About Me

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 21 years.

From 1995 to 2012, I worked for Landor Associates, one of the world’s leading branding consultancies. I held many jobs there, starting as a Namer and ending my run as their global Chief Strategy Officer for the final 5 years. Most recently I was the global head of Strategy and Insights at  Siegel+Gale, the Simplicity Company. At Siegel + Gale the simplification and digital competencies also reported to me, so I got a lot of experience in learning how to simplify customer experiences and optimize them for the world of screens. I’m now available to bring my background in branding, simplification and experience to brands and companies.

I’ve been fortunate 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 New Yorker by choice, living in Brooklyn with my husband and an 80-lb. Rhodesian Ridgeback named Ajax.

3 Responses to About Me

  1. aaron says:

    hi russ, as I am ever being the obsessive techie…i noticed the link to your bio is broken (a result of new site), so you may wish to fix it when you get a chance. -best, aaron

  2. jackierey2010 says:

    NIce one! Thanks for posting! I am looking forward in reading your posts. I hope that you keep up your awesome job!

    My Last Post:
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