Addicted to Brands? an interview with Founder Michael Mann
Miron BykovLondon - 11/11/2019
Today we spoke to Michael Mann, Co-founder & Creative Director of Brand Culture
Brand Culture, co-founded by Michael Mann in 2004, isacreative promotions agency that harnesses the power of entertainment and lifestyle to light up the path to purchase. It is uniquely structured to combine international and domestic brand promotions teams, a partnerships division and entertainment expertise to help you grow brand love and sales.
Tell me about the day the idea was born. There wasn’t a sudden spark, it was as always, a gradual process. My business partner and Brand Culture co-founder Scott White and I met when working on the Walt Disney Pictures Brand Partnerships account at an agency in the late 90s. Scott left to set up a Stock Brokerage and began doing the marketing for that. As he was doing that it occurred to him that there was a gap in the marketing agency environment for an agency to use the power of data and digital platforms to automate finding appropriate partners for brands. In other words, a dating agency for brands, where software would do the grunt work in the initial phases of matching brands.
That was his idea for ‘Brand Exchange’ and we soon had our first client in 2004. However, the digital side of this idea never developed because there were other first movers in the market, so we simply carried on doing the offline part by calling and arranging meetings with brands…
What was the biggest turning point in the life of Brand Culture? In the 15 years Brand Culture has been going, I’d have to say our biggest turning point occurred fairly recently. It has been the crystallisation of what our offering to brands is and an articulation of our specialism. By embracing this fully a surprising turning point has been created.
Three top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:
Don’t try to do this all by yourself. If you are not fortunate enough to have a partner, make sure there is someone around who you trust.
Fall up not down: building on what hasn’t worked is crucial.
Create Zorro circles. Set small achievable goals for each day rather than stressing about the macro things that are perhaps too big to take on or too far in the future to have a genuine effect on.
What gets you out of bed every morning? What’s really special for me is knowing that I have a great bunch of people at work to share the day with. Knowing that we are in control of our own destiny also makes me excited.
What did you want to be when you were little? When I was really little there wasn’t anything in particular. I always liked writing and the creative side of things, most likely being influenced by my father who was a copywriter and designer.
Favourite Disney character: If it is Disney alone – Moana (she reminds me of my daughter) If it’s Disney Pixar – Buzz Lightyear
What is Brand Culture planning for the world next? We want to become increasingly known for award-winning international brand promotions, that use the power of entertainment to help brands achieve their marketing objectives.