Raoul Davis: Nailing the art of CEO branding



The marketplace previously had two categories B2B and B2C, to understand the difference between audiences, specialties, and segments. But the fact is that the lines between the two are blurring and making it difficult to differentiate among them. Now the marketplace has shifted beyond B2B and B2C, to H2H (human to human). “Consumers are changing and they desire a better experience. This change focuses on emotional connectivity and transitions corporations from feeling faceless to being more human,” says Raoul Davis, Founder, and CEO of Ascendant Group.

The journey of Delaware based Ascendant Group started in the year 2004. The company works with CEOs, retired athletes, entertainers, and executive leaders towards enhancing their visibility and getting recognized as experts in their respective fields. With a strategy that is a unique blend of integrated PR, speaking engagements, book deals, social media, and strategic networking, Ascendant Group helps its elite clients increase their top-line revenue. “Our services influence those who aren’t aware of how to communicate the services they provide through the clients messaging, positioning, and actions in the market, every day,” says Raoul. “We help businesses and individuals with great messages, products, and services find and communicate with the audience that will benefit the most.” Since its launch, Ascendant Group has been working with the world’s leading CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, INC 5000 fastest-growing businesses, eminent leaders leading world-class organizations, bestselling authors, and elite athletes trying to take the entrepreneurial route. Built on referrals and inspired by trust, Ascendant Group is an undisputed global leader and most integrated CEO branding enterprise in the world.

“I am inspired to ensure great companies, products, services, and messages are heard and positively influence the people who will benefit from them,” says Raoul Davis, Founder, and CEO of Ascendant Group.

Going an extra mile

As a leading global expert on CEO branding, Forbes Contributor, and author of Firestarters, a self-help book that equips its readers with tools they need for finding success in their careers, businesses, organizations, and private lives, Raoul, has completely transformed the way CEO branding is done. With a well-defined branding strategy customized to suit the needs of his clients, Raoul ensures that they far exceed the client expectations. “The vision of the company is to provide the best CEO branding services to our clients. We want to position our clients to gain maximum exposure to increase our client’s revenue in a short-time period,” says Raoul. To do so Raoul and his team believe in going the extra mile to offer the clients the best. Rather that is how they work. “We allow market response to validate ideas,” shares Raoul. “It isn’t our role to put clients in a box, or contort them into the latest trend, instead we hyper emphasize their uniqueness and let that be the engine for differentiation.” Committed to delivering the best outcome, Raoul and his team work tirelessly towards a goal with no room for exceptions or compromises. Till the time they successfully achieve the set goal, they remain on its tail while keep bettering themselves and their strategies. If any project does not yield the expected results in 48 hours, it is reworked upon till the final desired outcome is achieved. If any lack in social media engagement is noticed, it is tested with a different audience, the content is rewritten, or they conclude that the content strategy has failed and a new one needs to be developed. “This approach permeates through every aspect of our client engagements. We specialize in improvising and making adjustments,” adds Raoul.

Raoul Davis, Founder & CEO, Ascendant Group.
Raoul Davis, Founder & CEO, Ascendant Group.

When the team knows that the leadership is genuinely concerned about them and their personal growth, it sparks an extraordinary commitment in them which makes extraordinary results inevitable.

The winning streak

As a result, since its establishment, the Ascendant Group has repeated its success like no other. Having earned a reputation and respect for its clients for years. With a proven track record of 16 years and with brand strategy, brand management, PR, social media, design, photography, and publishing as its core competency Ascendant Group has earned several awards and recognitions:

  • Founding member of the Forbes Agency Council for top PR & Advertising firms in the world, 

  • Awarded as the CEO branding and corporate branding firm of the year for the year 2016, 2017, 2019,

  • Best web design recognition, top 25 small business cultures, and best PR campaigns.   

Of course, these achievements Raoul says are not a coincidence, but a result of a highly dedicated team and the culture he has fostered around the company. When the team knows that the leadership is genuinely concerned about them and their personal growth, it sparks an extraordinary commitment in them which makes extraordinary results inevitable. “That galvanizes people through the challenging times,” says Raoul. “It contributes to them working that much harder.” Having instilled a healthy work culture, Raoul knows that it is the level of their commitment that determines if the client’s expectations are just met, or exceeded. “We spent many years sticking with people and cultivating talent,” shares Raoul. “Most of our team members have been with us for 8+ years this creates a type of unity and cohesiveness that is valuable for our clients. Over the last 18 months, we’ve brought in fresh and younger talent. With having spent so much time cultivating experienced professionals it has become easier to understand what it takes to build the next generation of leadership. We’ve been able to successfully integrate Millennial and Generation Zoomer talent after being almost an exclusively Generation X team.” 

Navigating Covid-19

Like other organizations, Ascendant Group too had to take some serious jabs and uppercuts from the pandemic. However, due to its resilient business model, Ascendant Group has been able to survive the brutal knock and has tried to make lives easier during troubling times. With coronavirus forcing it to reposition its clients, rather than giving in and surrendering to the situation around, Ascendant Group chose to get up and fight with nothing but victory as the option. It made its clients understand that fearing and backing away is what it will not help and that it is the right time to jump higher than its competitors. The heavy majority of its clients embraced this message and the results followed. “Whether it is the early stage hydration company who focused on helping more people hydrate in order to protect themselves during the pandemic and has seen a growth of 340%, the C-level executive that decided he wanted to give back and write about inspiring acts of giving from what he calls ‘the human lighthouses’ who we were able to secure a publishing deal around his new purpose, the real estate company that designed convenient units for hospital workers who needed rest, or the son and grandson of the man who did the first-ever liver transplant; deciding they had to innovate on a new level and are working on a firebreak treatment to provide the world a solution for COVID-19. We’ve been on the frontlines, helping them reposition, rethink, and reimagine what it means to communicate during unprecedented times,” says Raoul. “Our clients never stopped and neither did we.”

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