EP 126: Navigating The Process Of Rebranding & Repositioning with Truce With Food Creator Ali Shapiro

The Nitty Gritty

  • Why Ali’s new brand message is all about shifting the way her clients see themselves
  • How she draws a connection between health and politics — and positions her opinion in a way that her ideal customers breathe out: “finally, someone gets it!”
  • What writing exercise she used to inform her new website copy (and exactly what her company’s new position is)
  • Why you should always ask your customers for feedback, plus the exact process Ali used to choose a logo that spoke to them

In this episode of What Works, we welcome Ali Shapiro, MSOD, certified holistic health counselor, and founder of Truce with Food® to talk about her recent rebranding and repositioning of her business.

We cover everything from what she’s learned as a health coach and her own experience with cancer as a teenager, to the importance of using customer feedback to inform branding decisions, to bringing politics into your business as a way to truly serve your customers.

Listen to this episode to learn more about Ali’s health journey and her experience working with women who are fed up with the status quo — and are looking for radical shifts toward true healing.

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How Ali knew it was time to reposition.

“I realized that as I got more resilient, I actually became healthier. I really started to see with my clients that if I could help them with a research-based but client-proven process to focus on that emotional piece, their healing was exponential.” — Ali Shapiro

For Ali and her clients, experiencing true healing isn’t just about what you eat. It’s about how food and emotions work together to cultivate and activate natural healing within the body.

Ali knew that positioning her work around both the body and the emotions would be more difficult than just talking about food. At the same time, she felt that it might be too much for people — would they resonate with it? Would they want to work with her? Ultimately, she knew that bringing together food and emotions was crucial for her clients to experience true healing.

Fortunately, her clients responded well and told her just how much of a relief it was, despite the hard work. Why? Because it gave them answers. They were finally understanding aspects of themselves that they never had.

This was the foundation of her rebranding and repositioning.

The importance of asking for customer feedback as you rebrand.

“I didn’t end up going with the logo because I didn’t want to turn people off before they really understood what it was about. Always ask your customers and clients — even your ideal clients are going to have a range of reactions.” — Ali Shapiro

As Ali worked with her clients, she realized that her work was founded on liberating women so they can get answers and feel their absolute best. As she rebranded, Ali wanted a logo that represented the work she did — and ended up with two that she loved.

One logo was a dynamic logo of a woman’s body behind bars — and the bars faded away — it was a literal representation of her work. Ali loved it, but when she asked her customers, it was a split: half of them liked it while others felt that it didn’t totally encompass her work — and in a way, it didn’t align with the experience they had with her. So… instead of using the logo that she liked the most, she decided against it based on customer insights.

Why Ali brings politics into her business (and her branding)

“When you start talking about who has power, and who doesn’t, and why you’ve generated so much self-doubt, it opens a lot of compassion and empathy for people. And that is really the path to healing.” — Ali Shapiro

If you take a quick look at Ali’s about page, there’s a beautiful illustration of a nesting doll. As you look closer at the connectedness of each layer, you see capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and conventional health and beauty standards.

While so many avoid politics in daily life and in business, why did Ali consciously choose to make it a part of her brand story? “For those of us in the coaching space or the self-transformation space, if we don’t say that the systems and structures don’t have anything to do with their health, then we’re actually hurting them,” says Ali.

For Ali, health and capitalism is very much at the foundation of health — or the lack thereof. She brings up questions like: Who has access to healthy food? Who has the money to afford it? Who gets better treatment and who gets experimented on? “It will repel some people” she admits, “and it will make other people say, okay, someone sees all of this. It helps people see that it’s not all their fault — it’s not an excuse but it gives us another path forward.”

Listen to the full episode with Ali Shapiro to hear more about her perspective on true healing and how to reposition your brand in a way that’s authentic to you — and that still resonates with your ideal clients and customers.

By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Apr 17, 2018

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support