During the 8+ years I served as the Keeper of the Flame (Head of Editorial and Publishing) for Cranium–truly one of the best jobs ever in the history of the world–we talked frequently about our secret sauce, that signature mix of ingredients that set us apart, allowed us to replicate our success, infused our culture, and kept our  fans coming back for more. As my unique Cranium title suggests, I felt a sense of responsibility to articulate and protect that unique brand formula, and to be sure it stayed consistent yet fresh and flexible during a period of  rapid change and growth.

Following Cranium’s acquisition by Hasbro, I had a new responsibility to refocus the brand and become its ambassador throughout a complex, global organization. And with the rise of social media, I discovered some very exciting new ways to stay close to our consumers and weave brand and content together to tell the Cranium story.

When I founded my own consulting business in early 2010, I thought of those passionate, inspiring conversations about Cranium’s secret sauce and about the hours I have spent in my kitchen happily chopping, stirring, and simmering to make Marcella Hazan’s homemade Bolognese (always without the onions) or my mother-in-law’s beef and barley stew. To me, there’s plenty of common ground. I prefer real, honest food, made from scratch, without shortcuts or gimmicks, and I believe the best brands are built in the same way. My favorite kind of cooking is to root around in the refrigerator and the pantry and figure out something amazing to make with what I have on hand–I do the same with a brand’s content, founding story, and archive of intellectual property (Do you have one? I bet you do). This kind of work takes patience, intuition, inspiration, and love, all of which pay off in the long term.

On this site, I’ll be sharing my perspective on the intersection of tasty brand and content: case studies, social media and word of mouth marketing tips, inspiration, and maybe even a recipe or two.

If you would like help crafting or articulating your brand’s secret sauce, just drop me a line.

Catherine Carr making lunch on vacation

What it looks like when I make lunch on vacation

Catherine Carr

Founder and Principal, Secret Sauce Creative

Just for Fun: 25 Random Things About Me from Facebook, circa 2009 (Most are still accurate)


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