Case Study

Zingerman’s Cornman Farms:

Brand Messaging Development

Discover, Define, Develop Brand Identity for Comprehensive Marketing

Zingerman’s Cornman Farms opened in 2014, transforming an 1834 Greek revival farmhouse in Dexter, Michigan, into an award-winning event space and working farm, guided by the creativity of founding chef Kieron Hales. It is a unique part of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, and one with its own flavor, rather than folding into the well-known Zingerman’s aesthetic.

The Cornman Farms team sought guidance on establishing effective and comprehensive brand messaging to interweave the brand of Zingerman’s with Chef Kieron’s vision for Cornman Farms. The Your People team reviewed existing marketing materials and web presence before facilitating team workshops toward establishing corporate values and cohesive messaging to take the brand forward.

Owning Your Brand

For three months, Your People led half-day branding workshops. We led the Zingerman’s Cornman Farms team in discussion, writing, and brainstorming their ideal brand identity. Our work together culminated in the development of key messaging for this client, including boilerplate, tagline, key messages, brand positioning statement, a master creative strategy, and guidance on media relations and social media plans.

Core Components of Branding Workshop:

  • Exploration of the history of Cornman Farms and its role within the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses
  • Story & messaging analysis
  • Clarity on the Cornman Farms brand
  • Team-directed SWOT analysis

Kieron Hales, Co-Managing Partner of Zingerman's Cornman Farms

“Before we worked with Your People, we were trapped in the every day and couldn’t look over the horizon. Our project allowed us to stop, take a breath, and identify our purpose. By the end of our time together we were armed with a new understanding of our brand positioning and strategy, and we knew the direction we needed to go in. Our work together was so valuable, I would go back and spend four times what we spent then.”


Liza Olympitis, Marketing Director, Zingerman’s Cornman Farms

“Your People conducted three productive seminars focusing on our business, brand and messaging. These seminars allowed our team to align our goals, core values and key messaging. Your People spent a lot of time getting to know our team and understanding the essence of our business!” 

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