What happens when you build a team of senior marketing pros who love their work. to work together. No silos, politics, layers or egos at work.

Timeline: The Legend Grows

1991 – Joel meets Richard at McCann. Joel’s the writer. Richard’s the suit. There’s Deborah too, the rising star of the creative department.

Richard and Joel occasionally gigging together at places like Bimm.

Deborah furnishes her awards cabinet.

October 29, 2014 – Email from Joel to Richard: It’s been ages since we connected. I’d like to catch up and compare notes.

Let’s do marketing differently.

No more hierarchy.

No more “account” and “creative” pigeon-holes.

The work comes first.

Be great to work with and you produce great work.

One conversation leads to another. One connection leads to another.

Because we’re hands-on we wanted to become if not competent at least knowledgeable about WordPress. Into the belly of the beast we went. To Sheridan Continuing and Professional Studies and an audience with the King of WordPress, Mr. Ben Block.

Just the guy we needed to head up our Web Development.

Gary and Joel go way back to days working together at Due North Communications and beyond. A creative team.

All Branderos lacked was a digital guru thought as strategically about the digital realm as the rest of us think about branding, marketing and communications. That’s Michael.

He is a machine. No other way to describe him. Oh forgot to mention he also worked at McCann. Thanks McCann.

Michael opened the door for us. Meet Shauna. Our bespoke Media Director.

What’s the secret sauce?

Take marketers who have spent their careers pursuing their profession with passion, curiosity, intelligence and creativity. Work with people at the peak of their skills.

Marketing is hard. We don’t make it easy. We make it smart.

Process - A Re-enactment

The quality of our dialogue with our clients is the key to insights that help advance their business.

The smarter the questions, the smarter the answers.

We believe there’s no line in the sand that divides business strategy from marketing strategy.

The objective is the same: create a platform to drive sustainable business growth.

That starts with insights. We don’t care where they come from – a distributor, an installer, a customer, a sales rep, a supplier. Everyone knows one piece of an enterprise. It’s our job to glue the pieces together into a real brand – meaning a brand that’s built on real-world experiences.

The process isn’t linear – because it never ends. Every insight leads to the next. Every insight contributes to the strategic foundation of a brand.

Our role is to facilitate the marketing development process, in true collaboration.

With no platform bias – we’re digitally agnostic, meaning we don’t have a built-in bias for any specific form of media.

Creative isn’t the product, it’s the outcome of the process. We don’t have a signature style. That’s antithetical to what we believe in – which is placing the client at centre stage.

It’s all about you, not us.

Focus

Client-Centric marketing for customer-centric clients.

Who’s Serving Whom?

Not too long ago we started noticing the term patient-centred care coming into the lexicon in healthcare. Made us think: who else would be at the centre of care in a hospital? That revealed something stronger than a commitment to patient care. It showed how far patient care had slid down the priority list of hospitals consumed by funding issues and technologically driven change. Guess what – these same blinders have for too long been a fixture of marketing. Too much agency-centred thinking. Too little client focus and too little connection with the centrepiece of marketing: the people who use the product or service. Our process works in reverse. Start with customer need. Help define the role of the client in addressing the need. Then bring that problem-solving ability to life through marketing. No question who we’re serving.

Our role is to facilitate the marketing development process, in true collaboration.

With no platform bias – we’re digitally agnostic, meaning we don’t have a built-in bias for any specific form of media.

Creative isn’t the product, it’s the outcome of the process. We don’t have a signature style. That’s antithetical to what we believe in – which is placing the client at centre stage.

It’s all about you, not us

Testimonials

Nazlin Hirji

Executive Director, Sheridan Continuing and Professional Studies

“They really listen and understand our business, our customers, and what we are striving for – our deliverables as well as the relationship we are trying to create with our customers. Yay!”

