Riding it out… decend into 2021 with a renewed purpose

Whew! Who’s jumping into 2021 and trying to start fresh?  Before you leap into anything, go back to your WHY; your organization’s purpose.

Through 2020, every organization had to dramatically shift how they communicate and stay engaged with customers, stakeholders and employees. No matter the size of the company, every leader had to juggle changes in operations and customer service, health and safety protocols, and internal communications.

As a communications and marketing professional, I’ve come across many cringe-worthy examples of what not to do, but I’ve also been encouraged by authentic, heart-felt messages about how companies are rebuilding and reinventing.

How to Pivot with purpose

PURPOSE: the difference you’re trying to make in the world. Conscious Capitalism

I recently listened to Mitch Joel’s interview with Simon Sinek and was reminded of an essential lesson about purpose. Last year’s chaos changed everything we thought we knew about our organizations. Businesses everywhere were forced to pivot.

Did your leadership keep purpose at the core? Sinek teaches that a pivot is not starting over or shifting your purpose.  After all, people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Instead, it’s about looking at what and how you do things to fulfill your purpose. See your purpose from all angles to find opportunities.

“If we pivot based on WHAT, it limits our creativity. When we pivot with WHY, we look at what opportunities we have in this modern world to bring our WHY to life in entirely new ways.” Simon Sinek

Energizing Purpose: an example

When the team at the Green Moustache Organic Café were forced to shut their doors at the start of the pandemic, they looked deep within to decide on their next move.  Serving only fresh, 100% organic ingredients on their menu, it’s an ongoing challenge to plan for and manage inventory. Spoilage is not only costly, it’s counter to the company’s focus on zero waste.

The team knew their loyal customers would crave a plant-based whole foods diet throughout the pandemic. They also knew how important this diet is for a body to build immunity and heal. The founder’s WHY is centred on helping the body heal through organic, plant-based nutrition.

The Green Moustache’s pandemic pivot kept purpose at its core. Each café location has transformed into a 100% organic, zero waste grocery store and takeout café. Food served continues to be made fresh daily, using plant-based, whole, unrefined ingredients. The new grocery side sells reusable glass jars of dry ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, spices, nuts, dates and seeds. It also sells organic fruits, vegetables and sauces for make-at-home meals.

When the company launched the zero waste grocery store, this transition supported its purpose. Existing customers had additional ways to enjoy the Green Moustache’s healing menu. New customers were drawn to the café so they could fill their shelves and eat healthy while at home.

building back better

In a time of restraint, restrictions and limitations – creativity is the answer to moving forward. What is possible as we build back better? What would you change? Which ideas would you launch if you chose to live on the edge and jump into a new future?

Sapphire Pow

We’re coming down the chute of this pandemic. There’s still time to make a change for the better. But – just changing what you do and losing sight of your WHY will create confusion. As we transition into 2021, whatever your team decides to do, keep your purpose at the core.

Need help planning for the year ahead and building a strategic plan founded on purpose?

Contact me. Let’s talk and get creative.

We’ll weather the storm. Let’s have some fun while we ride this out!

Keeping Social Media Simple – a Facebook Live Chat

An inpromptu social chat with Catherine and Heather from Keep It Simple Social Media

In this Facebook Live chat broadcast by BeLive.tv, I chat with social media mavens Catherine Aird and Heather Clifford from Keep it Simple Social Media.

We cover three main topics:

  • Engagement Strategy: how to design two-way communications and engagement with your core target customers and clients
  • Advice for small businesses or start-ups: how to choose the best marketing approaches for your business with a strapped budget and limited resources
  • The evolution of marketing over the last decade: how to navigate the ever-changing world of marketing and what has stood out the most for an old-school marketer like myself

Let me know what you think! Tools like Facebook Live are new and exciting ways to engage with  your target audience in an easy and affordable way.

Want to learn more about these and other tools to effectively engage on Social Media? Sign up for one of Keep It SImple Social Media‘s Whistler workshops coming June 26:

Social Media Workshops in Whistler: June 26

Get your business ready for the summer! Join us at the Aava Whistler Hotel for a fun day of learning everything there is to know to take your business to the next level with social media.  Join us for the morning or the afternoon workshop, or both!

Find on more on our NEW and improved website:
Facebook & Instagram 101 & 202 + Photo and Video



Why you should find and recognize brand advocates

It’s never easy… getting up the courage to make a public declaration of love. When it comes to loving a brand, it’s often made through a spontaneous shout out or these days, a quick click of a button to share feedback. Business owners need to pay attention: ignoring customer accolades and shout out’s may risk alienating a brand’s biggest fans and the valuable word-of-mouth marketing that follows.

Why pay attention to what advocates say about your brand? Aside from the fact that word-of-mouth marketing is essentially free promotion, there is evidence that these fans are big contributors to the bottom line. Advocates are typically 5x more valuable than an average customer in terms of their own spending and the referrals they generate, Zuberance. According to McKinsey, a relevant recommendation from a trusted friend is 50x more likely to influence a purchase.

Advocates are typically 5X more valuable than an average customer in terms of their own spending and the referrals they generate

A relevant recommendation from a trusted friend is 50x more likely to influence a purchase Click To Tweet


Who is sharing your content regularly? Do they cross promote offers and incentives with their networks? Are they Pinning images, retweeting tweets or forwarding your newsletter?

Who are the most influential advocates? How large is their network and are they considered authorities in their circles of influence?

Who is taking the time to create original content about your brand and which channels are they using to spread the word? Above and beyond sharing, original content is even more valuable when a fan sings your praises in their blog or in other articles.

What is the response to content that is shared? Are any themes emerging? What is being talked about the most? Check the comments in forums and read what others are saying and learn from this unsolicited feedback.

Are customers evaluating your product in public forums? Look at online discussions like Yelp reviews or Trip Advisor ranking along with mentions on your own digital platforms. These can be easy ways to find fans along with customers that need more convincing.


“Why not allow happy customers to speak on your behalf, and use the opportunity to create a dialogue that can improve your customer service, your product, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction?” Forbes

There are plenty of ways to reach out and give a high-five to brand advocates.

At a bare minimum, recognize their contribution:

  • Write a simple thank you and send it via email or right where they will see it
  • Share a shout out to highlight their comments / accolades
  • Send an invitation to provide feedback, fill out a survey or join a focus group

To deepen engagement, give them a special invitation:

  • Offer membership in a loyalty program
  • Send them special access to curated or unique content

Reward them or pull out the stops to surprise and delight:

  • Provide product samples or gifts
  • Ask them to test a beta version of a product or service
  • Send them branded product or swag

There are ways to estimate how an advocate helped the bottom line. Whether it be repeat purchases or product recommendations to a wide network, consider how the impact of an advocate’s endorsement could be measured. After adding this up, a bigger thank you might be due!

Remember, your customers are not: page views, click rates, email addresses or twitter handles. They are people – just like you and me. Chances are, they will appreciate the recognition for their efforts and be more inclined to share again in the future. Learn more about how to connect with brand advocates at a deeper level. Contact us today to capture new customers and grow a network of advocates.