Our Brand Promise

When we work with clients, we talk about the importance of their brand promise – but what does that mean? It’s not necessarily a tagline or headline (although it can be). Nor is it a description of features and benefits (although that can inform it). Your brand promise is what customers can expect to get – both functionally and emotionally – when they engage with the brand. And it’s important because that’s the metric against which your customers will measure their experiences. So, it not only has to sound attractive and compelling; it also has to reflect reality.

This year, as Relish Marketing looks forward to celebrating its 10thanniversary, we’ve taken on ourselves as a client. Which means we’ve been taking a fresh look at our communications and exploring our own brand promise.

To that end, we spoke with many of our clients, representing large enterprises and growing businesses in sectors ranging from consumer goods to professional services. And we learned that the Relish brand promise is driven in equal parts by three key components:

  • Strategy + Creative
    For us, the combination of strategy and creative is so important …. Relish is excellent in both areas – and that’s so much of what makes great work. – Carol Galbreath, Senior Director of PR and Communications, Georgia Dental Association
    [At] some agencies, they start with a creative idea they try to retrofit strategy around… Relish understood what we were looking for… and integrated the creative into that approach. –Chris McCarthy, Marketing Director, Sargento Foods
  • Integrity + Attention
    The work has always been high integrity. You do what you say when you say you will do it.– David Asbury, Chief Executive Officer, Northwestern Benefit
    Even though I know Relish works with other law firms, I never worry that you’ll pitch something I’d see at another firm.– Karen Wilcox, President, Marketing Speaks; Marketing Consultant, Taylor English Duma LLP
  • Trusted Relationships
    You take the time to learn our company and come up with your best work. Over time a strong mutual trust develops that delivers better, honest feedback and improves the work on both sides. – Frans Mahieu, Global Director of Marketing HR, Kimberly-Clark
    It seems to me that Relish has thrived because of repeat business. That’s relationships. – Gareth Clarke, CEO (retired), Irrimax Corporation
    With Relish, I don’t feel like I’m calling on a vendor. I’m calling my team who’s in it with me and knows what we need to do. It’s not transactional, it’s relational.  – Rochelle Valsaint, Manager, Brand and Communications, Lenbrook Senior Living

Most importantly, our clients told us that while each of these components is valuable, the Relish experience happens in the dynamic created by all three together. And that’s our brand promise: The fusion of strategy and creative, driven by a commitment to integrity and attention, sustained by trusted relationships.

Our founder and President, Pam Willoughby, says that these very components are what inspired her to start Relish Marketing in the first place. “I’d seen too many marketing efforts executed in spite of creative that wasn’t strategic, a lack of integrity, and a distance between the agency and its clients. I knew there had to be a better way. And I wondered – if we focused on that fusion of strategy and creative, integrity and trusted relationships, how much better could it be?”

According to our clients, it can be “Powerful,” “Professional,” “Genuine,” and “A lot of fun.” And if we look at our brand promise as the starting point for the next ten years, well, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about what’s ahead.

Leading Cheese Company Affirms Family-Centric Culture

Here was the situation

After Sargento Foods completed a major corporate strategy and business transformation initiative in 2017, the cheese company was ready to take on its next challenge: employer branding and talent acquisition. While the company was already a desirable employer of Real Cheese People®, well-known in its home state of Wisconsin, leaders recognized the need to attract talent from outside the state. Marketing Director Christopher McCarthy had just completed an inhouse leadership development program during which he and his team mates presented a case study on Sargento’s opportunity to better define and position its employer brand. Around the same time, the company’s Human Resources team was exploring ways to improve recruitment marketing. Both teams recognized an opportunity to make a difference for the company together, and they turned to Relish Marketing to help them do it.


