Building Brands The Wright Way. An Interview with Brett Wright.

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With over 15 years of experience in the music, publishing, advertising and interactive industries, Mr. Wright has established himself as an innovative trailblazer delivering brands to the urban marketplace and beyond.He’s the driving force and valuable team player behind some of the most famous brands such as, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Tyrese, Uptown Magazine, The Apollo Theater, and the most recently revitalized, VIBE Magazine.

I had a chance to sit down and learn about his views on building brands the Wright way.

How would you describe your personal brand?
My personal brand is about being real and staying true to my personal flavor. I believe it’s important to be unique and pound for pound work at what you do.

Having worked with you in a past life, “maintaining connectivity” has always been your mantra. How do you stay connected and relevant to your audience?
It’s easy for me to stay connected to my audience because I am the audience. You have to be genuinely immersed in your targeted audience to earn and maintain credibility.

What helps you keep your brand on point?
My drive, my passion and my focus keep me on point. There’s no room for complacency.

As the Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Uptown magazine and a partner spearheading the rebirth of Vibe magazine, in your own words, what are your plans for these two brands?
My goal is to continue the legacy of both brands, stay true to their mission, and be a resource in the market. It’s all about staying creative, keeping the audience motivated and ultimately, being best in class.

What are your thoughts on how the digital space plays into the publishing game?
The digital platform must play a role in any media company that is looking toward the future. For us, we are leveraging digital and mobile to compliment and supplement our print offerings. In Vibe’s case it is taking the lead, and we are using it to anchor the Vibe Digital Network, which will roll-out when the magazine relaunches on December 9, 2009.

What in your opinion is the future of the magazine business?
I believe print will continue to exist for relevant titles and product offerings that are unique, and reach audiences that marketers are interested in. It will just have to endure cost cutting measures and change the type of content it offers. There is still an intimate relationship that readers have with thumbing through magazines, and that cannot be replaced on screens.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
I think we are always challenging ourselves to be relevant and to improve our product. We are never satisfied, and are always looking to improve our user experience.

What has most influenced the way in which you market and brand your business?
I was blessed to be involved with several successful and innovative businesses early in my career. That experience was invaluable in helping me learn what it takes to make it. It also gave me a passion for start-up businesses and the well-rounded experience needed to build a team.

Do you have any advice for people looking to build their brand?
My advice is to listen and dissect everything. Develop a sense for identifying “who’s who” and take time to gauge the true colors of those around you.

Aside from your business ventures are there any cause related projects that you’re involved in or passionate about?
I believe in staying connected to the community. I’m on the board of directors for the Apollo Theater, Harlem Hospital and the Arthur Ashe Foundation. Being a member of these organizations, feels good from the heart, and fulfills my soul.

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