Richard Shekter

Mediator & Arbitrator

“I feel that the website truly reflects my capabilities and my personality. I salute you all for your professionalism and unflappable dedication to seeing that my identity, message and website would serve as a solid foundation for a new chapter in my career. I give you the highest recommendation. In a word – Thanks!”

Pat Feheley

Owner of Feheley Fine Arts

“It was my good luck that I turned to Branderos several years ago, because when the pandemic lockdown occurred, we already had the programming in place to cope with what could’ve been very trying times. Without the communications tools that Branderos developed, we wouldn’t have been able to navigate through the pandemic. The fate of the gallery would have been in peril without this communications foundation.”

Bill Noorduyn

Owner, Bill’s Ground Care

“The biggest test for me: would this brand and website work for another lawn care company? Not in a million years. This is a perfect reflection of me and my team. We’re proud of this brand. It’s been a rallying cry for us – and in the meantime it has taken our business to the next level. Thank you Branderos.”

Bruce Baldwin

Co-owner of Plastic+Paper

“We at Plastic+Paper would use no one else.”

Adrian Brookes

CEO & General Manager, AB Tech

“We broke sales records in October for bookings, invoicing and shipments. We asked everyone where they landed from searches – it was the new website.”

Why Branderos?

Branderos (bran-dair-ohz)
Sounds like sombrero: som-brair-ohz

We wanted to bring More Bang! to the world of marketing.

Channel our inner cowboy, cowgirl and cowthey.

And a little voice inside our heads saying: Whatever you do, don’t take yourselves too seriously. Not that we ever had that problem.

Born of the belief that the World Wide Web is the great marketing equalizer.

Now every brand has the ability to punch above its weight, no matter how small or big it is.

Hence Branderos – More Bang!

Once we learned how to drive the non-agency bus, we got our licence.

Bios

Richard Toker

Client Service, Strategy, Project Management

Richard is a fixture in the Canadian marketing scene. He’s been a leader inside blue-chip advertising agencies and he worked client-side as a Director of Marketing for Rogers. Since then, he’s worked in marketing change management, while pursuing his dream of running his own shop. Along the way, Richard has established himself as one of Canada’s most seasoned marketing educators, building on a long-term relationship with the Canadian Marketing Association. Richard brings to Branderos a combination of rigorous thinking and the curiosity needed to strategize in a constantly changing marketing landscape.

Career clients include: American Express, BDC, Bell, CBC, Goodyear, HP, HSBC, IBM, Lexus, OLG, Pitney Bowes, RBC, Recipe Unlimited, Rogers, Scotiabank, Shell, and others.

Joel Sears

Strategy, Creative & Messaging

Joel is a man of words. He started his career as a journalist, then became a copywriter and Creative Director in the world of blue-chip advertising agencies. But mostly, Joel has spent his time as a true independent, working across different media platforms for a wide array of clients, from the largest automotive and tech clients to solo practitioners. Each client feeds new learning and adds depth to a perspective gained through decades of the frontlines of marketing. Like Richard, Joel has spent many years working with the Canadian Marketing Association as a writing educator. Branderos is the culmination of his career, finally free to pursue the clients and strategies that he’s always hungered for. Now he has the team needed to make Branderos a complete marketing solution, for clients small and large alike.

Career clients include: GM, IBM, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Ford Insurance (US), Kia, Goodyear, Durham College, Eli Lilly, Lifebank USA, Smith+Andersen Engineers and more.

Deborah Prenger

Creative Director

Deborah is a quiet star in the creative area of marketing. She’s won many of the world’s most prestigious awards, including Cannes, CLIOs and London International Awards. But Deborah isn’t defined by awards. What’s she’s known for is her impeccably refined design sensibility. If you’ve ever been in a meeting with Deborah, you will see her reflecting silently, then weighing in with a comment that brings unique clarity and insight to the discussion. She’s relentless in her creative discipline, enabling her to find the elegantly simple solution that motivates and inspires people to think, act, and behave differently.

