Jeff Yapp is a successful American businessman known for his involvement in various pop culture products and influencers. From Rock Band to Taylor Swift, Jeff has worked on it all. Now, Jeff brings his knowledge to the masses with his own consulting agency, Wutznxt.
After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a Master’s degree in Marketing, Finance, and Operations from Northwestern University, Jeff Yapp launched his career into overdrive.
Working throughout the United States in a variety of roles at international companies, Jeff’s strong work ethic allowed him to quickly rise through the ranks. After graduation, Jeff worked as a Product Group Manager of the Beverage Division at Kraft Foods Group. In this role, he developed strong marketing strategies that reinvigorated languishing brands names. His efforts continue to resonate with growth and positive results for the company as a whole.
Jeff Yapp went on to work for a number of well-known companies, such as Lucas Film, 20th Century Fox Entertainment, and the Hollywood Entertainment Corporation. In 2009, Jeff began a new venture. He created Wutznxt, a consulting agency specializing in retail marketing that helps a variety of clients stand out from the crowd, including Fortune 500 companies and startups.
When he isn’t at the office or traveling for business, Jeff can be found spending time with his wife Tamara and their 7 children. Although many of their children are spread apart living adult lives, Jeff makes it a priority to connect with them regularly.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
My first real job was with Kraft Foods Group, which was where I realized that I wanted to work in finance and marketing for the rest of my career. I loved learning new skills and working with new people, so I made sure to get as much experience as I could before opening my own business. In 2009, we launched Wutznxt which has allowed me to work with new clients as well as clients I had previously worked with earlier in my career.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Everyone has doubts and I had a few, especially at the beginning of my career. I’ve always been passionate about learning, so if I ever felt like I wasn’t good enough or couldn’t work in a specific industry, I would buckle down, research everything I could, and prove my doubts wrong.
How did you get your first opportunity to begin creating marketing plans?
I earned it through the promotion process at General Foods. I applied when openings came available and I worked hard to work beyond the intended goals of the position. I continued to work my way up through the business, which gave me an appreciation for everything that it took to run a successful business.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Being active on social media is a great way to attract clients and improve your professional reputation. People are scrolling through social media looking for anything and everything, so it’s easy to drive traffic if you have visually appealing content.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I find the harder choices I have encountered in life are personal choices. Lately, the issue I face is creating a healthy balance between my personal and professional life. With my children spread out attending university, I’ve had to make more of a conscious effort to take time off from work to see them.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I have a strong work ethic and a desire to learn, and I never let failure or negativity get me down. I use failure to motivate me to work harder. I’m also not interested in micromanaging my team. They are all smart, talented individuals and I value their opinions. This makes my life a lot easier!
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I believe the most satisfying moment is when I see a given goal accomplished. When I can say to myself, “I was part of making that happen.”
There is nothing like knowing you’ve been able to reach a monumental goal that will have a lasting impact long after you’re gone.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am going to continue to strive to grow and develop active plans to grow my division and generate effective results for the team I work with.
What business books have inspired you?
The books that have had the biggest impact on me have been the ones that speak to the mind and heart. That includes business books and books that are more positive and encouraging. Think and Grow Rich is a good book for the mindset. How to Win Friends and Influence People is a really good book that helps you understand the importance of communication.
It is worth it to read everything you can get your hands on. Every book, even if it isn’t what you hoped for, will share something with you. Each book expands your knowledge, gives you a different perspective, and empowers you to do more than you could before reading it. Pick up the book you’ve been considering with confidence it’s worth both your time and investment.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Buying a team lunch. Treating my employees well and making sure everyone is enjoying their time together is one of the most important aspects of running a smooth company. I strive to make a work environment where everyone knows they are valuable and unique.