Update from The Controller

I am just back from a week in Ann Arbor and Okemos and would like to share some insights and inspirations I gained from those environments.

I was in Ann Arbor participating in a Zingerman’s Zingtrain training on Open Book Management (OBM).  OBM is a process whereby everyone in a company or department assumes (greater) responsibility, defines and identifies goals, and then charts measurements or metrics to see how close they are coming to their goals.  The goals are often but not always financial.  E.g. How much are we spending for every dollar we make?  How timely are our customers paying us?  How often do we need to ask for outside funds?  How many of X did we sell this past week?  Were we able to move XX% of X before it hit its expiration date (or more our internal identified sell-by date)?  Non-financial might be customer satisfaction surveys--goals being not only what you want to see as a satisfaction target but also a response rate target.  It may sampling regimes that you have your staff participate in; internal “customer” satisfaction surveys.  Zingerman’s has a metric they use called the ZXI--or Zingerman’s eXperience Indicator--a service measure based on the Net Promoter Score (an index that measures a customer’s willingness to recommend a vendor’s products or services).  Similar to our family of companies Zingerman’s is trying to satisfy multiple bottom lines: financial, social, environmental.

Colleen Valko was so inspired by what she saw at Zingerman’s when down for a leadership training that she started the SoCo board in the break area in TC.  The workshop I attended focused significantly on that.  The board is a talking piece and centralization of data that a team--be it company or department--deems (often at the beginning of the year) important and relevant to track to chart their progress toward their stated goals.  It is important to have data on this board that can be impacted by the staff on a smaller timeframe.  E.g. sales volume (esp. In particular categories), spoilage, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction indexes, etc.  A centralized company-wide board is also extremely helpful as a broader indicator but may be harder to see immediate or short-term impact on. Typically appropriate staff will meet in a weekly huddle to discuss the data on the board.  Only high points and decisions are reported on in the notes--then notes are shared with all.  Anyone unable to attend the meeting sends a proxy in their place.  Questions are encouraged and great strides are taken to insure it is a supportive environment so everyone’s voice feels welcomed and safe. This is not a finger-pointing or solely backward looking session. The boards are there not as flies on the wall but as a great opportunity to glean information and later give feedback or ask questions. I fully believe that adaptations of all of these practices will help all of our companies and departments therein, and I encourage us to embrace this practice. Employee awareness and ability to problem-solve will increase as their financial and organizational literacy expands. Profitability will increase!

Though too brief and long overdue I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Okemos with the staffs of EDI and CCF (and am sorry to those I missed--I hope to see you next time--likely December).  Aside from my five-hour meeting with Todd and deep dive tour of the warehouse there and all of the warming exchanges that mostly took place in the kitchen/breakroom--of course!--I was struck by what I see as the ongoing opportunity to reverse the technical obstacles impacting both companies to instead simple solutions that allow both to operate as effectively as they can.  Will this resolution come via MS Dynamics, a reorienting of companies, customer bases and/or territories, a combination, or of something else that has not been considered yet?  I am anxious to see something logical and accessible move forward for all.  I was also happy to see and hear about what I would characterize as a striving for simplicity with pretty much everything I saw while there.  A desire for systems, communications, everything--to be as logical and simple (what’s the shortest, most logical path between A and B).  


Finally, returning to the connections--I am reminded and deeply humbled by the actions and exchanges that remind me that everyone of us is a human being operating in this too frequently overhyped game.  It is easy for us to become our projections, our typed words, the rumors of us, our own rumors of ourselves, to become insular--but that source (as well as ourselves) is a human being, an adult child, that is lo and behold more ready for an honest and authentic engagement than we may too often be able to give them, to initiate.  It is important for me to remember this, to keep it visible on my dashboard.  Simple, authentic connections bring great things.  Maybe this is helpful for others.

I am looking forward to the discoveries for us all that lie in the coming weeks and months.  Please keep an ear and your eyes out for followups regarding the whiteboards, huddles, budgets vs actuals, what if scenarios, with eyes on increased profitability for all of us in multiple ways.

- Stuart Kunkle

Why Be Normal?

