Luanne Brown, President and Founder, eTool Developers
Luanne Brown is truly a pioneer in the automotive aftermarket. President of eTool Developers, Brown took a leap of faith when she founded her company in 2001. The industry was light-years behind when it came to technology. Seeing a big need in the marketplace, Brown set out to help aftermarket companies build out their websites and create online marketing tools when some were still skeptical about this thing called the internet. “I think part of my success was being able to speak in a language that these guys understood and not go over their heads, because you know in the world of the web, it’s all analogies and acronyms,” she says.
Brown’s prescience enabled her to fill a quickly growing need in the marketplace. Deeply involved in the industry, serving on the SEMA board from 2008 to 2015, and now as a VP of the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Executive Committee, Brown has used volunteering in the industry as a key tool to network her small, woman-owned business. “My advertising has been through my volunteer efforts,” she says. “That’s kind of how I’ve marketed myself and got to know people in the industry is through that effort. But getting eTools to a place where it’s kind of self-sufficient, it’s like this well-oiled machine and I have this phenomenal team, I’m really blessed in that regard.”
When it comes to being successful in this industry, Brown says, it’s all about what you know. “What really works is being an expert at what you do,” said Brown. “If you know your stuff where no one in the world can argue with you, I think that’s super important. I think smart wins.”