Together we did this

Relish Marketing brought its Brandfluence™ process to Sargento’s headquarters in Plymouth, Wisconsin, to explore the organization’s identity as an employer. The process included research into the company’s internal communications, employee engagement, candidate experiences and recruitment processes. We assessed competitor employer brands, as well as the employer brands of businesses in other industries with circumstances similar to Sargento’s. In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with company leaders, new hires and long-term employees and completed quantitative research with Sargento employees and prospective talent in five high-need functional areas.


Our research underscored the company’s longstanding identity as a place of family-oriented leadership, values and corporate culture, while also revealing opportunities to strengthen diversity. This commitment to family became the cornerstone of the company’s employer brand, “Your Passion. Our Culture.”


Oh, so much better

The hallmark of the engagement was Relish's commitment to a fusion of strategy and creative, as well as to building strong relationships with clients. Relish Marketing's founder and President, Pam Willoughby, affirms, "We do our best work when we have a trusted, collaborative, partner-centric relationship with our clients. That gives us the freedom to try original, unusual ideas that represent our client’s identity strategically, authentically and creatively.”


McCarthy agrees, "Relish started by seeking to understand who we are, what we needed and where we were trying to go, integrating strategy and creative simultaneously and seamlessly.” He adds that this approach led to the development of “employer brand messaging, graphics and guidelines that really felt like us – only updated and taken in a contemporary, relevant direction."


Sargento’s new employer brand is set to launch both externally to talent candidates and internally to employees by the end of 2019

Digital Productivity: Which Tools are Best?

If you work in marketing, you probably feel bombarded by all the digital tools promising to make you more productive. And who hasn’t fallen for the charms of those promises? Sometimes, there’s nothing as attractive as the possibility of being more organized, on schedule and on top of details.

But how do you know what’s right for you and your business? We’ve been asking ourselves and our clients that question. And the answer comes down to what you need your digital productivity tools to do. For instance, let’s say you need to…

Manage Projects

If you have to keep an eye on multiple projects at a time, you can probably benefit from a project management tool (e.g., Teamwork, Asana, Slack and Trello). We use Teamwork at Relish because it encourages collaboration, enables asset sharing, helps us allocate time and resources across projects, integrates with our email and billing system, and maps well to our workflow processes. Rochelle Valsaint, Brand and Communications Manager at the Lenbrook senior living community, relies on Asana for similar reasons. Regardless of the project management tool you chose, make sure it includes a calendar, a way of tracking changes between multiple collaborators, and the ability to integrate with your mission-critical applications and work processes.

Create and distribute social content

Like email and the web before it, social media has gone from novelty to an essential component of the overall communications landscape – and it must be part of any marketing strategy. Karen Wilcox, Interim Marketing Director at Taylor English, affirms, "Reporters follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter – and often, that's how they want to connect. And, the talent we represent in our entertainment area is on Instagram and Facebook.” She adds that social media is equally important for her firm’s employer branding. “Millennials are the next generation of legal associates. And if we want them to come on board, we’ve got to be on social media.” With so many different messages and audiences, Hootsuite helps Wilcox’s marketing team pre-load and schedule social posts, and better manage their time, content and cadence for posting.

You might think that the over-75 demographic isn’t on social media, but Valsaint says, “Seniors want the same things that younger generations do – to stay connected and informed, to see what their families and friends are doing, or to share adventures, like the trip to Africa one of our residents just took. There would be no way to keep our posts organized and on target if we didn’t plan ahead.” She and her team rely on Buffer to organize, schedule and post social content.

Connect with People on Your Mailing List

As prevalent as social media has become, newsletters, blogs and email are far from obsolete. Here at Relish, we use Sharpspring to help us manage and track our activity on those channels. At the same time, we’ve developed expertise in other Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems ranging from Hubspot and Constant Contact to MailChimp and Salesforce because our clients use them. We’ve learned that all of these systems have different advantages. For instance, HubSpot and Salesforce are designed for large organizations with dedicated “power users” who manage List segmentation, reporting, tracking, and sophisticated content from multiple areas of the company. Other tools are simpler, allowing smaller businesses or teams to start for free (e.g., MailChimp), or pay-by-use (e.g., Constant Contact) as they learn the system’s capabilities.

