A decorated Army Veteran for more than a decade, Jason Sunday is at the helm of Purple Penguin Digital and running a tight ship. Jason uses his keen military training to guide the Purple Penguin Digital team in implementing strategic digital marketing programs for clients. This Q&A blog offers you the opportunity to get to know the leader of our company better.
Jason, how long were you in the military and what was your role?
I served in the Army for 11 years, both as a cannoneer and in combat arms. I had deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, totaling three years overseas, and then spent the rest of my time in the Reserves. My primary role was operating cannons, including Howitzers and other artillery. In the military, there’s a division between Officers, who focus on strategy, and Enlisted personnel, who execute the strategic plans. I chose the path of an enlisted soldier tasked with mission execution.
How have your military experiences and skills impacted the way you run your company today?
My military background is a fundamental part of my leadership approach in the company. It all starts with discipline. I often refer to the acronym SAD, which stands for Standards, Accountability, and Discipline. This principle shapes our company’s structure, hierarchy, and the way we assign missions and responsibilities to each team member. Timely and budget-conscious execution of duties is crucial for our clients, and this military-inspired approach ensures we operate as a cohesive unit. I also incorporate military principles like “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” While I’m not a micro-manager, I strongly believe in accountability.
What is your vision for leading your agency?
I tell the team that each member plays a vital role, just like spokes on a wheel. If everyone fulfills their individual missions, the wheel turns smoothly. No specific job or responsibility is more critical than another. Everyone has taken on their duties, and they must complete them. Similar to soldiers, everyone has a task to accomplish, and this contributes to the greater good – in the military, it’s the mission; in our company, it’s the bottom line, and this leads to everyone’s success. You know the adage: “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” That’s why it’s crucial to lift everyone around you, and that’s why being a Team Player is one of our Core Values.
What is your company’s mission?
Our company’s mission is deeply rooted in our commitment to growth and values. We follow a Vision/Traction Organizer (VTO) framework based on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) business model. This method enables us to align our efforts with our Core Focus/Purpose: To inspire business, professional, and personal growth. Moreover, our Core Values – Team Player, Adaptable, and Driven – serve as the guiding principles that drive our team’s dedication to our mission.
As an IFA (International Franchise Association) supplier, why do you feel franchising is the ideal vertical?
The franchise model is similar to the military in that the franchisor acts as the Mothership, providing processes, procedures, and standards that can work across various locations. Franchisees, much like non-commissioned officers or enlisted soldiers, seek guidance from the franchisor on the best way to run the business, while still having flexibility to adapt to their specific communities. Franchisees in different regions might operate slightly differently, but the core product remains consistent. I appreciate the franchise model’s system and process, aligning with my military background.
How would a franchise client benefit from Purple Penguin Digital’s services?
Franchises can gain a lot from teaming up with Purple Penguin Digital. We understand the nuances of the franchise industry, and we’ve got a strong track record. We can tailor marketing strategies for a franchisor and each franchisee, taking their unique brand and location into account. Plus, we’re all about using data and strategy to set you up for long-term success. We’ve got you covered with a wide range of services to increase your online presence, from social media marketing and PPC to directory listings, content and more, making us your go-to for digital marketing. Plus each client receives a dedicated Account Manager who is Certified as a Digital Expert. We’re not just a vendor. We truly are your partner and committed to helping your franchise grow.
Why did you choose the name Purple Penguin Digital?
We chose the penguin as our mascot because it symbolizes adaptability and loyalty to our clients and our team. We maintain a high client retention rate of 96% and even higher employee retention rate because of these values. Plus, the color purple represents wisdom and creativity, further complementing our attributes as an agency. We’re proud of our extraordinary brand name and logo.
How does managing a mostly virtual agency affect you, your employees, and clients?
For employees, working remotely has allowed us to attract top talent from across the country. We’ve become more culturally diverse in terms of backgrounds and experience.
On the client side, remote work has provided significant benefits. People now expect and prefer remote work, which has allowed us to be more efficient and flexible in meeting client needs. We continue to engage with clients through various means, including in-person events and virtual meetings, adapting to their preferences.
How does your faith impact your management and day-to-day decision-making?
I believe faith is at the core of everything. It reminds us that life isn’t all about us and that there’s a greater purpose to our actions. Having God at the center of my life and the alignment of my Vice President and Marketing VP with these values help us make sound decisions as a company. While profitability and other business metrics are essential, they should not consume us. We must focus on helping people, as this is what truly matters in the long run. Our values and integrity are critical in conducting business.
Tell me about your family and the hobbies you enjoy.
I’ve been married to my wife, Emily, for nearly 24 years, and we have three kids: Thatcher, who lives in Colorado, Macy, a junior at Winona State in Minnesota, and Kenzie, a high school senior also in MN. We also have a beloved Doodle dog named Bruno. My family is a top priority for me. Golf is my passion, and I enjoy playing and watching various sports. Working remotely has allowed us to relocate our headquarters to Nebraska, bringing us closer to family.
What’s a fun fact that few people know about you?
Not many people know this about me, but I’m a huge foodie! When I travel, it’s all about exploring new restaurants and trying different cuisines. I’m open to trying any kind of food. Bring it on!