My wife and I first realized just how normal we were in 2008. I was a 37-year-old graduate student at Michigan State, and we were more than $150,000 in debt, not including our mortgage. Looking back at things now, it seems like we had every kind of debt imaginable. We had two car payments, student loans and credit cards, a personal and a home equity line of credit … and, we owed the IRS from our previous year’s taxes!

Like most “normal” Americans, (approximately 70% of the population, according to recent studies), we were struggling financially and living paycheck-to-paycheck. It seemed like there was always too much month left over at the end of our money. Sometimes it felt like we were drowning. If this sounds familiar to you … read on.

That summer I heard a guy on the radio talking about the importance of living on a budget, and how your income was your best tool to get out of debt, build wealth, and create a better future for yourself and your family. Given how we were feeling, I couldn’t help but listen carefully. His name is Dave Ramsey, and with his ideas and guidance, we were able to completely erase our debt in less than five years, while raising two children, and while I started a successful internet publishing business with a partner.

It is hard for me to overstate how simple and powerful Dave’s plan is for getting you out of debt, and taking control of your financial future. This is why we began offering access to SmartDollar as a team member benefit for everyone at the beginning of this year. If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to sign up, and get started with the videos today. And if you’d like to talk with me about our experience with getting out of debt this way, I’d look forward to it.

In 2017 we hope to start offering a more comprehensive retirement savings program, including a 401(k) option. Though the details are still being devised, the goal is to provide you with more information by the first of the year. SmartDollar is an important tool that can be used to help with financial wellness and saving for the future. And financial wellness is a part of overall personal wellness. Just like we offer benefits for the betterment of your physical and emotional health, I encourage you to use this benefit to improve your financial well being.

If you have questions about any of this, please reach out to the People & Culture team (Jennifer and Marcy), or myself. Thanks.

- Jason Gollan

CCF Microbrew Campaign

Would you serve a Michigan Ale with a Burger from Texas? NEVER!
How about a Michigan Honey Porter paired with Pork Belly from Kansas? What?
Or cheese from Wisconsin? Just Stop.

Stephanie and Lee at Cherry Capital Foods identified an important target market that is a perfect match with the products CCF provides: Michigan Microbreweries.  Clearly, handcrafted Michigan beer deserves to be served with the highest quality made and grown in Michigan products - and Cherry Capital Foods is the ideal partner to deliver an extensive array of produce, proteins and value-added/specialty items, connecting chefs to the locally sourced, handcrafted products they need. The Marketing team at Tamarack Holdings has developed a comprehensive campaign to deliver this message to microbreweries across the state, within CCF fleet range.

The idea to focus on Microbreweries as a key customer target is based in large part on the success that CCF is already experiencing with current brewery customers like New Holland Brewing. Stormcloud, River’s Edge and Bell’s. The folks at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, capture the core idea perfectly in this testimonial (featured in the campaign blog): “We are dedicated to serving food that not only matches the quality of the beer we brew, but also carries the beliefs of sustainability and ethicality that are cornerstones of our company. We try our best to serve food sourced from Michigan farmers that is non-GMO and organic. We hope to push the boundaries of what high volume restaurants can do with locally sourced, organic ingredients.”  

Clearly stated goals are critical, so we identified five key objectives for the Microbrewery campaign:

  1. Leverage the existing success with current Microbrewery customers (i.e. Bell’s and New Holland) to establish credibility and capture additional sales from this targeted channel
  2. Grow overall sales among current Microbrewery customers - specifically: Increase 5 current Microbrewery customers business by 10% each by Dec 31, 2016
  3. Add 5 new Microbrewery customers who are spending $1000+/month by Dec 31, 2016.
  4. Position CCF as a resource to help Microbreweries develop MI-centric menu concepts that in turn utilize MI products distributed by CCF
  5. Create general awareness of CCF as the largest purveyor of Michigan-Only products

We established our key campaign messages:

  • CCF can connect microbreweries with the locally sourced and handcrafted products they need
  • “Let us help you create an amazing, Michigan-centric menu that is as authentic and special as your handcrafted beer”  (your food should be as special as your beer)
  • MI beer and MI food are a natural fit
  • Cherry Capital Foods = We Put the “TO” in Farm To Table
  • Special Offer to attract new customers: 15% off your first order

Creative Direction:

