IMG_9505Around Brand Wise, we love to cook and relate almost everything to food.  We started thinking about back-to-school and decided that milk and cookies shouldn’t be just for afterschool kids. What better way for us hardworking adults to chill out than with a grownup milkshake and indulgent cookies.  We took some of our childhood favorites and put an adult spin on them adding premium chocolate, sea salt and decadent flavorings.

So what does this have to do with branding?  Well, it seems that cookies are like content marketing in today’s world.  Every piece of content needs to be important little bites of information, served up beautifully and truly habit-forming! We started with the humble Chocolate Chip Cookie and elevated it with premium chocolate and sea salt.  The cookies are also the secret ingredient in our Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake. Since we were on a sea salt craze, we decided to mix up some Salted Caramel Milkshakes.  And serve them with our favorite Almond Cloud Cookies.


 New York Times Famous Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups minus 2 tbsp. cake flour

1 2/3 cups bread flour

1¼ tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp. baking powder

1½ tsp. course kosher salt

2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

1¼ cups light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1¼ lbs. bittersweet chocolate chunks (recommended 60% cocoa by Ghirardelli)

sea salt (recommended Maldon)


Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk well and then set aside.  Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla, reduce the mixing speed to low, and then add dry ingredients until combined.  Add in chocolate chunks and disperse throughout the dough.  Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop the dough onto a sheet pan.  This will make about 2-3 dozen cookies.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for two to three hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees, place on a nonstick or greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown but still soft.  Hold 3 cookies for later to use in each milkshake.  As for the rest, serve and enjoy!


 Almond Cloud Cookies

10 ounces almond paste ( We use King Arthur)

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

¼ tsp. gluten-free almond extract (We use King Arthur)

1/8 tsp. extra-strong bitter almond oil (We use King Arthur)

confectioners’ sugar


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease two baking sheets.  Blend the almond paste, sugar, and salt until the mixture becomes uniformly crumbly.  Add the egg whites while mixing until the dough forms a smooth paste.  Next, stir in the flavorings and scoop the dough using an ice cream scoop or spoon onto the prepared baking pans.  Sprinkle the cookies heavily with confectioners sugar and then use 3 fingers to press an indentation into the center of each cookie.  Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are brown around the edges.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake

2½ cups coffee ice cream

1½ cup milk

½ cup Irish cream liqueur

3 large chocolate chip cookies

6 ice cubes


Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.  Pour into a glass and top with your chocolate chip cookies.


Salted Caramel Milkshake

 1 Cup Caramel Sauce

1 Teaspoon Flaky Sea Salt

1 Cup Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

1 1/2 Ounces Rum

1/2 Cup Whole Milk


Pour caramel into milkshake glasses.  Mix ice cream, milk, and caramel sauce in a blender.  Add rum and salt and blend again.  Pour milkshake into the glasses and garnish with caramel drizzle.  Serve and Enjoy


It was such an amazing day on Friday, May 15, 2014.  Surrounded by friends and family, Jamie Dunham received the Nashville American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award at a luncheon held by the AAF.   No, as several have joked, there is no gold medal.  The Silver Medal award is the highest honor bestowed by the group and represents creativity and contributions to her company, the advertising profession, and to the community.

The Nashville award has been given to recipients annually since 1959.  Jamie is one of only five women to have received the honor.  Included in the past recipients are many of Jamie’s close friends and associates – Jeffrey Buntin, Sr., Jeffrey Buntin, Jr., S. A. Habib, Art Johnsen, David Bohan, Bill Holley, Jack Pentzer, John Guider, Linda Sherman and Jim Sherraden.

The honor topped her 25 year career in Nashville.  Jamie has worked in the Nashville advertising community since 1989. She has spent much of her time helping brands craft their own story.  Her roles have included Chief Planning Officer at BOHAN Advertising|Marketing, Executive Vice President, Management Partner at the Buntin Group, and currently, owner/president of Brand Wise.  Previous to Nashville, she worked in the Houston advertising market.





65a15f5839fa11e393b222000aa8011b_6There’s a great story on social media ads reported by the LA Times and savvy writer Jessica Guynn.  The piece, entitled “Like it?  Social ads turn users into unwitting endorsers”, talks about the policies of Facebook and Google to turn our “Likes” into personal endorsement ads.  I am not a fan of endorser ads as you can tell from my quote in the story.

Here’s how the endorsement works:  You click on a “like” or Google “+1” and that endorsement might show up in an ad without your approval.  We have all participated in “Likes” to get a coupon or enter a contest, but we really didn’t like that brand enough to have our name used as an unknowing advertiser.

Social media is supposed to foster authenticity, transparency and conversation between brands and consumers.  It seems that using our unwitting acknowledgements as advertising flies in the face of the basic tenets of social media.

It also seems to work as a deterrent from every clicking on a “like” again.  What’s your take?  Want to be an endorser?



Brand Wise has been working with Integrity Solutions to bring their brand new relevance for today’s marketplace.  The company provides sales training, customer service and coaching solutions for many Fortune 500 companies.
integrity-portfolioThe brand needed a new face and new ways to reach their target audience.   Integrity Solutions now has a new brand identity, a brand strategy, a new website, a content strategy and new ways to communicate with their audience through social media, email campaigns, and new delivery systems like Populr.  Brand Wise worked alongside Ah So Designs to provide a website that is just as responsive as Integrity Solutions.  Ross Jones at  2theTop Design  provided SEO expertise and  Marla Ink Productions provided succinct new white papers for the website.