Jake Crocker builds businesses and brands that make their voices heard above the noise. It’s his thing. Jake has been driving awareness and revenue for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, startups, and his own entrepreneurial ventures in almost every business category for two decades. He’s been recognized as one of the “Top 40 under 40” by Style Weekly and named one of the best local entrepreneurs and best social media marketer by Richmond Magazine. He has been featured and his insights on business quoted in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Chicago Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle as well as ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates.
After honing his skills early by working at ad agencies, tech & dot com companies, and in corporate marketing departments, Jake refined them when he partnered with advertising legend, brand guru, and founder of The Martin Agency, David N. Martin at Martin Branding Worldwide.
Martin’s philosophy of building strong brands by delivering a focused, authentic, and compelling message that connects with consumers on an emotional level had a profound impact on Jake. Martin didn’t just literally write the book on branding – he wrote two. Jake combines those core branding principles with aggressive, technology-oriented media strategies to help businesses reach and retain customers.
He focused on both national & international brand strategy until the economy’s rapid change in 2008. The shifting landscape made him decide to move both with and ahead of the market. Anticipating the emerging social media explosion, Jake applied his skills there to building his own small business ventures and brands, opening six restaurants in four years, including award winning Richmond, Virginia favorites F.W. Sullivan's, Lady N'awlins and Uptown Market & Deli, while still advising others on business and marketing strategies for their own businesses. Pretty soon other businesses were using what was becoming known as “Jake’s Playbook” and applying his mix of strong branding, social media, traditional media, public relations and the community outreach tactics he used to reach customers to build their businesses. These set the standard for how restaurants and small retail marketed themselves online.
More recently Crocker took on the role of Creative Director and still consults on key clients with the digital gurus at Chicago based digital advertising firm Louder Than Digital. Part of the agency's core team Jake worked with consumer product and service brands all over the US the align their brand with their online marketing strategies before stepping away to focus on independent brand consulting.
A strong believer in sharing his own experiences to help others businesses grow, Jake often speaks about how technology, along with a focused, compelling and aggressive brand strategy, can grow businesses. He also takes on controversial issues and delivers honest and uninhibited commentary in the media about the effects of policy changes on businesses, consumer behavior and buying patterns.
In his home city of Richmond, Virginia, Jake has been elected to lead civic, arts, professional and business organizations and often guest lectures at different universities, professional, and civic groups. A graduate of Radford University, he now serves on the advisory board for its College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences. He also is an MBA graduate from Virginia Tech, where he loudly and enthusiastically lends his voice to cheer on the Hokies on game days.
An ardent advocate of his city, but also a self-appointed ambassador of the music, food and culture of another great southern city, New Orleans, which is why when usually working in his office above his award winning Cajun restaurant, Lady N’awlins, in Richmond where he works to bring more soul and spice to the voices of brands all over this land.