entrepreneurs they're not succeeding at the level that they possibly could because they're not a Jack of all trades.

And being able to partner with you and Mary, who probably have several decades of marketing between you  at big brands, big well-known brands. You can bring that depth of knowledge and experience about everything,  like you said, like copywriting and, you're bringing to the table what they probably couldn't afford to do, but really need, they can't bring in a big, branding agency or big ad agency, but they can leverage the expertise and the depth of experience that you and Mary have to, be able to launch.

 That's exactly right together. What we can do is, really give them the space to step back a little bit from the. Which is quite often what an emerging brand, you know, CPG,  sometimes services, right? We've worked with nonprofits,  there is a message and there is a way to message in a way to reach an audience that, not be what that founder, what that entrepreneur thinks  is the way they ought to go.

 We've worked with a company who's packaging,  actually a couple of different clients. Who's packaging really, really screamed for packaging best practices. You know, when you see it on the shelf. Does it have appeal? Do you know what it is? Does it look like something you want to consume? You want to put on your skin you want to put in, in your coffee?

And if the answer to that is no, because there are ways through consumer behavior we've learned in those very big companies, , that we can help a brand improve. You know, we've got the, tough job and very exciting opportunity To use tack, but to help them understand that it might look better if, and we do research and testing to bear it out.

Cause it can't just be us it's saying it, it has to be the consumer. Yeah, absolutely. And it is funny. There's certain, readability of the fonts that they're using or, , sometimes people will think like, Actually, it's funny. I was talking to my sister the other day and she works for a company and, the founders of the company are splitting up and the company was named after one name from each of them. I think it's like a variation on their first names and they put them together and she's going with one of the founders, as he spins off and he's considering inserting his wife's name into the name of the business. And it sounds like.  A cosmetic brand and they're actually a home builder.

And my sister said, I think that this might actually be a deal breaker if they go with that brand because, when they call, they're going to think that that's me because she's like the only female that works. Sure. Sure. Is there, it's funny.

 It's so true. You are absolutely right. Terry. What happens is they're too close to it, so we it'll make them feel better. And look, I'd like to say too, if you're naming your company, you name it, whatever you want. If it's got an LLC or a Corp or an ink at the back of it have at it, they've been after your wife name and after your puppy,  it's all good.

But what you go to market with should resonate with the audience that you're looking to reach. And, there's a lot of categories in CPG where I think there's enough. Noise enough confusion. One of them, I think we all see, is around my favorite color. And it's the color green.

I think it is quite common now to be in a market where cannabis is available for adult use and were delicious coffee and go, green initiatives are available and you can see on the same block, I'm going to say. I must say in Boulder, Colorado, you can see on the same block, a beautiful storefront for an architecture firm, for a cannabis company and for a outstanding bakery where I'm going to get my coffee and my pastries.

And they're all branded and, maybe not fair to pick on such a lovely city, where there's a tremendous amount of consumer goods. You got Starbucks there, green. And then there was a cannabis dispensary that I actually thought was a restaurant until my cousin told me otherwise.

I wondered why all the windows were closed off. It's all green. Right. And I think that it is smart to have somebody like you, who is thinking about what is the association that people have with certain images, with certain colors, with certain words. And if. You love your wife or you love your husband and that's a wonderful, beautiful tribute to your spouse to name your company after that.

But what is the person that you want to buy from you going to think about it, right?  They might try something very different and, you really do have to stop and say like, who's the brand for, is it for me? Or is it to communicate and to attract people that want to buy from. Yeah.

Yeah. You, don't a couple of things  I'll add, one is I have to come true that greed is my favorite color and growth brands. CO's logo is green and you know, it signifies growth. Right. You know,  I'm from Kentucky, I'm from the blue grass states. So,  it's green, but  it is also bluegrass.

So, you know, we're steeped in kind of who we are and, we're conveying to the audience that we're trying to reach. Brands that we believe we can help tell their story, tell it with greater passion, with greater intention and match up and meet the consumer where they're at and create delight 

for both of them. So yeah, so, Greensville, and the other piece I'd say too, around naming. Sometimes it's appropriate when the brand is about the expertise and the authenticity, which with the creator is bringing that product to market. Mary and I have worked with really, really talented. Chemist by trade, whose background is in beauty products. So she's coming to market with a beauty meets science product. That is so few ingredients is so real is so rich. The results are in credible. She has a PhD and she knows and understands how to drive results through beauty brands. So to bring her to market with her name all over it and to tell her story seems appropriate where some other times it won't be, and we do have to back ourselves away from it. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

And I think, having somebody that really has the objectivity to look at both sides, important, right? Because I think most people are in business because they want to make money. Right. That's the last thing you want to do is let your own maybe misperception about what's going to be received in the marketplace.

