Interview with Laurel Mintz
Founder @ Elevate My Brand

Elevate My Brand (EMB) specializes in helping both B2C and B2B clients gain the attention and exposure they deserve within their niche markets, regardless of their size or stage of operational growth. Since its founding in 2009, hundreds of clients have taken advantage of Elevate My Brand's approach to developing and executing perfectly tailored strategic marketing initiatives to elevate their brands. From rebranding to product launching, from online marketing to developing a social media presence with your brand, EMB’s solutions open new markets, expanding your consumer base and increasing your visibility and profitability.
Hi Laurel! Could you please introduce your work with Elevate My Brand and what led to your founding the agency?
Hi guys! My name is Laurel Mintz, and I am the CEO and founder of Elevate My Brand. Elevate My Brand is a digital and experiential agency here in the Los Angeles area. We work with brands as big as Facebook, Zendesk, and Sprinkler on the large tech side. We're also heavily in CPG. and then we also work with startups so, we kind of run the whole gamut and have been running the agency successfully for the last 10 years. I founded the agency kind of out of pure stupidity. Actually, my dad got sick and had to step down from my law firm. I'm a corporate an attorney as well, don't hold that against me. But I had to step down to run his interest in the company and really what it taught me was, that I was an entrepreneur, and I wasn't a cog in someone else's wheel. So, when he was able to step back into that company which I had absolutely nothing to do with agency life, I started just connecting with people and kind of trying to understand what their pain points were, and I realized that I could solve them in a really efficient way. And that was almost, no! over 10 years ago. We've got a really amazing intimate team of seven here in L.A. and we really pride ourselves on providing full-service agency support. So the full digital suite, including web, content, social, advertising and creative, as well as full experiential, so launch events trade shows, conferences, national field marketing. Our whole purpose was to really create an agency where brands could engage with us over the entire lifespan of their companies, so that they didn't need to hire multiple agencies, manage multiple people, pay multiple agencies, and so that we could be highly efficient in creating visibility and profitability for the brands that we work with.
How did you build up the networks and partnerships with companies like Facebook that make Elevate My Brand successful?
So, we are obviously a women run agency, and we're very lucky early on to apply for WBENC Certification. Now for those of you that don't know WBENC Certification is a certification by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. Anyone that has 51% or more of women owned company can apply for this certification. The value of the certification is that most large corporations have a minority and diversity requirement which means they have to earmark a specific amount of budget for brands, agencies companies of my skill size and, obviously, being female and diverse, run. So that's how we actually got involved with Facebook. We met them at the WBENC Summit and Salute Conference a few years ago, and then again at the National Conference and it was just really perfect timing and really, as you guys know, that's what a lot of this is about, it’s just making the right connections. Being aggressive with follow up and then being in the right place at the right time.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions companies have regarding how their online and offline marketing campaigns intersect?
The biggest misconceptions about how on and offline marketing campaigns intersect, is a great question. I think the number one misconception is that you should find one specific thing and just focus all your efforts on that and all your budget on that. We are in a very, very noisy world. There are very few companies that are so incredibly unique in their vertical, that they don't have competition. So, it's really important to test all of the different on and offline opportunities that are out there, and measure and really see what has the most impact for your brand. But testing is so critical at such an important point in terms of developing a strong cohesive multi-channel marketing campaign. I would say, the other big misconception, we just had a client that did this actually this week, was that we were in testing phase, which is about a 30 day period so that you can understand that the targeting demographics, like graphics, messaging, positioning online, is really done properly, and we had a client that was super frustrated because they spent, I mean, it was like nothing, it was like a few thousand dollars, to test their market, and they were really upset that they only had like four downloads of their product, and we were really excited about the four downloads, because what it showed us was that we were heading in the right direction and that there were some really particular tweaks that needed to be made. So, I think the other biggest misconception is that you're going to start turning on the faucet on your on and offline marketing, and it's automatically going to create a return on your investment. We are very transparent when we talk to our client brands, and we tell them that it's between six and 12 months before you've really perfected the marketing mix and before you're starting to see a super positive return. So be patient, test, and make sure that your messaging and positioning is right, both on and offline.
How is your service offering for B2C clients different from your service offering for B2B clients?
Great question on the difference between B2C and B2B marketing. B2C is a lot easier because it's really measurable, especially if you're marketing a consumer packaged good. You know, it's really easy to see the impact of the sales because it's the number of widgets that you sell. For B2B it's a little bit different, it has to be a slower burn and a slower build, but obviously, we do both, which is why you guys are asking the question. I think the approach is similar, It's just the end target is really different, and the way that you get to them has to be different as well. So I would say, on the B2B side, it's a much slower burn and you need to build relationships in a much different way than you do with B2C. B2B is typically a higher price point, so for example, a large tax service, you're selling seats, or you're selling hundreds or thousands of seats, and the end result is, you know, lots of zeros at the end of that contract. Very different than when you're selling a plush toy, that's you know, five to 10 dollars. So, I think it's really important to understand the difference between the products that you're serving to those clients, what the client wants and needs, but ultimately you're still testing and a very, very similar ways. So, B2B they approach might be a much more efficient on let's say a LinkedIn platform because you're targeting very specific decision-makers on the business side. Whereas B2C might be, Instagram is a great much more efficient platform for you, because you can actually have them click through and buy-in that moment. So I would say, it's a similar approach with the testing and measuring, but obviously, the end client is very different. So the approach to the client in terms of the messaging positioning, and relationship building has to be done in a very different way.
What's next for your work with Elevate My Brand? What are the main projects, partnerships and markets you'll be focusing on throughout the next year?
Well, I can't tell you about all the projects, If I told you I'd have to kill you! We have really strong ideas with a lot of our client brands. But in terms of our biggest projects, you know we've got a lot of really fun retail products that are coming to market this year, expanding on our existing product lines. We've got a really exciting new team that is energized and raring to go. So, you're going to see us in a lot of the big conferences, like, Create and Cultivate, we're doing a big activation there with Tamara Mellon. Squishmallows is one of our big plush toy brands, we're killing it with them this year through influencer marketing. I think that's going to be a really big focus for a lot of our brands for this year. See, I don't know! It's TBD, you know. We've got a lot of kind of longevity clients that have been with us for a long time, and we're just continuing to grow and evolve that strategy. We do have a really fun brand called OI Organic Initiative, we just launched them in 3000 Walmart's all across the US, they´re organic female hygiene brand. So, that's a really cool brand that I very much believe in, and I think that they're going to expand into new markets this year. And let's see, what else! I mean, there's a lot of exciting stuff going on. We always have new products, projects, and partnerships that we're working on every single month, every single day really is so different. So, I would just say, stay tuned, if you haven't signed up, sign up to our newsletter it's called EMB. So you can get tips and tricks on how to execute your marketing, and then of course, then you can stay up to date with what's happening with our projects, partnerships, and market focus for this year.