Charlie Elberson — Brand Identity: On Life and Meaning

charlie elberson

Charlie Elberson excavates and clarifies the meaning of brands. He is a brand strategist who has developed, built and stewarded brands for business clients for over 35 years. He is Vice President Insights Strategist for Wray Ward | Creative Marketing Communications. His work includes client engagement, developing strategy, drawing on research, working with creative, determining measurements, interpreting analytics, and asking the questions that lead to insight. Charlie previously led his own agency, Elberson Partners. He has worked for Young & Rubicam and Leber Kats Partners (now FCB). He is the primary trustee and advisor for Reemprise, a venture philanthropy fund. Charlie also sings and plays keyboard for Small Time Joe, a classic rock, blues and soul cover band.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in branding and marketing, and a personal journey of curiosity and engagement. 

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • Charlie explains what an Insights Strategist is and what he does.
  • He talks about the anthropological work of brand development.
  • He discusses the quality that makes him good at what he does, what he likes best about his work, and what he finds most challenging about it.
  • Charlie defines the essence of a brand.
  • He tells the story of a company that has successfully established a new brand.
  • He reveals what he thinks about personal branding.
  • He talks about growing up and what his friends thought of him in high school.
  • Charlie shares the role his father played in one of the most iconic product development and advertising campaigns.
  • He discusses the impact of the digital revolution on marketing communications and what he means by the dance of client engagement.
  • He talks about the creation of a family legacy venture philanthropy fund.
  • He shares what he values about playing music in a band.
  • Charlie reveals what he hopes his life will be all about.

Mark Peres adds a personal word that begins this way, “When Charlie Elberson talks about asking the questions that lead to insight and living from the heart, he is describing the stated purpose of this podcast…”

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