GRIN CEO Brandon Brown Discusses Future of the Creator Economy on WBMB Podcast

GRIN Co-Founder and CEO Brandon Brown sat down recently with Jodi Katz of the Where Brains Meet Beauty podcast to discuss life as a tech entrepreneur, the origins of the world’s first Creator Management platform, and the future of influencer marketing. 

Brown explained how social media now owns the most captivated audience in today’s digital environment as consumer attention moves further away from TV, radio, and other traditional mediums.

“Now, instead of tuning into company-owned media properties, you’re tuning into people like you and I on social media. And it’s happening at a very rapid rate.”

-Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN

From a marketing standpoint, this means authentic content creators have become consumers’ go-to source of honest product information and endorsements. But a mutual connection must exist for brands to effectively leverage these creators and their audiences. That means the creator must know the brand, use its products, and truly believe in its mission and values. 

“I can give you a bunch of money to say you like me, but if there isn’t actually a relationship between the brand and the creators, it’s just gonna come off as fake and transactional, and people are going to be able to see right through it.” 

-Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN

Brown was first introduced to a relationship-focused approach to marketing when he began working with Red Bull while attending Chico State in 2005. During his 5½ years with the company, he worked his way up from student brand manager to field marketing manager, responsible for a team of roughly 60 employees. 

“Red Bull’s whole strategy is how to create word-of-mouth [marketing] in communities that matter [to them],” Brown said. “And that showed me a part of marketing that I really enjoyed and that set me on a trajectory to continue to grow my career there.” 

Brandon Brown & Jodi Katz chatting live on the Where Brains Meet Beauty podcast
Brandon Brown & Jodi Katz chatting live on the Where Brains Meet Beauty podcast

While at Red Bull, Brown recognized how critical authenticity was to building brand equity and establishing credibility in hard-to-reach communities like skateboarding, surfing, streetwear, etc. 

“You have to actually add value to whatever the culture is,” he explained. “You can’t come into skateboarding, for example, and be perceived as credible unless you’re actually doing things to help accelerate skateboarding as a discipline and really giving back to the community in a real, honest, and authentic way.”

Brown founded GRIN as the world knows it today in 2017 to empower other brands to live by the same ethos. With a focus on building and maintaining authentic relationships, GRIN’s all-in-one Creator Management platform helps ecommerce companies build more valuable brands through the power of creator partnerships. 

This strategy was once known as influencer marketing. But it’s now clear that influencer marketing alone doesn’t address that fundamental shift brands must face to stay relevant in the creator economy. Those that want to become household names must now level up their strategy by leveraging multiple creator types—from athletes and affiliates to podcasters and bloggers—and incorporating a full-spectrum approach known as creator management. 

“If you look at athlete marketing, customer advocacy, employee advocacy, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing—those are all just people,” Brown said. “And now they all have social media. So they’re all creators as well, even if it’s just your neighbor. Everybody is a creator on social media. And so I think what will happen in the next five to 10 years is all this will merge into one discipline. And we describe that as creator management.”

And as creator management continues to gain momentum and more brands begin to recognize the ROI opportunities associated with it, Brown is confident that eventually, the strategy will become commonplace with every major consumer brand worldwide. 

“We think GRIN, when you look back on it in 20 years, will be a mainstay and a very large public company that will have changed the way that modern brands operate.”

-Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN

Watch the recording of the Instagram Live interview today.

About GRIN

GRIN is the pioneer behind the world’s first Creator Management platform built to support every brand’s journey to connecting with consumers through authentic creator relationships. Thousands of the world’s fastest-growing brands—including SKIMS, Warby Parker, Allbirds, Mejuri, and MVMT—use GRIN to make creators feel like trusted, empowered partners and work with them to build their brands into household names.

Visit our site for additional resources and more information on the world’s leading Creator Management platform.

About Where Brains Meet Beauty

Host Jodi Katz, the founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency, welcomes guests into a relaxed, authentic and honest conversation about their career journey, from the struggles to the highs, and the roller coaster ride in-between. Jodi seeks to reveal wisdom and insightful stories that will inspire future leaders in beauty.

Visit WhereBrainsMeetBeauty.com for full episodes and the latest on the podcast. 

All-in-one creator management platform helping ecommerce companies build more valuable brands through the power of creator partnerships.

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