Scott Brandon, CEO of The Brandon Agency gives his insights on being an agency with a "blue-collar" work ethic, his most important decisions as a CEO, changes in the ad industry, and more.
Read below to discover his thoughts on taking a blue collar mentality to your work.
Q> What is the connection between your “blue-collar” work ethic and the fact that many of your clients have worked with The Brandon Agency for multiple years?
Scott Brandon> Our blue-collar work ethic really comes down to my personal beliefs about work and effort. I started my first summer job when I was eight years old, scraping gum off the sidewalk in front of my grandfather’s gift shop. My parents were hard workers and expected my sister and I to do the same.
Sports were similar. I was cut from the ninth grade basketball team. After that experience, I had a basketball in my hand most of the time and practiced eight hours a day from that point on. As a result, I started every game from tenth grade on and got to play Division I college basketball. I attended Davidson College where classes were extremely challenging and I was surrounded by incredibly bright and gifted people. I had to work my tail off to get the grades I needed to go to law school.
So, for me, hard work breeds results. I think our clients see it and feel it in everything we do. We are tough and gritty and figure out ways to get things done, even when it is not in our own best interest to do so. In addition, many of our longest term clients have achieved great success and growth and have recognized our contribution to that growth. And that, of course, has led to more growth for us.
Q> What are the most important decisions you have made as the CEO of The Brandon Agency?
Deciding to expand our category expertise beyond resort/travel and real estate.
Moving our headquarters from Myrtle Beach to Charleston, South Carolina. This dramatically changed the perception of our Agency.
Hiring some great, talented people that have been with us for a long time.
Naming Tyler Easterling as President of the Agency.
Focusing on brand development agency-wide.
Q>The Brandon Agency is one of only 24 agencies certified as brand strategists in the U.S., and the only one in the Carolinas. How do you use that advantage to create a more meaningful connection between brands and consumers?
Our brand development process is based on some very important core beliefs that form the foundation for great strategy and great work. A powerful brand is really created by aligning a client’s vision, culture and image. We uncover their evidence of distinction and make sure that it is relevant, credible, durable and most importantly unique. Consumers are much smarter than people think. They can see through bullshit. If you want to really connect with them on a human level and evoke an emotional connection, you have to be real and true. We use this process and philosophy in everything we do. It leads to better insights, strategy and work for our clients.
Q> What does success in the advertising industry look like to you?
SB> Trust. Do our clients trust us? Do our employees trust us? When we have those two things, we are definitely successful.
Q> What is changing the most right now in the ad industry and what will be the effect of that change in the future of ad agencies?
SB> The biggest change we are facing is simply the speed of change. When I started in the agency business, the commercial internet did not exist. It took many years before it went mainstream. Today, technology is advancing at a much faster rate and this could happen even faster as quantum computing advances. I believe that AI will take over certain job functions that agencies currently provide and put even more pressure on agencies to deliver quantifiable results.