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A Creative Agency Rebrands After National Tour to Meet Canadian Entrepreneurs



I’ve been on a tour of Canada over the past few months. It’s meant a lot of travel and overnights. Too much coffee and fast-food. The tour has included early morning performances, late night jam sessions and, fortunately, quite a few encores. But my audience wasn’t comprised of music fans (not many would sit and listen to my vocal stylings). Rather, it was made up of Canadian entrepreneurs. But let me back up a bit…you see, my partner and I owned a successful graphic design agency for almost two decades. Last year, we decided to take a hard left with our business. We wanted to reinvent ourselves as a full-service, modern-day marketing resource for a criminally under-served demographic: Canadian entrepreneurs.

Jennifer Neal interviews entrepreneur Carol Ann Granatstein

We felt especially qualified to stand side-by-side with these business leaders. After all, we are ourselves entrepreneurs too. We understand first-hand the challenges of cash flow, shifting client expectations, investments that didn’t quite pan out, and keeping the new-business-funnel, full.

Before creating the new agency, I wanted to hear from entrepreneurs. What were their challenges? What did they expect from their marketing? That’s where my tour came in.

What I heard is that some of us are crushing it. We have a plan, it’s working and we’re sticking to it. We’re the fortunate ones.

Others are not so lucky. They’re stuck in a rut and can’t figure out how to get out. They’ve tried a few different things, but let’s face it, golden tickets are hard to find. The biggest insight? When you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail. Meaning, there are a lot of exceedingly smart people out there who’ve achieved great things up until this point, but they expect to get to the next level with the same tools and mindset. Here’s the thing. Maybe they can’t. Perhaps the answers they’re seeking are packaged differently than they were in the past. If you’re in one of these situations, maybe you have to pivot a bit and do things you hadn’t considered before. We’ll be writing more about this in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, here are some of the business realities – the ‘Truths’ in Truth and Dare that I’ve been hearing about from entrepreneurs during my tour. How many of them are yours?


You know there’s no competitor that can match your level of service and dedication, but communicating your superiority has been elusive. You struggle with the ‘perfect’ words on your website, sales collateral, and pitch decks. You dig through books, business journals, and websites hoping to find the answer you need in someone else’s story. You’re not alone.


You used to be the only gig in town and now there are competitors popping up all around you. Even though you know you’re the real deal, you’re stumbling when it comes to expressing it confidently and consistently at every touch point. Your staff don’t quite get it either. As the founder/owner/CEO, maybe you’re a little too proud to admit that you’re having a hard time communicating the intangibles that make your company great.


You built your brand by looking around at competitors, instead of reaching inside and creating an identity that reflects you (that’s okay – you’re a growth-minded entrepreneur not necessarily a marketing guru). Now you and your competitors look the same and sound the same. How can you stand out in a world of me-tooisms? You’re not alone in asking.


You’ve invested heavily into SEO and paid search and you can’t figure out how something so expensive isn’t yielding the results you thought it would. Even worse, when you turn off the tap, you have nothing to show for it. You’re not alone.


You’re in the weeds. You’re constantly picking out the minutiae of issues and searching for tactical answers. Sometimes the answer is in the aspirational and not in the tactical. But aspirational sounds fluffy and weak and you aren’t sure of its application or believe in its power. Again, you’re not alone!


In order to meet your clients’ needs, you’ve added to your product and service offering over the years. Now, however, you have a dog’s breakfast of logos, branding and campaign remnants that lack focus and consistency. You’re not alone.

If ANY of the truths above resonate with you, know that you are not alone.

So, welcome to Truth + Dare. A modern agency with everything a growing business like yours needs along the marketing path. Whether you are starting-up or 100 years old, we speak your language and we just might have some experience to share, and perhaps just what you need to push to the next level.

Jennifer Neal, CEO of Truth + Dare, talks to entrepreneur Frank Cianciulli

Call my cell. I will personally answer your call and we can talk about the truths for your business. 647-400-6264. I dare you.

To listen to some of the amazing entrepreneurs I’ve talked to along the way, tune into our podcast here in the Truth and Dare blog or on Soundcloud.

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We’re in it to unearth the essential truths about your business and then help you tell the world. LET'S START A CONVERSATION.