Inspiring. Generative. Engaging.
Transferring brand elevating knowledge is in my DNA. My clients hire me to help them enlist, equip, and engage their people to understand and leverage their competitive advantage and attract customers who appreciate and gladly pay for what they offer.
As founder of The Brand Ascension Group, LLC, a brand consulting & training co., I help businesses align their strategy, employees, and customer experience with their Brand DNA. Ultimately, my work creates conscious accountability in businesses to walk their talk from the inside out. Because authenticity & consistency is compelling and trustworthy.
Co-author of "Brand DNA: Uncover Your Organization's Genetic Code for Competitive Advantage," author of The 6 Myths of Small Business Branding, Experiential Speaker & Trainer, co-pioneer of The Brand DNA (Dimensional Nucleic Assets(R) proprietary consulting methodology, & pioneer of "Ignite Your Personal Brand Presence" program. She's certified in Accelerated Learning Methodologies and a Certified Trainer. Suzanne's articles have been published on BrandChannel.com, eHotelier.com, Innova Market Insights, & others. In 2010 - She Co-Founded the Global Institute For Inspiration.
Suzanne is the 2011-2014 Vice President for Middle Market Entrepreneurs Group of Colorado Springs (www.mmecos.org), facilitator for SBDC of Colorado Springs. President of Pikes Peak Advertising Federation 2006-07, Colorado Springs, CO, and Past owner of I.D. By Design, graphic design studio, Addy's Award winner. She also sat on the leadership council for Pikes Peak Consultant's Roundtable 2009-2011.
“Work hard, play even harder! By living in the present and through the law of intention, your life can be all that you dream. With integrity, authenticity, balance and gratitude, the infinite benefits that life so abundantly provides begin to manifest. Have fun, be forever inquisitive, love what you do, and care for yourself and others – because we are all one.”
Industry Expertise (4)
Media - Print
Professional Training and Coaching
Areas of Expertise (7)
Internal Brand Development
Employee Engagement & Development
University of South Alabama: Bachelor of Arts, Communications 1992
- 2011 Co-Chair of Middle Market Entrepreneurs group; 2006-07 President of the Pikes Peak Advertising Association
- CO; Leadership Council member for Pikes Peak Consultant's Roundtable
- member of World Wildlife Fund; Certified Trainer for DreamCity 20/20 - Colorado Springs
- member of the Sierra Club
- Board Member - Women's Resource Agency, Colorado Springs, CO - 2015
- Mentor - Colorado Springs Rising Professionals - 2015
- Workshop Facilitator - Small Business Development Ctr. - Colorado Springs, CO
Jane Peck, RN, MBA,Practice Administrator, Endodontic Specialists, Affiliate Faculty, Regis University, College for Professional Studies, School of Management, MBA – Heath Care Management | Endodontic Specialists of Colorado
“Building a brand is more than getting a logo, building a website and creating an advertising message. Building a brand is about digging deep beneath the surface to discover your brand’s unique attributes: your values, style, standards and differentiators; then leveraging them through a compelling brand platform and promise. Brand DNA delivers a compelling message and provides the tools to help small business owners and their teams build a strong brand that they can readily embrace and consistently deliver on."
Steve Timmer, Marketing Manager | Charter Media
The time that we spent with The Brand Ascension Group at our annual all-employee meeting proved to be a truly memorable experience for everyone on our team. The structured activities that our employees participated with were energetic and effectively pushed the creative thinking of all our employees—regardless of job role—to a new, exciting level. It was great to see the once-hidden confidence and creativity from everyone slowly bubble up and come out. By the end of the event, everyone on our team was excited and confident in the new culture and the new brand that we all had helped create. The time spent with The Brand Ascension Group is something that I’d recommend to any company that is looking to create a core “foundation” for the future. I’m confident now, thanks to Suzanne and Carol’s passion, that the Charter Media Michigan team will begin better living the confident, hip, cutting-edge, professional and creative culture that is Charter Media.
