By: Bianca Strzalkowski

Branding evokes a feeling in customers that can create a loyal—and lucrative—following.

Entrepreneur Tom Geist understands the value of proper branding. The owner of SoCal Hot Sauce, formerly TG’s Hot Sauce, recently rebranded his entire company in anticipation of increased growth in the new year. His branding strategy focused on representing his product line in a way that resonated with potential customers.

“We would often get the question, ‘TG’s Hot Sauce? What kind of sauce is that?’ We needed a new name and logo that was more professional and let the customer know what kind of sauce they were looking at. SoCal Hot Sauce™ was the answer,” he said.


January 18th, 2017|


Braggarts don’t breed customers. 45% of online followers said they will unfollow a brand on social media because of too much self-promotion, according to a survey conducted by BuzzStream. The way in which a company uses social media platforms affects brand reputation and determines growth online. Powerhouse Planning can assist your company in developing innovative ways to connect with your networks. Check out services here: External Communications.

In last quarter’s POWERTIPS, Technical Writer Jennifer Morrison shared tips for interacting with business audiences in The Social Media Realm: A Lesson in Etiquette.

January 18th, 2017|


By: Rebecca Alwine

Two entrepreneurs gave their brand a refresh to align their sassy business personality with an evolving vision.

Owners Shiang-Ling Bissonnette and Miranda Perales make up the dynamic duo behind The Hive & Co, a company that provides consultation services to small businesses. The team of two—both military spouses—joined forces after recognizing they each had skill sets that could balance each other out to make a strong partnership. Bissonnette brings the creative side, while Perales has an extensive background in marketing.


January 18th, 2017|


By: Jennifer Morrison

It’s the traditional time of year when businesses distribute yearly bonuses or end-of-year gifts to their employees, contractors, and freelance workers to say “thank you” for their hard work throughout the year. But what if instead of one check (that’s taxed at a ridiculous rate) or company branded swag, you—as the employer—spread your appreciation for your employees throughout the year?

Money Doesn’t Always Talk

You may be thinking, “Who doesn’t want money?” Of course, everyone wants money, but it can create two problems. The first problem is the limit of your company’s budget. If you can only afford to reward your employees and contractors once a year, generally at the end of the year, it can appear that the gift is one of obligation or expectation rather than true gratitude. People don’t want to feel like they’re a check on their employer’s to-do list. In 2014, The Atlantic reported that employees would rather receive non-monetary perks in lieu of more money. The second problem is the message you can send to your employees if you can’t afford to give a large monetary gift. Employees can interpret your financial gift as a reflection of their job performance and find it wanting.

So if you’re a small business with a limited budget, how can you say “thank you” to your employees for a job well done?


January 18th, 2017|

Client Profile: P.R.E.P.S., Inc.

Powerhouse Service Provided: External Communications

“Working with Powerhouse was a great experience. We are looking forward to future opportunities to use their services.” 

Antoine Corbin, Executive Director of P.R.E.P.S., Inc.

Interested in learning how we can help your company grow regarding your marketing collateral? Email us at We’d love to be on your team!

January 18th, 2017|


A targeted branding strategy can attract new customers while convincing existing customers to share company content, news, and products or services. Memes and infographics, for example, are likely to be shared if they are crafted in an attractive, visually appealing way. Platforms offer content creators, from novice to professional level, the opportunity to build graphics, edit images, and create animated videos for free or low monthly fees.

Canva: One of the most popular current platforms, Canva lets users create professional looking documents, such as brochures and flyers, make images, and generate memes.

Animoto: This video platform allows businesses to create videos for marketing with images, animations, and audio.

Stencil: Perfect for social media, users can create images in minutes.

January 18th, 2017|

Nonprofit Profile: Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN)

By: Randi Cairns

There is a great deal of debate about the military-civilian divide—the idea that there is a split or disconnect between the U.S. military community and the American public at large. While most folks on the military side of that equation agree that there is a gap between their experience as a military-connected person and the general public’s understanding of their service and sacrifice, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle.

To suggest that there is an “us” and “them” overlooks the tremendous diversity within the military community itself.  There are differences between branches of service, between active duty and Guard/Reserve components, between officers and enlisted, etc. There is no one voice that can speak for a singular military life experience.

The Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) is doing something about that. Their mission is to connect military families with the resources they need to thrive and to convene thought leaders within the military family community who, through collaboration with outside organizations and effective communications practices, will elevate their voice as well.


January 18th, 2017|

New Hire at Powerhouse

Heatherlynn Akins is excited to join the Powerhouse team as a quality assurance specialist and technical writer. fullsizerender-4

Heatherlynn studied for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Dallas in Irving, TX. She couldn’t decide what to study, so chose concentrations in both English and German literature. During her master’s program she married an Air Force pilot and left the world of academia to follow him around the world. While doing so, she taught English to Japanese students, tutored many a student, taught creative writing, edited and wrote for several newsletters, worked as the Program Director for a martial arts studio, and managed to raise two boys to (thus far) teenage-hood. In other words, she was the typical military spouse.

After 25+ years of service, her husband retired two years ago and the family moved to Colorado. While she adores her adopted resort town, she is eager to get back to her first love, the written word. Her love affair with such began many moons ago when she gummed her first cardboard book and she is still most often found with a book in her hand, or spouting off useless trivia she’s learned from reading.

December 17th, 2016|

Navy Wife Grows Business Through Brand Awareness Strategy

lakesha-renfro-and-team-shark-tankBy: Bianca Strzalkowski

Spread it! Mix it! Shake it! Stir it!

Lakesha Brown-Renfro delivers a party with every order. Whether it is one of her products or services, the Navy wife of 18 years gives customers an experience that has helped her grow and build a diverse business empire. She and two partners launched their first company—Simply Panache, an event planning firm—in 2011.

She said she had the entrepreneurial spirit since she was a young child, first starting with a lemonade stand, followed by a hair bow business, and then she created a teen membership club. Brown-Renfro and her friends eventually coordinated parties that caught the attention of friends, family, and even strangers.

“At this point, I started thinking that I could do this as a business, and the event planning company was born,” she said.

Front and center of Simply Panache was a product that would ultimately become the signature item and foundation of the brand. Mango Mango is a gourmet mango preserve with over 100 uses. It earned the reputation of a “party in the jar” with Brown-Renfro’s robust marketing plan. She started by selling the product online, at farmers’ markets, and in local and national stores. As the business grew, so did the opportunities.

Three years ago, her team appeared on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Valuable learning lessons came from the experience.


October 24th, 2016|

Did You Know?

65% of adults in the United States use social media sites to connect, according to the Pew Research Center. These numbers do not represent just one demographic, but respondents fell into age groups of 18-29 and up to 65+. Small businesses can grow brand awareness and expand a customer base by meeting consumers where they are—online.

If you already operate with a small staff, it can be overwhelming to add social media management duties to someone’s plate. Powerhouse Planning offers relevant services to help companies maximize social media tools as well as plans a communications strategy that fits your target audience. Review the full listing of our services here:  Our Services.

October 24th, 2016|