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2023 BizBash 15 Over 50: Brad Nierenberg

Brad Nierenberg, 57, is the founder and CEO of RedPeg Marketing.

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Photo: Courtesy of Brad Nierenberg

Brad Nierenberg, 57, is the founder and CEO of RedPeg Marketing, an experiential marketing agency based in Alexandria, Va., with clients including GEICO, Capital One, Yuengling, and DISH. He's also the chairman and founder of Chance for Life, a nonprofit raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research.

A quote from his nomination: "In 1995, Brad was led by the idea that he wanted to create an agency he'd aspire to work for, and he has remained steadfast in keeping the company independent and focusing on creating a positive workplace culture."

How I got here: "I started as a beer representative on the streets of Washington, D.C., working to switch people from Bud Light to Miller Lite. I fell in love with the experience I created and how it changed brand perception and adoption."

Greatest career accomplishment: "I would say it’s working with some of the most creative and strategic brands, creating a culture where work isn’t work, and exceeding our employees’ expectations by creating an environment where employees are excited to come to work and are focused on the client’s success and growth."

A specific improvement I’ve made: "I hold the mantra that being inventive allows us to try things other agencies aren’t willing to try. We’re focused on an entrepreneurial approach where it’s OK to fail, but you have to fail by falling forward and making your own mistakes. You must live and love the changes that are a part of this business, and you have to be open to looking at things differently to keep the agency brand fresh. We are continuously working on diversifying our portfolio, as we did with gaming 13 years ago and through the development of our digital team four years ago and music department three years ago."

The biggest change I've observed in the industry: "Over the past 30 years, experiential marketing has evolved from brand sampling to one of the most important elements of brand marketing."

What I do outside of work: "I like helping entrepreneurs think about ways to grow their businesses." 

The career advice I'd give my younger self: "Never shy away from being bold; trust your gut; it’s OK to fail as long as you fail forward; don’t overthink it; and nobody cares. Also, spend more time explaining why. Finally, giving back is one of the greatest gifts to yourself. I always say giving is one of the most selfish things you can do because of how positive it makes you feel."

Connect with Nierenberg on LinkedIn


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