guest blog: the pink elephant talks about conscious marketing

I’ve done a lot of work in Toronto.

And one of my favourite people I’ve met there is Carrie Klassen of Pink Elephant Communications. She helps beautiful businesses articulate and express what makes them so great with just the right words, designs and images. Her slogan is “guilt free marketing for nice people.”

If you go to her website – you can get a free copy of her e-book Six Ways to Attract Clients with Kindness and also receive rare and spontaneous e-newsletters from her.

Here’s what Carrie had to say about ‘conscious marketing’ . . .

If you read Tad’s posts, you’ve already got a handle on the marketing part of “conscious marketing”. You know you need a brand, a “unique selling proposition”, an irresistible offer, your own niche and targets, yada yada. Where things get fuzzier is in the halo of that word “conscious”.  What does it mean?

I can tell you what it means for Pink Elephant clients.

It means being generous.

A conscious business is such because its primary reason for existing is to help people. Conscious marketing is the same. It’s helpful; it’s giving. At its best, it’s not marketing at all: it’s content. Let me give you a few examples.

Lori Klassen ( is a fine artist who also offers in-home paint colour consultations. She easily could have made standard tri-fold brochures that were all about her services but instead, she made bookmarks to hand out designed using her beautiful artwork.

A brochure is an “ask” (“please buy/read about me”) but Lori’s bookmark is a gift.

Amy and Kim Sedgwick of Red Tent Sisters ( and Ecosex ( provide reproductive health and sexuality products and healthcare services. What they do is unique and they could make every communication all about their offerings – “here’s why you should buy this” – but what Kim and Amy do is provide information, empowering women (and men) to make their own best buying decisions.

This year, they got really passionate about phthalates in sex toys.

They wanted to get the word out that in Canada the sex toy industry is unregulated and because the products are sold as “novelties”, manufacturers can put any ol’ chemicals in there – including ones linked to reproductive issues and even cancer. They wrote newsletter articles and put information on their website – generous and helpful! – but they also enlisted the support of MP Carolyn Bennett to change the laws to protect the health of Canadians.

That is the sort of thing that, as a customer, makes me feel loved and builds trust. The ultimate goal of marketing.

Dr. Tanya Smith is a doctor of Chinese Medicine at the very Zen-feeling Lifecycles Wellness. Tanya carries that calming, soothing feeling of being in one of her treatment rooms right out to the waiting area (beautifully decorated, carefully lit, hot tea waiting for you kinda space) through to your in-box. Her e-newsletters demonstrate so much care for Lifecycles’ patients.

They almost never mention clinic services but, instead, are about sharing expertise (hers and the other practitioners at her clinic). They include delicious recipes, quick health tips and really good topic-specific health advice. They don’t use the space to sell; they use it to empower their patients to live healthier lives. It’s that that makes their mission and brand so clear – and so true – and why women recommend Tanya to their mothers, sisters and girlfriends.

Conscious marketing is about aligning your promotional efforts with your truest goals for your business. It makes your audience feel better for having had an interaction with you, not depleted. In a sentence, it replaces selling with helping.


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About Tad

  • All I have to say is … Carrie, you love lovely!

    Your photo brought Light to my day.



  • I think Carrie has really nailed it. I followed some of the convo about this from your earlier blog post about whether “conscious marketing” is B.S. or not. I’ve continued to think about it not able to quite put my finger on it.

    I felt that “conscious” is such a loaded term, filled with all kinds of different meaning for different folk, that it was too filmy to nail down, and maybe that’s why it had the potential to feel like B.S., or just another new buzz word.

    What I felt at least relative to your work, Tad, is that you teach simple, effective, timely, attainable, employable, marketing strategies and tools to your niche, people involved in conscious business. Funny how I can more easily grapple with the concept of “conscious business”… the way I define that is businesses involved in helping others, helping the planet, helping animals, in a word, helping, as Carrie sums up.

    When I thought about it, it didn’t necessarily feel that you were presenting “conscious marketing” to us in the workshop I attended per se, but more that you were representing effective marketing to those involved in conscious business, with it all being infused/perfumed with YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS. See what I mean in that distinction?

    Carrie adds the perfect layer to simply define conscious marketing as a desire to use communication/marketing media to educate/inform/help with whatever your unique brand of helping is, instead of using them as a platform for selling, manipulating, soapboxing, barking. Love it. Makes perfect sense to me now.

    If that’s an agreeable definition of conscious marketing, then you are doing this first by modeling it, then sharing with us in your workshops, and then giving us even more.

    Helping not selling. Great sum-up. I am going to post this in eye-sight.

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  • Thank you, David and Tiina. So happy to connect.

  • I am a HUGE fan of Carrie Klassen :) She is one of the sweetest, funkiest, and savvy-est designer/copy-writers I know :) Thanks so much for the introduction Tad!!!

    And for anyone wondering if they should spend the money to have Carrie help them… I say “YES!!” :)

    If you want to see why I am so in love with Carrie check out the graphics and copy are ALL her and they are ALL fabulous :)

    xo Colette