The Brand Establishment perfected the first contemporary brand development process specifically for small to mid-sized advertisers more than two decades ago. These tools and procedures have been utilized by companies in virtually every business sector – hundreds of times.

Over the years, we have trained a national network of small to mid-sized ad and PR agencies, design firms and consultants. And through a graduate-level curriculum, alumni hold the designation as the only Certified Brand Strategists in the country.

Today, the Brand Establishment and its agency members enjoy a well-earned recognition as the new generation of thought leaders in brand development.


The Brand Establishment organization is the result of some 40 years of brand-building expertise, as evidenced by its two managing partners, Russ Cornelius and Jacquie Francisco, along with the founder, Jim Hughes.

Each brings to the organization a wealth of experience with local, regional and national brands in just about every category.

Since its beginning in 2000, the Brand Establishment has been recognized as the leading brand building authority in the country, working with more than 300 brands, in both the profit and nonprofit categories, to successfully differentiate themselves and deliver their brand’s unique promise.





The training is tough, the benefits are many.

As a Brand Establishment Certification candidate, you’ll become part of a brand development process that will elevate your game, differentiate you and your agency and help you produce much more strategic work.

To achieve a CBS (Certified Brand Strategist) designation you will become part of a 5-month curriculum with text books and scheduled section reviews with the leaders of the Brand Establishment, case study preparation, a review of your readiness from our independent BE Certification Advisory Review Board, the completion of a final exam and, finally, an in person peer review presentation.

Experience the financial rewards of moving yourself and your shop into the 21st century providing a more strategic, consultative approach to helping appreciative clients grow their business (and you’ll be the only professional in your region certified to do it).

Learn about our upcoming events!