Jaclyn Kostner , Ph.D., CEO | Bridge The Distance, Denver, CO
I want you to know just how important building my brand DNA is for my business. It really centers everything that we do about the business around these critical words and success factors. It has improved our workshops and webinar content and materials, our delivery and interaction with our students and clients, and increasing the value of all that we do for our clients. Thank you a thousand times over! I have one (DNA sheet) right by my desk, and I refer to it many times during the day. It is a fantastic guide for everything I do all day long.
Debbie & Terry Brookham, Owners | Furry Friends
"As you know, Terry & I have been in sales and "marketing" for the past 20 years, however, the idea of branding was a unique way for us to think about our business. Meeting with you and attending the seminar on branding has created a clear path for us to take for our business. The Pet Pantry is a franchise and we started with 70 customers, 18 months ago, our customer base now is 550. We feel that is a direct reflection on this path of branding. Every decision we make becomes so much clearer when you have an understanding of how and what branding means both internally and externally to our customers. We recently surveyed our customers and to our delight we had a 25% return. 100% of our customers stated they would order from us again and are completely satisfied. It doesn't get much better than that. Thanks for your unique way of thinking and the path we are on to grow our business. Branding has made every decision and direction easier to make and a whole lot more fun. The answers become so clear. Please refer any potential customers to us, as we would be happy to discuss your skills/knowledge with them."
Randy Schillinger, Owner | Honest Accurate Auto
"We are in our tenth month of noticeable higher sales at both locations and sometimes it takes all we have to keep up on the day to day needs of our two successful auto repair shops! (Good news!) It sure appears like the changes we’ve made through both, working with you and The Brand Ascension Group and the marketing team Rondi has put together these past few months has worked nicely for the growth we need to sustain our success. Take Care and Thanks again for helping us “step up" our brand!"
James P. Ziuchkovski, DDS, MS, PC Diplomate | American Board of Orthodontics
“Working with Suzanne is an inspiring experience. Her workshops and presentations are engaging, informative, and enjoyable! Any business, big or small, would benefit from her “ground-up” approach to branding and inspiration. I would highly recommend her for any speaking engagement.”
Lisa Gross, Senior Mortgage Broker | People's Mortgage
“I started working with a new business coach last week. We had our first call and it was super fun because so much of the ground work that they usually do with clients, is already done. I’ve done my annual goals and why statement for years but because of your workshop, I already had all of that freshly done and communicated with him quite clearly about who I am and how and why I show up every day. He asked me if I had it in writing and decided there was no reason to reinvent that wheel. We moved right through that and on to time management and a new plan for gaining even more focus, accomplishing more work in fewer hours, creating more room in my life for other areas and working a normal work week! I know that your workshop completely laid the foundation for this next journey. I’m totally jazzed! Thank you! Thank you!”
Cory Arcarese, Owner | CArc Media
”Wow, I wasn’t expecting such a breakthrough!” That is what you will tell yourself when you complete one of Suzanne’s Mastermind Courses. I know, you “already know” everything about branding right? Wrong. In fact, you probably have it completely wrong. That was my thinking before taking the course. Not only did I find a subject matter expert in Suzanne, I found that developing a brand IS hard work! It is human nature to be cynical when approaching work that requires you to take realistic inventory of who you are, what you believe in and how you want to “show up.” Suzanne’s process takes you down a developmental path that quickly identifies where your authenticity gaps are (i.e. where you are and where your authentic self knows you should be). If you are not aligned with your authenticity, everything in your life will suffer as a result. I highly recommend anyone who wants to get to the next level in business or their personal life to enroll in this series. This is an exclusive training program for high-caliber, high-potential clients so be ready to roll up your sleeves do some life changing work. Buena Suerte!”
Suzanne Kladder, Speaker, Consultant | Suzanne Kladder
"Suzanne and her Personal Brand program are amazing. She really gets you to take an honest, in-depth look at who you really are at your core and get past what you or others think you are. She helped me abandoned the idea that I needed to be perfect and to realize that perfection is me being me. The work I did with Suzanne continues to help me behave in a consistent, authentic way and it has had a positive impact on my business."
