“We want more people to know and talk about us.”
This is the fundamental request Julie Weber most often gets from clients. And as the CMO and Principal at Brllnt, a full-service creative agency, achieving that is her specialty.
Julie moved to Washington, D.C. at 20 to finish college and pursue her career as a journalist. But when Julie started writing, she quickly realized she wanted to tell people’s stories in a more creative medium.
After earning her agency chops working for international brands like Hilton and Comcast, Julie channeled her storytelling skills to highlight the human element of building a brand — from e-commerce to digital marketing.
“Brands have a tendency to make it about business, even if it’s a B2C product,” said Julie. “What you really need to figure out is: how do people respond to this product in a human way?”
Interested in attending the next Justwomen event?
Highlighting the Human in E-Commerce
The key, Julie has found, is not to lose sight of the human behind the marketing metric.
She achieves that by approaching projects with a people-first philosophy.
“We always approach projects based on a people-first philosophy,” said Julie. “Any business or e-commerce strategy has to be centered around an individual making that purchase — whether online or in-person.”
And personalizing e-commerce will be front and center at the next Justwomen event in D.C, where Julie will explore the topic with Susan Tynan of Framebridge.
“We’re all selling to people who are moms, dads, brothers, sisters, overworked, underpaid, needs a vacation,” said Julie. “How do you make something easier, better, stronger, or cheaper for them? That’s what we’re working to solve.”
Building a Strong Foundation
It’s only fitting that in order to promote human brands, Brllnt also prioritizes the human element of their own company.
“We scale thoughtfully and base it on work we know is coming in and what is sustainable. Because we operate from a people-first philosophy within our company as well, we have unlimited PTO and our team actually uses it,” said Julie. “We operate around the idea, ‘I care about what I need to do, but I also need to take care of myself.’ That is principal to building a strong business as we grow — if you’re happy at home, you’re happy here.”
Her final piece of advice for building a successful human brand for scale? “Walk before you run. You don’t want to get to a space where you don’t have core principles in place. It’s easier to build up and revise later, than to wonder, ‘How do I go back and retain everybody with these core principles?’ when folks may already be on their way out,” said Julie.