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Omar Johnson        

Former CMO at Beats by Dre & VP at Apple; Founder of ØPUS United

Omar Johnson, former CMO at Beats by Dre and former VP Marketing at Apple, is a marketing innovator in the art of collaboration. Throughout his career, Johnson has touched all facets of marketing, ranging from brand development and positioning, to advertising and global digital marketing. He has been named a “Brand Genius” by Adweek and one of the “Most Innovative CMOs” by Business Insider.

Johnson founded ØPUS United, a modern professional services firm and multi-disciplined collective of award-winning executives, athletes, strategists, data scientists, and musicians, who understand the anatomy of world-class brands. The company is built on his proprietary approach, Culture-Centric Analytics and ØPUS Score which quantifies how brands partner consumers and celebrities to drive value and audience exchange.

Johnson is from Brooklyn, NY. He received a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Georgia State University and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Speech Topics


DIVERSITY IN BUSINESS: MEETING PEOPLE “WHERE THEY ARE”

Many leaders and business owners are at a loss on how they can concretely affect change and grow their business in regards to diversity. Join us for a conversation with Omar Johnson, Former CMO at Beats by Dre, and Former VP of Marketing at Apple, Inc. as he shares his thoughts on how we can support our black employees, partner with the communities they serve, and make more conscious decisions in our marketing and branding efforts.

LEADERSHIP: MEETING PEOPLE “WHERE THEY ARE”

The idea of the majority office culture is changing. Instead of expecting everyone to fall in line, employees are encouraged to bring their individuality to work, such as their culture, gender, or sexual orientation. While celebrating and encouraging individual differences is good for breaking groupthink and innovating, it is also hard to manage as a leader. In this talk, Omar Johnson discusses the challenges and benefits of meeting people where they are. Audiences will come away with an understanding of employee differences, which can provide for a better work environment that enriches the company culture and the bottom line.

MARKETING BRANDS WITH AUTHENTICITY AND EMOTION

Big companies spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to drive brand awareness, but Omar Johnson was able to make Beats headphones a viral social media phenomenon and an international success on almost no budget. Johnson learned the key to building great brand awareness was to listen, be curious, and to use truth and emotion to connect to the audience. In this talk, Johnson will share his experiences of creating emotional connections to a brand through innovative and unconventional marketing techniques.

THE BEATS STORY: BUILDING AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

When Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine created Beats in 2006, their goal was to create a great sounding headphone. However, it wasn’t until Omar Johnson came along that Beats became the most popular headphone for athletes and musicians. Johnson was able to turn a 180 million dollar company into a billion dollar enterprise through unconventional marketing tactics and his brand of insight, idea, execution and result. In his highly engaging talk, Johnson shows how he used curiosity and creativity to turn Beats headphones from a commodity product into an experience and an international brand.

THE BEST IDEA WINS: HOW TO WORK WITH THE CROWD, IGNORE THE DATA, AND USE THE ART OF LISTENING TO DEVELOP YOUR BEST IDEAS

Marketing is about ideas and authenticity. When Omar Johnson took over the marketing for Beats by Dre, he created a flat organization style where the best idea could win. He encouraged everyone to contribute ideas from the newest member of the team to the oldest. Instead of heavy data analysis, his team would talk to actual users of Beats in the streets in order to find why and how people were using their headphones. The result was a billion dollar company and category leader. In this talk, Omar shares techniques from his experience on how to develop the best ideas.

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