Episode 53: How and Why Branding and Marketing Go Hand in Hand (Part 2) with Kalisa Jenne-Fraser and Missy Palacol

Season #2

Last week on our podcast, Paper Talk, we dove into the world of branding with Kalisa Jenne-Fraser and Missy Palacol of Kalyx Group. We loved and learned so much from our conversation that we extended into this week’s episode. Our focus shifted from finding the heart of your business (in short, the brand) to the ins and outs of marketing your business.


If you haven't listened to "How and Why Branding and Marketing Go Hand in Hand (Part 1)" be sure to listen to that Episode!


Let's learn a bit about Kalisa and Missy:

1. Introduce yourself to us (again)!

Kalisa Jenne-Fraser is co-founder of Kalyx Group, a brand, and marketing consulting firm headquartered in Seattle. Kalisa is a brand marketing consultant who specializes in strategic brand planning, content marketing, and digital media strategy. She has spent almost her entire professional life delivering marketing strategies and insights to global brands, non-profits, and startups alike.

In 2016, after nearly 20 years in corporate marketing and consulting, she left her comfort zone to take on new challenges, expand her skillset, and hopefully help build something awesome from the ground up in Kalyx Group. Through Kalyx Group, she offers consulting and training programs that teach entrepreneurs and small business owners how to translate their passions into actionable brand strategies that work.

Missy Palacol is a Seattle-based, nationally published brand photographer, digital marketing expert, and speaker. She teaches people and companies how to capture their authentic visual brand and how to leverage social and digital media to grow their businesses.

In 2014, Missy left her full-time career in corporate marketing and struck out on her own with Missy Palacol Photography, capturing rich and memorable imagery for brands. In 2016, she co-founded Kalyx Group, where she combines her enjoyment of photography with her deep knowledge of marketing and digital storytelling.


2. Tell us about your brand and marketing business, Kalyx Group.

We founded Kalyx Group in 2016. We’re are a team of brand and marketing strategists with over 30 years combined experience helping companies – from global Fortune 100s to local startups and solopreneurs – develop and implement strategies that drive results. We especially have a passion for small businesses – we bring a simple, effective, affordable approach to marketing that starts with brand clarity and ends with a well-thought-out strategic marketing plan. It’s our mission to help brands streamline their marketing approach by consulting on the right tactics to employ at the right time.


3. Given the consistent disruptions we’ve seen in 2020, how should brands think about shifting their marketing for the new normal?

We are in the acknowledge-and-adapt phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. But we also have to plan for life beyond the crisis. As we navigate what we know, businesses must work externally to keep their brands and customer journeys as a whole as possible, while working internally to do three things:

  • Understand the impact of business interruption and continue to triage the unexpected.

  • Lean into digital ways of working and connecting with customers, knowing that this will likely have lasting effects.

  • Mitigate risks to the customer experience by thinking realistically from the outside in.


4. How should brands think about building resilience in the new normal?

If you use this time to reset and reimagine your new interactions with your customers, you can actually survive and thrive in uncertain times. With any business, the customer journey and keeping your customers satisfied are important to your business’ growth.

For example, we work with a local gym that offers a bootcamp program. Before the pandemic, all classes were in person. Like most businesses, they had to figure out a way to switch to an online model in order to survive these uncertain times. The goal with their new online class model was to not only support their existing clients but draw new clients in too.

We helped our client think about a tiered model that would incentivize their existing clientele to still pay the monthly fee for a new online class by offering extra value -adds to their clients through things like weekly check-ins and bonus content. These efforts helped their brand to continue to build trust with their clients who then started recommending their online classes to their friends…and their client’s friends weren’t just fellow local people. Because of their flexibility with their business approach, they grew their business outside of their local area and are now able to reach new clients nationally – this was an unexpected outcome for them and not just helping them survive right now, but thrive!


5. Should brand’s stop advertising during uncertain times?

The brands that are finding success through these uncertain times didn’t completely halt their advertising, but they did take a pause. It’s kind of like crossing the street of a busy road, it’s best to stop, look, and listen first before you proceed. You want to make sure that your marketing efforts are not only relevant but don’t become tone-deaf to the times we were in.

Once you’ve figured out how to make any necessary shifts to your marketing then, advertising in uncertain times like today can be really successful. For starters, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have seen a huge increase in daily users since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more people working from home and looking for ways to stay connected they are turning to social media for that. And a lot of businesses and brands have pulled back on their marketing spend, so advertising avenues such as paid or sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram have come down in price lately, meaning your $50 budget for a sponsor ad currently goes further than it used to in pre-pandemic times.


6. During these uncertain times, what would you say are the do's and don’ts?

The DO's

  • Pause and listen so you can approach any disruption in the best way possible for your business and brand.

  • Present with empathy and transparency when times are uncertain -People feel vulnerable right now. Empathy is critical. Most major airlines, for example, were quick to implement a “Peace of Mind Policy”, waiving cancel and change fees for those that don’t feel comfortable traveling during the pandemic or have a sudden change of plans because of the pandemic.

  • Associate your brand with good - People will remember brands for their acts of good in a time of crisis, particularly if done with a true heart and generosity. This could take the form of donating to food banks, providing free products for medical personnel, or continuing to pay employees while the company’s doors are closed. For example, consumers will likely remember how Ford, GE, and 3M partnered to repurpose manufacturing capacity and put people back to work to make respirators and ventilators to fight coronavirus.


  • Don’t try to do it all. Call in an expert to help if you aren’t sure how to proceed.

  • Don’t completely stop all of your communication, advertising or marketing efforts in uncertain times – it’s in these times, more than ever, that your consumers what to hear from you.

  • Don’t stop creating content - instead, double down on content creation, and make sure some of your content addresses key questions your customers might have as they go through the disruptions we are currently facing while also creating other types of content; these pieces of content will give you a massive advantage when things settle down. 




HEAD OVER to the Kalyx Group website to download a free PDF copy of the Brand Readiness Checklist:  How to Prepare for Disruption!


Learn more by following Kalisa, Missy, and the Kalyx Group on social media:

WEBSITE | Kalyx Group | Missy Palacol Photography

INSTAGRAM | @missy.palacol


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