Brand Academy Certification Workshop

Brand Academy Certification Workshop

Our next last ever workshop is scheduled for April 29 & 30, 2019.

Register early to save your space: this workshop will not be repeated after April, 2019. We expect our best-ever participants, and we’re capping the attendance at this exclusive workshop to a small, intimate group of committed design firm owners.


And, we’re pulling out all the stops at this, our last ever branding workshop. Expect some never before surprises as we say goodbye to teaching and coaching.

Dear Fellow Creative Business Owner,

When you’re really honest with yourself, does any of this sound familiar?

  • You’re not very happy with your business or personal income—you know you could do better
  • You’re spreading yourself too thin
  • You have some clients who value you—and some who nit-pick and micromanage you, driving you crazy
  • You’re competing on price way too often, even though you try to rise above that fray
  • You’re tired of justifying your invoices all the time
  • You see graphic design becoming a commodity, and it’s harder to differentiate your work
  • You’d like to be more particular about the work you take on, but you have to eat, you know?
  • You’re not sure what the future holds for your business, or how to plan for it
  • You feel you could use more confidence in what you’re doing and how you’re doing it
  • You don’t want to be pushy or aggressive or “salesy” to get work, but feel you need to do something to bring in a higher level of client
  • You wish the process of attracting new clients was easier, more predictable, and idiot-proof
  • You’ve been designing logos, identity packages, and “visual branding” for clients, but it hasn’t been as lucrative as you’d like

If any of this sounds like you, then we’d like to invite you to spend three days with us—live, virtually, and presented as a group interactive experience—at the only branding workshop that teaches business building branding to designers, specifically for designers, by designers, at a very affordable investment.

We’re not talking about how to design here—we assume you already know how to do that. We’re talking about driving profits by building brands for clients. And how you can help your clients a great deal, while making a nice chunk of money for yourself, before you even start to design.

Brand Academy Virtual Certification Workshop

2-Day Live Virtual Workshop

April 29 & 30, 2019


Join us, branding experts Marcia Hoeck and Ed Roach, for a live, virtual 2-day Brand Academy workshop. Learn in the privacy of your home or office without the hassle and expense of travel.

We will take you by the hand and lead you through our proprietary process for building brands for clients. You’ll learn details of the same process we have used, and are still using, with our clients.

We know what you’re going through because we we’ve been there.

We are both designers, no different than you. We based our businesses on graphic design. Any strategic thinking we did was background material we mostly gave away for free, in order to get the design work. We’d glean information from our clients, then go back to our studios, do some research on the industry, check out our client’s competition, immerse ourselves in design inspiration, and dive into the design work. When presenting our solutions, we’d hope the client would take our word for it when we gave our rationale for the work. Sometimes they would. Sometimes they wouldn’t. Often, decisions were made by committees or by the client’s preferences.

“I don’t like that color.”
“It just doesn’t do anything for me.”
“I can’t tell you why, but I just don’t like it.”
“Can we see something else?”

Ackk! It used to drive us crazy.

We wanted a way to control the design process. To have our work valued. And to get paid for what our work was worth.

The two of us met in 2003 at a HOW MYOB event in Phoenix, which began a 10-year collaboration where, as a small group with other design firm owners, we’d meet quarterly to work on building our businesses. Together, we worked on developing a branding process, and individually, we each perfected our own version. We presented our processes to each other for inspiration and feedback and then started offering them to clients.

That’s when the magic happened.

Of course, it took us several years to hone our process to where it is today. But we immediately saw big benefits in what we were doing:
  • Clients saw the value in the process and were willing to pay for it
  • With a process to follow, we were truly, for the first time, “working smarter, not harder”
  • Our clients began regarding us as valued strategic partners at their level, instead of vendors selling a commodity
  • Clients trusted us more and didn’t micromanage us
  • We stood out and were differentiated from the sea of other design groups out there
  • Our (larger) fees were accepted without question, and clients seldom shopped around or put the branding project out to bid
  • We became the unquestioned design firm of choice for follow-up design work
  • Clients loved the process, had fun, and complimented us on how smart we were
  • We had a system we could trust to use over and over again
  • Our confidence increased as our results for clients increased
  • We were making a lot more money

One year later, 50% increase in sales. I wanted to follow-up with you guys and let you know that the brand training you provided has had a tremendous impact on my business.

