Scott Brandon: Pivoting the Legacy of Persistent Leadership with Candid Approaches

Scott Brandon

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Leadership can be regarded as a subjective concept. Although there are certain concrete parameters and determining features that define a person as a leader, the practice of leadership varies from person to person. Driven by heavy inspiration, some leaders opt to walk on paths set by the pre-existing or various celebrated leaders. However, several leaders choose to pave their own ways and establish their legacy at the forefront of the world.

Rather than try to lead-based on how someone else tells you to be, I just try to be me at all times,” mentions Scott Brandon (CEO of The Brandon Agency) who has been spearheading the agency with his exclusive and holistic leadership style. Scott’s candid communication skills and honesty has earned him several badges of honor within the company—contributing to its growth and constant development.

An Ingenious Academician

Scott attended Davidson College where he majored in Economics, and later enrolled in The University of South Carolina School of Law where he began his law career. After several years of law practice, he joined his father at The Brandon Agency, a family-owned advertising agency.

Scott mentions, “Over the years, people have been kind enough to recognize our work and contributions to the area and industry.” He and the agency have received several prestigious awards that include the Silver Medal for Lifetime achievement in the advertising industry by the American Advertising Federation in 2008, Citizen of the Year by the Pee Dee Area March of Dimes for commitment to community service in 2009, and Myrtle Beach Citizen of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012. The Brandon Agency has also been named one of South Carolina’s top workplaces for the past five years.

Landscaping Business with Growth Strategies

The Brandon Agency was established by Scott’s father Cecil Brandon (Founder) who commenced the agency in 1959. Scott began working for his father’s company in 1993—mostly out of necessity. Although the agency was successful, it lacked a succession plan. When he began working at TBA there were merely three clients and eight employees on board.

Understanding the need, Scott immediately strategized a growth plan, adding new clients and revenue streams. In 2000, Scott purchased TBA from his father and presided over the agency, which allowed Cecil to retire.

Centre of Business-Building Ideas

The Brandon Agency operates on the mission to develop and execute business-building ideas to help clients grow. The agency’s methodologies of leveraging data and using those insights to develop revenue growth opportunities for its clients make it stand out in the crowd. At times, The Brandon Agency conducts less marketing and more business consulting.

Exhibiting an interesting blend of art and science, the agency houses a team of business-minded marketers. The TBA business approach begins with gaining an understanding of its client’s business issues, and then developing solutions that are oriented in brand strategy, marketing, and advertising—data-centric, digital-first, and always accountable. 

An Astute Business Leader

Being at the agency’s forefront, Scott asserts that he fulfills several roles by quoting “I wear a lot of hats.” He oversees various operations and functions of the agency. These include client relationships, brand strategy, account management, and team member recruiting, to name a few. Scott also monitors several trends in and around the industry, while also taking the responsibility of providing mentorship. Moreover, he spends around half of his time on new business development.

Scott prefers being himself and strategizing his own way instead of leading a path paved by others. As employees, people are constantly concerned about their performance—wanting to know how they are doing, what they can do better, and where they stand. With respect to that, Scott believes when people have answers to these three questions, they are usually happy and satisfied at work.

Propelling through Challenges

Although the COVID-19 pandemic had several hazardous impacts on people and businesses, it acted as a catalyst for The Brandon Agency team. As the agency was already managing remote work with four US locations and one in Bulgaria, it had already mastered Zoom meetings and remote working. It championed the transition to virtual meetings with clients and was ahead of the game. From the perspective of leadership, Scott believes that the entire process of transition brought the team closer together—focusing on meeting the needs of the members and keeping them informed throughout the pandemic.

Assessing the uncertainties induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott decided that his team should not also face uncertainty at work. Thus, he immediately promised them no layoffs, no furloughs, and no pay cuts which, he believes, surprisingly contributed to the growth of the agency. Accrediting the team for their ability to adapt and, in many cases, pivot client’s marketing efforts to quickly meet the changes in consumer behaviors, Scott mentions, “We have a remarkable team.”

Envisioning a Prolific Future

Anticipating an expansive future, Scott envisions The Brandon Agency to be one of the largest and most successful integrated agencies in the Southeast in the upcoming years. In order to accomplish the ambition, the agency is adding new services that are critical for the desired growth. These include data science, data management, new research tools, content specialists, and many more.

Adjoining Past Lessons with Future Plans

Enunciating on the importance of persistence, Scott remarks that the most important impact which leaders cast on their team is their way of projecting confidence and energy to everyone else they work with. He adds, “I learned a great deal about persistence and leadership during 9/11 and during the 2008 financial crisis. The most important being that we had to react quickly with a plan, be decisive, communicate clearly, and work the plan.”

Scott believes that certain similar events prepared the team of The Brandon Agency for the pandemic since the agency inculcated the previously learned experiences as strategicalapproaches. “We made a plan, communicated it clearly and often, and persistently worked the plan,” concludes Scott.

Read Full Magazine: Business APAC’s Persistent Business Leaders, 2021



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