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I live by four: Anything is possible. Look at the big picture. Pay It Forward. Always eat pie.

At the age 50 (the new 38) I decided to parley my skills as a professional, Latinx, screenwriter and director and launch my own NYC-based branding agency called Connecting Dots Guru. My film “Gray Matters” now on Amazon Prime has a triple entendre message about what matters in the life of my heroine, Gray. I often think about what matters for a brand.


For me, founding a branding agency was a natural diversification of my talents. Who better to tell a story than a trained story-teller, wordsmith and director? My language is words and images. I went to UCLA film school because I wanted to follow Francis Ford Coppola’s footsteps. The Godfather is not only one of the greatest movies ever made but became the ultimate branding tool the mafia ever had. Iconic phrases like “Sleep with the fishes, or “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” only made the mafia cooler and became part of American vernacular. If the Mafia had recruiting centers like the Army, men would have been lining up around the block, to join. When my team is competing to get a client, we gently remind the clients that true, artistic, visionary talent is hard to come by. I went to film school, my art director Jeff Yas was an anthropology major, we are out-of the-box branding talents and wear our disruptors hats, proudly.


At CDG, story is everything. Every brand must have a story with a compelling beginning, middle and end and cinematic imagery to go with it. We love building a brand from the ground up or rebranding a brand who is willing to lead with courage versus fear. We created our own storytelling, trademarked tools including a flipbook called “Storybooks” and a unique, navigational, branding process called “BrandQ,” that takes clients on a story-telling, journey of mapping their past, present and future trajectory.


As a word gal, great copywriting is imperative whether it’s for a brand name, tag line or brand storytelling. We landed the job of rebranding Hedy Schleifer, one of the most successful marriage counselors in world. She never liked the words; therapist or marriage counselor, so we rebranded her completely with a new website, logo and tag line: “master relationship builder.”

Imagine all spouses asking their significant others to go to a “relationship builder” instead of a marriage counselor. The feeling, especially for men, is entirely different. It makes everyone want to be a part of building something rather than fixing something!

When hired to name-brand two Diversity & Inclusion brands and a sustainability, consulting firm, we pondered many word incarnations.

The first, a company using gameplay to tackle unconscious bias, we landed on CLU. It’s a playful yet intentional take on deep rooted ideology, ultimately getting people to “clue into” systemic racism. For Jeannine Carter, a veteran, innovator in the D&I world, we wanted to build a brand that encapsulated innovated inclusivity: Incluvations was born. EcoCentric was ideated for a firm devoted to saving the planet and our own logo is interwoven circles of color symbolizing connection. We live by our tag line “creative disruptors.”


I seem to have a prescient gift of predicting trends in colors way in advance of Pantone or historical trends. We chose taxicab—yellow for CLU as the main, brand color a year in advance of the same yellow becoming the predominant color in the Black Lives Matter movement. For a storage and trash enclosure design company called Citibin, we rebranded their color scheme completely veering away from green and instead choose Chartreuse, Sussex Blue, and Putty Gray as their main brand and logo colors. One year later, Billie Eilish was flaunting her chartreuse hair everywhere and fashion and design magazine covers around the world saw it as the trendiest color of the year.


As a filmmaker, images are crucial! We pride ourselves with working with cutting edge, fine art photographers to tell brand stories. For Incluvations, we came across the most brilliant photo that spoke a million messages and stories within one image taken by BIPOC fine art photographer, Rob Woodcox. One image can tell volumes of stories.


Give back. It’s that simple. We contractually ask all our clients to give to one of our chosen charities and we encourage and advise all brands to find their avenue of paying it forward. In the world we live in, authenticity and kindness is finally being looked at amongst consumers. People often want to invest in something that makes this world a better place. We made our vote PSA titled Be Dope Vote for zero dollars. Not one! It had over a million hits. Not one person got paid but we did it to make a difference. That’s what matters to me and my company. Oh, and end each week with pie. Reward yourself! It matters! Pie matters.


By Sue Zarco Kramer

CEO/Creative Director of branding agency Connecting Dots Guru. Kramer is a multi-hyphen talent. An accomplished, Latinx Filmmaker & Screenwriter.

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Feb 25

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