The philosophy behind The Brand Building Shop, the creative agency that is changing the approach to storytelling in Charlotte, NC.

 A few days ago, “Charlotte is Creative,” the Queen City’s organization that fosters creative development and arts in the Charlotte area, published an article in their newsletter, The Biscuit.

It portrayed six creative couples in the Charlotte area. One of them was Carolina Yanez and Emiliano Gonzalez Portino, The Brand Building Shop’s founders.

Interestingly, the creative community suggested their names, although they barely have two and a half years of arriving in Charlotte.

So we decided to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about them and their vision.

How did The Brand Building Shop creative agency start?

EMI: It was June 2020, amid the pandemic. I had just received my work permit, and we saw everything crumbling around. We were at a crossroads: Applying for jobs was not an option when everybody else was getting furloughed. We had to do something that provided for us and ideally helped others find that security too.

CARO: Apparently, it was the worst moment to start a business, but we knew that whatever we founded – if it survived- it would stand firm and thrive. 

What are your backgrounds?

CARO: I am a graduate of modern languages. I spent most of my life working as a medical interpreter. That is how I realized the crucial importance of words and their cultural nuances. My job was to help the English-speaking communities in Charlotte connect with the Hispanic community in health, legal, and business. I brought that experience to my creative career as a photographer and videographer. That combination paved the way for me to work in the advertising industry with some of the biggest global brands, conveying perspectives from Latin America and North America.

EMI: I have worked for 20 years in advertising and writing. I built my career from the bottom up as an advertising producer, working for agencies and production companies. I also had to work on the client-side. So I’ve participated in all the areas involving the development of an idea or campaign. My primary role has always been combining different working cultures putting together multicultural teams mixing European, USA, and Latin American professionals. I have also worked this way in the Americas and Europe, so my perspective is usually global.

What do you mean by strategic storytelling?

EMI: We talk about storytelling when it comes to putting together the information and the structure to hook the audience. We usually use this resource in scripts, plays, or literature. These elements combined with a long-term goal (like a business, for example) become a strategy. We use many principles applied in television series and the entertainment industry to build long-term company communication. We developed a process that combines the tactics of a creative agency, with showrunning strategies. This combination builds a brand’s reputation the way that certain characters or series are installed in the pop culture.

What is your work approach?

CARO: We both have previous experience in the field of science. Later on, we turned to art. In my case, with photography and video, and in Emiliano’s case, with playwriting, scriptwriting, and advertising production. Our enthusiasm for storytelling using scientific tools to develop strategies became a passion and led us to found The Brand Building Shop. Here, we bring together expert graphic designers of global brands and a talented young pool of digital nomads who regularly collaborate with us to build brands.

What is the philosophy behind The Brand Building Shop?

EMI: We take each project as a unique case and organize a team tailored to the needs of each client. The method is to bring together the best artisans in each area to build the brand from a multidisciplinary point of view that is relevant and effective. We do this based on three principles: Beauty, Benefit, and Social ImpactBeauty to show the uniqueness of a product or service. The Benefit that it brings to the customers and the brand. And the Social Impact that Beauty and Benefit bring to the world.

CARO: These are our core values to accepting projects as well. As a creative agency, we make sure that we deliver based on these principles and that the brands we work with are also aligned with them.

Do you have any future plans?

EMI: Yes. We are organizing a creative laboratory that will incorporate specialists from various areas beyond advertising. We are currently contacting and interviewing behavioral economists, anthropologists, narrative designers, and evolutionary scientists. All this aims to deepen our style that combines strategic narrative with cultural studies and evolutionary biology. If you want to know more about The Brand Building Shop or have any further questions, you can contact us directly at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *