Entrepreneur

These Brand Consultants Turned Nights on the Town Into Market Data

They watch and they learn.
From left: Kwasi Gyasi, Jey Van-Sharp, and Winston Peters of the brand-building company MyÜberLife Consulting Group. Source: Pieter Henket

In 2013, Christopher Krietchman was walking down the street in Manhattan, worrying about his flailing meal-delivery company. Krietchman was the founder of Fresh Grill Café, which cooked and delivered healthy meals to New Yorkers. When he launched in 2008, online food delivery barely existed. These were the days of first-generation iPhones, back when Groupon could make you a success. “We had customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey,” he says now. But slowly -- and then seemingly all at once -- everything changed. Groupon imploded as the market flooded with meal-delivery services like Seamless and Blue Apron, all of them with better technology, fresher branding, and more efficient order fulfillment than Fresh Grill Café.

Krietchman had been an industry pioneer, but he’d failed without a solid business plan and vision. Now the industry had no place for him. He wasn’t ready to give up on his company, but he didn’t know how to fix it.

Related: It's Not You, It's Your Story: Why Branding Matters

Then, that day on the street, he bumped into Winston Peters, an old college acquaintance. Peters, it turned out, co-owned a brand-building company called MyÜberLife Consulting Group, which specialized in “cultural insights.” What did this mean? Peters explained that his team spent their days and nights on cool-hunting excursions across the city. They immersed themselves in music, fashion and art and then used that knowledge to craft marketing and development strategies for their clients. Krietchman had never heard of such a thing, but he was excited. “A quick switch went off in my head,” he says. “If you want to know what the market is about, you’ve got to be in it, and they were really in it.” 

MyÜberLife has a handful. As Van-Sharp explains it, they “wanted to help creative people be more business-minded, and vice versa.” 

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