Touring with a little-known Christian rock band teaches you a few lessons about humility, poverty and, most of all, the need for marketing. So when he was on the road, playing drums with the Indianapolis group Liptocoal, Daniel Herndon took notes.
“A lot of people don’t make the connection,” he said, “but it teaches you a lot of things about running your own business if you do it at a professional level because you have to be both a brand as well as a business person. I became particularly passionate about taking a more creative approach to marketing in general.”
As CEO of the marketing firm Redwall Live, Herndon, 30, puts what he learned into practice. The tagline for his company is “experiential marketing,” and that experience can mean anything from a concert to the way business-to-business clients connect.
He works with companies such as Murphy USA, Heartland Sweeteners, Pet Supplies Plus, Express Employment Professionals and Defender Direct. But maybe the best example of his approach to marketing came in December 2009, when he and the director of a not-for-profit called Community First Initiative lived in a beat-up van to illustrate the resources the organization would have if no one donated anything. The stunt gained public attention for the organization, which mentors high school-age students.
“We broadcast it over the Internet and we had updates on a digital billboard directly above us on the highway,” Herndon said. “We ended up getting an article in USA Today and raised over $18,000.”
At 3:30 p.m. Fridays, you can watch his work on the Web at forkout.org, where he does a variety show called “Forkout Friday” that highlights a not-for-profit organization and talks about marketing, technology and news.
Outside of work, Herndon, who’s married and has two children, sits on the boards of Global Ambassadors for Children and Current Church in Franklin. His pastor, Gene Feasel, was lead singer of Liptocoal.•