JORDAN WHEELER - Culture Feature



Image courtesy of @driveskurt on Instagram

Image courtesy of @driveskurt on Instagram

Earlier this month, our Director of Strategy + Culture, Micah Heykoop, came across an Instagram post featuring hip-hop artist Vic Mensa. The post wasn't advertising a new album or upcoming tour, but an app called Skurt that makes it easier than ever to rent a car.

A few emails later, Micah sat down with Jordan Wheeler, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Skurt, who was responsible for the brand's partnership with Mensa, one that proved the power of influencer marketing no matter what the industry.

These excerpts were pulled from our podcast SESSIONS, a bi-weekly interview series featuring entrepreneurs, artists, strategists and cool people doing cool things. 


On Tapping a culturally-relevant reach...

I try to approach it from the standpoint of not the influencer or artist that I like the most or our team likes, but we look at a variety of factors - social engagement,  online voice, overall brand image, music quality. but we compile all of those things and look for people who we think there is a brand alignment with that can push the needle for us but also help us grow with them. It's not about trying to get the largest artist or paying the most for the biggest influencer, but people who understand our vision, use the product, like the product and are open to doing some creative projects to engage their fans. It's also about taking a look at their audience, is their audience in our target demo? Do they have audiences who are similarly influential?


On the process of bringing things to life...

One of the biggest challenges is to be really dialed in and accessible. You never know when you'll get hit up for a promo, creative or legal document to send over. I've learned that artists and managers operate on the most important priority is at that time. You have to be prepared and do your work early so that when they do decide to push things through, you can move fast. There's a lot of back and forth. Patience is important because you might not always get what you want when you want.


On finding shared value...

I've been fortunate to work for both Uber and Skurt, two transportations companies, something that everyone needs. I've always approached partnerships with the standpoint of how can we help you leverage what you're doing. I always ask people what they have coming up in the next couple of months - albums, singles, shows. All of that collateral helps us build a relationship. When you show that you care and want to help push the needle for them, it really helps the relationship moving forward and the work you do from there. 


On being a culturally-relevant brand...

Being culturally-relevant can be as simple as having your social media manager pay attention to what's happening and what your audience or users are interested in. Sending out a tweet when the new Frank Ocean album drops... Being culturally relevant is staying on top of things and always pushing forward. And of course, being creative.


Want more? Listen to the complete episode of SESSIONS here.