For Jeremy, branding is deeply personal. After watching his family’s business nearly hit rock bottom, he and his family were forced to take a long hard look at the way the company was run and at the industry as a whole.
Jeremy realized it wasn’t his company’s sales people or marketing processes that were failing, it was their brand. This caused him to regroup, revamp, and rebrand the business. And within a year the company turned the corner and rocketed into growth mode.
That experience inspired Jeremy to embark on a decade-long study of how companies grow recognizable, memorable brands — what he calls Sticky Brands.
Fast forward to today, Jeremy has interviewed thousands of CEOs and business owners and profiled hundreds of companies across dozens of sectors. He lives and breathes marketing, branding, and business development, and he knows what it takes to grow a Sticky Brand.
Jeremy works with companies to develop branding and marketing strategies that make them stand out and drive sales. He is a sought after speaker delivering highly entertaining and informative talks on branding and business development.
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The Back Story, in Jeremy’s Words
I was destined to work in branding and business development.
One of my earliest memories was making cold calls with my father. I sat beside him at his desk and dialed-for-dollars on my Fisher-Price phone.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My parents owned an IT Staffing firm and they taught me the principles of business, marketing, and sales. This influenced my career and my passions.
In 2000 I graduated from McMaster University, and started selling CRM software to companies throughout North America. It was a fun ride. I helped my clients improve their sales performance with software solutions. However, software sales was a stepping stone. My real goal was to join my family’s business, which I did in 2004.
My passion for branding was triggered once I joined my family’s business. I learned very quickly that the old ways of selling are dying.
This was apparent as soon as I joined the company. During the nineties our sales reps could acquire a new piece of business every single week. If they were diligent with their calls and built solid client relationships, they were successful.
But in 2004 the tables had turned. What used to take our reps a week to achieve was now taking them a month. And not only were we working four times harder to bring in the same amount of business, we were bringing in the wrong clients — clients that were unprofitable, unethical and unpleasant to work with.
I can take hard work, but dealing with bad clients is a different story. We had to change.
That decision to change led to a major rebranding of our business: a new name, new identity, new positioning, new strategy, new everything. We didn’t go through evolutionary change, we went through revolutionary change. Within nine months of the rebrand we turned a corner and rocketed into growth mode.
Between 2005 and 2013 (when we sold the company), our brand was a sales machine. The phone rang weekly with new clients and new opportunities. The brand generated at least a client a week, and in peak periods it generated a client a day. The pace didn’t even let up during the great recession of 2009 and 2010. The phone kept ringing and our sales were consistent.
Rebranding my family’s business was the trigger event that brought me into the world of branding. I learned that the sales and marketing strategies that worked five or ten years ago are no longer relevant. A new playbook for branding and business development is required.
This realization brought me into a decade-long study of how small- and medium-sized companies innovate and grow Sticky Brands.
Sticky Branding, the business, was born out of the success of rebranding my family’s business. Our clients noticed how we were growing our brand, and they asked for our help and advice. The consultancy started small, but it blossomed and was spun off into its own company in 2009. Client demand created this business.
In 2013 I was approached by publishers to share my research and experience, and in 2015 Dundurn Press published my first book, Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers, and Grow an Incredible Brand. It was an instant bestseller. Hardcopies of the book sold out within four hours of the book’s release, and it rocketed to #1 on the Globe and Mail Bestsellers list. It even beat Oprah on the bestsellers list (that accomplishment went on my resume).
The work continues. The more I dig into branding and the changing world of business, the more intrigued I become. This is my passion, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I always welcome hearing from you. Feel free to reach out to me anytime. I’d love to help you grow your brand.