Building Your Brand

Building Your Brand

What do people think of when they think of your company? ZWIN held a panel discussion on how to build your brand at our July meeting. Three of our members–Susan Finley, Dawn Parker, and Allyson Gutwein–shared their thoughts about establishing a brand.

Our ZWIN panel

Dawn, a Functional Medicine Health Coach, opened by saying that many people are motivated to seek pleasure or avoid pain. This observation applies to marketing. For example, the clothes, jewelry, wine, real estate, and organizational solutions our members offer can all bring pleasure. Services such as health advice, insurance, and career counseling can help alleviate physical or emotional pain.

In her business, Dawn often posts statements from clients telling how they have overcome pain and achieved happiness through health. To make the words of these testimonials more eye-catching, Dawn uses the Canva app. She also posts pictures of beautiful, healthy foods.

Susan has been a Mary Kay business owner for 31 years. Since skin care and cosmetics are a visual business, she integrates many visual components to make her brand memorable. She drives a pink MK car, posts about products–including personal before-and-after photos!–and always wears her products when she goes out. She believes the Golden Rule applies in life and work, and that doing a little extra to provide excellent services makes people notice. If you are positive, approachable, and friendly, that will get your name out, she says.

Allyson works with Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers. Every day at Midwest, she posts on social media, often about one of their special events. She believes in the effectiveness of live Facebook videos, saying they get ten times more views than picture posts. Her main advice? Be fearless! She makes her job fun and finds that her attitude is contagious. People will associate your business with the image you present. So, if you are fun, silly, and low-pressure, they will seek you.

All the panelists agreed that marketing videos on social media don’t have to be “perfect.” They said people don’t expect them to be, and they will like seeing you be you. Live videos, in particular, get priority in the feed, so they are great advertising. Don’t worry about people focusing on you; just focus on the message.

Sharing tips on branding

In their closing comments, our panelists suggested we get ideas from brands we like. Imitate them. And partner with other businesses to develop symbiotic relationships. That’s one reason ZWIN was created!

Guests and Special Announcements

Prior to the presentation, we welcomed our guests. Today we were joined by Christina Gibson and Carolyn Rodgers.

Susan Finley’s daughter Jade shared about her Girl Scout Gold Award project, which she calls “Just a Dose of Encouragement.” She will be sewing fleece pillowcases and filling them with activities, crafts, and self-care items to help teen patients at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Members may donate by check or via PayPal to

Members announcements:

  • Sign-up to help at the Zionsville Street Dance.
  • Take care of yourself–don’t put off necessary medical screenings. You are valuable and need to make time for self-care.
  • We had over 35 members at our anniversary celebrate at zWORKS in June. The jewelry we donated and cleaned will bless the lives of many women.
  • We need a service co-chair for our December project to assist Charlotte. Talk to Debbi or Kathy if you’re interested.

Shout-Outs this month go to Elaine Morrison, Dawn Parker, Ingrid Cole, Kimbra Naber, Amy Connelly, and Kim Storen. Congrats, ladies! Let’s keep using one another’s businesses and services to build community and support one another.

Spotlight Speaker time!

Spotlight Speakers

  • Rachel Vining: She is the Event Manager at Zionsville Chamber of Commerce. You can email her at to help with community events such as the upcoming street dance.
  • Allyson Gutwein: She is with Midwest Jewelry and Estate Buyers. They are a modern estate boutique selling custom, vintage, and antique pieces. They buy and sell! She shared a coupon for their “silver sandbox.”
  • Julie Wooldridge and Angie McCloskey: They are owners of Zionsville Olive Tap. They sell olive oils from Spain and Italy, balsamic vinegars in many flavors, and gift packs with salts and spices. They shared how flavored oils and vinegars can enhance baked goods, salad dressings, popcorn, and more. They shared samples of balsamic sodas and oil-drizzled popcorn. Yum.
Julie and Angie of Zionsville Olive Tap

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