  • Tie beer and food together with MI theme (“Michigan beer goes with MI food”)
  • Show beautiful/appetizing images of beer/food pairings
  • Overall theme/feel: friendly, authentic, fun -- tongue in cheek but not stuffy

Campaign Elements:

  • Targeted Facebook ad

  • Landing page on CCF website

  • Print ad in Michigan Beer Guide (Nov. publication)

  • Blog article (CCF newsletter and new web landing page)

  • Direct mail piece with magnet (in production)

  • Eblast (in production)


Print ad

Print ad

Mailer front

Mailer front

Mailer back 

Mailer back 

We’re excited about this campaign, and very optimistic about the potential for a comprehensive, carefully planned and targeted effort like this to drive new business and sales. We’ll keep you posted on how the results stack-up against our campaign objectives!

- Wendy Becker and Erin O'Malley

Zing Train

Last Month, Hilary Gessner, Lee Michaels, Todd Brannock, and I attended a Zingerman’s seminar on Servant Leadership. The two day seminar was packed full of information on:

  • Zingerman’s History and Vision

  • Effective Feedback

  • Stewardship

  • Bottom-Line Change

  • Stages of Organizational Growth

  • Personal Visioning

As they all relate to servant Leadership. So what is a Servant Leader? A participant at my table summed it up in a great way “A Servant Leader believes she is a resource for her team, not that her team is a resource for her.” It’s also important to note that anyone can be a Servant Leader, they do not have to lead a team or have the word “Manager” in their job title. The qualities of a Servant Leader can be shown in any interaction whether it is part of your normal work flow or even outside of the office. Overwhelmingly, when anyone at Zingerman’s was asked “what can I start doing right now to become more of a Servant Leader?” we were told to say thanks and show gratitude. It only takes a second, it’s free, and anyone can do it. In the Tamarack offices, we always end our daily huddle with Kudos, which can be for anyone, the person does not have to be present at the huddle nor on our team of nine.

I created a “Nuggets of Knowledge Board” to share some of what we have learned with everyone at Tamarack. It’s first edition started with the basics, the responsibilities of a Servant Leader and the Zingerman’s Training Compact.

The most interesting piece and largest take home for me was responsibility number one: Provide Vision. We talked a bit about visioning on day one but on the second day, we spent a long time talking about our personal visions which should answer the question “What do I want to create?”. It’s important to know what your vision for yourself is and if your manager knows as well, he/she can do everything they can to make that vision a reality. I’d encourage anyone to take 20 minutes of time to write, and keep writing, about what your vision for yourself is. When the facilitators told us “you might be surprised by what you right” I was not a believer. I felt pretty sure of what I saw for myself. However, once you’re writing, and the key is not taking your pen off of the paper, something shifts and you’re not editing or screening what comes out. Sounds like a bunch of oobly woobly? Perhaps, but all the more reason to prove me wrong. Stay tuned for the next Nuggets of Knowledge update that will start talking about visioning.

I’ve also embraced Zingerman’s recipe for Bottom-Line Change and have already used some of it when presenting ideas in the office but that one might require a post of its own. If you would like to learn more about Servant Leadership or simply join the discussion, I encourage you to talk to any of the four of us who attended the seminar.

Additionally, as part of our visit to Ann Arbor, we had the opportunity to tour the Zingerman’s Mail Order facility - click HERE to learn more about this highly successful operation.

- Colleen Valko, Strategy Manager

The West Michigan Fruit Belt Farmland Investment Program

Private Investment in Farmland Preservation Meets Multiple Goals

Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with the farmland preservation work that has been a hallmark of our region’s commitment to agriculture. With the leadership of the Leelanau and Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancies, together with the commitment of local communities such as Peninsula Township (Old Mission Peninsula) and Acme Township, both of whose voters have passed a millage to create additional revenue to protect farmland, our area is nationally recognized for taking a leadership role in protecting our unique farmland resources.

Why Protect Farmland - and Why Here?

