Monday, October 05, 2009

AUTUMNJONES Wants You To MEET: Branding Guru Jesse Mills

Have you always had a flair for fashion and putting things together?
I look at fashion as a way to project your best image. It should represent the style and creativity that lies within you. My fashion is pulled from family, cultural and educational influences... in a sense these experiences have kind of helped me "put things together"... They wouldn't let me have it any other way...

When did you start working as both a marketing and image consultant and brand strategist?
I actually thought about this about a couple years ago when I started my company, I realized I've always had a passion for branding and innovation... Now, through M-Consulting, I have a formal channel to do what I love and provide it as a service to clients... So I guess, "always"... but officially in 2007...

Did you train or was it just a natural instinct that you train yourself on?
I've had formal training through corporate public relations and branding agencies where I've worked, that's where I developed much of my early professional competencies and work history... However, I feel that much of what I've learned is based cultivating my instincts through informal experiences and opportunities whether with a client, or just life itself... You have some very well established parents and siblings.

Did you they inspire your passion for branding?
Of course, most importantly, My mother! She is a retired grants management specialist who had a successful 35 year tenure in the department of commerce... She not only encourage me to focus on my goals, but led a great example of how to take a detail and process oriented approach to work... As well as enrolling me in programming with Professional, Civic, Athletic & Leadership Organizations at a young age. That training gave me a well rounded scope on life and allowed me to explore how my talent could provide value to others, especially by trusting God to make it all happen!

Whats the most satisfying and unsatisfying parts of your career?
The most satisfying part of my career is being able to provide value to others through what I love and to provide for my family... Honestly, I don't know what isn't satisfying about that, even when it's challenging... Remembering how others sacrificed and invested in me keeps me motivated. "I can't stop, won't stop - take that, take that..." - Diddy LOL

Whats the most important things about branding that people miss?
Originality. I'm not saying to reinvent every wheel, but it's integral to add "your touch" in the process. We are all intrinsically different. I think the best example of this is In reference to pop culture trends: I don't think your should hijack the WHOLE trend, just incorporate aspects of it into your original style to maintain a sort of contemporary relevance. There is a fine line between being influenced and being a copycat. Your best brand is YOUR brand! You've worked with big names such as; Los Angeles The Urban League, The National Black Arts Festival, Pearl Restaurant & Lounge, Sole Munki Clothing and celebrity host Kenny Burns (BET).

Why do people hire a brand Strategist?
They want to feature a person, place, idea, product or service in way that resonates with a target audience. Working collaboratively with my clients, I just like to use the creative resources of my team to facilitate that process. Whether it's through a fashionable event, image, media or using any other creative online or offline means to bring their brand goals to fruition...

Do you think people can use the recession as an excuse to not branding themselves appropriately?
No. "A 2002 study by McKinsey & Company found that companies willing to invest in branding and advertising activities while their industry peers were cutting spending outperformed industry performance averages when the economy recovered." Keep branding! The market is not an excuse. Create your own market, let me help you!

You grew up in Maryland, Your father's from Ghana, You have a brother, Odarte, who runs a successful Lounge in London. You've taken everything you can from theses extremely different environments to maintain the success that you have today. But, w
hats the next step to diversify M-Consulting?
We are currently looking into a few international opportunities and developing ways to leverage forms of new media as a forum to help our clients connect and dialogue with their key audiences. It seems like there is always something new popping up! M-Consulting LLC is a marketing and branding consultancy with a focus on promotions, lifestyle marketing, strategic partnerships, and sponsorship acquisition. You've been recognized and awarded on numerous occasion, You heavily involved in community service and you have successfully produced over 36 events in America, Africa and Europe.

How do you stay humble and graceful in the face of everything that's going on world wide?
I remind myself everyday that I'm a product of what others strength, dedication and hard work was invested in me.

Where do you see Jesse Mills, M-Consulting in 10 years?
Hopefully I can continue to be involved in meaningful civic engagement, community happenings, and attend a whole bunch of Redskins games!!! I also hope to work towards having a family of my own to share those experiences with ... Professionally, I want to continue to grow my client portfolio and continue to provide value to my clients by staying on the cutting edge of new media innovations and by working in concert with a phenomenal team of collaborators to make it all happen...
Jesse, Dr. Cornell West & Kenny Burns
For More on Jesse Mills
M-ConsultingWebsite

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