Get in the way of the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Yeah. You know, I would say two really important. Remember to that, where it is, research-based where it is empirical, where we could lean on it. There is greater value. We've been exploring,  in work that we're doing in for-profit and non-profit.

The really importance. And we talked a little bit about getting grounded, right? How you got to get grounded anywhere  where you're working, so that you learn the brand, you learn the players. She learned the individuals, you're learning who they serve. You're empathetic as you're learning. You're approaching it with sensitivity because it's going to be different perhaps than, than the pool.

been swimming in. So all of that I think creates this partnership and a trust where we can work with organizations, and really help them get ready to go to market in an impactful way with the research that backs up. So we're bringing what we got,  it very large companies, maybe some medium sized ones or even the small ones where we started hat. But ultimately it's what the consumer in the. Yeah, bring that together for them.  that's just so, so incredibly valuable. And the thing I think is really interesting and I've talked on some other episodes with other guests about this, that, marketing is not typically the first department that gets staffed in a company.

Right. It's operations, it's development, right. In sales, of course. And usually,  it's the founder or somebody in sales, that's creating whatever needs to be done from a marketing standpoint. And for them to be able  to bring you guys in, to do this  is super valuable.

When you were talking about , the closeness and, the attachment to the brand or what they think the value is, I saw that a lot, even in big companies,  I worked in. Financial services firms. And a lot of times I was working with people in sales or working with people and product, and they were especially in product, very close to the solution and they loved their solution because they created it.

And. They created it based on a need  that they saw in the marketplace, but sometimes they can be very close to the features and benefits and Hey, go out and tell them it can do,  X, Y, and Z. And. That's not, what's going to attract somebody sometimes, there's a basic need that has to be met first.

And once that's met, and then we can introduce some of these other cool things that it does, but that's where I think, mature marketing strategy. Can come in and can really help. So,  yeah, and big companies, I think like small companies and even very small startups can struggle with that.

We're just too close to it.  It reminds me too how important it is to collaborate even inside a larger organization. Right. So, you know, times I know in your career and certainly in mine,  and you've written about it in winning the game of work, where you get to a place and there's friction, or there's not agreement and you have to.

Either call a time out or what I would love to do is let's get together and let's just brainstorm. Let's just take another clear look at it because what, as the marketer you're going to ask me to do next with your product that you're convinced can only be described in this way. Is you're going to ask me to take it to market.

You're going to ask me to storytell around it. And the work that I did in particular,  at the last company, both consumer goods and in durable goods really required  that, I understood the feature. But that really, I understood the benefits and that I could story towel around the benefits.

So one of the areas, that I really feel is this passion point, I believe more brands need help with this. Then they realize they're busy. You are. Marketing teams tend to be small and mighty.  If it's a very large company, but let's spell brains. Don't have that. And they were lots of different hats and they're doing lots of different things and product content is that passion point for me, it's that area where I like to jump in and say, What is it?

That's going to come to life on that Amazon page on that walmart.com page on your very own website. What is your one version of the truth? What is the story about why that. Cosmetic  is pure and real and makes you feel good, right? It gets at the emotional connection, but there is really a science to it that I'll say we deploy 

it's one that  I've enjoyed. since being at a large company and now being out on my own is helping, brands take the time to delve in. Too. Sometimes I call it the geeky side of the content, but it's really looking kind of top down. You know, those bullets on that Amazon page for a granola bar really make a difference and they make a difference for, cell phones that we're using, what is most important?

It is not that it's blue it's that it's durable or it tastes good or whatever it is, or you're part of a tribe, you know? I mean, I have an iPhone I'm part of a cult and it's, you know what it's, I think maybe it is automotive that taught us that, Detroit and all the brands,  help us.

We want something to are what you drive. You are, what you drive,  it's really, super, super interesting. You're touching on something that  I've got an episode coming out that's on, the whole StoryBrand.

 I don't know if you're familiar with the StoryBrand there's a book that came out and there are people that actually, we'll put together the whole StoryBrand.

 Including the website that,  I think it's  such an interesting concept because it's really getting at the heart of what is the emotional need.

