Melissa Jacobs on B2C Growth Strategies


Her consultancy, Crow and Pitcher LLC, specializes in creating innovative strategies and actionable marketing plans for brands large and small.

In the latest episode of SMarketPlace™ Live, we had the pleasure of conversing with Melissa Jacobs, the CEO and lead strategist at Crow and Pitcher LLC. With her extensive background in B2C branding and strategic insights, Melissa helps businesses maximize growth without expanding their teams or budgets. It was enlightening to hear Melissa share her journey and expertise, emphasizing the importance of identifying ideal customers, leveraging existing resources, and creating impactful marketing strategies.



Crow and Pitcher LLC, founded by Melissa, is renowned for its structured approach to brand strategy and insights. Melissa’s career spans over two decades, including significant roles at major companies like Kimberly-Clark. This wealth of experience empowers her to help businesses of all sizes clarify their customer profiles and refine their marketing strategies through a blend of qualitative and quantitative research.


The David vs. Goliath Approach to Branding B2C Growth Strategies


In our conversation, the David vs. Goliath analogy arose as a powerful way to describe how small businesses can compete against larger brands. Melissa’s work embodies this analogy perfectly. By applying the strategic discipline and data-driven decision-making she honed at corporate giants, Melissa provides small businesses with the tools they need to punch above their weight.

Melissa’s process begins with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, which she calls the “Revenue 360 Jumpstart.” This five-point assessment identifies the best use of time and resources to strengthen a brand’s marketing approach. The steps include:

  1. Understanding the Customer: Melissa dives deep into understanding who the current customers are and how to attract new ones. This involves defining the ideal customer profile (ICP) and determining which growth drivers are priorities—whether it’s selling more to existing customers, creating new products, or attracting entirely new customer segments.
  2. Assessing the Category Landscape: Using simple two-by-two matrices, Melissa maps out the competitive landscape, helping clients understand where different brands stand within their category and pinpoint their unique selling propositions.
  3. Brand Differentiation: This step focuses on breaking through the clutter and defining what makes a brand unique. Melissa merges insights from customer and market analysis to create compelling brand messages that resonate with the target audience.
  4. Messaging Power: Melissa stresses that messaging should go beyond just features and benefits. The goal is to create emotionally resonant messages that connect deeply with customers, emphasizing what the brand contributes to their lives.
  5. Marketing Consistency: Consistent messaging ensures that the brand’s core values are reinforced across all touchpoints. Melissa advises brands to stay the course with their messaging long enough for it to sink in with their key customers.


Leveraging Research and Insights for Better B2C Growth Strategies


Melissa uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to uncover customer insights. This blend of traditional and behavioral science techniques helps her get beneath the surface to understand customer motivations and perceptions.



One notable example involves a client in the coaching business who used email list surveys to uncover critical insights about customer perceptions. This research revealed significant gaps between the views of current customers and prospects, guiding the client’s new creative advertising efforts.


Example: Identifying Gaps Between Customers and Prospects


A critical component of Melissa’s approach to brand strategy is identifying and addressing perception gaps between current customers and potential prospects. Through her comprehensive diagnostic assessment, the “Revenue 360 Jumpstart,” Melissa dives deep into understanding these gaps. “One of the things that I have a real passion for is thinking about and trying to learn through research if possible, what is the perception gap between your customers and your prospects,” she explains. By pinpointing these discrepancies, Melissa helps brands fine-tune their messaging to better resonate with potential customers.

Melissa employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to uncover these insights. She often uses traditional surveys, focus groups, and advanced behavioral science techniques to get below the surface and understand the motivations behind customer decisions. One notable example involved a client who discovered that while their current customers had a positive perception of the brand, prospects who were considering the brand still had significant doubts. “The biggest gaps actually existed between those who are currently buying and the considerers,” Melissa notes. This insight guided the client to develop new creative advertising that directly addressed these concerns, leading to improved conversion rates.

Beyond identifying perception gaps, Melissa’s analytical approach extends to mapping out the competitive landscape and understanding market dynamics. By using tools like two-by-two matrices, she helps clients identify where different brands stand and what unique value propositions they can offer. This comprehensive analysis allows brands to differentiate themselves effectively and target their ideal customers more precisely. “Understanding your customer, your brand, and the category you’re playing in starts to create the space where you can lean in and differentiate your brand in a way that is meaningful to your key customer,” Melissa emphasizes. Her structured and insightful process empowers clients to make data-driven decisions, resulting in substantial growth and stronger customer connections.



From Corporate Giants to Small Businesses


Melissa’s transition from working solely with corporate giants to expansion to small and mid-sized businesses highlights her adaptability and passion for impactful growth. While her experience with large companies provides a solid foundation in strategic discipline, process definition, and data-driven decision-making, it’s her work with smaller, agile brands that truly excites her today. These businesses, unburdened by bureaucratic inertia, can quickly pivot and implement innovative strategies, making the impact of her guidance both immediate and profound – often with relatively few resources.


Melissa Jacobs’ Rock and Roll Roots


Beyond her branding prowess, Melissa shares her love for music, particularly rock and roll. Her first concert was an REO Speedwagon show in the early ’90s, igniting a lifelong passion for live music. She recounts the unique experiences of different concerts, from the electrifying performances of Bon Jovi to the unparalleled energy of Garth Brooks during Cheyenne Frontier Days.



These musical experiences are more than just personal pastimes; they enrich her professional outlook as well. Music, with its capacity to evoke strong emotions and create lasting connections, parallels the essence of effective branding. Just as artists leverage their unique styles to captivate audiences, Melissa applies the same principles to help brands resonate emotionally with their customers.



Melissa Jacobs’ expertise in branding and her passion for music demonstrate that successful branding, much like a timeless rock anthem, relies on understanding your audience, delivering consistent and authentic messages, and staying adaptable to change. Her insights offer a roadmap for businesses looking to create impactful and lasting connections with their customers.


Universal Lessons in B2C Growth Strategies


Melissa Jacobs’ expertise in B2C branding and her innovative approach to marketing strategies provide invaluable lessons for businesses of all sizes. By applying the strategic insights she gained from working with large corporations to help small businesses compete with larger brands, Melissa exemplifies the David vs. Goliath analogy in the branding world. Her structured process, emphasis on research, and focus on emotionally resonant messaging ensure that her clients can achieve substantial growth and create lasting connections with their customers.


## A Gift for Listeners


To further help businesses unlock their growth potential, Melissa offered our listeners a special gift. Visit the Crow and Pitcher LLC website for insights into five common scenarios that can slow down growth and discover practical tools to address them. Whether it’s streamlining marketing tactics or prioritizing big ideas over daily operations, these tips are designed to help businesses focus their efforts where it matters most. Download 5 Ways to Adopt a “Less is More” Approach to Grow Your Business.

Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your expertise and insights with us. We look forward to seeing Crow and Pitcher’s continued impact on the world of branding.


Watch the Full Interview



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