An idea company specializing in marketing and events.

An idea company specializing in marketing and events.

What Exactly Do You Do?

This week marks the PGA Merchandise Show, one of the biggest events of the year for the golf industry. Roughly 40,000 golf industry professionals descend on Orlando to check out golf’s latest products, attend educational sessions and, mostly, network in a big way. I attended my first show in 2000 and have rarely missed it since.

Like everyone who attends, I expect to meet new people, renew old acquaintances and bump into friends I haven’t seen in ages. And I’m always ready for the inevitable question: “What does your company do?”

I am ready because in these environments, answering that question succinctly and convincingly can mean the difference between winning and losing a shot at new business relationships. Everyone in our company knows our elevator pitch and our “why.”

In case I don’t have the good fortune to bump into you this week in Orlando, let me answer your questions here: “What does 54 Brands do?”

54 Brands is an idea company specializing in marketing and events. We’re a small team of seasoned pros and big thinkers. Our core group combines business-oriented leaders, strategists, digital and print designers, writers, corporate entertainment and event planners, content marketing experts and project leaders. (Most of us are also golf nuts in some form or fashion.)

We’re our size by design.

We’ve all worked in big, lumbering shops, and we believe nimble is better. (A flats boat would have missed that iceberg; the Titanic didn’t have a chance.) Grant access to the right people, data and systems, and we’ll show you efficiency big shops can’t match.

We’re remote, but fully connected.

Long gone are the days of your entire staff walking into HQ by 8:30 a.m. and clocking out at 5:30 p.m. Our team collaborates from Michigan to Philly to Charlotte. We have our process down to a science by necessity.

We communicate efficiently.

The frenetic world we live in demands clear and consistent communication to keep projects on brand, on time and on budget. We have a formal process we vigilantly follow.

  • Onboard – 54 Brands goes deep with questions, expectations, requirements and goals.
  • Weekly – Connect and review previous six days’ results and update short- and long-term deliverables.
  • Monthly Leadership – Big idea discussions to evaluate progress and opportunities.
  • Ongoing – 54 Brands maintains a project manifest and scorecard for summarizing work and action items and evaluating key performance indicators.

We use the right systems for us … and for our clients.

Modern life is complicated. We keep our systems as simple as possible.

We don’t fear emerging technologies. We’ve tested most of them. We also don’t hesitate to drop those that don’t improve our process. (Slack is far more efficient than a Ping in Basecamp.) We keep what works for us and our clients.

  • Basecamp 3 – Our project management system is as transparent as our clients choose. Want to peek in on day-to-day progress? It’s right there. Prefer not to learn another digital platform? Even though BC3 is comparatively easy, we understand. Our weekly meetings will keep you in the loop.
  • Google Drive – When we need to collaborate, we share documents, spreadsheets and folders here.
  • Slack – Since a large portion of our team is remote, Slack has become our home away from home. We have channels set up for clients, interesting things we read and want to share and our whereabouts. (Slipping out for a coffee or lunch?) You can tell exactly how important Slack is by our average monthly message count: thousands per month.
  • Mac OS Tools – iMessage is great when email and phone just won’t cut through the clutter.

We’re big idea focused and project-oriented.

Before I merged The Burris Agency with a corporate entertainment and event management company in Charlotte to form 54 Brands, we have often talked about moonshots, and we still embrace the moonshot today. Not what you need to tackle today, next month or even next year, but what’s the big idea for your company. A moonshot shouldn’t be confused with a long shot, either. It’s a glimpse at the truth for your brand and your company.

Being project-oriented is our way of saying work ethic. In 1963, President Kennedy boldly challenged our nation to get behind the seemingly outrageous goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before the end of the decade. The successful achievement of that impossible dream meant handling often mundane daily tasks, each one critical to achieving the loftier final goal. In other words, getting things done — which we do.

What’s your elevator pitch? What’s your moonshot? Let us help you discover it, and we’ll work like hell to get you there.