Many are not familiar with the need to permanently protect farmland, or question why it’s important to pay for permanent conservation easements on farmland that restrict residential development. Shouldn’t we just leave what happens to our farmland up to market forces many would say? In a region like ours, this kind of thinking is shortsighted at best, and perhaps fatal in regards to the long-term agricultural environment made possible by our region’s family farms. After all, for the vast amount of work our own businesses engage in, farmland is the “factory floor” that makes it possible. And that farmland is globally unique. Few areas in the world have the microclimate our region enjoys, made possible by the synergy of well drained soils, our unique topography and most importantly, the proximity to Lake Michigan and our other large inland lakes. It’s the marriage of these elements that makes the Traverse Region the “cherry capital of the world,” producing as much as 70% of the nation’s tart cherries each year. Not to mention the fresh sweet cherries, peaches, plums, wine grapes and other crops that uniquely benefit from this micro-climate. Purchasing agricultural conservation easements which pay farmers for some or all of the value of development inherent in their land, provides another market choice for them, to sell the “homes” that would be instead of converting that farmland to residential development.

So much of our farmland is not only globally unique, it’s also recognized as critically threatened. More than 80% of all fruit and vegetables in the country our grown “in the path of development” and ours are not exception. The same elevations and views of water that our specialty crops enjoy, are the same areas that are prime for second home and retirement housing for those that want to share those same views and access to water. In fact, in a seminal study conducted by American Farmland Trust approximately 10 years ago, the West Michigan Fruit Belt was identified as one of the top ten most threatened agricultural resources in the nation. Further, a 2013 study by MSU Center for Regional Food Systems found that nearly ½ million acres of farmland in Michigan is slated to go out of production in the next 10-15 years, with no current plan for continued agricultural use. The percentage of this threat attributed to the fruit belt regions of Michigan is significantly larger than other areas of the state.  

Private Farmland Investment - An Additional Tool

Increasingly, more and more programs around the country are working to engage private investment to bear on the problem of keeping farmland in active agricultural use and getting it into the hands of the next generation of growers. Some of these private farmland investment programs have a “triple bottom line” strategy. These programs look to find not only an economic return for their investors, but also social and environmental and/or conservation-related returns too. Also known as “impact investing” and by other names, such programs have been used to support a variety of causes but have only recently been directed toward the challenge of farmland preservation and successful succession of farmland to the next generation of growers. Consistent with our belief that private sector programs can be a force for good, this kind of model makes perfect sense for our region.

The West Michigan Fruit Belt Farmland Investment Program

Engaging the private sector in our region’s farmland preservation efforts through a carefully structured program has been discussed in the region, primarily by the land conservancies and their major donors, for more than 15 years. Each time a potential program has been discussed, a significant challenge has also been at hand, for example, it was the market “crash” of 2008 that derailed the last effort to get such a program off the ground with the leadership of the Leelanau Conservancy.  

Chip has always been at the table for these discussions, and much like Cherry Capital Foods is structured as a for-profit entity, but with a socially directed mission, he’s been quick to see the potential efficacy of a carefully structured program for our region. With the creation of Tamarack Holdings, and the advent of my position, coupled with my 15+ years of work in protecting farmland, the timing was finally right to develop the framework for a program. Chip’s specific directions for this effort included the following:

  1. The program must work hand in hand with, and complement the work of, the area's land conservancies, and

  2. The program must result in a permanent conservation easement on farmland, insuring that the resources devoted to the program will help maintain a long-term business environment for agriculture in the region, and

  3. The program should aid in helping next generation growers gain ownership of farmland, and

  4. The program should be flexible enough to be employed all along the West Michigan Fruit Belt from our region to the Indiana border.

After studying many existing programs, and engaging a team of experts in agricultural economics, conservation easement law, and investment program structure, a program model is emerging that will meet the directives above, while also being attractive to conscientious investors who love our region and its natural and cultural resources. This program, tentatively called the West Michigan Fruit Belt Farmland Investment Program, is designed to be the first investment vehicle that’s a part of Tamarack’s portfolio, and the first whose primary social/environmental return is the permanent preservation of farmland. It’s funds will purchase farmland at risk of development, work with the conservancies to protect it with a conservation easement to insure it can remain as farmland, get the farm in good condition if its been neglected, and eventually re-sell it back to a grower - preferably a new grower. This new program will be one that we can all be proud to be associated with, and that will further elevate our position as a leader in creative efforts to address challenges facing our region and state’s food system. There is perhaps no bigger threat to our food system than the significant loss of farmland that is the “factory floor” of our work!

