As a business owner you know that you’ve got an interesting product. There’s probably an interesting story about it and how your firm was started, too. Your background and experiences probably don’t include professional communications. That’s fine; we’re all good at certain things and need to team with others when it’s smart to add to our skill set.

While you’ve got a lot of ideas, it may be hard to figure out the best way to make them matter to the right people – those customers and clients that are a perfect match. Figuring out who your product or service is really going to connect with and why they will care is at the heart of creating successful companies. You’ve got to understand your perfect customer’s worldview before you can create a brand that matches it.

I’m Diane Cook-Tench and I coach businesses and entrepreneurs on finding and communicating their unique brand story. I’ve worked with major brands, small businesses, and startups.

A grad of the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, my advertising and marketing studies were rigorous, directed by Ron Sechrist founder of the Portfolio Center and Miami Ad School. My work in the advertising industry includes 8+ years with The Martin Agency. While there, I worked as a creative supervisor and member of their 10-person Board of Directors. During this time, we took the firm (recognized as a regional powerhouse) to a level of expertise that allowed us to win business for major national brands.

Having learned a lot developing communication campaigns and business plans while on Martin’s Board, I joined Virginia Commonwealth University. At the University, I developed a new type of master’s program and school – the VCU Brandcenter. Its focus is on creating the next generation of brand leaders. With next to no marketing budget we were able to communicate our brand story and become one of the top-ranked creative schools in just three years.

The Center went on to be named the number one creative business school in the US. Brandcenter’s students have won the Innovation Global Challenge Competition, beating HarvardStanford and MIT among 185 other schools for the title of The World’s Most Innovative Business School. Students from creative tracks, research, and brand management work together creating strong teams and powerful marketing. Grads have helped companies from Nike to the local coffee shop connect with their consumers in meaningful and sustainable ways.

Now, I’d love the opportunity to take my years of experience and combine them with your business ideas to move your company forward in ways that spread goodness and profits. As a founder and owner of your company you get to choose your culture and the story that you tell. We can help determine what elements are of key importance to you and will be relevant to your perfect customer.

If you’ve got a company focused on purpose, are a passionate business founder, or an innovative educator let’s work together to craft your strongest story. We will give your customers wonderful reasons to connect and stay involved. Together, we can help your business see growth and experience more success.

Today, I’m as passionate as ever about marketing, branding, and creative communications. Creative thinking has never been more important as people now seek out companies they want to follow rather than the other way around. My firm Cook is working with small businesses and schools to help ratchet up creativity, storytelling, and sharing.  Connect with me and I promise to add value to your business and hopefully build a lasting friendship along the way.

I’d be excited about helping you create:

  • An insightful branding strategy
  • New names for products and taglines that connect with your audience
  • An implementation plan to help you reach your goals

My work has been rewarded with honors from The One ClubCommunication Arts & Design, the Clios, the Effies, Art Directors Club and with Cannes Lions. I’ve also received opportunities to judge major, international creative competitions. There’s much to be learned in reviewing 20,000 – 30,000 pieces for a major competition. It teaches you what separates the very good branding work from great work.