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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