By Ashley Chambers
Sitting in the office downtown Oakland office of Tyranny Allen, founder and CEO of Marketing Kings, a person can pick up a wealth of knowledge about the secrets of branding.
“Branding is the essential of every business,” from the company name to the business logo to the target audience and website, according to Allen.
Having grown his company Marketing Kings over the past three years – with the help of his aunt Trevelyn Lee and business partner Dave Hufana – Allen has become a branding guru and what he calls a “serial entrepreneur.”
He has been instrumental in many local businesses, owner of Lucky’s Barbershop for the past 14 years, chef at the pop-up restaurant Afrorican at Oakland’s Liege lounge, owner of a tattoo shop and Verse Sneaker Boutique in Oakland, and manager of multiple ventures through his entity Tyranny Allen Projects (TAP).
He is a Bay Area CEO who is passionate about business.
“To become this entrepreneur, you have to have a healthy state of mind. It’s an everyday process – you can’t stop,” he said. “You gotta breathe this. It’s an energy that you have to have. My energy gets greater by seeing the businesses that I create.”
Allen attributes his success not only to that tireless energy and the team he has around him but also to his mentality, which can be relayed even to a painter or writer.
“If you have that mentality, you don’t mind working everyday until 10 p.m. because that’s part of who you are,” he said. “You continue to be the best at whatever you do. If you’re a painter, you love to paint, and you’re good at it – that means you get up, you sleep and eat whatever you do.”
“Whatever you gravitate towards, if it’s sports or writing, whatever it is, you want to be the best. I’ve always wanted to be the best, but I didn’t mind playing my position. ”
How to play your role in business is something Allen often speaks about at his quarterly event, “The Gathering,” a conference for entrepreneurs and aspiring businessmen and women.
“I do a 10-step how to do business in Oakland, sponsored through the City of Oakland: getting your fictitious business license, figuring out your tax bracket and if you want to go into a LLC. I teach people how to be progressive and that being passionate often turns into success.
“Whatever your way is, develop your way,” he said.