Brandgineers bring creative ideas into the light
Brandon Beard, president and chief idea officer of Brandgineers, describes his venture simply:
“We engineer brands.” The explanation of how he got here is somewhat longer.
“I’ve been in the sales and marketing world for a long time. I was the vice president for Cumulus Broadcasting. I was also in print, radio, television, pretty much the whole gamut.”
Beard said when he was told by an employer that “they were going to go in another direction, I said I’d never work for anybody else again.”
So, he took what he had learned in his brief career and began his own marketing and advertising company. “I put my head down and knew I had all the knowledge to help people. It was grueling at first. I worked out of a small coffee shop in Bossier City.”
According to Beard, the work slowly grew, and he acquired more clients. He decided he needed to surround himself with talent. “That was two years ago. I hired my first person, who’s now my partner, Jonathan Posey, and then after that, we just grew.”
He said they now have over 30 business clients, including McNeese State University in Lake Charles. Part of the business is a traditional ad agency model, but the other part is a nonprofit called Dream Developments.
“It’s 100 percent focused on helping aspiring entrepreneurs start, implement business plans, marketing and get to monetization. A large part of our business is actually dedicated to that. There is no one place where somebody can walk in off the street, pitch an idea and never leave that building. That’s what we’re building here. We take them from the idea all the way to making money.”
He said there is no cost for the services which are focused on minority business owners. According to Beard, his goal is to turn the 8 percent minority business ownership statistic into more like nine or 10. “It’s 100 percent non-profit, donordriven, and there’s really nothing like it.
We start from the ground up. When they have an idea, we help them kind of storyboard it. Come up with a business plan.
We can help them pitch potential investors. We can walk them through designing what their branding material is going to provide them. We do websites. We do commercial production, digital marketing and advertising, and pretty much everything from A to Z.
“We’ve actually been working on Dream Developments for about six months, and not one person have we turned away. It’s really about us consulting with them and pointing them in the right direction. That really doesn’t take that long to figure out. To grow a suc cessful model, however, that stuff doesn’t happen overnight.”
The Brandgineers are in the process of moving from their current location in the Music Mountain Water building to a refurbished 27,000-square-foot facility across from the Shreveport Police complex on Texas Avenue. Beard said the facility will be more than an idea factory.
“We’re going to have monthly speakers. We’re building a retail coffee shop in here. It’s a free workspace for people to come in and work in. We’re going to have a production studio in here for audio and also video.
“We’re partnering with a bunch of schools where we’re going to bring kids in. There’s not a whole lot of people that teach digital advertising for children or studio production. Put them on actual sets and let them see what it’s like to be in front of a camera.”
Beard said his task is simple: focus on his clients’ missions, help people achieve their dreams. “It’s really that simple. It sounds cliché, but we don’t do anything unless it helps somebody.”
The team he’s assembled have similar backgrounds to Beard’s, but he said hiring the team was his absolute proudest accomplishment so far. “These people that are just as passionate as I. They have also been miscast, and they’ve been set aside. Some you’d even call outcasts or misfits at some point in their lives. Now we’re just one big, solid team seriously trying to change people’s lives.
“We are structured to provide a full team of experts in every field of marketing and advertising. You don’t just hire one of us, you hire a whole team. You hire a full team for just one price per month, and you get the whole team,” Beard says.