The Challenges of Growing a Conscious Brand and How to Overcome Them

With more than 30 years of marketing and advertising experience, Lee Ann Fortunato-Heltzel has worked alongside clients like 3M and Revlon, winning prominent art direction awards for both national ad agencies and her own marketing business. She has mastered the promotion process and in today’s ever-changing marketing landscape, she understands the unique challenges conscious brands face.

These are some of the highlights from our interview with Lee Ann Fortunato-Heltzel:

Q: What is a conscious brand and how does it differ from a traditional business?

With the bottom line the strongest driving force in a traditional brand, it’s common for more traditional companies to have a completely fabricated image (think Mad Men). This has long been acceptable and perceived as necessary for financial success. 

A conscious brand however is transparent, purpose-driven, and deeply connective. Coming from a state of awareness, it is here to serve seeking real connection with consumers. Conscious brands organically ‘do good’ in all aspects of their inner and outer persona and because of this, consumers align, respect, and stand by the brand. The bottom line is built through trust, the right relationships, and holistic loyalty.

Q: What are the top 3 challenges entrepreneurs face when growing a conscious business? 

Conscious business isn’t a buzzword or temporary fad to placate consumer’s evolving expectations of what they require from a brand. It is a complete reframing of what business is here to do. By improving life on the planet from the consumer to the employees, internal processes, and how problems are solved, new thoughtful solutions are required. The most encouraging element of conscious business is the opportunity for creative innovation and making life better, in addition to profit. 

The top 3 challenges entrepreneurs face when growing a conscious business:

1. Determining how best to poise your company to serve. It is critical to make sure the core structure and mission of a company is in line with what your market needs. It’s wise to be introspective about what the highest potentials for the organization are and the individuals bringing it to market. This assures a holistic balance, therefore establishing the ‘conscious foundation’ for the business. Think of it as a conscious addition to one’s business plan offering insights into the future.

2. Walking the talk. A conscious brand needs to, well…, be conscious. This includes everything from your processes, how you treat your employees, the culture you create inside and outside the brand. Staying in ‘conscious integrity’ requires a new litmus test to be in place to navigate creating an environment where consciousness isn’t an added responsibility but rather the cornerstone of how you make choices as you deepen the brand.

3. Right alignment. Businesses don’t operate in a vacuum. Being a conscious business means being responsible for the outcomes of everything you produce, offer and do. Therefore, it’s critical to align with vendors, consultants, and resources that are functioning from that same holistic space.  Finding those like-minded successful counterparts are becoming easier to locate as more companies like Shift/Co come online to support, grow and connect conscious businesses. 


Q: What are ways entrepreneurs can overcome these challenges in their business? 

For the individual entrepreneur, commit to growing as an individual. To evolve in empathy and awareness of our responsibility as an individual expands how we show up in business. Be open to, and balance, personal growth mentally, spiritually, or physically. 

For the larger businesses, whether a staff of 1,000 or a handful of freelancers, conscious entrepreneurs should strive to create a culture that offers transparency, trust, empathy, and support to create a conscious infrastructure. Building a creative environment is fertile ground for new ways to innovate, improve products/services, and profit. A company culture that is positive allows marketing that is truthful and genuine. 

Q: What resources have you found to be the most impactful when it comes to boosting your confidence as an entrepreneur and shifting your mindset? 

Simply put, self-work. The better I am at being a human, the better I am as an entrepreneur and the better service my conscious business can offer. We spend upwards of 200,000 hours of our lives working. The greatest way to build my brand and serve my clients starts with a conscious mindset, an ongoing skill to self-evaluate, reach and grow into a deeper understanding of myself and then the world. 

Finding other like-minded individuals for support is perhaps the single greatest resource for my expansion and growth. Purpose-driven networking creates an even greater impact than we could do alone. These connections support ways to creatively explore how we show up and use those precious 200,000 + hours.


About Lee Ann Heltzel:









Lee Ann Fortunato-Heltzel brings more than 30 years of award-winning marketing and advertising experience, working alongside clients like 3M and Revlon. Her multi-dimensional marketing firm, Creative One, serves conscious creatives and leading-edge thinkers that desire to utilize higher consciousness and human potential to harness creativity and create new outcomes for success. Through her Signature MetaWork she accesses the organization’s  ‘point of highest potential’ and carries that unique energy signature throughout the brand and practical marketing efforts.
To learn more go to:

You can also find her on LinkedIn Facebook, and Instagram. 

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