Consolidate, Integrate and Keep Learning

Our Account Supervisor (and resident productivity junkie) Mia Johnson tells us, “Integration and consolidation enable automation. Consolidate tasks and content. Then integrate that with your communications, scheduling, resource management, billing, and other tools that matter to your business. The more you integrate, the more likely they are to be helpful.”

All of these tools are continually updated and improved – enabling some less expensive options to deliver powerful capabilities previously unique to the larger apps. Follow the companies whose systems interest you on social media – and consider joining one of their online user groups to stay on top of improvements that might make sense for your business.

Still not sure what digital systems make the most sense for you and your organization? Consider starting with sharable spreadsheets and documents (e.g., GoogleDrive or Microsoft OneDrive) which can offer a gateway to shared content and processes. Once you’re up and running with those, you will be able to gain a better sense of what deeper services and capabilities will make the greatest difference in your productivity.

At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our brand development client work. Work with us! Contact here.

Life at Relish: Travel Bucket List

With a hint of spring in the air, our thoughts are starting to turn to travel and adventure. The team here at Relish Marketing has a long list of destinations on our bucket list. Here are the places that we want to go for renewal and inspiration.


One destination on my (and my wife’s) bucket list is definitely Italy.  More accurately, Venice and the Tuscan region.  It’s a place I have always admired for its beauty and more importantly, its wonderful food.  Being from New York, I have always loved going to Little Italy, and I really want to try the “real thing.”


When our children were growing up, we entered an au pair program (interestingly, on the advice of our friend, Pam Willoughby!). We’ve since dreamed of a big trip to visit them all in Turkey, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany, England, Norway, and Poland (although our Polish au pair now lives in the U.S.).


I love to travel, so there are many places on my list. The places I absolutely have to go to are: Egypt to see the pyramids and the temples. Bora Bora to be on an island far, far away and experience total relaxation in an overwater bungalow. Italy to indulge in pasta and wine while touring the cities and countryside. South Africa/Madagascar to soak up the culture and beautiful beaches.


Like many, my travel bucket list is very long. But, between the descriptions by a favorite author (Orhan Pamuk), memories of a dearly beloved Nancy Drew mystery (The Mysterious Mannequin), and the lure of the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul holds a place at the top of my list.


Ireland - I want to sketch inside as many castles as I can. Japan - Cherry blossoms in the spring. Please! South Africa - Kruger National Park. Singapore - Marina Bay Sands Hotel... look it up. Morocco - Sahara Desert meets Casablanca.


My bucket list is way too long to list, so I will share my next big international trip. My goal is to visit several locations in Thailand at the end of this year and several locations in Africa next year. Both are two big bucket list items.


My #1 travel destination is Palermo, Sicily (and the entire island in general). My grandfather immigrated to America from there when he was a boy in the 1890’s and I’ve always wanted to see where he and my family came from.


I have a very long bucket list for travel. First up is Budapest and Dubrovnik. I have had a thing for Scotland (kilts!) since I was a teenager, so I definitely want to travel there and possibly Ireland. I am also in conversation with a good friend about a trip to Bali or Thailand for a meditation/yoga retreat. The world is such a big place and I have seen so little of it.


There are 2 places that I’d love to visit. For 30 years, I’ve wanted to visit Thailand for its architectural and historic beauty, and for authentic Thai food. It also helps that, from what I hear, there are beautiful beaches! The other place is Paris, because it’s, well... Paris.














The Mark of a Cutting-Edge Healthcare Education Brand

Here was the situation.

