Disrupting Branding Agencies with FINIEN’s Fabian Geyrhalter

The vast majority of advertising agencies are small businesses with between 10 and 15 people in-house. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 68 percent of the roughly 50,000 advertising and public-relations services businesses in the U.S. employ no more than five workers.(1) And while the industry may look great on the outside, there is much mayhem–payroll, business planning, etc. — agencies are becoming more corporate, more rigid. Because they are so hungry for work, they have moved away from serving clients to collecting industry accolades and becoming as big a business as possible.

But enter disruptor Fabian Geyrhalter, Principal at FINIEN, who explains to KJ Helms, host of the Disruption / Interruption podcast, that agencies must refocus their priorities back to clients to do the kind of work that meets their needs.

After one of his agency’s former team members maligned a branding project to a friend and client, Fabian said to himself, THAT’S IT — I’M DONE WITH THE STATUS QUO. He reexamined what was important to a good agency. Rather than fixate on awards to boost egos and the hunger for more work, he created a small consultancy that could provide for his clients better and faster than all other agencies.

Fabian explains:

  1. There are three crucial disruption components: Courage, determination, and perseverance. All of them are required if you want to create an industry disruption.
  2. Rather than desiring more work, it’s essential to think about your company’s course and where you want to venture.
  3. The agency model is flawed. All agencies would like to be the agency of the year rather than concentrating on what they want to accomplish.
  4. In these days of the Great Resignation, people are examining the skills they possess and are choosing positions that are more suitable and give fulfillment.
  5. Don’t fear saying no to clients. A “no” can create an opportunity for a better “yes”.
  6. It’s crucial for branding agencies to eschew the dog and pony show instead of letting the work stand on its own.
  7. The vision for the project you are working on originates with the person that hired you. You want to ensure that you have a rapport with that individual and agree with what they envision.

Disruption Interruption is the podcast where you’ll hear from today’s Industry Disruptors. Learn what motivated them to bring about change and how they overcome opposition to adoption.

Quote of the show:


FINIEN is a purposefully small consultancy led by brand strategist, entrepreneur, and best-selling author Fabian Geyrhalter. We enable CMOs and founders who are facing a brand transformation to reposition their brands for growth through swift strategic, verbal, and visual brand clarity. Our core clients are US or European-based companies generating at least $5 million in revenue. Our process is unique and transparent. And to ensure truly successful brand transformations after our work is done, we joined the Chameleon Collective. It helps us remain focused and nimble yet mighty impactful. This is FINIEN in a nutshell: a specialized brand consultancy that is far removed from a stodgy agency or a hungry design studio. Now tell us about your brand transformation and how we can create clarity for you. FINIEN can be found online at finien.com.

About Fabian Geyrhalter:

Fabian Geyrhalter is a brand strategist and creative director who was born in Vienna, Austria, and has been living in Los Angeles for over half his life. He understands that any venture can turn into an admired brand if developed in an intrinsic, holistic, and methodological manner. He is also a sought-after speaker who enjoys traveling the world to hold keynotes and group workshops where he shares his actionable brand advice in an engaging and direct way. Fabian can be found online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/geyrhalter/.

  1. Time, Forest. “Big Advertising Agencies Vs. Small Advertising Agencies.” , Retrieved 30 December, 2021, smallbusiness.chron.com/big-advertising-agencies-vs-small-advertising-agencies-39169.html.

And lastly, if you’re a disruptor…

I would like to chat with Karla Jo about maximizing my Disruptive Thought Leadership — contact KJ Helms.

I’d like to learn about the ROI of Anti-PR — download this ROI eBook.

I would like to apply to be a guest on Disruption Interruption.



Karla Jo Helms is the Chief Evangelist & Anti-PR Strategist for JOTO PR Disruptors. She speaks globally on how the control of public opinion drives markets.

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Karla Jo Helms

Karla Jo Helms is the Chief Evangelist & Anti-PR Strategist for JOTO PR Disruptors. She speaks globally on how the control of public opinion drives markets.