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If you have worked with us on Brand Strategy, you’re likely familiar with Steve Gilman, our President and Brand Strategist. Here’s a chance to go behind the scenes with Gravity’s founder: learn how he does his job, what he does in his free time, and what motivated him to found Gravity Group in the first place.
What is your role within the Gravity team?
My role is working closely with several of our clients on strategic brand initiatives, marketing campaign planning, and a variety of other consulting relationships. I also act as the “internal audience” for a wide variety of our client work, so that I’m looking at our work from an audience perspective before our clients see drafts.
What is a “typical workday” like for you?
I’m not sure there is a typical day. The thing I love about my job is being simultaneously involved in multiple industries working on a variety of challenges. I’m never bored and I love fresh challenges. Most of my days start with client check-ins, phone calls, or in-person meetings. Then, I have conversations with our Operations Director on workflow and deliverables for the day, or I meet with our Creative Director to process creative strategies.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Helping clients grow! I really enjoy formulating solutions to complex marketing challenges and achieving growth goals for their brands.
What prompted you to form Gravity Group?
Early in my career, I was frustrated with how seldom I saw true partnerships between agencies and clients, and saw that negatively affecting both client success and agency culture. There was a mindset that client relationships would inevitably be short, so an agency should get paid and move on to the next client. There is so much wrong with that mindset and model. The opportunity for an agency to truly help a client comes down to how strong their relationship is, and whether it’s genuinely collaborative. I wanted to challenge that mindset, and so I founded Gravity Group.
My second reason was I didn’t want to market brands I didn’t personally believe in. I believe that to effectively market or grow a brand you have to live it and be passionate about it. Otherwise, your marketing or selling efforts end up feeling hollow, without any true commitment on your part. For me, this is what Gravity Group is all about: we are in the foxhole with our clients and sincerely believe and live their missions along with them.
What are your favorite tools, go-to resources, or work hacks that help you do your job well?
Whenever I’m curious about innovations in business, I turn to Harvard Business Review. For creative inspiration, I often look at AdAge. My favorite work hack is called object meditation, which is the practice of stopping between different meetings or situations and briefly meditating on an object. This is a technique that I studied in Japan that refines your ability to keep your mind calm in fast-paced environments. I find it allows me to maintain a clear head and focus on each unique situation independent from what I’ve been doing beforehand.
What are your creative hobbies outside of work?
One of my main hobbies is street photography, which is a style of photography that focuses on capturing candid, human moments or interesting details from the everyday world around us.