Your Sparkly Brand is a podcast designed to inspire and empower women business owners. Megan Gersch and Lauren Tassi host a series of discussions about various branding and marketing topics, mindset challenges, and interviews with fellow biz owners. Listen to this episode of Your Sparkly Brand by tapping the play button or read the transcript below.
Introduction To Your Sparkly Brand
Megan: Hello and welcome to Your Sparkly Brand! This is the podcast designed to inspire and empower female entrepreneurs.
Lauren: I’m Lauren Tassi, and I’m here with my co-host Megan Gersch, and we are so excited to get sparkly.
So this is our first podcast. We’re figuring this out as we go. There might be some bumps in the road, but I promise that you will get some value out of this if you hang in there with us. So let’s start, I think, by introducing ourselves and Meg, I think you have to go first because my story starts because of your story.
Meet Megan Gersch
Megan: Thanks. Yeah.
So my name is Megan Gersch. I am a brand designer, marketer and website designer. I help businesses take their business to the next level and make more sales.
My story kind of runs all the way back to when I was in college, I was studying media arts and design. Finally out of college, started out looking for a job in the music industry. I wound up getting a job at Live Nation – a super fun job. I was there for a little bit. Then I decided that I wanted to move out to California because I’d been out here once before. So, headed west in my car with basically all that I could fit in there.
So I moved out here, wound up switching jobs to a radio station. For them, I was an Interactive Producer. I was working on a lot of website projects, mobile applications, that kind of thing. Tthen after that, I wound up moving again to work for a concert promoter and a venue owner. So when I was working for the events promoter – super fun job, I was the Creative Director there. I worked on redesigning their website, had basically a hand in all of the creative projects that were coming out of the company. I learned so much from that job.
All the while throughout my journey, I had been freelancing the entire time. It just kind of got to the point where I was going to my full-time job every single day from 9 to 5. Then, I was coming home and just doing a ton of freelance work on the side. It was one of those things where something had to give, like I had to pick one or the other. So I decided that it was the right time for me to take my business full-time and so that was in 2018. So it’s been quite the journey.
Meet Lauren Tassi
Lauren: I’ve been so happy to watch your journey along the way, and actually your move from leaving your full-time job to freelancing is what inspired me to start doing my own thing in marketing.
I feel like your story kind of at least follows a path. Mine is all over the place a little bit more. I, you know, I went to school for theater and I ended up moving out here to work in the entertainment industry. I worked in casting and sort of talent for almost 10 years in LA.
Basically realized that I didn’t like it anymore. I was working, at a corporate job getting texts in the middle of the night from my boss, realizing that like, even if I was making a million dollars a year, I would still only get two weeks of vacation. Realizing that is not the future I had for myself.
So, I made that big step and I quit my corporate job without any sort of real plan. But I was just like, I cannot go here every day. I literally, had back pain from sitting at a desk all day. It was just sort of draining me. and so I quit my corporate job and ultimately sort of found freelancing in casting, in the entertainment industry, which was great.
I was able to like work from home and casting, which at the time, was insane. Nobody did that. Nobody in the entertainment industry worked from home, and sort of created like a lifestyle that I really liked, but I was still answering to a boss, someone was still texting me in the middle of the night.
That’s sort of what happens in entertainment is it’s like, there’s always some fire and you’ve got to, you know, text casting or you’re always on call in the entertainment industry. I didn’t want that for myself. I really wanted my own business, and that’s sort of when I fell into copywriting. At the time I didn’t realize that so much, but I had been copywriting it sort of on various side projects for years.
We’ll get to this, but as you know my partner, my fiance is a comedian. My first time taking the reins and doing marketing was for his show, Crave. I would write these emails and I had to figure out how to sell tickets and do all that. From there, that then launched my handmade clothing business, Crave Bizarre, sort of a spinoff of Crave.
In there, I was writing product descriptions and building a website and sending emails, and doing social media. So as I was sort of looking at moving out of entertainment and into marketing, what experience do I have? I actually had a portfolio full of samples of all this sort of fun, funny catchy writing.
From there I just sort of started freelancing and I, you know, considered myself a freelancer at the time. Then I started really looking at myself as a business, and sort of making that step between freelancer to business owner has been great for me. It’s something I’m still working on with my copywriting business.
So now I basically help clients in two areas. I work with e-commerce businesses, really sort of brands that want to stand out and use a bold brand voice to attract the right customers. Then I also work with coaches and course creators to launch their, you know, digital products and courses.
So that’s where I’m at today. I feel like we should talk about how we met. I think that’s pretty important.
How We Met
Megan: Yeah. I mean, you did mention the Crave parties, which are some amazing moments in our lives.
Lauren: They were sparkly.
Megan: Yeah, those are definitely sparkly moments. I think that may have been like where we met for the first time.
Um, Yeah. I mean, I know we definitely have a distinct story of like the first time we really hung out for the first time.
