Today we’d like to introduce you to Teju Aluko.
Hi Teju, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m an intuitive empath from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who started Branperience in October 2018 in a coffee shop in Downtown Milwaukee with my two daughters, who were 13 & 15 at the time, after signing our first client in a meeting from a referral. We had no clue how we were going to do this on our own but, we – were willing to give it all we had, because it was all we had.
Although I’d spent the better half of my career, 12 years at that time, in the Branding and Marketing space in various industries and leading organizations from corporate retail to professional sports – I was now going to apply thought leadership and my approach and that I developed, which was influenced by those professional and personal experiences I’ve experienced along the way. The goal was to build Brand Experiences, not just campaigns and trends, that could compete with the “big guys”. I planned to partner with small businesses to sustain their experiences, despite dramatic budget & capacity differences, through memorable Brand Experiences fueled by feelings and emotions.
I had been working on this approach for about four years (2014) since I walked out of my corporate retail job of seven years with no plan, no job, no nothing – just thoughts, feelings, emotions, bills, and two kids. My educational background is in Business, Sport Management, Behavioral Science, and Psychology so I used those academic experiences and the countless hours of research, testing, tears, and laughs to refine my unique approach.
So in that coffee shop, we took all those experiences – professional, educational, and personal – and began to build Brand Experiences that emotionally impact the way we consumed brands – which influences our decisions and the way we use, buy, advocate, invest, support….everything with said brands and businesses. And that’s what we’ve been doing since that day.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’d say the roads been smooth enough that the few bumps that popped up on the drive weren’t big enough to stop us. And the biggest key to that has been the three Ds we operate by: disciple, discernment, and decisions.
There’s such a big learning curve in entrepreneurship – especially in the beginning stages, so you have to stay disciplined and diligent in the process. I know we’re taught “it’s just business not personal” but so much of your business, especially in entrepreneurship, begins personal. Usually, your business habits are an extension of the person you are outside of business – that’s why mindset in entrepreneurship is so important – before anything else if you ask me. Those three Ds are also the pillars I live by personally which has helped me stay afloat and thriving in business in spite of.
So when challenges arise like: the limited or obsolete access to funding for Black Women Business Owners or the pay wage gap for women or emphasizing the importance of integrated strategy over tactics + trends unlike most agencies, I’m able to stay disciplined in my approach, discern and adjust, and decide with action – through it all.
We’ve been impressed with Branperience, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Branperience [pronounced /bran-/spear-/re-/ence] is a Full- Service Brand Experience Firm that I founded in 2018. We’re a one-stop, all-inclusive Firm with a team full of empaths committed to building brands through memorable brand experiences the experiential way. Our approach to Brand Experiences is very unique and center end-to-end journeys through emotion-led relationships – not just one-off transactions like traditional Marketing and Branding.
Over the past few years, we developed a diverse portfolio supporting an array of industries, most notably in Sports & Entertainment, Nonprofits, Social Impact Organizations, and Product-Based Businesses across the Country.
Our work is centered on people and as people, we have emotions and feelings and those emotions and feelings are involved in everything we do – down to the way we use products, services, brands…everything. Science tells us that 90% of the decisions we make are based on emotion, not this rational thinking that we think they are – so we account for them and that’s what sets us apart.
I serve as the Chief Experience Officer where I spend my days crafting, refining, and managing integrated experiential strategies to be implemented, executed, and managed by our team, in the most important areas of our Stakeholders business: strategic development, business advancement, email, social, text, activations, and so much more. Our Stakeholders aren’t scrambling to find 8+ different agencies to handle siloed areas of their businesses, we’re all inclusive; so they can focus on a Return on Experience for them and their Stakeholders – and we’ll handle the rest.
Everyday, I’m most proud of the impact and results we continuously provide while fostering great relationships throughout the process. Our strategies have been proven to be “pandemic-proof” and I attribute that to building brand experiences that are more than transactional, in a time where being sold to is the last thing people want.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I don’t really believe that things happen by chance or luck, I believe that things happen the way they are planned to happen – good or bad, whether I understand them or not. And that concept + teaching from my upbringing has helped me in life and business because I know that what’s for me is for me and it won’t pass or miss me because there is no lack; and should trouble come – it doesn’t last because joy always comes in the morning.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.branperience.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tejualuko/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsAluko
- Other: The Experiential Way Podcast: https://anchor.fm/branperience