Right. And how do we tell the story? So people are captivated because we as humans, I mean, going back, millennium, Love stories. It's just something that is very human. We want to hear stories. We want to get lost in, following along what happens next and I can relate to that.

Right. So I think that sometimes,  as marketers,  I can totally geek out on this kind of stuff. And I think my husband would probably be rolling his eyes if he were here listening to me. But there is really something about. Connecting with people. And one of the things I I'm sure, I came across this in psychology when I was in college.

But when I went through my coach training, they told us that people make decisions emotionally and they justify them logically. And so if you can get at the heart of the matter with the story, people. We'll decide and then they'll say, oh, and it's a good deal. Right? Let them have the reason why, , it sounds a little Simon Sinek who I really like a lot too, who says you got to start with the why, that early video clip that he did,  that anyone had watched ought to, I think is, how apple Can sell that iPhone. You know, is it by this because it's at a low price or is it by this at the very end, because I've told you how it's going to change the way you communicate. Yeah. It's funny about that. And I think back to, I was an early apple user, like back in the nineties, my first computer that I bought personally was an Mac.

But then when I went to replace it  they were definitely more expensive.  And so I went to PCs cause that's what you used at work, et cetera. But I can also remember when the iPod came out and those MP3 players had been around. My kids had been getting them at birthday parties. Like, what the heck do you do with this thing?

Like I could not figure out like, and then I was afraid like with Napster and all that, like, are we going to get arrested? Cause I don't know how you get the music, but think the brilliance behind apple is that they understood the human condition. They understood that we want music, but we're clueless about how to, download it to one of those things and they just made it so easy.

right. They understood what we needed. They made it easy and they understood when to try to tie it to AOL apple understood a need that we hadn't expressed. They helped us express needs. We have for greater connectivity for greater communication. At AOL very early in my career, Steve case used to say, and Ted Leonsis, who was a leader as well used to say our competition isn't.

Microsoft or MSN and their online version, or gosh, remember CompuServe and many others that will date me even more. Steve case used to say, that's not our competition. Our competition is Seinfeld. Our competition is where you spend your time consuming content. So understanding. Who it is we're competing against.

And for what I think helps brands and, a brand like apple, be able to really accelerate the growth by doing something different by actually creating a tagline called think different. Right? So it is about doing something very different and they taught us all how. Well, Cheryl,  you touched on something   I actually,  lived in the DC area for years, and actually had an interview with AOL when I was getting out of business school in the mid nineties.

And when you and I first met you, let me know that you had  been there for a while early in your career and you happen to be there whenever they IPO. You know,  I think all of us sit on the sidelines and watch people that are at these startups and are like, wow, you know, how cool is that? But what was it like working in tech back  in those early, I mean, it wasn't early, early, you know, you weren't in Silicon valley in a garage, but that was pretty early.

Like that was the beginning of the internet. When you were working at all. That's correct. And you know what, I'm going to take you back real quick, even just a couple of years prior, even before AOL, I started in technology in Washington, DC. One of three in a small association, focused on software publishing. Apple was one of members, a little company called quantum computer services was one of the members they were run by Steve case and they became AOL. So I began in tech.

Heading marketing would before I even knew that that's what it was called,  for this association of software and hardware companies.  I had, what was it like. I mean, you won't call me name dropper. If I tell you a couple of stories, right? Because now we want to hear them because it's crazy.

When I think back to what it was like, so software really to make that long story store, there were a couple of kinds. There was business software, there was education software and there was entertainment software, and that was really it. And they were all on desks. They were not online. And. You know, this was super early on, so I would help organize conferences and I would be in the same room, helping the speakers, get ready, shaking hands, thanking them for their support of the organization, et cetera, with.

Here's the namedrop and I'm sorry, Steve jobs, bill gates, all of them, because  those were the leaders in the industry. They were well-respected.  I once got bill gates, a Budweiser. I was so delighted to, and I did not mind. I was standing right there. Offered it. May I get you a bud? And my story, my Steve jobs story is even funnier this day.

We like crazy, but I have to say we were in Northern California at a conference. He was about to go on and he said, Hey, Cheryl, for my presentation, I just want to make sure that you're set with the projected. And could I get a cup of herbal tea? Sure, absolutely.

Stay we'll get that for you. I turned to my colleague and I said, I know we have the projector. What's an herbal tea.