Sample Talks (4)
Stop Marketing, for now, Start Branding
Too many small businesses tend to rely on ‘Marketing’ to do the work of ‘Branding’...Don’t make this mistake! It has been said that “40% of marketing is wasted, due to ill-informed, de-motivated staff undermining the promotional promise!” When GOOD brands don’t first thoroughly define their Brand’s DNA and then implement it internally, the probability of becoming a GREAT brand is minimized, risking increased marketing expenditures and decreased ROI. Whether you are a soloprofessional, or have a team of employees, this session shows how your brand can OUT-BEHAVE your competition by building distinctive, memorable customer and employee experiences that leverage every marketing effort exponentially. In this session, you will learn the critical differences between the function of Marketing vs. Branding and how knowing this can greatly affect your bottom line. Also, learn the secrets of the three most powerful attributes of a successful brand and capitalize on them to: • Increase customer loyalty • Create brand insistence • Make marketing dollars work smarter, not harder! • Increase employee retention • decrease marketing expenditures • Decrease price sensitivity • Increase referrals Join us in this highly interactive session designed to inspire you to think differently about building your business brand from the inside-out!
Identify and Define Your Personal Brand Presence
YOU already have a brand. The question is, “Are you in control of it; are you managing it; and are you leveraging it?” When you dig deep to identify and define your own unique Personal Brand, you create a blueprint for your own authenticity and consistency; building long-term trust and relationships that help you achieve your full potential personally and professionally. As others perceive you through your actions, behaviors, dialogue, and more; they formulate specific impressions within seconds. Getting crystal clear and conscious of your unique brand can help you focus in on highlighting your strengths and showcasing your skills consistently and distinctively. In this highly interactive, mini workshop extracted from the full “Ignite Your Personal Brand Presence” program, you will learn: • The 6 critical components that make up your unique Personal Brand DNA. • In just seconds, your acquaintances develop their own perceptions about who you are. Learn how you can consciously leverage those seconds to create positive, authentic and memorable perceptions. • What makes up your own personal brand style attributes and learn how to maximize them to create distinction. • How to elevate your authenticity and consistency, and infuse your “way of being” into your daily routine to enhance and build the trust of those around you. • Evaluate your own current personal brand through a brief self-assessment tool. • Learn the three most critical characteristics of a memorable personal brand. • Recite and commit to the your new personal brand declarations.
Branded Change-Agent Leadership
Being a true leader within an organization is a lot more than gaining followers. It has more to do with understanding the vision, perception, and architecture of the current brand and where you want to take it, from the inside out. Leading without a 360° brand awareness strategy could lead you and your teams well off-course. That is why Branded Change-Agent Leadership was developed. In this workshop your inspiring and aspiring leaders will learn how to recognize how the brand fits into and is built from strategies to enlist, equip, & engage your most valuable assets, your employees. Being ‘on-brand’ is critical to any organization’s leadership and vital to creating consistency, distinctiveness, and relevancy with all stakeholders. In this highly experiential and dynamic presentation, participants will be inspired and engaged to learn: 1. What a brand consists of and what it is not. 2. What the current state of the organization’s brand is (internally/externally) 3. Where branded leadership can be implemented throughout the organization. 4. What is a branded change-agent leader? 5. Learn the ‘change-agent formula’.
Think Differently About Brand Differentiation
One of the three most powerful attributes of a successful brand is DIFFERENTIATION. Mistakenly, the first place many business owners look for differentiation is within the product features they are selling. However, the most compelling brand differentiation strategies come from a deeper level within a business – connecting to an emotional component within their targeted customer base. This workshop will still up many ideas for innovating differentiation in your brand. Get ready for a highly thought-provoking program to discover at least three unique ways your brand can begin thinking and showing up differently to create compelling brand experiences for your customers, without spending one dollar in external marketing!
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