I am in my element where technology, creativity and human nature collide — that place where capitalism happens. I’m energized by the world’s rapid rate of change and the undeniable consistency of human nature and its relationship with brands. My world-view on marketing, and in fact on business, is holistic. Everything aligned, working together to amplify the brand experience across media, channels, devices and locations.
Over the years, I’ve gained some perspective. Perspective on people and brands and their inextricable connection to capitalism. I learned early on that building business is both science and art. It requires a commitment to both revenue and relevance – something I’ve been doing for some time. I built a $170M integrated agency working with some of the world’s finest brands in the world. I am a co-founder of an investment bank. I do M&A and work with private equity and venture capital. I’ve shepherded a public .com out of receivership, done start-ups, turn-arounds, transformations and managed culture change. And I remember what it’s like to blow up when the tech bubble burst in 2001. No doubt, a bit of an eclectic skill set. But it more than adds up when considering a holistic approach to building brands and building business. Being a good leader, getting the most creativity out of oneself and others, and doing brilliant work all require understanding the big picture.
Along the way, I try to remember a few simple truths:
- While capitalism makes the world go around, marketing makes capitalism go around.
- Successful companies make their culture and their people a priority. Employees are their first constituency.
- In all great businesses, the entire enterprise is aligned around common goals and objectives, everyone living and breathing the company’s brand values, marching to the same tune.
- Technology, tactics, and behavior will always change. Reliably, the human condition will not.
- Brands are living things with which we have relationships. They must be nurtured and maintained. Building brand is building business.
- Never underestimate the intangible power of branding to build value.
- Successful brands are honest, transparent, and stand for something of value beyond their core offerings.
- In today’s fragmented marketplace, everything is social and everything is mobile.
- And an inevitable truth, great clients make for great work, every time. I’ve been lucky enough to have more than a few.