Stoute is the founder and CEO of the industry-leading brand development and marketing firm, Translation, whose client roster includes diverse brands such as McDonald’s, State Farm, Target, Estee Lauder, Budweiser, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Lady Gaga.
Stoute continues to successfully transform the way blue-chip marketers and superstar artists connect with consumers, by helping them understand and embrace the cultural changes of the new generation of consumers.
Stoute’s latest effort is the release of his highly anticipated book, The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture that Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy, in which he teaches corporate America how to understand today’s newest consumer – The Tan Generation. He describes this demographic as a generation of black, Hispanic, white and Asian consumers who have the same mental complexion based on shared experiences and values. He draws from his company’s case studies as well as interviews with leading figures in multiple fields to prove this consumer is a mindset, rather than a race or age demographic. In The Tanning of America Steve Stoute shows how a company can connect with the youth market without seeming inauthentic and staying true to their core brands.
In the same way he spearheaded campaigns that seamlessly connected cultural icons and Fortune 500 companies, Stoute created a relationship with Brooklyn-based beauty brand Carol’s Daughter in 2005. Intrigued by the brand’s homespun roots and Founder Lisa Price’s undeniable authenticity, he took the brand from a single-store operation to a multi-million dollar beauty empire with over 1,000 points of distribution. Because of his initiative, Carol’s Daughter now lists Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jimmy Iovine, Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige among its leading investors. Stoute also created a strategic partnership with Disney for a Princess-inspired line for Carol’s Daughter, and launched a record-breaking fragrance with HSN and Mary J. Blige.
In 2008, Stoute expanded his company by partnering with Jay-Z to co-found Translation Advertising, which has since grown considerably to enjoy much success in the general market. In 2009, the American Advertising Federation inducted Steve into the Advertising Hall of Achievement and in 2010, he was recognized as Innovator of the Year by ADCOLOR at their annual awards ceremony. Later that year he also appeared in HBO’s The Black List Project, as a leading African American figure. Additionally, he was chosen as one of four extraordinary Americans in Target’s “Dare.Dream.Do.” campaign in honor of Black History Month.
Prior to founding his company, Stoute spent ten years as a senior executive at several leading music labels.
He was first President of Urban Music at Sony and later became Executive Vice President of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. During his time at Interscope, he was honored with an American Music Award as producer for the movie soundtrack of Wild Wild West. He would later go on to executive produce the Academy Award-winning 8 Mile soundtrack.
Steve is also involved in a variety of civic causes. He served as the co-chairman of the New York City Fresh Air Fund in 2003, which helps minority children experience life outside the inner city. He also played a key role in the development of minority recruitment campaigns for both the FDNY and NYPD for which he received the 2004 Humanitarian Award. In 2008, he joined forces with Mary J. Blige to co-found the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), whose mission is to educate and empower women through scholarships, grants and career opportunities.