Meet Joel Kirstein, the acclaimed expert responsible for over $100 million in new business wins working on a dream team of Fortune 500 CPG clients, specializing in retail activation, restaurant branding, licensing, private label branding and shopper marketing.
Delivering a return-on-innovation and proprietary-level work has always been his calling card resulting in creating brand culture. Strategic thinking that moves the needle forward for clients with distinct responses and results that resonate in the market space, across consumer touchpoints.
A dynamic 37-year career built on a strong blend of creativity and business sense, complemented by customer service, and successfully elevating ROIs. Record establishing campaigns for Fortune 500s. Expertise in a broad scope of industries: experiential consumer marketing, CPG, restaurants, food, HBC, retail, household, pet care, pharmaceutical, beverage, licensing, food, and entertainment. Highly adept at creating and managing complex projects from concept to production, delivering on-time/on-budget within tight deadlines. Expertise encompasses integrated cross-platform consumer marketing. Consistently recognized for creative successes, strategic and tactical savvy. Strong strategic thinker.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Joel Kirstein: I’m originally from Montreal, Canada. I graduated with my graphic design degree from The Art Institute Of Pittsburgh.
Was there somebody in your life that inspired you to take that specific journey with your business?
Joel Kirstein: My late dad has always been the main source of inspiration for me. I got his tireless work ethic, his drive, ambition, and his voracious appetite for knowledge.
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. What’s the worst advice you received?
Joel Kirstein: The worst advice I ever got was when I was told in 1990 that I should stop using a Mac because the entire design industry is going to be taken over by the PC and CorelDraw! How’s that working out for you, PC and CorelDraw?
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Joel Kirstein: Working on my own I’ve always had to redefine resilience on a daily basis so the pandemic demanded that I reinvent how I market my brand to be more compelling in ways that I hadn’t explored previously. Those efforts paid off in 2021 after an abysmal 2020 pandemic economy.
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision, or values?
Joel Kirstein: I believe that from a well-defined vision, clients will see your mission and values very clearly. Without purpose, all you have to offer is a process.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Joel Kirstein: Tenacity. Focus. Sticktoitness. This is what people say about me and what I’ve been able to hang my hat on.
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Joel Kirstein: Absolutely. Being indistinguishable from your brand as a person can be invaluable if you’re admired and respected. But one misstep personally can destroy your brand doing irreparable damage. So it’s a double-edged sword that cuts both ways.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Joel Kirstein: The best leaders are the ones who have excellent communication skills that can get through to all different types of personalities by teaching, motivating, provoking thought processes, have very strong one on one interpersonal skills, use examples to highlight how to be successful, while showing a sense of humor.
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way?
Joel Kirstein: Both. Certainly having the vision and being able to lead are both great innate qualities to have. But often the most successful people were able to accumulate the right stuff that helped them build a successful business.
What’s your favorite “leadership” quote and how has it affected the way you implement your leadership style?
Joel Kirstein: You manage things; you lead people. Regardless of all the great technology, finances, marketing, brand awareness, the most important and invaluable component to a leader must be the people that leader surrounds themselves with.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Joel Kirstein for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Joel Kirstein or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.