CORPORATE INNOVATOR, AWARD RECIPIENT
Jordan Zimmerman has been an entrepreneur from an early age. He started a door-to-door greeting card business at 8 years old, and later a successful newspaper route where he managed his ﬁrst employees, his friends. These ventures taught him leadership and to overcome fear of failure and rejection. He’s continued to create and run successful businesses ever since.
Zimmerman is founder and chairman of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Zimmerman Advertising, a company he started 28 years ago. He’s grown the ﬁrm to more than 1,100 employees in 22 ofﬁces across the country and runs campaigns for well-known names such as Nissan, Ofﬁce Depot, Papa John’s, Party City and Ashley Furniture. His success stems from focusing on internal morale and bottom-line results.
To raise morale during a low point for the company after the loss of a major client in 1997, Zimmerman appointed a “Gung Ho” ofﬁcer — inspired by the book “Gung Ho: Turn On the People In Any Organization,” by Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. The ofﬁcer was tasked with conversing with employees to ﬁnd out how they were doing and to determine if they still had passion for the business. This frank feedback gave Zimmerman the information he needed to identify and ﬁx internal issues.
To encourage bottom-line results, Zimmerman created his agency’s business plan around “brandtailing” — a combination of creating brand equity over time while driving immediate growth. He created this methodology while in graduate school, disagreeing with the traditional model that focuses on proﬁtability before brand awareness. Built on this innovative idea, Zimmerman Advertising was the ﬁrst metrics-driven business solutions ﬁrm that happened to do advertising.
HOW TO REACH: Zimmerman Advertising, www.zadv.com