Brandon Kerschbaumer is co-founder and chief executive officer of Ignite Marketing and Productions. As a farm kid born and raised on a farm 10 miles southeast of Fairview, Brandon learned about hard work early.
“Summer holidays weren’t typically a holiday at all for us,” he laughs. “Town kids would be talking about bike riding and swimming, meanwhile we’d be blending brome grass, sweeping bins out and running the seed cleaning plants, though we always got paid for our efforts so that was a nice touch”
Brandon’s parents both operated businesses, “so often dinner talk was about the next customer or project shortly after “how was school today?” he says. It was a busy childhood, one that set him up well to be an entrepreneur. “I can still hear my dad saying, ‘there’s always something to do!’” he says.
From high school in Fairview, Brandon pursued business and athletics at Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) and then the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT,) where he studied Radio and Television Arts.
His professional history includes a wide variety of fields, from seed cleaning at Golden Acre Seeds, to graveyard cleanup at Canfor, to selling at Future Shop to running his family quicklube shop in Peace River. “I’ve worked a lot of different jobs through the years, learned from some great people along the way, but at the end of the day, couldn’t see myself in those roles as a career, so I’d move on, learning and trying new things.” Radio, however — whether organizing special events or writing, recording, producing and selling ads — has always had a special place in his heart. However, he wanted to break free of the restrictions that came with being part of large organizations.
“I’m not great at just accepting mediocrity,” he says, laughing.
Now, with Ignite, Brandon says he appreciates being able to give his creativity free reign. “I love that we have no limitations,” he says. “If something new comes along that’s worth pursuing, we can be at the forefront. It’s all up to us. Marketing is always changing, especially on the digital side, so we need to work daily to stay ahead.”
He’s a self-professed data nerd and with everything they do, information reigns supreme. “I love data and analytics,” he says. “We can learn so much from our efforts in a short time, so we can constantly be evolving and improving.”
One thing he loves about Ignite’s work is that it’s never boring and suits his endlessly optimistic outlook. “We have a fresh take on the business world, and we’ve been successful in injecting our opinions and finding ways for our clients to be successful through implementing different strategies and experience that we’ve picked up along the way. “Working as a radio rep locally was one of the best experiences of my life. On the daily, I got to sit with business owners and managers from so many different categories of business, gaining a unique perspective into their marketing challenges, every day was an education. And through that experience, I was introduced to my business partner Coree-Ann and the best business mentor in the game, Dennis Chopko“
When Brandon’s not deep in data-driven research, or strategic planning, he can often be found immersed in music, writing jingles, playing guitar, piano or drums in Ignite’s in-office music studio (the ‘lab’). He’d otherwise be spending time with his wife and 3 kids or seeking an endorphin high with snowboarding or playing basketball.