Tina Wells: Millennial Whisperer
It is rare for someone to identify their purpose in life at an age early enough for it to materialise. It is rarer still for that person to turn their passion into a multimillion-dollar business, sought after by brands like Oprah's OWN Network and Sony, but that is exactly what Tina Wells did.
At age 16, she founded her market research company by doing product reviews, and by age 28 she was already worth an estimated US$12 million. Dubbed 'The Millennial Whisperer' by Fast Company, Wells is a formidable force. As CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, she has managed to harness the power of her nationwide focus-group network of over 35,000 'buzzSpotters'.
She is bestselling author of several books, including Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right, as well as the teen series Mackenzie Blue. Wells has also taught marketing courses at Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and NYU, among others. With so much already achieved, it is nothing short of awe-inspiring that she is currently under the age of 40.
Yet all this could have easily never happened. In an unlikely sequence of events, Wells learned why knowledge is power. She might have continued doing free product reviews were it not for a client who tipped her off. Wells explains, "A client of mine called and said, 'I'm going to tell you something really important: your report is 10 times better than the one we paid $25,000 for'."
The client went on to explain that what Wells had been excelling at, without even knowing it, was called market research and could be very lucrative. With that information, she sought the guidance of her then college professor, and after being prompted to create a business plan, things soon fell in place.
Nevertheless, Wells remembers where she started. As the eldest of six children she was no stranger to responsibility, but she never saw herself becoming a business leader. "I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur. In 1996, that was not really a word that was known to me," she explains.
Today, the millennial marketer has become that and more. She has received Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Phenom Award, and has been listed in Essence's 40 Under 40; Billboard's 30 Under 30; and Inc's 30 Under 30. She was also named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.
The LAB Think Tank
Wells will be visiting Jamaica for The LAB Think Tank 2018: Reaching the Jamaican Millennial, on Wednesday, October 24 at The Spanish Court Hotel, Valencia, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A one-day, targeted millennial marketing forum, the conference is designed to help businesses and brands get ahead. The event will feature the release of highlights from Jamaica's latest Generation Y-Z market survey, conducted by Blue Dot - Data Intelligence.
"I am very excited to be sharing my insights on millennial marketing, and to be part of an event that highlights the effective use of data. Sometimes all you need are the right tools, and this event will help with that," shared Wells.
To attend The LAB's think tank, register online at www.labthinktank.com.