Syntaxx Communications, an oncology medical communications company, recognized that it was well positioned to expand its offerings. With their industry knowledge, medical communications expertise, and advanced specialty training, they established CE Synergy, a medical continuing education provider for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals specializing in hematology and oncology. The two businesses were aimed at very different audiences and leaders wanted the new CE Synergy logo to complement yet be clearly distinctive from the existing Syntaxx brand in a way that ensured compliance with accreditation credentialing regulations. They wanted a fresh, creative approach to their corporate branding, which led them to Relish Marketing.


Together we did this.

Implementing a streamlined version of our in-depth Brandfluence process, we helped CE Synergy identify unique differentiators and affirm the company’s commitment to instruction and learning. The healthcare education branding had to be forward-thinking, interactive, engaging and non-traditional. And, the client sought to reinforce the collaborative nature of the way clinicians must work and communicate – with physicians, nurses, patients and their families. Finally, we clarified key concepts that would appear in the tagline: Innovate. Educate. Collaborate. Transforming Cancer Care.


With that foundation, our creative team developed several different approaches to the brand identity. We then worked with the client to hone a final logo and color palette designed to scale across both print and digital media, as well as an easy-to-follow set of brand usage guidelines.


Oh, so much better.

Our concepts for the logo brought together the visual mnemonic for the C and E, but also the concepts of synergy and interactivity. The two initials form an infinity symbol, which reinforces the ongoing path to learning as well as a collaborative flow. An energetic color scheme conveys the company’s cutting-edge approach and helps it to stand out across the competitive landscape. And the brand usage guidelines have made it easy for CE Synergy to establish its identity on websites, across social media, and in educational and promotional materials.

Life at Relish: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! The transition to 2019 has had all of us at Relish Marketing thinking not so much about resolutions as about what we’d just as soon leave behind with the old year – and what new things we hope to grow for ourselves going forward:

Don’t want in 2019 – Procrastination. Do want in 2019 – To enhance business development for Relish and more yoga for me personally!

I want to leave that propensity to reflect (obsess?) on my to-do list and that nagging feeling that something is undone behind. Good riddance. And in 2019, I want to grow my ability to live and take in the now and enjoy the experience that I am in at any given moment.

I want to get rid of self-doubt and inertia, my two greatest nemeses. And I’m hoping to grow creative expression across all my favorite media – and time to revel with family and friends.

What I hope won’t follow me into 2019: My compulsion to save/store old things that I haven’t used in years. And to grow in the new year? Design and technical skills in video editing/production.

Less division. More compromise.

Something from 2018 that I hope won’t follow me into 2019? My social media addiction. And what I hope will grow for me in the new year?  Money and opportunities :)

Something I do not want is to come close and lose in my fantasy football league AGAIN. One thing I really do want is to travel somewhere I have never been to.

I don’t want to be on social media more than 3 hours total per week unless it’s work-related. I do want to travel more and experience different cultures.

What are YOU looking forward to this year? We’d love to hear about it.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client workWork with us! Contact here.



You’ve Re-Defined Your Brand – Now What?

#2 in 2019 Brand Jumpstart Series

 In the first post in our 2019 Jumpstart series, we looked at how a deliberate, objective process is key to effectively re-evaluating your brand and establishing a plan for it to support you going forward. Today, we’re going to show you how we helped one of our clients execute on that plan.

Swift Currie, a the 150-lawyer litigation firm based in Midtown Atlanta, recognized a need to reassess their corporate identity and marketplace perceptions. The firm had a longstanding presence in the Atlanta market, steeped in tradition. But a combination of a Brandfluence® workshop and in-depth research conducted by Relish Marketing revealed that the firm had grown beyond its historic reputation. In recent years, Swift Currie had become known among key clients for its innovative, forward-thinking approach. Internally, the firm’s overall demeanor had become more relaxed and even fun. The firm had grown physically and geographically, as well, adding more team members and practice specialties while expanding beyond its original Atlanta market. However, its corporate brand identity (including a logo last updated in 2003) had not kept pace. The old brand system hadn’t been designed to perform across all media, particularly in digital spaces. It was time for a significant update.

