Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Tucker.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jeremy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story starts, I would say when I was convinced I was destined to become a doctor – if Clooney could make it look sexy on ER, then that’s the path for me. I did everything I was supposed to do in college to make it happen, I double majored, I took calculus (twice cause I loved it – and didn’t pass the first time), I took the MCAT (and cried), I took a year off to live with my uncle an anesthesiologist so I could just be around medicine (I stood in the back of the OR for over 20 operations/procedures). I told my friends and family as much as I could, reveling when they sounded impressed.
Then it was time to apply, and I completely froze. It hit me that I didn’t actually want to do the things doctors did, I just wanted the title and the status. I felt embarrassed, guilty, childish – but free. It was liberating to get hit with the clarity that you can fool yourself into wanting a whole entire life based purely on a perception.
Damn you Clooney.
I realized in a second that it was the perception of being seen as a doctor that I wanted, not the reality. And at that point, for some reason I just knew – if I can fool myself with a perception strong enough to will myself through med school prep, the power of perception must be real, then I wanted to learn more about it; I knew immediately after “perceptioning out” of the med school route, that I wanted to learn more about the power of perception and helping people learn how to use it as a tool.
From that point right at the end of undergrad freshly liberated, I followed the path of learning how to understand and utilize perception. I was a rowing coach, learning how to plant the seed of victory in the team’s minds, and watching as it turned into an actual belief, into actions, and into actual victories. I was a musician manager in San Diego where I’m from for a few years, helping musicians understand that talent is relative, but if you can convince people you ooze sex and confidence, and with some strategic style choices, you could get singles on the radio and people to show up to unnecessarily theatric live shows. And when I landed at an organizational development consulting shop helping companies turn themselves around from the inside out, largely through deploying and mechanizing perception in ways that willed people into better collaborators, better team players, and better innovators – I knew that the path I was most excited about would be wherever “helping businesses grow” married with “perception”. Enter brand strategy.
It was at business school that I realized there was a field completely dedicated to the perception of business, and how to help businesses become better by using perception strategically, called brand strategy. As soon as I found that path, I was heads down and cranking for the next ten years.
My entire post-Clooney arc was about brand strategy, it just took some time to piece it together: from helping teams win more by helping them think they could, to helping musicians sell more by thinking they’re sex gods, to helping companies perform better by helping them think they could – it all led to a formal career as a brand strategist.
I entered a brand strategy firm as a junior analyst in Los Angeles and the rest is history for the most part.
I spent several years in downtown Los Angeles living the life of a brand strategist consultant, traveling the country helping companies and teams make their businesses better, all through this thing I learned about when Clooney kicked my ass.
With LA as where I’ll always call home and work with amazing clients, a few years ago I added NYC to my portfolio, to help the firm I was with start the New York office. And then in early 2020, called by a bigger life challenge, I started my own brand consulting agency with a presence in NYC and LA, plus am working on a few other start-ups. But at the end of the day, everything I do, and I imagine will continue to do, lives at the center of understanding and using perception to help things get better. Just like Clooney did in ER.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
All things are smooth in the rearview mirror.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Keith & June Brand Agency – what should we know?
Keith & June is a brand growth agency.
We’re a brand agency, so we help companies build their brands with all the typical elements, from the brand story to the brand identity, all the way to brand experience and communications.
But where we spend most of our time is in helping business leaders understand that their brand decisions need to very specifically be built to drive their business growth goals, otherwise the brand becomes an exercise in short term relevancy or truly just something that looks good, but doesn’t actually help the business grow.
That’s the job of the Brand Growth Strategy – it sits just after the business strategy, and helps inform precisely what route the brand should take in order to lead the way to the growth goals the business is after.
It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how often businesses, and typical creative agencies, just don’t build brands this way. The typical way a company or a standard creative / advertising agency might think about building a brand is to deploy fun platitudes like “a brand with purpose” or a “story brand”, or my favorite because it’s so obtuse “an authentic expression of who we really are”.
Those qualities aren’t bad to have in a brand, they’re really important in fact. But the truth is that if your brand isn’t very strategically engineered with growth goals in mind, it’s really ONLY just a story, and not actually a strategy.
What we’re after is helping big thinking business leaders understand that their brands need to ooze into and out of every single aspect of their business – that realistically you shouldn’t be able to tell where “the business” stops and “the brand” begins”. That’s the goal of brand growth strategies and systems: to unite the hemispheres of the business, which might be thinking operationally or financially or tactically, with the brand, which thinks about people, storytelling, experiences, and of course, perception. The two will work better together, but too often, they’re not built that way.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
When it comes to our brand agency, success for us is about helping leaders build a solid growth path towards three important good things: 1) obviously towards good business growth whatever that may be for them, 2) towards good social growth and impacting society in positive ways which isn’t just a trend anymore, it’s something all brands must do to thrive, and possibly most importantly 3) towards good people growth, whether that’s a focus on their own culture and employees, or even just on themselves as leaders to become ‘more good’. If a brand growth strategy doesn’t help triangulate between good business, good society and good people, then it’s not a good answer.
And then, when it comes to me personally as a leader, success is becoming more internal than external. Success to me is now about leading with purpose and boldness so that the business leaders I work with get motivated and pushed to think bigger and better themselves. My goal is to not just help big thinking leaders build tomorrow’s most exciting and impactful brands for good, but also help the humans at the wheel, so they can wrestle with their own inner Clooney’s, and come out better people for it.
- Website: www.keithandjuneagency.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeremyatucker/