Yesterday marked 16 years since I started my brand strategy consultancy. I wrote a simple mission statement on June 16, 1997 – “to help good people build great brands” – and that remains my mission some 5,844 days later.
I’m the only guy on my payroll, but I’ve never worked alone. The success of this business has many parents, among them:
My clients. They’ve been the best a guy could ask for – smart, curious, committed to doing the right things and doing them right, and just good folk with whom to break bread or raise a glass.
My teachers. I’ve had the good fortune to learn from some very sharp minds throughout my career – whether through books, articles, models or, especially, in person.
My partners. On occasion, client needs dictate the formation of a project team. That means I get to team up with certain designers, market researchers, and other folks whose work and character I trust, which is always a treat.
My informal board of advisers. I’m very fortunate to have a clutch of folks I can turn to when I need perspective or advice. They’ve helped to “unblock” me many times, often for the bargain price of dinner, cocktails or a phone call.
The lesser lights. Like anyone else, I’ve had a few people enter my orbit with the intention, seemingly, of darkening it. Snarkers, Debbie Downers, naysayers, ne’er-do-wells – they’ve helped me to understand what really matters and have made me better at what I do.
My friends and loved ones. They’ve tolerated some crazy hours and the occasional last-minute change of plans, and have never been anything less than supportive.
My parents. Were it not for the values and work ethic my parents instilled in me, I wouldn’t have survived 16 weeks in business, let alone 16 years. They say you can’t choose your parents, but if I could, I’d pick mine all over again.
You, the reader. I have you in mind every time I work to articulate a thought or clarify a concept. Your comments and questions are an added bonus, because I learn from those too.
Thank you all for making it possible for me to do what I love.
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew founded Three Deuce Branding in 1997 with a simple mission: “To help good people build great brands.” He’s a former CMO who repeatedly led underdog brands to dramatically outpace the market, and now he does the same for the clients he serves. Businesses with revenues of seven to ten figures trust Matthew to help them achieve “brand clarity” through core brand strategy and positioning. Matthew is also a highly-rated speaker. Contact Matthew here. He’s based in Chicago.
Copyright 2014 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.