Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Friday, October 16, 2009

Branding Discussion - 3 Degrees Connected

Thank you to everyone who participated in our second 3 Degrees-Connected Event held at the beautiful Spring Lake District Library.  I'm humbled by the enthusiasm and the expression of gratitude that I have received as women are uncovering the potential for this organization. Although this organization has only been in existence for a short time, the women with whom I've become acquainted have truly been inspiring and a personal blessing to me.
This organization is bound to make some great connections for our business endeavors, but we also hope that it will help women avoid some costly mistakes when embarking on new business ventures and learning new skills. The advice given within this organization will be the expressed opinion of the individual giving you information; please use each an every piece of advice with wisdom and not as though it was written in stone. It is still important to evaluate what works best for you and your company.

Last evening we asked Sarah Kallio, co-author of the Stocked Kitchen to speak about Branding. Her prior experience in Purchasing and Marketing has provided her with a wealth of insight into this topic, but her diligence and hard work along side her business partner, Stacey Krastin has given them a formula for success. As stated Sarah’s current business is not focused on “branding” products or services; but her wisdom after having developed a brand and then revising it based on accumulated knowledge makes her input a valuable resource to all of us.

Sarah talked about how she and her business partner developed their product and business brand. Although she told a very simple story, a fifteen minute talk could not reveal all the effort it took to develop their strategy. Stacey could tell you about how they uncovered the confusion over their initial product name which made people turn the word “host” into “toast”, so to avoid further confusion they changed their name to “Stocked Kitchen” which involved changing logos, business cards, email addresses, Facebook pages and the list probably goes on and on.

Just picturing Sarah and Stacey sitting cross-legged on the floor of Barnes and Nobles looking at book covers and talking about what they liked and didn’t like, what attracted or repelled their attention, and what they thought would be useful information made me realize how brilliant these gals actually are. The hours they spent writing words, and phrases that came to mind as they discussed their market demographic showed their diligence in getting to the right solution. Sarah indicated that building a brand is not looking at "what colors and fonts" you like, but thinking about your market demographic and what is appealing to them. Sarah talked about large industries and their approach to spending billions of dollars on advertising and promotion. By looking at what these companies have developed, we have a wide array of free information available to us as we develop our brands. Sarah indicated that it is okay to copy someone else, that it only makes sense to leverage your small business off the success of large corporations.

Sarah indicated that as they developed their product line that they chose a broad social-economic approach to defining their demographic. They didn’t want to appeal only to the affluent household, but also to the household that had to consider each and every dollar invested in groceries. They tried to find examples of other companies who appealed to the same demographic. By using the example of “Crate and Barrel”, Sarah was able to show how their marketing strategy matched the ideal they had for their own product line. Not only do you see “Crate and Barrel” products in college dormitories, in expensive lofts in New York City, but also in the average residential households.

Sarah indicated that the approach you take to marketing your own products should not be about "being cleaver" with your taglines, but to be clear with your message. Their tagline, “one grocery list . . . endless recipes”, tells you everything you need to know about their product in under two seconds which is the average attention span of today’s consumer. Sarah and Stacey’s message is clear, but these gals are also cleaver; both Sarah and Stacey’s initials are S.K. which matches the initials of “The Stocked Kitchen”. It makes you think that they are destine to run this business and be a great success.

Sarah and Stacey are both wonderfully talented ladies, and they could tell you as much about publishing a book, or operating a partnership-based business, as they can tell you about branding. The great message here is that these ladies want to share what has worked and not worked for them. They strongly believe in not paying for services that you don’t need and to look within for some of the answers you may be inclined to pay others to muddle up for you. The more informed consumer you are as you approach each facet of your business the closer you will come to the vision you have locked somewhere inside of you.

Thank you Sarah (and Stacey) for speaking about your business endeavors with hopes to help others achieve their own success.

Sarah and Stacey are the co-owners of Stocked, LLC.  To learn more about their products visit their website at

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Sarah for sharing your creative knowledge and stories.

    To Rhonda, it was a successful event and be proud of what you have created.


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