This month’s spotlight shines on Brandon Birkmeyer, owner and founder of Brandon Brands Inc. He and KIS founder Iza Erskine met at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, and a beautiful friendship was formed. They recently sat down to talk about where Brandon has been, where he is now, and where he wants to be.
Striking a New Path
Up until two years ago, Brandon was on a safe path. He had been in the field of marketing and advertising for 18 years, working at ad agencies straight out of college and dealing with household names like Coca-Cola, Walmart, Wells Fargo, and Apple. Most recently, he had spent three years leading the brand strategy for Jack in the Box as their Media Director. He helped huge companies determine how to spend their advertising dollars in the right place, at the right time, to reach the right audience. Then it dawned on him that this path might not be as safe as he thought.
Brandon realized that since he wasn’t building his own brand, he wasn’t in charge of his own destiny. The people he looked up to were starting to struggle, and that could be his future as well. As he explains, “If I wasn’t building my own brand and my own reputation, I would become a commodity. I didn’t want to be replaceable, someone you could just sub in or out and get rid of.” He needed to do something for himself, so he made a commitment to figure out what that was – to find his own voice and what he wanted to be known for.
Lessons Learned and Passed On
Starting his own business came with plenty of challenges. Brandon had to develop skills he’d never used previously, like how to hunt for clients and create a sales process. He was great at having conversations but hadn’t had to worry about anything besides strategy and marketing. Now he needed to have a way to figure out if potential prospects were a good fit to partner with and to develop their trust. Brandon: “It was scary, it was hard, I’ve had to change my path a few times as I figure out what I actually like doing. I want to build something for me, where I determine my own destiny.”
The good parts, though, are great. Brandon loves having an impact on people, sharing ideas and collaborating, to help them find their voice. He focuses on the all-important marketing duo of message and attention. “If I don’t get the creative just right to get people to stop and look, then it doesn’t even matter if I’m in the right channels to get their attention. I’m working on balancing those two things out so that when I create something, it’s able to go the distance instead of just disappearing after a day.” He’s constantly in learning mode, researching what other people are doing effectively so he can model and improve on it.
Brandon’s goal is to help others do what he did, to make themselves irreplaceable, and avoid becoming a commodity. The more stages he can get on and the more shows he can create, the more people he can help find their voice…and he hopes they’ll in turn help other people. He enjoys taking complicated tips and making them simple for anyone that needs marketing advice. As he says, “‘Never settle’ is my mantra for the rest of time.”
Favorites – Social Media and Tacos
Brandon’s favorite social media platforms are LinkedIn and TikTok because they give him the ability to reach well beyond the people that already know his work. He’s interviewed several of the top TikTokers, looking to answer that eternal question: How does a marketing nerd show value in a 15-second video He’s working on it! As always, Iza wants to know friends’ taco recommendations. Brandon lives out in L.A., a few miles from the beach, so he definitely has options. His favorite is the Mexican-style carne asada tacos, in corn tortillas, from the street vendors’ carts. Sure, there are plenty of fancy restaurants doing the trendy fusion-style tacos, but the street tacos get his vote every time.
Where to Find Brandon
If you’d like to learn more about Brandon and start a conversation, you have plenty of opportunities. Besides his website, you can connect with him on his podcast, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll let Brandon have the last word: “Simply put…I help businesses build their online brand and marketing approach. As a business community, we can accomplish so much more by working together.” Who wouldn’t want someone with that level of care and dedication to help grow their business? We’re so glad to know Brandon, and hope you’ll get to know him too!
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