Relish then set about helping the firm create both a new brand story and logo – as well as a clear plan to express this more clearly defined identity. Together, these components highlight the firm’s heritage as well as how its agility and flexibility yield results for clients.

The type treatment is now a forward-leaning, elegant yet approachable script. And, a bold, high-contrast color palette reinforces the firm’s energy and drive. A strong, well-defined slash takes the place of a more commonly expected dash between the firm’s lead partner names. The slash also serves as a unifying graphic element across multiple media. And, secondary versions of the logo further enable flexibility in spaces where a horizontal logo might not be appropriate or effective.

Finally, we developed a version of the new logo for internal usage only, featuring a woodcut-style hare as the firm’s mascot. Quick and intelligent, the hare is found throughout the Southeastern United States. Seen as a symbol of diligence and perseverance, hares are known for their easygoing nature and steadiness under pressure. With a generous playful streak, hares can swiftly assess situations enabling them to avoid predators and uncomfortable social encounters. In this internal presentation, the hare engages with the iconic slash, reinforcing the qualities of agility and confidence that have become hallmarks for the firm.

This identity is now expressed across a wide variety of presentation materials, including templated industry descriptions, attorney bios, folders and business cards and letterhead. It will also appear digitally – across social media platforms and an updated website (currently under development).

The new mark has earned Swift Currie recognition from both clients and the legal industry media. Equally significant, the firm’s brand is now better able to reflect not only its heritage, but also the way its current identity and agile, innovative approach serve clients today and in the years to come.

Next up in December: Five tips and tricks to help make it easier to make the most out of your digital presence throughout 2019.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.

 2019 is Coming: Is Your Brand Ready?

#1 in 2019 Brand Jumpstart Series

There’s no way to avoid it: We’re well into November, which means you should already be evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing and planning for your brand to better support your business in 2019. This is the first in a series of four posts designed to help you jumpstart your marketing to achieve the best possible results in the coming year – and begins with a fresh, clear-eyed look at your brand.

If you’re not engaged in brand re-evaluation and planning right now, we get it. Lots of companies get caught up in the here and now and postpone the brand planning process. After all, it’s not as if customers will tell you that they’re confused by your messaging or that they can’t remember what your logo looks like. And we know that without guidance, brand analysis can feel “fuzzy” and difficult to measure against pressing, end of year performance indicators.

But here’s the hard truth: if your brand isn’t reinforcing the way you want to be perceived, it could be silently undercutting your ability to pursue growth and accomplish your goals. Which means that the time for brand planning is now. The only question is, “How?”

The answer is that you do it through a deliberate, objective process. We recommend our Brandfluence™ process, which begins by taking stakeholders through a series of creative, provocative questions and exercises in the areas of:

  • Identity – Who and what you are
  • Competitive positioning – How you are different
  • Brand evaluation – How you come across now – and how you should in the future
  • Brand promise – What people should expect from interactions with you
  • Brand personality – How interactions with you should feel
  • Audience (s) – Who you need to reach

The process requires honesty, attention and a willingness to remove yourself from the day-to-day routines that can lead to rutted thinking. It enables our clients to inform the right direction for their brand – whether it’s a minor directional shift, a light refresh or a complete re-launch. It guides our development of both creative and strategic deliverables in support of that direction. And, because those deliverables align our signature creativity with the company’s overall objectives, they often lead to measurable, powerful results.

Many of our clients have told us that the initial brand exploration process alone has tremendous value to them because it focuses otherwise disparate ideas, perceptions and information. It forces a fresh look at brand components that may have become dated or misaligned with the company’s overall strategic goals. And it brings together and connects the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.

For this reason, we’d like to offer you an early holiday gift – the very same Brandfluence workbook we use when we work directly with clients. Full disclosure: We hope that when you see it, you’ll connect with us to work with you to get the most out of your brand in the coming year. But even if you don’t choose to work with us now, we want to help you benefit from our process as you explore, identify and pursue a plan to take your brand forward in 2019.