That is so cool. Well, you know, it's funny. Cause I think back to those days, like apple. A lot of people thought in the mid nineties that apple was going to go extinct. Right. Because  there was a lot of stuff that went on back then, like software wasn't compatible between the PCs and the max and,  it was not a sure thing.

It's so funny,  with it being one of the most valuable companies in the world today, Back in the nineties. That was not a sure thing. This is long, long before the iPhone, long, long before the I pod and also,  the Mac computers were a lot more expensive.  They were used in, graphic design and in education.

But  in business, Or Dell or that's right.  PCs  like as the software got better and better, the hardware became more significant and, forget about the cloud. That was so many years away, but you're exiting, right. Steve jobs stuck, then I'm by no means, you know, no, the history is as well as I'm sure others, but what I watched was Steve jobs step away, started.

Education hardware company called next. John Sculley came over from PepsiCo, ran apple, you know, and I really was lucky I was front row,  to it. And it was super exciting, but apple was used just as you described, it wasn't a powerful enough machine yet or viewed as one. And yet it was the quote car I wanted to drive.

Yeah. Like the Mac se  that I bought myself after I used a Mac classic it work. And when you said you owned an apple, I was like, oh my you're so young. You couldn't have had an apple too, but I mean,

but  that's what was on the market before that was Alisa. I mean, the history to me of tech is so fascinating. It was exciting to be there. It was exciting to be there at that time. , I work with a number of young people now helping them, with their resume, with their LinkedIn profiles by no means consider myself,  the professional.

I'm not a professional coach. I'm not the coach that you are, but you know, telling stories, as we say is so critical and I'll find myself telling a story.  Two young women at the local high school,  for the women in business club that a few of them found it,  at a breakfast recently, I was telling them about my first strategic business decision.

It was at this software association where we were planning for the conference and we were going to do breakout sessions on various types of software. So there was the education and that,  in all of the different topics and there was one for international. So here at a very young age, I Terry said to myself in my head, I am going to ask my colleagues to chair the various sessions and the breakouts for everything other than international.

I'm going to assign that to myself and I did, and I met everyone. I had to do my follow-up notes. I had to schedule the next meetings. We had to do international calls for it, and I was in the right place to open the office in. Oh, my gosh. Wow. How fun. more power to you for advocating for yourself at that young age, like saying to yourself on some level, I want this and I'm going to position myself.

 To get it right? Yeah, that's right. That's so cool. And that's the message is it's out there. We just have to be brave enough to go get it. With certainly at it, growth brands is what I'm trying to do. There's so many spots that are out of our comfort zone. Right? It's so easy to be out of her comfort zone, but if we don't place ourselves there, even to try.

We won't know. So, you and understanding just through coaching, how much is out there has just been so invaluable for me and now I get to help other people. Yeah, that's so great. And I agree with you so much. I mean, Especially when we've worked in big corporations  where there's a lot of structure, it can be very easy to have the blinders on and not even realize that we've got them on.

And I think what you're talking about is that as you start to peel them back and you just rip them off your. Wow. It's almost overwhelming how much opportunity and possibility is out there that you can very easily get overwhelmed by all of the potential possibilities. But it absolutely is true.

I mean, and you're a Testament to that because you were. But he who, worked for a big company, you left that company and you were trying to figure out, do I get another job? What do I do? And you started your own consultancy. And now you're able to use all of your skills and your knowledge in a variety of ways.

And I would imagine that that's, pretty energizing for you to be able to deal with different types of challenges, depending on who the client. Yes, it is, it is depending on the client. And  what I will call the cause. As I've worked with nonprofits, it's very clear that there's a, cause there's an audience that's being served.

There's a development goal. There's fundraising very clearly in order to make everything happened. That must, on the for-profit side, There is a cause there is brand,  product that meets a need that someone has someone, may not have been introduced to yet like that, I phoned that now has changed so much.

Or it might be just a better solution. Right. So I feel passionate about. Yeah, I'm so glad to hear that. And  I love the fact that, you're making somewhat of a distinction between for profit, not for profit, but I'm glad that you're not dismissing the fact that for-profit companies address needs that people have, because  I've talked to people sometimes who, maybe they're just a little bit burnt out on, working for.

For-profit companies and sometimes can get a little jaded and like, it's just all about the money, but I'm like, no, because the organization would not still be in existence. If they were not serving the need, people don't pay for stuff that they don't want and they don't need, maybe they might do it once.

