Leah Muhlenfeld

Leah Muhlenfeld, a senior brand strategist and engagement lead for Brand Federation, brings boundless energy and optimism to her clients, teams, and life.

Leah Muhlenfeld

What is your role at Brand Federation?

I am a senior brand strategist and engagement lead at Brand Federation. Another Brand Fed strategist noted that my skillset helps the firm “land the plane” for clients. I love being a part of the ongoing strategic counsel after we nail the strategy. Helping clients take their amazing brand strategies and put them into play throughout their organization is super satisfying and fun for me.

What work are you doing now and what about it inspires you?

One of my Brand Fed clients is a health and wellness supplement company. We are supporting one of our identity partners, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, by driving the brand strategy and developing a new master brand name for this company that is expanding into new categories.

I love health and wellness, as my BF colleagues know, because I’m always talking about weird food things and getting up early to exercise, which inevitably ends up with a work email at obnoxiously predawn hours since my brain is going. Helping more humans have access to alternative health resources just makes me happy!

What superpower do you bring your clients and colleagues?

Optimism and energy. Doing branding and marketing right means you’re in a marathon, not a sprint. Whether keeping clients and teams focused on long-term goals or reminding them how lucky we are to love what we do, it’s rewarding for me to watch people get reenergized about their work. Bringing new creative thought to the world is my personal mission and Brand Federation is amazing at that, both through their strategies and their ability to connect clients to creative partners that can bring the strategies to life.

Why did you join the Brand Federation team?

I’ve had a long track record with three of the four partners, Kelly O’Keefe, Matt Williams, and Dennis Duffy, across multiple career experiences. And it took one project and a plane ride for the fourth partner, Rian Chandler-Dovis, and me to feel like we’d known each other our whole adult lives. I can’t thank the four BF partners enough for supporting me throughout the wackiness of the pandemic and consistently trying to match my skillset with amazing projects that find their way to them.

Have you read a book (or seen a movie, or listened to a podcast) lately that you’d recommend?

Ooooh - where to begin - A few fave business books of the past couple years include:

Building A StoryBrand - I learned about StoryBrand from an eCommerce Crew podcast (yes, I’m that geeky) where they were interviewing an entrepreneur who built an electronics ecomm website.  Donald Miller’s ability to simplify the storytelling framework for brands is great. I’ve used this methodology time and time again to help clients of all sizes really understand that the purpose of brands leveraging storytelling is NOT about making the brand shine. The purpose is about connecting to the pain of the target audience and being their guide, so the person you’re trying to help with a product or service can be the hero of their own life.

The Business of Expertise - A creative collaborator I often work with recommended this one. It was a great insight into leveraging all my agency and client-side expertise, combined with consulting experience to shift my mindset on lots of things pertaining to opportunity and career desire and development.

Who Not How – A career coach recommended this book to me and it was the trigger for me to finally hire a virtual assistant from Belay. She has truly changed my life and ability to work full-time and be the mom and wife I want to be. Between calendars and life logistics, it really is about who not how!

Traction - I’ve been working with a client on implementing their Entrepreneurial Operating System, which has been a game changer for this scaling digital production company.

What gets your energy and time outside of work?

My amazing family of 4 kids (ages 17, 15, 9, and 7) and my husband of 19 years, partnering with my husband on creative projects that allow us to combine our natural talents, decorating our home which is like a living art project, 5 a.m. runs to the James River with my lady friends, reading about extraterrestrials, learning about alternative health and wellness paths, like the Bean Protocol and Dr. Zach Bush, and well… waking up every day thankful for another chance to rock this experience of being a human.

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Brand Federation is recruiting experienced, independent branding and marketing consultants who are united by a belief that we can help build brands and organizations that are more relevant, powerful and responsible.