What The Heck Is A Brand Agent?

May 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Feature

Tye Fussell


I’m quite fascinated by branding since it’s a big part of what I do for a living. However, I’d still never actually heard the term “brand agent” until I asked my friend Tye Fussell what he did for a living. I’m also very interested in forming business relationships with people in Greensboro, so over a lovely lunch at Saffron, Jay Young and I attempted to unravel this mystery so that I could send him some interview questions. Being a brand agent just sounds really cool, you know? Tye also used to be a goth. Score!

Tell us a little bit about what you and your partner do at Greenlight Brand Agents.

We are a full service advertising and marketing agency. We create, build and sustain brands through award winning integrated campaigns (TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor & Promotions) and Public Relations. We also help shore up selling efforts if needed. But we don’t stop there. We also delve into our clients businesses to find better and more efficient ways for them to run their businesses internally.

What exactly is a brand agent?

In the way an athletics agent looks after a professional athlete, we do the same for brands. Our role is to create and manage the image, best interests and financial success of the brands we serve. Our goal is to enable brands to do what they do best by ensuring they have top shelf talent ideas and solutions focused on achieving goals.

I see that you’ve just scored your first international client. Do you find that it’s more difficult to work for a client that’s so far away?

Not at all. We approach our relationship with them in very much the same way as we do our local clients. We have our regular, weekly status calls and we occasionally meet with their top brass personally in D.C. or here in Greensboro. Additionally, we find that creative can be easily and effectively presented through video conferencing services like Skype, Webex or GoTo Meeting.

How does the Greensboro business scene compare to that of the other cities where you’ve worked?

There’s a Greensboro business scene?

Does your company outsource or is everything done in town?

We try to make use of local vendors as often as we can. All our printers, web hosting and coding has been sourced locally (From High Point to Chapel Hill). On the occasions when we need additional creative help, we make use of our relationships with world class Copy Writers, Art Directors, Designers and Creative Directors in New York, Chicago, LA, Atlanta and Austin. When needed, we hand pick creatives who are already well seasoned in the appropriate category.

Do you think that Greensboro is receptive to entrepreneurs and startups?

Yes! Local clients and other startups seem to strive to support one another.

What can we do to encourage more people to stay in town and create businesses here?

More communication among like-minded professionals. Whether it’s the local Ad Club, or via LinkedIn, or another organization, it would be great to share ideas and best practices with others in an open type of environment where everyone can benefit.

When we had lunch you mentioned that you strive to make your business one that has ethics that you can feel comfortable with. At times that can be a luxury even though we definitely need more of it. What ideas can you give us for all making sure that what we do for a living coincides with how we see the world?

It’s simple. If you wouldn’t do something personally, it’s probably not a good idea professionally either. And conversely, if you find particular tools/tactics/practices that enhance your professional performance, chances are they also will translate well to your personal life. We have turned away opportunities in the past to work with brands that we don’t see as “ethics leaders.”

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2 Comments to “What The Heck Is A Brand Agent?”

  1. Smart idea to aim for the top of the marketing pyramid: strategy (and the brand). Also, good on Greenlight for using local sources. If I may suggest…and not to spam the message…check out Ink Photography Production for a bevy of local, but world class, photographers and talent.
    They're downtown.

    I'm always a little peeved when I see local NC industry (yes, FURNITURE INDUSTRY, I'm talking to you) default to out-of-state agencies for their advertising (when they do any). They love the "North Carolina/furniture" identity, but apparently they don't trust North Carolina creative.

    • Julie Joyce says:

      NC has an insane amount of creativity so it makes me quite angry too…funny how going "local" seems to be all the rage when it's convenient. Thanks for the heads up about Ink Photography Production!

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