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Highsnobiety Q&A September, 26 2011

Ego Boost: Chris Nagy, Architect of Culture

With over 15 years as a brand platform builder and marketer in the lifestyle industry, Chris Nagy began his career in the advertising and marketing groups at Universal Music and Interscope Records, working with the likes of Kanye West and Eminem (to name a couple) before they became mainstream figureheads in today’s culture.

He subsequently co-founded and ran Frank151 Media Group, parent company of Frank151 magazine, a progressive lifestyle publication, and mBF, a full service creative and marketing agency where he created branding campaigns and planned events for top tier clients like Toyota, PepsiCo, Boost Mobile, New Balance, Coors/Molson, Reebok, Nike, Microsoft, New Era, and Burton Snowboards.

Most recently Chris is jumping into nontraditional territory for a lifestyle guru, opening several new restaurant venues throughout NY and LA and happens to be our latest Ego Boost participant.

The most difficult thing about my job is describing it in one to three sentences.

When the going gets tough entrepreneurs dig in and work harder, employees complain about their job and ask for more $$$.

There’s no excuse for buying open-toed stilettos that are two sizes too small and then having your toes hang over the front (ladies please!!!!)

Read the full interview after the click.

The Big Apple is the best place to be, if you only have one place to be. Inspiring, full of ambition, tiring, always in motion, invigorating, overwhelming, relentless, absolutely unique, a global brand in it’s own right. It’s not the only place to me, but it’s the best place to me.

The biggest difference between good marketing and bad marketing is truly understanding your audience vs trying to understand your audience.

One of the most common misconceptions about the music industry is that because music is cool, working in the industry of music is cool.

Growing brands from idea to fruition is one of the most rewarding things I’ve had the opportunity to experience. It’s easy to get so focused and caught up in the process though, so it’s important to take a step back at some point to actually appreciate what you’ve built.

The most inspirational thing about the 90s was that the independent spirit and DIY movement really came into its own. On a personal level, it was my first experience with being an entrepreneur, and experiencing what it means to introduce something entirely new, your own creation, to popular culture. This came from starting GoodVibe Recordings with a friend, and realizing that you really can just come up with an idea and through vision, determination, and hard work turn that idea into something that is real, successful and positively affects people’s lives.

One of my fondest memories as Publisher of Frank 151 was when we created our France themed Chapter (issue) and I was able to spend two weeks in Paris being immersed in another city’s scene and meeting and collaborating with person after person – all unique, talented and inspiring individuals – who sought out and discovered Frank on their own. Realizing all of these people had experienced Frank from afar and made it their own thing, appreciating it because they were in the exact same state of mind, saw the world in the same way and Frank spoke directly to them. That connection, and the mutual respect from people you respect is a powerful thing.

The future of lifestyle marketing is that it is THE future of marketing. It is far more effective to market to people based on their passions, their lifestyle choices, than generalizing that all people will like something purely because of their age, their race, their gender, etc. It’s about shared interests. Verge culture.

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