Career clients include: Ikea, Lexus, Unilever, American Express, Molson, Greenpeace, Evergreen, Harry Rosen, The Ontario Ministry of Health, Campbell’s, Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Vespa, Sunnybrook Hospital, Unilever and more.

Ben Block

Web Developer

Ben is a front-end web architect and multimedia professor. With 20 years’ experience producing web presences, and 18 years teaching and designing multimedia courses for colleges, he has acquired a comprehensive knowledge of web technologies, accessible responsive design, and UX and UI. Ben has created and launched hundreds (and hundreds) of websites — from client portfolios to national and international organizations — using hand coded HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, libraries and frameworks, and content management systems. Like many of his Branderos stablemates, Ben loves to share his knowledge and insights at Humber and Sheridan colleges as a professor in their media studies departments. Ben is as strong at demystifying coding and WordPress as Michael is with SEO and Google. Both help bring the science of marketing to Branderos as a foundation to all the work we do.

Michael Halbmeier

Digital Strategy, SEO, Analytics

Michael is our digital guru. Following his tenure as a digital strategist at three big agencies, Michael identified a fundamental gap in digital marketing services – that no one was addressing the real needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Well, that just happens to be the Branderos sweet spot. Michael is focused on helping companies and organizations develop digital marketing initiatives that are both effective and cost-efficient. He believes that great marketing should be accessible to all businesses, not just the ones with deep pockets. Michael lives and breathes digital marketing as a 56-time Google certified products specialist and a two-time Certified Google Partners specialist. Michael is extraordinarily detailed in his analysis, insights and recommendations. He’s not just an expert and a real professional – he also makes the sometimes mysterious world of digital marketing more accessible than ever.

Gary Beelik

Director of Design

Gary is the embodiment of the design craftsperson. What distinguishes Gary’s work is that his first concern is to create a cultural connection between his clients and the people they want to reach. That means he’s tireless (understatement) in getting to the heart of what people care about. Only then, with a clear message, does he turn his attention to developing his designs. Gary understands that design is storytelling – how you arrange the elements determines how the audience interprets the story. Gary is a graduate of the OCAD, and past member of the board of the Advertising and Design Club of Canada. Through his career, Gary has won more than 200 awards. So there Deborah. Gary is a joy to work with – and is practically unflappable.

Career clients include: American Express, CAMH, Canadian Blood Services, Cushman & Wakefield, Enbridge, Giffels, Health Canada, Microsoft, OCADU, PEN Canada, Penguin Canada, Seneca College, TD Waterhouse, SickKids Foundation and more.

Shauna Chan

Media Director

Shauna is another Branderos original. Like the rest of the Branderos, Shauna did her stint in the world of blue-chip ad agencies as a Media Director. Then she heard the Call of the Wild – or more specifically, the call of independence.

Shauna brings big league experience to smaller clients. The result is that our clients receive the same care and value that those blue-chip media clients demand – without the deep pockets.
As with everything else about the Branderos, the circles keep overlapping. No sooner had we briefed Shauna on Sheridan and she mentioned she had taught marketing there. Small world. When you know the right people. Welcome Shauna.

Do you have what it takes to join Branderos?

Did you go to university, then shift direction, then shift again, then go into marketing, then work your way around brands and clients and agencies, then decide you want to do things differently, then look around and realize that if you want do things differently – you have to do it yourself, which leads to wondering and wandering in search of other dedicated professionals who share the dream and live the dream and not only that, love to laugh, collaborate, hate silos and being told what to do, want to have their voice at the table, want to get into an intense dialogue about the next step in digital evolution, curious about apps, loves great design, takes the business seriously, but not themselves, thinks in unorthodox ways, and enjoys nothing more than a conversation that takes an unexpected direction, leading to a fresh insight, that in turn, leads to a connection that has an idea that turns into so much stronger than what was first imagined.

That’s the Legend of the Branderos – a narrative that continues with an ever increasing cast.

Join the crew.

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