Look for more information about this program in subsequent editions of our newsletter.

- Brian Bourdages, Program Manager

Three-pronged Approach for Supply Chain

It’s an exciting time for the Supply Chain team, as we take steps forward working to achieve our vision. Right now, our focus includes communication, process and quality.

Communication - From interdepartmental to internal and external customers to multi-locations, our company has a wide range of communication channels and needs. By actively embracing our communication efforts, we hope, both within the Supply Chain and within CCF as a whole, to feel empowered with information to perform our roles successfully.

Process - One of the most effective ways for us to achieve our vision is by questioning every process and understanding the “why” behind it. When we experience an AFOG (another fantastic opportunity for growth), we don’t just put out the fire, we question it and the root cause behind it. It’s a lot of upfront work, but as we identify and eliminate root causes, we will enjoy the benefits of addressing them and be inspired to identify new opportunities for growth.

Quality - Our customers expect high quality, local product from us. Our vision for quality control is to build quality checks into the process, so that we can catch potential quality concerns as soon as they surface and move away from reactive quality control and “fire fighting” efforts. It won’t happen overnight, but we are committed to making small changes along the way.

Additionally, we are actively looking to fill the vacant Value Added Buyer role. We’ve got a pool of strong candidates and are eager to explore their strengths to see how they would best align with CCF’s needs. As part of the on-boarding process and in conjunction with CCF’s Strategic Plan, we will be analyzing the VA category to remove slow moving products and vendors, in hopes of setting our new buyer up for a successful transition.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding what’s happening in the Supply Chain, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

- Hilary Gessner, Business Design Engineer

You speak - we listen!

A Few months ago, all employees had an opportunity to participate in a Communications Survey. Well, what the heck has happened to that information and did anyone take the time to look at it?

The answer is yes! The Communications Team spent a number of meetings pouring over the survey and creating action items that would support what you all told us you wanted in regards to communication.

The largest of these projects is the Slack implementation. What became clear in the survey is that everyone was hungry for more information and in particular information in regards to strategy, key customers, trends/issues, products/service and financials. Additionally, we needed a way to communicate to the “right” people in a timely manner.

Slack seemed to be able to fill many of the requests on the Communication Survey. First, it allows global communication to all employees of important or key information in a very timely manner. Additionally, it allows “Channels” to be created where more specific information can be shared with a smaller, relevant audience. Finally, it allows one-to-one communication across locations, departments and businesses. By having a variety of communication avenues, we will be better able to ensure that information is being disseminated effectively!

All of us should have access to two Slack teams. The first is the global Tamarack Holdings Community that houses all employees. Here you will find information that is relevant to folks working in all the businesses. Additionally, you will find Channels that include, and be able to Direct Message, coworkers who may be part of different Tamarack businesses.   

The second Slack team you should be a member of is your direct business unit (eg:  CCF, Earthy, or TLC).  In this team you will find information and Channels that will have information that impacts only your business unit.  

As you think of all the different levels and ways we can communicate via Slack, you can really start understanding how this tool will really help us get the “right” information to the “right” people at the “right” time.  So, please make sure you are making Slack part of your daily life!

- Jennifer Ewing, Vice President, People & Culture


Let’s just admit it; change is hard.

And this is especially true for a company the size of Tamarack Holdings. Across our various teams, there are more than 80 people collaborating to create value, which is very often a job more easily said than done. But empowering teamwork is a vital part of the holding company’s job, and something that we’re particularly passionate about fostering.

To successfully achieve our goal of a culture that we can all believe in, we’re in the process of implementing a variety of continuous improvement projects. The goal of these efforts, which is perfectly illustrated here, is for us to do “less of what doesn’t work: eliminating mistakes, reducing complexity, and stripping away the inessential." Over time this should result in a mindset that allows us to delight our customers, our vendors, our communities, and each other, with everything that we do. Each of you are an important part of this process.

In order for this effort to succeed, we will need everyone to participate in the change that we all know needs to happen. I invite you to be a part of it.

- Jason Gollan, CEO

Welcome to the Newsletter!

