Creating a Big, Bold Brand

OUTdrive Episode 105 with Karley Cunningham

OUTdrive Episode 105 with Karley Cunningham

When it comes to “branding,” there is a lot of ambiguity. What is a brand? Can you measure how a brand works? How do you use it as part of a marketing plan? This is where our guest Karley Cunningham, a branding strategist and “Big Thinker,” comes into play. In this episode, Karely offers up a paradigm shift and insightful perspective on how to approach branding as a way to define fundamental values and core messaging, and differentiate from competitors.

Karley is the Creative Strategist & Growth Accelerator at her company, Big Bold Brand, based in Vancouver, Canada. With over 20 years of experience between graphic design, branding, marketing, sales, and communications, she is a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their business growth and success. Karley has written for well-respected publications and is a sought-after speaker and mentor for several national and international business organizations. Raised out in the country in a rural area of Ontario, Canada, Karley has a strong connection to her roots and the small-town lifestyle we enjoy here in the Midwest.

Join Karley and me as we take a deep dive into brand leadership, the strategy before the strategy, and the difference between branding and marketing.

Surefire Audit & Guide download:


  • 2:00 – Karley describes her background growing up in Ontario, outlining the similarities between that area of rural Canada and the rural Midwest
  • 3:45 – Karley’s experience as an endurance cycling athlete and how she maintains fitness as part of her active lifestyle
  • 6:30 – Karley and Cliff discuss the comparison of adrenal fatigue in sports, and in business, and how to address it
  • 9:00 – Karley’s journey from a graphic designer to a strategic business owner
  • 12:00 – Karley dives into the concept of “the strategy before the strategy”
  • 17:00 – Karley and Cliff discuss the idea of branding and marketing being two different areas
  • 18:15 – Karley outlines a typical day in her current role at Big Bold Brand
  • 21:30 – Karley talks about her business and the type of clients she works with
  • 23:50 – Karley and Cliff discuss brand leadership and the opportunity for a paradigm shift
  • 28:20 – Karley describes her “surefire method” of differentiation
  • 31:45 – Karley shares the number #1 question she gets asked as a speaker
  • 34:00 – Where you can find Karley online and how to access her Surefire Audit & Guide
  • 35:30 – Karley shares what rural America means to her