Melissa Dawn Johnson
Branding and marketing guru Melissa Dawn Johnson owns Velvet Suite Marketing and has worked with the NFL to help players brand themselves. Though she's rubbed elbows with plenty of celebrities through her work, being in the spotlight wasn't for her.“I didn’t want to be a star or to be famous,” she explains. “I wanted to be someone who was brilliant, did great things, and made a big, big impact.”
As the creator of Powerpreneurs, a conference that’s been tagged “the Oscars of influence” for bringing together key behind-the-scenes power players and influencers, Johnson also recognizes others who are making “a big, big impact.” Now in its second year, the 2012 event, focusing on media and entertainment, kicks off in Atlanta on March 21.
Johnson, the author of Brand Me. Make Your Mark: Turn Passion Into Profit, took a moment to bring us up to speed on her journey.
How did you break into branding and marketing: I learned about branding and marketing when I had my first internship at Victoria’s Secret. I worked for the woman who discovered and created the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Monica Mitro.
What’s the biggest secret Victoria taught you: When we sold the million dollar bra, I learned how to create an aura. The fact that someone would actually pay a million dollars said something powerful about creating an image, a concept and an idea that made people feel like “Man, I want that.”
REFLECTIONS: Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina * Advice you would have given yourself 10 years ago: Watch more cartoons. They take you back to your childhood, the real you and there are some real life lessons [there]. * Most valuable life lesson: Everything in life starts and ends with relationships. * Words to live by: All the Best and Nothing Less is a challenge to yourself that you should give your best and expect the best...without apology.
DIVERSIONS: Reading now: The Bible, ReWork, and Getting To I Do. * Recently discovered: I rediscovered my love for dance with salsa lessons. * Last fun purchase: A discount deal on ScoutMob coupon for one of my fave shoe stores.
PLAYING FAVORITES: Conference (apart from her own): TED Conference. * Hotel: W hands down, [it's] the inspiration brand for Velvet Suite. * Getaway: Under the covers. Sleep is one of my best friends! * Drink: My own fresh juice that I make with my Jack Lalane Juicer: kale, green grapes, apple with a hint of lime. Trust, it taste better than it sounds!