Name: Hajj Flemings
Profession: Brand Strategist/Tech Entrepreneur
One Word That Describes You: Disruptive
Hajj Flemings is all about branding. So much so, that he told his wife he wouldn’t name his daughter Kennedy if the domain name was taken. A brand strategist and tech entrepreneur, Hajj has made it his business to help people tell their stories and convert them into value. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Flemings started Brand Camp University in 2008, a national conference series on branding, entrepreneurship, and technology, hosted annually in Detroit and Boston. A Michigan Tech graduate, Flemings worked in the auto industry for 10 years while managing his own design business on the side. His side-hustle eventually became his primary business. He has been featured on NBC, Fox News, ABC, ESPN.com, and BusinessWeek.com. He also travels nationally, speaking as a brand strategist.
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Flemings’ efforts towards helping brands grow has also helped his own. With a book titled The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management, his tech journey has been chronicled on CNN’s documentary “Black in America 4: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley with Soledad O’Brien.”
A self-described disruptor, Flemings isn’t interested in standing with the crowd. “I don’t fit into a box,” he tells BE Modern Man exclusively. “I am a misfit. I’m a creative that went to engineering school who is a corporate dropout. My uniqueness is in storytelling, which chronicles my work so that it can be consumed digitally to inspire people that I have never met.”
Flemings’ ability to create impact in a crowded space lies in his character, integrity, and relationship-building prowess. “Ultimately having access to and building relationships with the right people is critical,” says Flemings.
Men of color are building, growing, and impacting many different industries. Flemings believes that we are being championed but, typically, as talent in the athletic and entertainment arenas; not as creators and producers of companies and great ideas.
“I am not minimizing the impact of athletes and entertainers, but we are typecast to where I feel a one-sided story is being told. For example, Apple buys Chinedu Echeruo’s HopStop company for one billion, but there is very little media-play about his story compared to the Instagram liquidity event.”