When it comes to marketing and branding, those who aren’t afraid to think outside the box always win. That’s what makes Que Johnson a thought leader. She masters the rules enough to break them and uses the best tactics to get results. Today, she’s helping other brands achieve the same success that she has.
Quendole “Que” Johnson, also known as the Brand Surgeon, is an expert at using proven branding techniques that “shine a spotlight on hidden businesses.” Her lessons and teachings are helping businesses win through tried and tested marketing techniques that convert. The Brand Surgeon was also the host and owner of The Purple Girl Show, a blog talk radio program that tackled fashion, self-empowerment, innovation, and many more.
Que hails from Chicago’s south side. She spent her childhood in the historical Englewood neighborhood. Que learned the importance of working hard early on in life. Her family taught her always to use her voice to speak her mind and influence others. When she was only sixteen years of age, she started climbing up the corporate ladder. Que Johnson started with retail management and management training jobs. She would spend the next eighteen years honing her skills and succeeding professionally.
In her career, the Brand Surgeon has handled over four hundred million dollars in retail sales and trained over a thousand professionals. Que has mastered every customer service and strategic sales method in the book, so she is fearless in creating her original spin on them. The business and branding experts would soon move into communications.
The branding and marketing guru took a leap of faith in 2012 and started “The Purple Girl Show.” Que Johnson began the blog talk radio show from her bedroom with nothing more than a cellphone and a computer. Today, her performance has gathered over fifty thousand listeners to date. The Purple Girl Show has welcomed various high-caliber guests, including some NBA players, reality show stars, elected officials, well-known activists, and many others.
The Brand Surgeon would eventually pick up the attention of many influencers. These wins would land her primary media coverage with the BET Hip Hop Awards weekend, Nike Chi League, Chicago Bud Billiken Parade VIP Reception, MC Lyte Vinyl Release Party, and TMZ.
Later, Que Johnson would create 529 Management LLC, a lifestyle branding and brand management company based in Chicago, Illinois. Que helps businesses build brands that win in the long run through her company. The agency specializes in building strategies that create awareness and visibility of brands through one-on-one branding consultation and strategy sessions.
Regarding marketing and branding, The Brand Surgeon is unconventional in her ways. She’s not afraid to use branding methods that go against the grain. As a result, her strategies have helped her, and her clients get better business results. Que Johnson’s goal has always been and always will be to help others in any way possible. Primarily self-taught, the brand expert has learned so much from her successes and mistakes and is eager to share them with anyone.
She hopes to become a leading source of branding and digital advertising and become a sought- after industry expert by growing her tribe and innovating non-stop. She does not intend to stop thinking outside the box and going against the flow, and that fearlessness is what continues to bring her to greater heights.
We had the unique pleasure of sitting down with entrepreneur and CEO Que Johnson. In our one on one we learned the passion and inspiration behind her great brand and what exactly makes Que the Brand Surgeon.
If you could describe yourself in five words, what would they be and why?
Resilient, Determined, Compassionate, Selfless, & Supportive. I embody every word that describes who I am. I find fulfillment in supporting and witnessing the success of others, making them an invaluable asset to their community, brand, or social circle.
What/who would you say was your earliest example of entrepreneurship?
As far as I can remember, my aunties were pretty women, hustlers. In second grade, I was the cashier for my aunt Te’Lisa’s mobile candy store; after school, She would pull up in a big brown station wagon filled with penny candy, chips, and 25-cent juice and sell out. My aunt Omiyale who recently celebrated her 80th Birthday, would have my cousin and I assist her at flea markets, and my aunt Janet taught us how to make jewelry which she still sells. It’s safe to say I was born into entrepreneurship.
What made you choose branding and marketing?
The lack of entrepreneurs genuinely not knowing what steps to take after forming their business entity and seeing entrepreneurs hit a glass ceiling. It’s where most are stuck and trying to figure out how to get to the next level and aren’t aware of the different measures it takes to build both business and brand because they are different.
How did the Brand Surgeon come about? What can women expect when partnering with your company?
Covid has created so many gurus with an overload of information and miscommunication. My only focus is to cure whatever problem your brand has, and The Brand Surgeon does that. Taking the time to run tests on every area of your brand, my team and I know what surgery is needed to recover for sustainable success.Regarding the partnership, my mission is to prove women can work together, uphold integral work principles and create safe spaces for valuable experiences with 529 Management. We believe in diversity and inclusion so women can walk in their authentic leadership and not wonder if they fit in.
Can you take us through the intake process?
Our COO, Tasiha Davis, leads our intake process. After our initial consultation to see if the client is an excellent fit for us, Racheal Turner or CMO follows up with a strategy outline on how we can serve their brand. When the client accepts, Tasiha proceeds with onboarding documents and contractual agreements.
Who is your ideal client? Do you have specific criteria?
We’ve had the privilege to work with our ideal client multiple times. This client is sure of their next level and open to new and nonconventional branding methods. They are six or seven-figure earners, and they book my company for our elite brand management package.
Tell us about your other brand, “The Purple Girl Show”?
The Purple Girl Show was a brand birth in my bedroom with a cellphone and computer. It’s a blog talk radio show birthed when internet ready first came on the scene. I interviewed some amazing and talented people, elected officials, pillars in the community, NBA Players’ moms, reality tv stars, and more. I grew the show to over 30,000 listeners in the first year using only the Twitter platform. My show aired from 2012-2017, ending with over 150,000 listeners and landing me commentary on TMZ and media coverage with BET, Nike Chi-League, artist album release parties, and more.
What message did women take away from your show?
To live in your purpose and genuine authenticity. I started my show without knowing what I was doing, but I felt aligned and alive on the air. I did exactly what I was supposed to do in that season.
What can your supporters expect from you next?
To becoming a leading branding and digital advertising source, growing my tribe, and innovating non-stop. What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
First, you must believe that’s who you are and be pretty in mind, heart, and spirit. A Pretty Woman Who Hustles is also a thought leader and game changer, and her excellent reputation proceeds her.
Social Media Handles IG: @imaquejohnson @529management
Facebook: Que Johnson