Christian Brown is the Forbes 30 Under 30 co-founder and chief marketing officer of Glewee, the easiest and fastest all-in-one influencer marketing platform that connects brands and creators through collaboration and paid social media brand deals.
As a co-founder and the brand’s marketing leader, Brown works closely with the CEO, Dylan Duke, to scale Glewee from its early days of sticky note ideas into the fully-fledged brand it is today. Centered around community, innovation and fluidity, Glewee’s entire brand evolution and refinement have been the labor of love for Brown since the company’s founding in 2021. From crafting the image and cultural identity internally as a team to building out the public perception from the ground up, Brown channels his passion daily into ensuring all aspects of the brand align seamlessly with Glewee’s larger vision. Alongside these responsibilities, Brown leads the sales and marketing department of ten people, a carefully selected cohort of like-minded Gen Z innovators collectively focused on growing an industry-disrupting platform. He also oversees user efforts and the community experience. These endeavors have resulted in a user base growth from 0 to thousands of pre-vetted verified influencers, bringing more than 2.0B net social media followers and hundreds of active brands over the past year. In addition, his marketing efforts have resulted in over 20,000 downloads (and counting) of the Glewee App and thousands of paid brand deals through the platform in the first year since launching in the fall of 2021. A natural creative, Brown also enjoys mastering the art of Adobe Photoshop and writing copy for Glewee’s ad-creative, blog, and social media pages.
A native of a small town outside Boston, Massachusetts, Brown grew up a student and product of social media culture. As an only child, Brown dreamed of outgrowing the small town that raised him, yearning to go as far away as possible to experience life in the big city. One way he ventured beyond the confines of his hometown was through the burgeoning world of social media. In 2011, Brown began growing a following on Tumblr and Instagram, platforms that inspired him to hone his skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and web design. With a passion for internet trends, design and fashion, Brown leveraged social media as a vehicle to connect with people online, make new friends and learn the science of online community building.
A natural entrepreneur passionate about brands and marketing, Brown launched a clothing line in high school, a business he grew through college when he was shipping thousands of products from his dorm room and basement. As he ventured further into the tech space, he began working with Boston-based software developers on novel marketing techniques like automated chat systems using artificial intelligence. Through his e-commerce stint, Brown began his first forays into what would become the creator economy. Using social media and influencer marketing as his sole organic marketing efforts, Brown saw great success in his online brand-building and creator economy efforts. He soon traveled to New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles between 2016 and 2018. During this time, he began to incorporate creators and influencers he met online into his brand, harnessing the power of the creator economy to scale his business and immerse himself in the dynamic social media marketing ecosystem.
An innate problem-solver with an ever-ready eye for improvement and efficiency, Brown quickly saw the common pain points facing traditional influencers in Los Angeles in engaging large followings, sourcing branded content and sustaining financial success from monetization. So he sprung into action, seizing every opportunity he could to help his friends grow their brands, secure deals and monetize their followings, eventually leading him to cross paths with Duke, his eventual business partner at Glewee. But before diving headfirst into the world of a high-growth technology startup, Brown wrapped up his formal education in Chicago at DePaul University, where on scholarship, he earned a degree in PRAD (Public Relations + Advertising) and a double minor in business administration and marketing. Described as the best four years of his life, Brown credits his college years as a formidable experience for his intellectual and professional growth. Living in a house with like-minded university students who all eventually landed in tech and marketing, his new version of home felt like an incubator space for ideas, innovation, creativity, and fun, getting him ready for his next entrepreneurial chapter. So, armed with a degree and a refined passion for marketing and social media, Brown set off in 2020 for Tampa, Florida, where he joined forces with Duke to build and develop Glewee.
Since the company’s founding and product launch in 2021, Brown and Duke have ushered in a 360 merger of everything they’ve grown up being passionate about—community, brand building, entrepreneurship and technology—into a single platform with the intent of connecting brands and creators to scale and automate the processes they spent their younger years mastering on a manual basis. From a humble team of two, they have grown Glewee into a dynamic lean startup of over 40 individuals who collectively work across administration, marketing and sales and product and engineering. After relocating from Los Angeles to Tampa, Glewee continues to champion a work-from-anywhere culture alongside “hotel-style working” environments, empowering the team to perform at their best with a laser focus on growing the user base, brand and community. Looking ahead, Brown is excited about scaling Glewee alongside Duke and their team to become the trusted go-to platform for connection, collaboration and partnership growth between consumers and vetted service providers across the entire creator economy.
Regarding role models, Brown likes to share a story about Kobe Bryant he thinks about often. After winning Game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals, Kobe, in a post-game press conference, was asked, “You’re up 2-0. What’s the story? Are you not happy?” Calmly, Kobe responded, “What’s there to be happy about? Jobs not finished.” This motto resonated well with Brown, and this there-is-always-more-work-to-be-done attitude drives his professional work ethic at Glewee, especially in a startup culture where it seems that everything is always happening all at once. In such a fast-paced work culture, Brown knows the importance of clear communication and collaboration, experiences he always sought in the world as an only child wanting to talk to people and establish authentic connections. These childhood experiences have evolved to serve Brown well at Glewee, where he continuously encourages creativity, collaboration and a “we’re-all-in-this-together approach to success.”