Victoria Reese is a brand architect who up and moved to Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve of 2012. Her company, Victor Group, was birthed in 2013 but established in February of 2014. Through Victor Group, Reese makes people and brands fascinating through branding, communication, and digital marketing.
Since branding is the emotion people feel when your company or personal brand come to mind, Reese plays a key role in communicating that to an audience. She carves out what will be effective with that target audience and helps shape what the brand’s purpose is. As a brand architect, she carefully constructs how brands want to be presented to the world and how they’re actually being perceived. Reese represents the growing number of black women who have started their own businesses, and she seeks to help more women with their own brands.
On how she got started
I was already doing what I am doing now, but I didn’t have a name for it. I didn’t know what category to put it in, that I would end up here. Even in college people would ask me to do their press kits, manage their Facebook pages, and kept calling me for … creative projects. They would even ask me to listen to their music and mix tapes. Even though I am not a music executive, they trusted and valued my opinion and took my feedback seriously. I didn’t know that it was branding, and that it dealt with their overall image.
After graduating I worked in advertising and talent booking, and with these jobs I was able to garner skills, but I knew that I didn’t belong there. It was a little bit of what I liked, but not everything that I liked. I am a firm believer in that you can find everything you like in a job. I couldn’t find that in LinkedIn, I couldn’t find that online while job searching. I knew that I needed to create it, and it needed to include all the things that I was interested in. So then I created my company and coined the term, brand architect. And now, all of the things I am interested in doing, I do on the daily.
On her success this year
This year has really been my year, and I didn’t see it coming! The end of last year I was able to secure four NBA clients. All of them were at different points in their career. One was a rookie, one was going into his fifth year, and the other two were in their second and third years.
Athletes have endorsement deals with companies such as Nike and Adidas. With those deals they have to do a number of things, including curating social media content to show the apparel/products that they get. They also have to put on football camps, so I had to do all four of their camps this summer. I had never done a camp or even a youth basketball camp, in any kind of sport. I don’t even have a sports background.
It was a challenge but I successfully managed all four camps all located in different places. I did everything from promotion, to getting press, to getting the kids, to sending out waivers, creating the website, designing the flyers, getting sponsors, etc.
On overcoming challenges
There is always a challenge when it comes to keeping myself as a client. One thing I’ve been reading is that when you provide a service for other people, sometimes you forget that you have to use yourself as a client. If I don’t brand myself well, and I don’t do a good job at promoting myself and telling a story of what I do, then why would a client choose me? So it’s kind of difficult to remember to do those things for yourself.
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