Brandon Bio: Nick McNeill

Nick is the Interactive Director here at Brandon. He has used his talents in computer science and graphic design to grow the online presence of brands such as Santee Cooper, Southern Tide, frogg toggs, Farmers Telephone Cooperative and Blue Force Gear. A serial marathon runner, his steely determination shines through every brand he grows. As lead user interface designer of the GuestDesk software suite for online hotel reservations, he watched it explode from $1 million in reservations to over $400 million annually.

How long have you worked for Brandon?

21 years in total. 10 with Brandon directly. Prior to that I was with Fuel Interactive, which was a digital-only agency and part of the Brandon family.

Could you share a few details about your favorite part of your role and/or the team at Brandon?

The problem-solving part of our work is what I really love. Truly understanding a client problem and providing a solution first means that we’ve uncovered key context around the issue and have a clear picture of the business goals and nuance specific to their operations. Getting to that point is something I really enjoy.

What has kept you working here/brought you here?

      The people, and the range of work. We get to work with a wide range of clients in size, business maturity and industry. The team at Brandon is very sharp, and there’s a steady stream of out-of-the-box thinking across the agency, while we also embrace real-world restraints when working on creative solutions for our clients. 

        How has your role/career changed over the time you’ve spent working at Brandon?

        I come from an engineering background and started as a web designer/developer early in my tenure. My college focus was computer science with a minor in fine arts, which is not a common pairing. I think that intersection of disciplines that has evolved into my passion for user experience works at a strategic level. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to do that work and to work with the team that surrounds me. 

        What stands out to you about the culture here at Brandon?

        We have an amazing culture of learning, exploring and being genuinely curious about trying new things. We are proud of the work we’ve done, but we’re always thinking about what’s next. We experiment a lot and work hard to stay lean and nimble, but we also maintain a practical approach to our work.

          Is there a favorite project that you have worked on during your time here?

          There are too many to choose from. Seeing a brand grow from a single product to a large catalog selling several millions of dollars in revenue each year is awesome. I’ve been lucky to be a part of this team and to experience that multiple times. I also spent a good portion of my early years doing user interface design for Fuel’s online reservation systems, where I learned an incredible amount about digital experiences and customer journeys. To this day, that experience helps me help our clients.

          How has the agency evolved during your time here?

          It’s always been a continuous evolution. From a technology perspective, it’s an ever-changing landscape. These days with APIs everywhere, we can quickly connect systems together and take advantage of modern approaches to website development by going headless. That gives us more flexibility in choosing the right marketing/technology mix for our clients.

          How has your professional development been supported by Brandon? Any specific experiences you’d like to share?

              Brandon has a ton of resources available to the team for ongoing training, and the agency highly encourages everyone to participate in conferences, certifications, etc. 

                If you didn’t work in Marketing/Advertising, what would you be doing?

                I sometimes joke that I might be a decent ER doc, because I like working in a fast-paced environment where you’re constantly thrown new challenges and fires, and you need to make quick decisions while remaining calm. But the needles…