Which brings us to what’s next in this “Jumpstart 2019” series: Once you have a brand plan, how will you execute it? Our next post will show how we helped one client to use information generated through our process to build out a refreshed brand and successfully launch it across multiple media.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.

the one app you can't live without

Life at Relish: The One App You Can't Live Without


It's easy to forget that smartphones didn't always have vast app stores and ecosystems; just over a decade ago, the apps that came on your phone were the apps you were stuck with. Today, however, we have an enormous selection of apps at our disposal to use for anything our hearts desire.

Among the millions of apps out there, many of us have chosen apps that entertain and educate us as well as apps that are absolute necessities. Check out some of the apps that our team at Relish use often and feel like we can't live without.

Just one?? I like LastPass, which is like a vault for all the different passwords I need for all the different sites and services I use. I rely on Dark Sky to tell me not just if it's likely to rain - but what the weather is likely to be at very specific times -- like when I'm about to go for a bike ride. PocketCast and Spotify are my go-to's to make my nearly one-hour commute much easier. And NoMoRobo is worth every penny I pay for it (about $20/year) because it tells me if an incoming call is a robo-dialed telemarketing/political call and gives me the option to dismiss it.

While I appreciate the convenience and/or entertainment value of many apps, the one I use multiple times a day every day is 1Password. It’s a secure vault for my life, containing passwords to the hundreds of sites I visit routinely as well as personal data related to reward programs, financial accounts, and memberships. Plus it syncs all data across all of my devices. It makes my life so much simpler.

My favorite app is Airbnb. I love planning trips and finding new places to visit and Airbnb lets me browse all around the world. And because I love being organized, Trip it is a great companion app to Airbnb.

My favorite app is Acorns. It rounds up every transaction in your bank account, then invests that spare change into a stock portfolio. It's a great way to save money without having to think about it.

Mine is probably iHeartRadio. I like being able to listen to live radio from other cities or get local stations with better sound quality than through regular broadcast.

My pick is Instacart. Although I primarily shop for my meats and produce at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market, I utilize Instacart regularly to handle the remainder of my grocery shopping during the week. My work and personal schedules are pretty hectic and Instacart helps me save on errand time so that I can keep up with a healthy cooking schedule and maintain my daily/weekly/monthly tasks!

Pinterest is easily my favorite app. I look at it like Google for images and I'm not sure how I would find recipes, travel inspiration, plan events or do DIY projects without it.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client workWork with us! Contact here.


Links We Savor: Brain Boosting Apps, Facebook Ad Strategies, Using Data to Influence Consumers & more

4 Ways Data Can Influence Consumers

At Relish, we believe that great creative becomes more powerful when it’s backed up by compelling research. But just as data can (and should) come from multiple sources, the real power of research is in the way it is used. And this AdAge story offers some great ways to use data to your advantage as you influence and acquire new customers.

5 Apps to Boost Your Brain Power

What are our phones doing to our brains? If time with your top apps sometimes leaves you fuzzy-headed, you might share our fascination with these five apps designed to boost brain power and maybe even make us smarter.

3 Strategies that Will Make Your Facebook Ads More Successful

Social media marketing can be a great way to reach your audience. And Facebook ads have even more potential since it’s the platform with the most active users – if you use it right. Learn how these three strategies that can help your Facebook ads be more successful.

8 Ways to Use Content to Skyrocket User Engagement

Content may be king, but the real prize is user engagement – when people enjoy the experience of connecting with your business online and keep coming back for more. Especially in a world where consumers are constantly bombarded by content, you’ll want to see these ways to turn great content into great relationships.

Burger King Takes on the Pink Tax

Did you know that products specified “for women” are priced an average of 13% higher than the same product marketed to the general population – and sometimes even higher? It’s known as  “The Pink Tax” and we love how Burger King raised awareness about it with their “Chick Fries” stunt campaign. Take a look.

At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us!