Uh, huh, but that's a fad, right? Like they do it. And then they're like, ah, why am I spending money on this? But companies that continue to exist are either continuing to innovate or they're providing a service or a product that people value. That's why they bought them. That's right. People are smart.

We're not twisting anybody's arms to make them buy. That's right. And I'm glad you mentioned innovation, it's so important to continue to innovate and to watch the market and understand, there's a reason those little MP3 players aren't around like them once we're right, The innovation  leapfrog to them. but I truly do believe, it's been a long time now in my career that I've said. I am passionate about anything I'm marketing. And I know my clients feel that way about their small companies and their emerging brands or growing brands.

I want to not just call them small. A lot of aren't small, you know, your 10, 15, $20 million brand and your growing. Couple of million dollars and you see ahead of you, growth  it's doable and it's possible, but I have always said,  just give me something  I can get excited about if it's a fabulous pair of shoes that makes me  feel fabulous.

You've reached me. You've connected with me and those shoes contribute. To wellbeing. Maybe we could say that. So first of a wellness product, but I think it's true. I think it really is positive. No matter what it is, we're marketing. If we do so with authenticity, we can meet a need. Yes. That's so beautiful.

Well, Cheryl, I know that we could talk forever. We have done this in the past and we have talked for a long time, but I enjoy it every single time that I have a conversation with you. But we going to be wrapping up and I want to ask you what last words of wisdom do you have for our listeners at marketing Mambo, last words of wisdom.

I think new brands coming to market. Should do what it is that they've done to get to where they are, listen, and talk and meet and collaborate and be open look partners that bring a diversity of experience. I think we all have something we want to create or we want to contribute to. And it truly is.

Can't happen as well. If we just do it all by ourselves. Right.  Yeah, just  it's , the beauty and the value of diversity of perspective, right? Yeah. So if it's big company perspective, I will say too, that has served me really well when it comes to process, a lot of big companies taught us process, right?

They taught us discipline and flow and planning and smaller companies are doing so many things at once. They're so, so talented. They're so creative and innovated, but are they putting together? You know, that to-do list,  tend to live by a project tracker, are they prioritizing? So, I would say, working with companies like yours with mine, we give people the space to step back from what it is they know and discover what it is. They might not know. That they certainly can dismiss or they can explore a little bit further.

And greatness, I think comes out of us working together. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of, brilliant nuggets in there. And I agree with you actually, I've coached a lot of people at startups and when they're very fast growing, it can be really interesting to see them making that transition between.

And the company being able to sit in one room and  hashing stuff out and being spontaneous and creative to getting to a point where it's necessary to put a structure in place that,  the organization won't hold without structure.  So. The fact that you're pointing that out

and, as somebody who's worked at these larger companies or has even, at AOL, like grown up with, and you've seen that happen for you to be able to bring that in to a company and say, okay, this has worked up until now and now maybe we need A brand guideline, or we need to think through this, it can't just be spontaneous.

Yeah. Yep. And documenting it. Thank you.  It's funny collaborating with Mary we'll laugh sometimes I'll call it, , things that poke me in the eye,  for her it's packaging, she's a genius of packaging. She looks at the label. She knows exactly. How it can speak to a consumer and what's missing and how tedious the pixels could make a difference.

And I tend to do that with words. It just pokes me in the eye if it's the wrong choice, or if there's the space where it doesn't belong, like I just try my best to find it, or I can't help it. But I think having that, It's reminding me of your writing of your terrific book, having in mind, you know, how to win and how  to go to work, to really understand the environment in which we're in and to take our very best skills and to work with others, to achieve is,  really the only one.

I think we'll see the accomplishment, that goal we set that we'll be able to meet.  And I think then we're creating those great products, those great experiences, for the consumer who has that.  Well, Cheryl, thank you so much. I feel like, you're just such  a delightful, positive Ray of sunshine, and I just always love talking to you and it sounds like you're doing some great work for your clients.

So tell me where can people find you? We'll see we're at growth brands, COEs C o.com. Both brands, C o.com. I'm available On LinkedIn. . Certainly.  Happy to just have a conversation, talk about a brand, share ideas, build together a plan or proposal, , and see who it is we can help.

 Terry. Thank you. You're right. I could talk to you forever.   It is just delightful, always working with you,  and appreciate so much the opportunity It was such a pleasure to talk to you again, Cheryl. Thank you. And good talking to you. Thank you so much.