Scooter Braun is probably one of the most talked about managers of the past 5 years. He manages Justin Bieber, along with other well-known artists such as Asher Roth and The Wanted. He started out working as an event planner during his college years in Atlanta, and then eventually moved his way up and worked as a marketing manager for Jermaine Dupri. Now, years later, we know him as the man who discovered Justin Bieber.
What makes Scooter Braun a super manager is not the level of Bieber’s success; rather, it is how he has handled Justin’s image along the way. Braun is widely considered a marketing genius for his days under Jermaine Dupri and his nationally-renowned events that he planned in college, including parties for Eminem and Britney Spears. I believe this experience has helped him manage Bieber’s career. His philosophies are interesting as well. He does not take much credit for where Bieber is now. “Justin Bieber is where he is today because he is Justin Bieber; what you see is what you get. I can’t take credit for that.” His strategy when it comes to branding is exemplary as well. He lets the brand be itself and brings out its strengths. He does not try to make Bieber’s brand what it is not or follow in the exact footsteps of earlier superstars. He emulates rather than imitates. Braun and Bieber look at Michael Jackson’s career much of the time to see what it was that made his music sell so well. Along with it just being good music, he did something different than most child stars do today. He did not try to make new, provocative music to bring in adult fans; rather, he made music that kept his current child fans while bringing in new adult fans at the same time. Braun tries to do this with Bieber as well.
Another strong point in Braun’s managing technique is how he sees marketing opportunities. He realizes that Justin’s biggest advertisements are his fans; therefore, he uses this to their advantage. He has canceled interviews with major publications so that Justin can have an interview with a 15-year old girl who runs a Bieber fan page on Twitter. Decisions like these reiterate to fans that they really are important to Bieber, and it is great from both a marketing and a management standpoint.
Lastly, and perhaps most important – Braun does not treat Bieber as a means to an end. He doesn’t see him as just a 15% commission. He really cares about Bieber’s life and career choices, and does not just tell him what he wants to hear. This is imperative in a world and industry where you are surrounded by people just feeding you what you want to hear in hopes that they will get something out of it. I believe that Braun is one of the greatest managers in our industry today, if not THE greatest manager of today.