Lauren: Yeah. So the first time we met, I don’t remember. So, we met through our partners, Meg’s husband, Jerry is a comedian and so is my fiance, Alex.
And they introduced us. I think at that first Crave, you and Jerry had like, just started dating, right?
Lauren: And so I actually don’t remember if I ever met Jerry before you… Maybe. Sorry, Jerry Love you. But I remember, I remember specifically meeting you and being like, oh wow, this is fun. I like these people.
Then after shortly, I don’t remember how long after that. It was, it was my 30th birthday. A bunch of our friends and I rented a house up in Topanga. We just sort of like to have our little DJ parties put on sparkly clothes, sparkly, furry clothes. You guys came to that and I think you’ve sort of got taken in, and we became fast friends.
Megan: Yeah, definitely. This was like a brand new kind of like group that already knew each other that we were kind of coming into.
Almost like the first time, like really getting to know people. and it was just a really special weekend to spend, like with you guys, like getting to know everyone. I had like very long conversations with people that I’d never met. I was like – I just find that kind of rare, especially, just with brand new people that you’re meeting for the first time.
So, I also remember that when Jerry was inviting me to that first Crave party, the way that he described it was basically like, “Hey, so my friend Alex is like putting on this like comedy show, but it’s also like a dance party. And it’s also going to be like in a warehouse with like, you know, performers and, you know, weird stuff going on.”
I was like, okay, that sounds super fun. Like I have no idea what to expect, but those parties were super, super fun.
Lauren: Yeah, that that was such a good time. And we are still having fun today in case anyone’s worried about that.
Megan: *sarcastically* The fun has stopped. We have plateaued – no more fun.
Our Entrepreneurship Journeys
Lauren: And now we have our own businesses.
So you and I kind of get to have fun whenever we want and don’t have to, you know, worry about how many days we’re taking off for, you know, that kind of thing.
Megan: Exactly. That’s one of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur. I’m sure you would agree too, is like the freedom that comes with it.
Like you get to make your own schedule, and if things pop up in life, which they do, like, you need to take the dog to the vet or you need to go to the dentist. It’s not like you have to kind of talk to anyone about that. You kind of just can do it.
Lauren: I love it. I think about every time I book a plane ticket and I don’t have to ask anyone else’s permission, it’s just like so freeing.
What is a Sparkly Brand?
Megan: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s talk about what does it mean to have a sparkly brand? What does that mean?
Lauren: To me, a sparkly brand is one that’s magnetic. This is something I talk about a lot with my clients. Um, and it’s, it’s a lot, I think, depending on where they’re at in their business and what they’ve tried and what they haven’t sometimes being magnetic isn’t necessarily, they have a hard time accepting that, but the sparkliest of brands are magnetic.
What they do is they pull their ideal clients and customers towards them. Then, they repel the people that aren’t for them. That’s just, and you do that, you do that through, through visual. You do that through your words, you do that honestly, through like the vibe of a brand. You can tell, like, if you think about your favorite brands, if you think about what are the, you know, your favorite things to see on Instagram or your, the email newsletters that you don’t unsubscribe to that are marketing emails.
Like I think about that sometimes I’m like, well, I’m surprised I haven’t unsubscribed from that. The fact that you haven’t, that is a sparkling brand.
Megan: Yeah, exactly. I think like, even, I think when we say sparkly, people automatically think of like the physical properties, which I don’t necessarily think that’s all of it, right? Like obviously there are some brands that are very physically sparkly, but I think when we’re talking about a sparkly brand, we want brands that are innovative. We want brands that are unique in their markets and really making a splash within their niche. These brands are really focusing on how they set their brand and their business apart from other competitors in there.
Lauren: Yes. I agree. The standing out and they’re, they’re willing to stand out. They’re not afraid to go. Well, we want to be for everyone. We don’t want to lose these sales because we’re being strong in this direction.
Apple A Sparkly Brand
Everyone uses this example in marketing, but Apple. 100% of the sparkly brand.
And they’re not afraid, even though they kind of are for everyone, that’s, you know, such a universal product. They still like even think back to like when they have those commercials where like the PC guy was super nerdy and then like the apple guy was super cool. Like they just weren’t worried about that.
They weren’t worried about losing customers because they wanted to capture their diehard customer.
Megan: Yeah, absolutely. It’s funny that you mentioned that example. I actually just wrote a blog post that included that example. So yeah, like that example, we will maybe include a link to one of those commercials or something in the show notes.
But if you haven’t seen those commercials, you definitely need to check them out because they do an amazing job of essentially polarizing the two brands, and kind of painting apple as like this picture of like, this is like the cool kid versus like the older kind of like frumpy kind of business.
Lauren: He’s like a hot mess. Those were good. Those are good commercials.
