A brand is something that defines what a company goes, as Brad Neathery knows well. His startup, Right Brain Factory, seeks to tell the stories behind shingles, tales beyond the tils, and help businesses stake their claim in the world of industry.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am an imperfect follower of Christ, a husband to a wonderful wife, a dad to two incredible kiddos and a storyteller. From 9 a.m to 5 p.m., I run a creative agency, based out of Coppell, called Right Brain Factory. We are a group of misfits, with a passion for turning brands into movements by extracting the brand's honest story and communicating that to the people who believe in the same thing. We work with brands who have a vision to be a new breed in an industry. We work with brands who are not trying to compete with other brands in the industry, but rather, brands that are interested in competing with the industry itself. We then construct brand identities through design, communications, web and multimedia production.
How did you come up with the company name?
I don’t take myself too seriously, so in naming my brand, I knew it needed to be something that was truthfully and playfully representative. As a creative, I have accepted that God did not gift me with an analytical left brain, but gave all the energy to my right brain (the creative and emotional side of the brain). Instead of trying to push away from that truth, I leaned into it. The term “factory” is something I've always admired in a brand name. It exudes feelings of high energy, high passion, high productivity. Together, our name almost denotes a dichotomy of the bubbly creative, blended with the sturdiness of a process-rich factory, which is a pretty good summation of our team. Thus, the name "Right Brain Factory” was conceived.
How did you get started?
Right out of college, I had gotten a job that gave me some great experience, but was completely unfulfilling. The leadership focused little energy on the “why” behind what we were doing. There was no purpose for the work we were doing. We were just working. In my short years, one truth I have learned is that work is a gift. It can be the most life-giving blessing, or the most soul-sucking routine. Up to that point, my youthful career had revealed the latter. After a Thai lunch and wise counsel from a dear friend, it hit me that I had a personal mission to help brands communicate their mission, their passion, and their purpose in a way that would resonate throughout the community that would rally alongside them.
Why did you choose Coppell to work in?
I was raised most of my life in Coppell. I graduated from CHS in 2007, and after meeting my wife at Abilene Christian University, we unanimously agreed that we wanted to start our life together in Coppell. Our family is here, our church is here, our people are here. I have a history with the people that run the local businesses. Much of my story is a direct outcome of how Coppell has shaped and molded me. It only felt right to start my business here.
Tell us about some of the clients you’re working with?
Man, we’ve been so blessed. When we started, most of our clients were local businesses and small shops. It was kind of a legacy to get to shape the brands of my hometown and see my fingerprint on so many of the brands I grew up loving, as well as the new brands that have recently come up, i.e. Zenzero, Bailey & Stich Orthodontics, The Door Church, Pure Barre, George Coffeehouse, Kenny Conoley Realty, etc. We’ve since transitioned into working almost exclusively with industry-disrupting startups. We take on brands who are ready to start an industry-shaking movement for the better of mankind.
How does your work help them and their business?
Honestly, the most exhilarating part of what we do is getting to witness business owners or entire companies, for the first time, find out what they stand for. Every brand has a story, and if you dig deep enough, you’ll find that most brands have a purpose for existence (not to simply make money), but few brands have honed in on what they stand for and understand how to communicate it. Everyone has witnessed a Chick-fil-A employee against a McDonald’s employee. There’s a unique energy that Chick-fil-A employees have that McDonald’s employees never will. Not only do Chick-fil-A employees have something to rally behind, but they have a unified and clear brand message that empowers them to love what they do.
What types of services are you offering now?
We start most projects with a brand positioning strategy. Essentially, this informs all branding decisions moving forward. This starts with listening to the client and third-party data to understand the industry, competition, the brand’s current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then a synthesis of which direction to take the brand. We then identify the brand's target audience, core messages, brand story (how their brand message connects to their audience), the brand personality, and compile that into a unified structure that acts as the baseline for all branding efforts moving forward. Then, we start production. We then tell the brand’s story through design, communications, web design and development, photography and film.
What’s it like working in a co-work environment?
It's the ultimate work-without-borders environment. I have been exposed to coworking all throughout Dallas for about the past five years and have been a member of Collective Office in Old Town for a little under a year now and have been so impressed. Coworking provides a beautiful blend of the liveliness of a tasteful coffee shop, with the professionalism and resources of an office. Imagine going to your favorite coffee shop, but you don’t come home smelling like coffee; the WiFi is fast, high school kids don’t bombard the place after school, you can book a meeting room to bring clients to, you can print and ship and use the bathroom in peace. It’s an entrepreneur's paradise. Side note: everyone come check out Collective Office.
What are some of the drawbacks?
Sometimes the WiFi is too fast and the people are too friendly. No, seriously, as entrepreneur or an organization with a small team, there really aren’t any drawbacks to it.
Who has inspired you the most and why?
This one goes to my dad, Bill Neathery. In 1980, he started his electrical contracting business, Neathery Electric, which has grown to a wildly successful brand in the Park Cities. As a young entrepreneur, he chased his passion and provided well for his family. Every day of my life, by choice, dad was home no later than 6 o’clock. He was not only physically present, but consistently emotionally present for both mom and me. Through his actions, he taught me that work is a gift, but not the purpose of life. He showed me the love of the Father and what it means to love your family without borders. He planted in me a sense of true perspective, which is counter-societal, and he stands by it to this day. I wish everyone could have a role model like that.
What is your favorite place to eat in Old Town Coppell?
Currently, Twisted Root. In the near future, George Coffeehouse will have my heart.
Where is your favorite form of social media?
Digitally, Instagram. I’m a visual guy. In the real world, though, 10 times out of 10, I will prefer the social medium of sitting down and having a human conversation over a glass of bourbon or a good craft beer.
What was the most difficult client to promote?
Any time we have had a difficult client, we always force ourselves to look inward first and see what we could have done on our end to help mitigate the situation before it happened. It’s the hardest thing to do. Ego doesn’t like admitting fault. And I’m not always good at it, but it’s the only way to sustain a happy and healthy business and relationship. We live in a broken world and problems will arise, no matter what. No one is excused from fault, so we have learned to simply rest in the fact that we don’t have it all together, and we love when we get to work with other organizations who can admit and take rest in the same thing.
What is your favorite microwavable meal?
My kids’ organic dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets with some nice, gourmet Heinz ketchup.
Who would you like to have coffee with just to chat?
Benjamin Franklin. His ability and pursuit to bring together community despite all odds; it’s absolutely awe inspiring. He understood people and our tribal nature. He understood what it meant to create a lasting impact. He didn’t create anything without having a purpose or meaning. And everything he did was in pursuit of others. There is something convicting about a man like that.