Looking back, I’ve always been obsessed with brands. The first thing I remember buying at auction was a Coca-Cola chalkboard that used to hang in the Janesville Hatchery. This was the start of my brand advertising collection as well as the start of my obsession with brands, long before I even knew what brands were.
I have an eclectic educational background. My undergraduate degree in English Literature and Theater is from the University of Minnesota. I earned a Master of Fine Arts from Northwestern University in design, specifically stage design. I was fortunate to earn a living (barely) for awhile in the theater, but eventually wandered into the world of advertising as a copywriter and marketing professional in industries as diverse as consumer pharmaceuticals, building materials and B2B transportation logistics. My Masters of Management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University exposed me to consulting as a career and I’ve found great satisfaction in providing advice and knowledge to clients around the world for 16 years.
For the last 16 years, I’ve worked for Landor, one of the world’s largest branding consultancies. I held many jobs there, starting as a Naming Manager and winding up being their Chief Strategy Officer for the last 5 years. In a couple months, I’m going to be joining Siegel+Gale as their global head of strategy. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the best brands and smartest marketing folks in the world, and continue to learn from every client. Much of my thinking on this blog is informed and inspired by the challenges I help my clients solve.
Although slightly obsessed with branding, it’s not my only interest. As this blog is my chance to talk about all stuff that’s of interest to me, I’ll also probably be talking about topics like cognition, happiness, behavioral economics and other things that affect who we are as humans, what’s important to us and how we define ourselves.
A Midwestern farmboy by birth, I am a Californian by choice, living in the Bay Area with my partner and an 80-lb. Rhodesian Ridgeback named Ajax.