Welcome to the first edition of the Tamarack Holdings monthly newsletter! Here we will outline progress towards various strategic goals across our family of companies, as well as celebrate the success that we’ve all created together. There is LOTS happening, and this is a great way for us to talk about it. Please let us know what you think.

As the first year in my role comes to a close, I've found myself reflecting on our progress to date, which is both daunting and exciting all at once. We've made significant headway towards the goals that Chip has asked us to accomplish as an organization, namely:

  • Gain a full understanding of our overall expense structure, and put a cost-containment plan in place.
  • Design an improved management system to inspire our teams to excel.
  • Chart a course to financial break-even, and then, towards an annual return on invested capital of 4-5% across our entire family of companies.
  • Always find a Middle Path.

And we've made steady and encouraging progress:

  • Earthy is profitable for the first time in anyone's memory; details forthcoming.
  • Our decision to explicitly put Todd Brannock in charge of both teams in Okemos has worked. I continue to describe this operation as our "Culture Lab."
  • CCF has a cogent strategic plan for the first time, and people are excited about it.
  • Lee Michaels is consistently demonstrating leadership excellence at CCF, resulting in exciting changes across the organization.
  • The Tamarack Holdings team has made steady progress in establishing a baseline across the enterprise, culminating in a steady ramp-up of projects and the creation of a set of strategic goals for TH, for the remainder of 2016.

To accomplish all of this, we've been implementing the servant leadership management system pioneered by Robert Greenleaf, with a fair amount of success. Lee, Todd, Colleen Valko, and Hilary Gessner are all going to a Zingtrain seminar about this in a couple of weeks, and we're REALLY excited for them to come back and begin to implement these ideas with their work. This is the management philosophy employed by Zingermans, Marriott, Whole Foods, Herman Miller, Medtronic, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, and dozens of other successful organizations. It is my belief that, with what we've been asked to accomplish, this is our best way forward.

Here's servant leadership in a nutshell from the page linked above:

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

Hopefully, these ideas excite and inspire you. I’m confident that they will, because I’ve seen this management system create tremendous trust within teams, and I look forward to seeing this happen with our family.

- Jason Gollan, CEO

Earthy Delights: The Big Three-O!

In November 2016, Earthy Delights will celebrate its 30th Anniversary - a milestone that provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the history and ground-breaking accomplishments of this storied brand. Earthy invented the idea of sourcing impossible to find ingredients, and supplying them to top chefs around the country, and in doing so, played a critical role in the development of New American cuisine. This powerful story is at the core of all of our current marketing work. The Earthy Delights and Tamarack Holdings teams have been working together to map out and implement a fully integrated 6-month marketing calendar of product features, promotions and social media content in order to boost awareness, brand loyalty, web traffic and sales -- all tied together under the banner of our new 30th anniversary logo!

At the same time, this is a perfect opportunity to undertake the important work of repositioning and refreshing Earthy’s brand, to ensure that we are well positioned for future growth. There are many reasons for triggering a brand refresh. Key factors for Earthy Delights include the fact that during the last 30 years, the competitive field has changed significantly -- we went from being the first and only purveyor of our goods and services - to being just one of many.  As a result, our sales have suffered, as various competitive brands copied our concept and innovated around us. Also, our customer base has evolved, so we need to adapt and tailor our messaging accordingly, in order to stay relevant and ahead of ever changing market trends. While professional chefs and baby boomer home cooks still comprise the foundation of our existing target audience, we know that the demographic for professional chefs is skewing younger than ever, and, in addition, consumer research informs us that passionate Millennial (under 35) home cooks are the largest emerging consumer group aligned with our brand offerings.

It is important to note that we are not “reinventing” the brand - our job is to refresh and reposition an iconic and established brand in a meaningful way that communicates the essential and authentic “Earthy.”  

Successful rebranding is more than just an updated visual identity - it’s also a strategy for how we will emotionally and functionally connect our brand to the customers most likely to buy from us. This requires careful analysis and planning, and the vision to tell a meaningful brand story in a way that touches the hearts of both existing and new customers. We are currently laying the foundation for a dynamic Earthy Delights brand-refresh, in time for roll-out prior to the busy 2016 holiday season!

- Wendy Becker, Director of Brand Marketing

Brand is the promise, the big idea, the expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection.
— Alina Wheeler