I did the workshop with you in January 2017 and I closed out 2017 with a 50% increase in gross sales. There were several factors that contributed to that, but I know that your course and training has played a large role. What’s just as great as the extra income is that I have clients telling me that the branding work I now do with them is the best money they’ve ever spent on their business.

I have evolved the process and made it my own, but the foundation you gave me was invaluable. Thanks!”

—Dustin, workshop attendee 2017

“This course is life changing. If you have a passion for branding and want to stand out from other designers, take this course. I really loved the small group atmosphere and partner presentation—it made everything real.”

—Chris Corridore, Corridore Creative, Hauppauge, NY

“We’re in a tough, competitive market. We know our work can go head-to-head with anyone else’s, but we lacked a process to get to the next level. I heard Marcia and Ed speak at HOW Conference and listened to their webinars, and knew I wanted to do the workshop—and now, after the workshop, it’s really sinking in. I feel confident now, with the detailed strategies Marcia and Ed shared, to win the projects we want and be able to guide our clients strategically.”

—April 2015 workshop participant

“The workshop is great b/c it provides a step-by-step branding process that is proven, smart and clearly mapped out—yet flexible to make your own. The input and stories shared by Marcia and Ed, the real-world examples of proposals and reports, the handbook, the scripts—all make the process very tangible. This is just what we needed.”

—Christian Drury, Brightwell, Hoboken, NJ

So why are we sharing this valuable process with you?

Several reasons. First, it’s too good not to share. There are a whole lot of clients out there who need this process and we can’t serve all of them. If we can’t handle all of the branding clients in the world, why not offer our process to you so you can do it?

Second, we’re close to the graphic design community. Heck, we’re part of it and we have been for over 30 years. If you’ve listened to our webinars on branding (offered live through HOW and now available on demand at, as well as our own complimentary webinars), you know we can’t stop talking about this stuff. We love teaching branding strategy, because we know what it’s like to be where you are—and we found something that works to build your business in an interesting, fun, and profitable way.

Third, we know of other groups who offer branding solutions to designers at what we think are obscene prices. We know you can reap huge benefits out of what we offer (we think our stuff is even better than their stuff, for many reasons), and we offer it to you at a much lower investment.


And, because we know this will make a difference to your clients and prospects, we also offer branding certification during our workshop, so you can gain real credibility by attending. When you participate in our 2-Day Brand Academy Virtual Certification Workshop and successfully complete the Day 2 Branding Expert exam, you’ll not only gain practice and confidence in leading clients through the valuable Brand Academy Process and be able to charge a minimum of $20,000 per project, you’ll also gain certification as a Brand Academy Certified Branding Expert. That makes what you’ll be learning even more valuable to your business.

“What I learned during the workshop is priceless… because somehow I knew what branding is and how valuable it is, but I didn’t know where to start and gather all of the information… now, after attending the workshop, I know! I learned how to think quickly, how to keep going back to the problem. To just keep going, keep moving, to try to solve the client’s challenge.

Everything is an aha … I’m coming out of my creative cave. Including the client in the process is amazing. The color process is mind blowing. Can’t wait to put this all together!”

—Utari Syaukat, The Company Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia, workshop attendee 2018

“The workshop is worth the investment. I think a lot of the value is obviously in the fact that you are sharing a proven process, but equally as much in the confidence that you provide the participants with to be able to go out and execute it. There’s also great value in the information and education provided around what branding really is and the knowledge and experience that you both bring to the workshop.

I just want to thank you both so much for all of the effort you put into this workshop. I’m really excited to put this information to use and really make it my own. Thank you!”

—workshop attendee 2017

So if this resonates with you, even a little bit, the logical thing for you to do is come to our virtual workshop, don’t you agree?