Sparkly Beverage Brands
Lauren: So I would just want to, I’ve been thinking about like sparkly brands and there’s this, one of my clients I’m working with is like a, in the beverage space. I’ve been looking a lot at like, Beverages. I think they did that. You have like, you have to be sparkly there because if you’re not there, you’ll just grab the other kombucha.
But there’s this one, I don’t know. I don’t know if you’ve seen them at all but I think they’re doing a really great job. It’s wine in a can and it’s called Bev and they’re actually, they’re based in LA. They have like, a place in Venice, you can go and taste the wine in the can. Again, it’s literally just wine in a can, but their branding is just so on.
I think you buy it at Target, and it’s just, it’s like, not only is it literally a bit sparkly, but they’re just like, they’re for women. They’re, you know, they know who they want, they know who they are after. If I was going to look at a bunch of wines in a can, I would absolutely try that one first.
Why would you say that people are picking that brand over other ones? Like, is it the packaging? Is it like the experience that they’re kind of providing? Like, what is the thing that’s like the wow factor?
Lauren: It’s both of those things. The package, the packaging is great, you know, it’s like, I don’t even know how many, you know, varieties they have, but each one, the, the rosacea and then the peanut and Omar each can is a slightly, you know, is like a, a rainbow hue of color.
The experience, you know, what they’re doing on social media, I think is really fun and interesting. Then just like their copy is great too. Like it’s very much like we started this business with 300 gallons of wine and a hope, you know, or like, it’s just, it’s great. They have like dogs on their website and I don’t know it’s, for me, it is 100% for me.
Megan: I think you brought up like a really good point there about like, telling your story and like making sure that you integrate that into like your kind of overall branding strategy and like putting those personal touches on it. Like including the dogs, including like certain color palettes. Those kinds of things.
Like all of those are the kind of small details that really go into building a sparkly brand.
I think a lot of times before people work with a copywriter or like a marketing person who can help craft their story, it’s really hard to do it for yourself. I think even when it comes to like social media content and stuff, people are just like, I don’t know how to tell a story, but when I talk to clients and you know, when I’m like just meeting them and they start telling me about her.
Developed their business. They always have little stories along the way, and they kind of, I think they don’t see that as being great content because it’s so hard to do it on your own.
Values-Driven Sparkly Brands
Megan: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. As far as, brands that I kind of look to as kind of “sparkly brands.” Like I got to shout out the designer that I’m wearing right now. This is a caftan made by the company, Fringe + Co. They are a woman-run business based out of New Orleans. she basically. All of the sparkly things are quite literally and figuratively a sparkly brand.
One thing I really like about this brand though, is that through their social media, they are pinpointing a very specific person with all of their marketing. and lots of their personality is shining through in their content strategy, which is super interesting In light of the hurricane that just passed through New Orleans, they’re definitely showing a lot of support to surrounding communities, those kinds of things.
So like, those are the types of things that you know, when your values show through, like within your branding, like it can be super powerful to support your community in that way.
Lauren: Absolutely. I think that the identity part of a brand and that, you know, social impact is so important these days and that when you have two very similar brands when you’re, you know, shopping around for something, the one that like has the same values that you do are absolutely going to pull you towards them and become more sparkly.
You know, we care about dogs, we care, we, you know, animal rescue, we care about. education, that sort of thing, whatever is most important to you. If that’s something that brand is, you know, donating to and building awareness around, you’re going to be drawn to it.
Do You Have A Sparkly Brand?
Megan: Absolutely. So moving forward, obviously more episodes will be coming down the pipeline, but we will be having a kind of mixed format for the podcast. If you know any women that have started their own business and would like to share their story on Your Sparkly Brand, please do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren: So yes, so we’re going to be doing interviews and then we’re also going to be doing more of these, just the two of us sort of riffing on a topic. you know, Things that have helped us build our businesses, things, mistakes we see our clients making, and also just a lot of the mindset and sort of the stuff you have to get through that feels really hard when you’re starting a business or freelancing. I look back now. And I think some of these things I struggled with so hard and you feel like you’re so alone because when you’re in an online business, just at your computer all day, it’s hard to realize that actually there are like millions of people out there dealing with a lot of the same issues you are.
So we want to talk about that stuff, address it, and then hopefully help you, our listeners get through it and grow.
Megan: Yeah, I feel like the mindset stuff is something that is not talked about enough. especially around like, you know, as a business owner, you can have highs and lows in the same day and it can be kind of a rollercoaster at times. So I’m excited about that.
Let’s Connect On Social
Lauren: Me too. If there’s anything you want to hear about, shoot us an email, send us a message on social media. We want to know what you want to hear about and we’ll make it sparkly for you.
Megan: In the meantime, you can feel free to follow us on social media at @yoursparklybrand.
Lauren: That’s all we have for you this week. Meg. I hope you have a wonderfully sparkly week listeners. I hope you have a sparkly week too, and we’ll be back.