Celebrating Labor Day – and Brand Federation’s Founding

Sep 7, 2022 Kelly O'Keefe

Labor Day 3

The week began in the U.S. with Labor Day, a holiday signed into law over 100 years ago by Grover Cleveland to “recognize the dignity of labor.”

At Brand Federation, Labor Day takes on special significance as the day the company was founded in 2018. The date is not a coincidence. From the start, our partners believed the working world was ripe for change and that Brand Federation could celebrate the growing independence of workers in our field.

Long before the rise of Covid and the “Great Resignation” our partners saw the potential for brilliant marketing leaders to liberate themselves from the trappings of large corporations. We had an evolved view of how we could depart from the constraints of space and time to encourage workers to work when they want to from wherever they choose to be.

Along the way, we asked and answered several key questions about the nature of professional consulting:

  • Could our members work from offices anywhere in the world, for organizations all over the world? Yes.
  • Is it possible to allow our members to decide how many hours a week they want to work and still be productive? Yes.
  • Can we leave it to our members to make judgements about which clients and projects they want to work for? Yes.
  • Can we build teams that span continents and time zones and still work together seamlessly? Yes.
  • Can we use new technologies and evolved processes to build a strong workplace culture that doesn’t rely on physical proximity? Yes.
  • If we assemble some of the best researchers and strategists working in the branding field, will clients care whether they work in the same office or put in a 40-hour week? Of course not.
  • And perhaps the biggest question of all: If we encourage our people to live life on their own terms, and redefine the way professionals work, will our clients reap the rewards? Yes!

At Brand Federation we are united in the belief that when people live their best lives, they do their best work. A simple concept that has guided every decision since our founding.

So, this Labor Day week, as we mark our fourth anniversary, we celebrate the members and clients who have made this Federation such an incredible success.

Thank you all.


Kelly O’Keefe


About the Author

KellyOkeefe_BrandFederationKelly O’Keefe, co-founder and managing partner at Brand Federation, is a respected brand strategist known for his leadership in corporate brand strategy. He is formerly a professor and chair of the creative brand management program at the VCU Brandcenter — a master's program for advertising, branding and creative problem-solving at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business. He’s an inductee in the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame, a former Richmond Ad Person of the Year, as well as Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year; and he has been a strategic brand advisor to corporate clients like Capital One, Carmax, GE, ESPN, Walmart, Dominion Energy, UPS and many other leading organizations.


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