The investment is small, when you do the math, and you can bring another person from your firm for a very low add-on. When you know that what you’re learning is something you can bill out at $20,000, you know the ROI for this workshop is incredible. (And even if you chicken out and only charge half the first time you do the process, could you live with that return on your investment? We thought so. Especially since we know you’ll use this process over and over again.) And, you can bring a colleague from your firm for a fraction of the full admission ticket.

“I told Marcia and Ed that I was expecting a lot from the branding workshop, and I was not disappointed. The value well exceeded the investment and I’ll be able to use this information immediately. It’s an epiphany that I haven’t been charging for my strategic work—no giving it away anymore! And, the ‘Ed and Marcia Show’ was fun!”

—Damon Andersen, Creative Reservoir, Omaha, NE

About the Brand Academy Certification Workshop

We are holding our next workshop virtually, April 29 & 30, 2019.

We’re inviting a small group of creative firm owners, like you for an intimate, interactive, virtual workshop to share our proprietary branding process, the rationale behind it, and the skills necessary to present, position, and sell it.

This is the only branding training available that walks creative firms through strategic branding the way creatives need to know it and certifies them as Branding Experts—at such an accessible investment.

Maybe you attended one or more of our branding webinars, or saw us at HOW Design Live, took one of our branding courses through HOW U, or read one of our HOW ebooks on branding. At our virtual workshop, we’ll go deeper into that learning and beyond.

You’ll learn:

  • how to avoid the mistakes creative people often make with branding
  • how to position yourself as a branding expert—and how to be authentic and believable in that positioning
  • how to present your expertise without feeling icky or salesy
  • how to talk about your value with branding so you can ditch your elevator speech
  • how to set your prices for branding and get them
  • how to talk to your clients and prospects about what makes branding work
  • how to discuss the ROI of branding
  • how people buy and how that influences your client’s (and their customers’) decision
  • how to identify branding opportunities
  • how to initiate and carry the branding conversation with clients and prospects
  • the value of being more visible as a branding expert
  • what to do after you’ve sold the branding process
  • how to get consensus from an approval committee
  • how to build and work with a client Branding Team
  • how to design and gather branding research
  • how to involve clients in the branding process in a way that helps rather than hinders the design process
  • how to guide clients through the steps of the branding process
  • how to determine the strategic elements of your client’s brand
  • how to use basic positioning to uncover authentic positioning for your client

and more!

“I would have never imagined I’d feel as confident and capable to not only present myself as a brand educator, but also to solicit over $20,000 in proposals, all within a month of completing the training! 

I love the creative aspects of being a graphic designer, but prior to the workshop, my work had yet to elicit many groundbreaking “AHA’s!” for clients or solidly impact the way they do business and approach marketing investments. Now, having an objective, proven process means I don’t have to spin my creative wheels for free anymore. It makes it 1,000 times easier to present tangible solutions that will be so much more valuable to them than me banging my creative head on the desk and struggling to get an actionable plan in motion.”

—Holly Herlocker, Branding + Design Consultant, North Little Rock, AR

“One of my biggest takeaways from the workshop was not to take information the client gives you at face value—you have to dig deeper. I can now look at client challenges and recognize the disconnect, and I’m excited to have new tools to help them solve their branding problems. And there are LOTS of other nuggets of information and tools that have elevated the value of my services. Thanks Marcia & Ed for sharing your process. I’m so glad to have participated and it was worth every cent.”

—Pamela Gurman, Fat Cat Graphics, Center Moriches, NY, workshop attendee 2016

The Virtual Workshop

The technology

We’ll be meeting virtually via Zoom Video Conferencing, which we think is the best interactive conferencing and presentation tool out there. During the workshop, we will be visible to each other and able to talk, ask questions, and exchange ideas. During our last workshop and conferences, we’ve found no blipping, static, drop offs, stepping on each other’s audio, or audio loss. You’ll see and hear us and the other participants in real time—and we’ll see and hear you! Interacting as a group will be as close as we can make it to “being there.” Ed and I have found this format allows us to be able to be our true selves, live on video, which means you’ll get the best of both of us and our approaches.

