Bryan Kramer and Courtney Smith Kramer co-own H2H Companies and the Silicon Valley marketing agency PureMatter. They are the power couple of digital and influencer marketing and coined the term human to human.
Only a year after they met, they started a business together. With a wing and a prayer, they used their own credit cards and had no clients when they rented their first office space. The business ultimately thrived.
“We ran ourselves ragged on the outside,” says Bryan Kramer. “We had great clients, were doing great work, and winning awards. I spoke on the road 200 days a year. We worked our butts off.”
The Kramer’s son was 11 when he took his father aside to explain he was never home. He missed all of his and his sister’s games, and he was fat. Bryan admits he ate his way through every country, thus gained 85 pounds and had diabetes.
So the couple put their heads together to restructure their business and their lifestyle to add more balance and a better family life. Bryan’s health improved, he lost weight, and he played a bigger role in his children’s lives.
The business is human to human, which became a movement because it is about relationships, not transactions.
Courtney Kramer adds, “One of the pillars of H2H is imperfection. The other two are simplicity and empathy, which are the three things we’ve identified as the traits that make us the most human versus machines. When you identify what makes you imperfect as a human and celebrate it, then it becomes your superpower. That makes us relatable to other human beings.”
Imperfect is what people are. There is no such thing as perfection. There are brands that are proactive about their imperfection. Some of them make fun of themselves.
The Kramers have always been about the human relationship with technology and its evolution.
“People were scared that robots were going to take their jobs,” adds Courtney. “It was especially amplified here in Silicon Valley. Humor is another facet of why human beings have a competitive advantage over technology.”
The bottom line is humans crave connection with others and the Internet has taken away the need for proximity. Even without that global reach, if the Internet permanently disappeared overnight, the Kramers assure that people would resume to the world they had before everyone was plugged in.