While a monster recession swallowed businesses at a frightful pace last year, Minneapolis advertising and branding agency Wolfmotell defied the trend, ending the year with a 94 percent increase in revenue.
Wolfmotell’s been around for a decade but hit its stride last year, reeling in heavy-hitter clients like Target, Best Buy and St. Jude Medical.
Wolfmotell’s success and ambition are attributed to a strong core of four partners, including its aggressive CEO, 43-year-old Geoff Bremner.
“The sales guy in me is what motivates me every day,” says Bremner. “I absolutely love the hunt, going after new business, wowing a client to the point of building trust and likability.”
Bremner’s background is in high-pressure software sales. He was very successful at it, working hard and benefiting from the late ‘90s tech boom. But after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Bremner says he re-evaluated the jet-set lifestyle which kept him away from his wife and two sons. “I decided I’d rather have time than money,” says Bremner.
When he joined Wolfmotell as a sales representative in December 2001, the agency made just $700,000.
As the years went by, the company grew, and today it has 45 employees. During his tenure at Wolfmotell, Bremner has proven his sales chops. And a year and a half ago, he became CEO. “As CEO, I’m in charge primarily of profit, that’s my No. 1 responsibility,” says Bremner.
Bremner’s strategy for higher profit is smart and simple.
It combines online technical savvy with a back-to-basics emphasis on the fundamental principles of marketing.
Additionally, Bremner has successfully wooed a handful of top clients in the medical device and health care field.
While not recession-proof, their products are not on the discretionary spending list for their customers,” says Bremner. “If you need a heart valve, you’ve got to get one. So the industry tends to hold its own through the (economic) ups and downs.”
This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Finance and Commerce.