Cultivating Positive Brand Culture with Jacki Carr: What We Learned

Herosmyth Staff
min read
November 13th, 2017

About Jacki Carr

Jacki is a goal coach, writer, motivational speaker, and Mama. She is the co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, a transformation company with a mission to bring your intentions to action. As a leader in transformation, Jacki's coaching style includes real + honest conversations and true connection to your most powerful and whole self. She has her Lightyear Leadership certification, her 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification, and Gems of Excellence Level 1 & 2 certifications. Jacki has worked with companies such as Patagonia, lululemon, Facebook, Toms, and Nike on leadership and culture. She believes in a world where we all truly belong and each and every one of us has unique gifts to contribute. Jacki loves being a catalyst for people achieving their goals and living their best lives.

Last week, Jacki joined us as our special guest in discussing the importance and implementation of creating a positive brand culture to have a happier and more engaged team.

photo of the Meetup attendees listening to Jacki present

Though the weather was less-than-perfect, the event was a hit.

People showed up from all over Denver to come together, network, and absorb all the knowledge that Jacki would share with the group.

She dove right in with her experience at lululemon, a brand known for its yoga clothing—immediately, some ladies in the crowd reacted with “ooh!” (a great example of the brand’s legacy).

During her tenure at the company, Jacki created a new department called the “people team.” You could probably guess why the department was called as such, but as for its purpose, Jacki told us how its mission was to help employees love their whole life, not just their career.

If you live your life according to Jacki’s compass of alignment, achieving that mission for yourself will be so much easier, too. Here’s how to keep your happiness in check:

Jacki's compass of alignment

With that, she segued into the first theme of the night...


Before we focus on company-wide values, it’s important to mention this bit of wisdom that Jacki mentioned: you must recognize your own core values, and only after that’s completed can you then align those with your job.

Otherwise, you may find yourself unhappy with your career altogether—or at least not truly believing in the company you work for.

When it comes to company values, they have to come from somewhere, right?

It turns out that it’s a company-wide endeavor that requires clear decision making and a formal process. While leadership is the team that sets the values out for everyone else to follow, everyone takes part by living up to them.

Ideally, your brand should have five core values—just enough to hone in on what’s most important, yet not enough to forget what made it onto the list.

It’s not enough to just have company values, too: they need to be clearly laid out on a brand’s “About Us” page of its website so that customers understand how and why the company does what it does.

If you think values are one of those things that never change, that’s simply not true. Each adjustment is precursed with two important questions:

  1. Are we living our values?
  2. Is it time to redesign them?

And if the answers are “no; yes,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Most importantly, however, brands must remember to keep their customers in on the change rather than letting it sneakily slip by their attention. When a company changes values, it must do something to prove it, not catch customers off guard and leave them debating whether they trust the brand or not.

In Jacki’s words, a brand should present new values to its following by asking them something along the lines of, “we’re changing in this way—are you with us?”

It never hurts to ask—but it does hurt to suddenly transform without warning or buy-in.

Let’s move onto the next theme:


Jacki told us that the ability to build a vision and have clarity of where you’re going will allow your ship to sail. By removing constraints, you can enter into the realm of possibility.

That’s why, if you want to accomplish something, you must build a vision of where you’ll be 10 years from today to release yourself from the now.

More importantly, going back to one of the first insights from Jacki, it’s important to see your visions as a whole person rather than just one aspect of your life, such as your career.

With that, it’s important to know what you want. I know it sounds simple, but Jacki basically blew our minds with this observation: everyone goes on and on about what they don’t want but hardly ever touch on the opposite.

Think about it—how often have you listened to a friend complain (or had a friend listen to you complain) about what they don’t like, what parts of their job really suck, or what makes them unhappy? I’m sure you hear about the negatives much more than what positive change could come about, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

So, to make your vision more concrete and to push yourself forward on your personal and brand journeys, take the time to hash out your “wants” instead so that you can be more easily and clearly guided by your values.

As for brands, the most important element of building a vision for the company is to create it as a team. If you don’t, people will go in different directions, and the focus of your goals will be lost.

Part of this is grounded in determining the “wants” of the entire brand, which leads us to the next theme:


We’ve quoted Jacki on this before, and we’ll do it again (and again): “appreciation is a compounding value.” Even if it’s a little accomplishment, positive language goes a long way.

Jacki reminded us that it’s not enough to give a pat on the back and a quick “great job;” it’s much more impactful to recognize employees’ hard work authentically and relay their value while you’re at it.

That’s why the leadership in a brand should always appreciate specifically—and as an entrepreneur herself, Jacki pointed out that entrepreneurs have to do the same for themselves, too. Otherwise, who’s going to encourage you on this epic and sometimes difficult journey of building a great brand?

So, what’s the best way to use language as a powerful tool of encouragement?

Someone—or everyone—in leadership should regularly schedule 1:1 meetings with each team member to be able to effectively evaluate success.

During these meetings, it’s important to get interested in the whole person, not just your employee, and then bring the insights back to the big picture so that you can effectively encourage your team going forward.

Speaking of going, the final theme of Jacki’s talk was:


As someone who is an expert in organizing company retreats, Jacki shared her wisdom and patiently answered all of our numerous questions on the subject.

Retreats are always a great idea because they allow a company as a whole to transport to a new place, feel new ideas, prevent burnout, and disrupt the status quo.

By taking the time to invest in your people and take those people out of the environment of work, your team can grow closer, more engaged, and just better overall.

A hand shot up in the audience and inevitable the question arose: what if you don't have the budget for a fancy retreat to a faraway place?

The beauty of retreats is that they don’t necessarily have to be this big, glamorous getaway—even just a day hike or a long weekend of bonding in a neighboring city are enough to get the essence of a retreat and still reap the full benefits.

Better yet, the core topic of the retreat is completely up to you: does your team need to work on self-leadership, project management, communication, development, or something else? Whatever it is, you’ll hear what’s needed from the team and can then easily create the right retreat around it.

Here’s an interesting tip from Jacki: if you work for a brand that needs a refresher, take responsibility for the culture of the company you’re working for and advocate for a retreat as needed—the whole company will thank you.

On that note...

We’d like to thank Jacki again for taking time out of her exciting and busy (like, good busy) life to come talk to us about the underlying elements that are crucial to a brand’s culture and success.


Photo of Chad Coleman, Jacki Carr, Zofia Antonow, Steven Monetti, and Katie Crawford


We at Ascend learned a lot about refining personal goals and company culture alike—I hope this article helps you and your brand, too!

And if your company is small, you can still build an awesome company culture on a budget—start by taking some tips from our efforts. 

ways that you can connect with Jacki

Email her: [email protected]  

Call her: 281.935.8737

Check out her website:

Visit her company’s website:

Stay in touch

If you want to stay informed on branding and digital marketing, join us for future Meetups with more exciting topics!