Jeremy Goldman’s Firebrand Group Changes Hands, Rebrands as Proponent


CommPRO Editorial Staff

Warren Buffett was once quoted as saying, “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Author, columnist, and international speaker Jeremy Goldman took that advice and applied it to his own career path of entrepreneurship in a shocking way. He did this by exiting his own company, Firebrand Group, the agency he launched six years ago, and exiting for new challenges. Some may ask why, given that we read all the time about the perks of entrepreneurship and how being an entrepreneur is the new rock star and how it gives a professional major bragging rights.

“For the private sector to continue to grow, we need successful entrepreneurs to go in-house,” Goldman explains. “The market is hot right now, but change agents need to serve as intrapreneurs within enterprises for this bullish economy to continue.”

It pays to know when to sell. In fact, selling a business is difficult: according to some estimates, roughly 20 to 30 percent of all businesses put up for sale wind up selling. At the same time, it is a hot market for selling a business, with 2018 being the third consecutive year in which a record number of small businesses exchanged hands. It became apparent that it was the right time for Goldman to sell Firebrand Group, which will be furthermore known as Proponent.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Goldman was inspired to bootstrap a firm, Firebrand Group, focused on creating and re-energizing brands to embrace the power of digital. The agency grew for six consecutive years and included the likes of Movado, Colgate, L’Oreal, Amtrak, and the U.S. Marine Corps among its clientele.

 In addition to autonomy, people launch businesses to challenge themselves on their own terms. In large part, that’s why Goldman started his own business. After six years, he felt it was time for a new one.

While entrepreneurship is often an understood discipline, the concept of intrapreneurship –  acting in the manner of an entrepreneur within a larger enterprise – is newer and less understood. And yet, it is a growing field. Companies that focus on intrapreneurs such as Goldman are rewarded: nearly one in four dollars Google generates comes from employees’ intrapreneurial pursuits.

Goldman sold to an outside group, which installed Firebrand’s former creative director, Grant Newton, as the company’s new CEO. The agency is in the process of being rebranded as Proponent.

It was important to Goldman to keep his team together in some fashion, which he largely accomplished with this transaction.

About Jeremy Goldman

Jeremy Goldman came to prominence in the mid-00s. After developing a clone of Facebook aimed at higher ed institutions in 2006, he walked away from potential funding to begin a long career in beauty. Goldman became an early proponent of helping brands such as Jurlique, Kiehl’s, Temptu, and others move their sales from low margin retail channels to ecommerce, producing far higher margins for brands.

After being hand-selected to launch a luxury startup for Unilever in 2011, Goldman was presented the opportunity to write a book teaching brands how to leverage social media for business success. That book, Going Social, eventually became the #1 best-selling social media book on Amazon.

 In addition to Going Social, Goldman is the co-author of Getting to Like, a frequent contributor to Inc., Harvard Business Review, and The Next Web, and an international keynote.

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