Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kristine Carey, founder of Brand Guide, located in Arvada, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Brand Guide, and I work directly with emerging food and beverage brands to prepare them for launching their company to market. I help consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies position their brand messaging based on market insights and the competitive white space. I work with founders to identify unmet customer needs and develop their communication strategies and tactics to spark awareness and engagement.
My objective is to help brands create their full brand expression, which can include an array of assets like company name, logo, brand guidelines (style guide and messaging guide), packaging, and sales materials to create authentic and consistent visuals and messaging.
I understand companies' biggest struggle with inconsistent brand messaging and the execution of that messaging. I can help you find a clear path to spark a change in your communication strategy. An effective brand can reach more and more people, which in turn can positively affect the growth of your business. Additionally, customers trust brands that deliver a consistent and strong brand message and experience.
Tell us about yourself
True to a branding framework, I have a vision and mission statement that guides me every day.
Vision Statement: Live an adventurous life that beams happiness and fun.
Mission Statement: To strategically and creatively help better for your companies share their awesome messages and stories.
As an active, outdoor adventure seeker, I am motivated by wellness and better for you products and have focused my career in the food and beverage industry with brands that are innovative and mission-based. As a marketer, I choose to work with companies that have passion and purpose; it would be hard to promote a product or service that I really didn't believe in.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is building Brandamentals Academy, an eLearning marketing communications curriculum for startup and emerging brands that are purpose-driven with better-for-you food and beverage products. The six-week course How to Position your Brand for Success with Consistent and Authentic Messaging helps clarify brand vision and create brand messaging that builds trust and connection while outlining a roadmap for success. The course focuses on - Vision, Mission, Reasons to Believe, and Brand Character - helping businesses engage with their fans and increase awareness and sales.
I have used the Brandamentals framework with many CPG food and beverage companies throughout my career. Those key components of vision, mission, reasons to believe (unique value proposition), and an engaging brand personality always help a brand impact ROI and consumer trust.
I have received numerous testimonials from clients that working with me has been exactly what they have needed to jump-start their business and engage with their customers ensuring that their brand visuals and messaging are on target and offer authenticity and believability.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It is definitely hard to manage your time actually running your business versus - for me - doing the work with my clients. I love working with entrepreneurs to find their guiding light and white space in their respective categories. I spend the majority of my time in client mode and work on Brand Guide after hours.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Build a business around something that you are passionate about, don't just jump into a trend if it isn't something you aren't really vested in.
- Have fun. Definitely easier said than done, but keep in mind if you like what you do then you can have more fun doing it. And you can be more balanced in work and play.
- Align yourself with other people who are smarter than you and have a mentor or two. Good feedback is essential for continuous improvement and is priceless.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
In my career, I have managed many different types of businesses with branding and advertising agencies, wore lots of hats inside food and personal care startups, and now as an entrepreneur, run my own branding consultancy. With this experience, I have a unique ability to see a lot of angles in a business and understand that bootstrapping and passionate energy are keys to success, whether starting or growing your business.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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