All brands have an ethos. And the closer a brand is to the people it serves, the more power it has to modify behavior and create positive change, whether social, financial or political. The brands that I’m most proud of creating, improving and serving have been able to do just that. Sometimes it’s a small investment firm or a local BBQ restaurant. Other times it’s a campaign to sell more seafood or a plan to change the way people think about work. But no matter the story, it’s always about discovering how close you can place a brand’s center of gravity to the people it serves. Anything else is just noise.

I’ve had the amazing privilege of working on some of the biggest brands in the world, from Ford Motor Company and Verizon Wireless, to Chick-fil-A, Toys-R-Us, Mars Petcare, Southern Living, Honda and others. And while the national brands are good to establish some pedigree, the most rewarding work I’ve done has been on the brands that do something good. That contribute. That matter.