“It’s important for our success to stay at the forefront in branding, and Brand Academy did not disappoint. The content was excellent with very organized presentation of the material. I appreciated Marcia and Ed’s transparency in sharing details from their own processes. The virtual classroom was very successful.” 

—Jani Whitesides, Whitesides Design, Austin, TX

The format

Don’t worry that you’ll get bored sitting behind your computer all day long. Our goal is to make it so interesting and interactive that it won’t seem like that, and we got high marks from the students at our last workshop about the virtual setting. We’ll be interacting with you, not preaching to you, and of course we’ll take breaks throughout the day, just as we would if we were in person. The content is interesting and the sections go fast! We encourage you to interrupt and ask questions, too—that only makes the sessions more powerful and memorable for everyone. This is an interactive workshop!

And while you won’t be running into each other in the hallway, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to meet and chat with each other during breaks, exercises, and during the optional after-hours Q&A sessions.

Only one firm per region

Register early, as there are a limited number of spots available for this exclusive workshop. And, because we want to be sensitive about your local competition “sitting next to you” in the same virtual room, we’re still only admitting one firm per geographic area per workshop. Save your space now to make sure it’s you!

“I was looking for a way to get better at sales, and this is it. It’s like learning a new language—I know I’ll get taken more seriously now on the CEO side. And I’m realizing now how many of our clients really truly get it wrong. Now I can help them. Your process works, your teaching works, EVERYTHING about this just works! I cannot thank you both enough!”

—CJ Higginbotham, Leap Creative Services, Orlando, FL

The Last Brand Academy Certification Workshop

April 29 & 30, 2019
Virtually, at your home or office

8:00 am to 5:00 pm CST each day

Full Access Pass $3997  $3600 Early Bird investment through March 8, 2019

1.) Admission to the 2-day virtual workshop
2.) Certification as a Brand Academy Certified Branding Expert
3.) Your own Brand Academy Strategic Branding Handbook, our 100-page, step-by-step instructional for guiding your clients through the branding process. Click here to read more about the Brand Academy Strategic Branding Handbook (regularly $3000). Your workbook will be shipped to you prior to the workshop.
4.) Access to sales tools for confidence building and opening conversations with prospects, our own pitch and proposal templates, and more!
5.) Virtual group follow-up session approximately four weeks after the workshop to touch base and review.

Full Access Pass Full Pay
Click the PayPal button below to purchase the Full Access Pass for the investment of $3600

Full Access Pass 2-Pay Option

Click the PayPal button below to purchase the Full Access Pass for the Early Bird investment of $3600 and pay in two installments of $1800 each, available through March 8, 2019. You will be charged for the first installment of $1800 immediately and the second installment six weeks later. (Full payment must be made before April 29, 2019.)

Basic Pass $2297   $1900 Early Bird investment through March 8, 2019

1.) Admission to the 2-day virtual workshop
2.) Certification as a Brand Academy Certified Branding Expert
3.) Access to sales tools for confidence building and opening conversations with prospects, our own pitch and proposal templates, and more!
4.) Virtual group follow-up session approximately four weeks after the workshop to touch base and review.

Click the PayPal button below to purchase the Basic Pass for the investment of $1900 

Basic Pass 2-Pay Option

Click the PayPal button below to purchase the Basic Pass for the Early Bird investment of $1900 and pay in two installments of $950 each, available through March 8, 2019. You will be charged for the first installment of $950 immediately and the second installment six weeks later. (Full payment must be made before April 29, 2019.)

Colleague Ticket 

Because we certify the person and not the firm, we offer the option of a Colleague Ticket where that person can also be certified. This option is also great for team members in other locations. Bring a member of your firm with you for a fraction of the ticket price!


1.) Admission to the 2-day workshop
2.) Certification as a Brand Academy Certified Branding Expert

Colleague Ticket $997 
Click the PayPal button below to purchase the Colleague Ticket

Still have questions about the event? Email us:
marcia @
ed @

We can’t wait to “meet you” at the workshop!

Marcia and Ed