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Most Marketing Is a


 CACOPHONY

of BANALITY

 

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Most Marketing Is a


 CACOPHONY

of BANALITY

 

 

SHARP STRATEGY
STANDS OUT

 
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Blind Spots Lose Wars


& Defeat Causes & Businesses

 

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Blind Spots Lose Wars


& Defeat Causes & Businesses

 

 

BETTER QUESTIONS
ILLUMINATE BLIND SPOTS

 
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BE DISTINCT


 

 

 

 

 

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BE DISTINCT


 

 

 

 

 

 

CREATIVE REASONING
for Effective Strategy, Ideas, and Messages

 
 

APPROACH
Original Thinking
Broader Outlook
Deeper Inquiry

RESULTS
Bold Strategy
Potent Opportunities
Robust Understanding

 

Select past clients:

Select past clients:

 
 

Typical projects include:

۰tough problems۰
۰opportunities & ideas۰
۰blind spot illumination۰
۰vision, mission, values۰
۰positioning, messages۰
۰targeting & audience۰
۰qualitative research۰
۰group facilitation۰

 
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Original Thinking


 

 

 

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Original Thinking


 

 

 

 

Innate Human Creativity

• curiosity & reasoning from the same source as an artist’s vision
• unconventional inquiry that reaches far beyond any "boxes"
• learned creativity & machine intelligence do not compare

Abounding Curiosity

Shrewd inquiry about offerings, marketplace, constituencies.

Creative Reasoning

Astute discovery & fresh thinking; no formulas, no boxes.

Intelligent Simplification

Complexities made easy to grasp & convey, without distortion.
Robust opportunities & sharp solutions; clear and actionable.

 

 

James Rosenfield is Strategy Works' original thinker and principle resource.
Additional specialists are carefully selected and engaged when required.

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Original Thinker


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Original Thinker


James Rosenfield

Original Thinker,
Blind Spot Illuminator,
Audacious Strategist

 

(excerpts; complete testimonials below)

 

“creative & challenging… relentless curiosity… highest levels of strategic thinking”

“sensitive to [global] cultural dynamics… transformed the way we thought about our business… differentiate in a meaningful way… fun… deeply committed”

“non-traditional and gifted… focus deeply… quick wit… unpredictable instinct… tends not to suffer superficiality, dishonesty, or fools”

“allowed us to consider alternative strategies and approaches… fresh approach”

“high energy, creative, highly strategic… direct and clear… thoughtful”

“always delivers… quick study… brings clarity and simplicity… solves big problems… dynamic, funny”

“gets to the heart of the complex challenges… challenges business as usual… fun”

 

 

Click here to view complete testimonials +

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"When I've worked with James, I've always found his thinking to be creative and challenging, not mundane or shallow. He gets to the heart of the problem, attacks it with relentless curiosity and passionate energy, then brings the highest levels of strategic thinking to the table."

  • Rob White; Fallon

“James completed several multi-national projects for me while I managed marketing groups at both HP and Intel. He is smart, clever, insightful and exceptionally strategic. He was sensitive to the cultural dynamics involved in developing global marketing strategy and branding. All of the projects I hired James to develop and manage were outstanding and several transformed the way we thought about our business. He has the ability to break through the clutter and find the nuggets that differentiate in a meaningful way to the target. I found James practical in his approach, ensuring that his recommendations were actionable but still game changing. He is fun to work with and deeply committed to the end result. I would and have recommended James to my peers and would not hesitate to work with him again.”

  • Jan McDaniel; HP, Intel

James is quite non-traditional and gifted. He has a profound ability to focus deeply, which takes him to knowledge and meaning where most people never think to look. His quick wit makes it fun to share the ride with him, but the journey isn't always comfortable. He often follows his unpredictable instinct of where to look for connections, opportunities, and wisdom, then his mind leaps from point A to a solid C while many in the room are still scrambling to find B. I've seen some of the smartest people I know delight in James' unique style. But his piercing astuteness is too rich for some people, and he tends not to suffer superficiality, dishonesty, or fools very well. In the end, his C is usually better than most people's D, E, or F.

  • Jim Kober; American Express

"James' experience and outlook allowed us to consider alternative strategies and approaches in new categories. We particularly appreciate the fresh approach he brings to solving marketing challenges and problems."

  • Greg Stern; BSSP

“James is high energy, creative, and highly strategic. He pays attention to important details when managing complex projects so everything goes smoothly. James provides intelligent insights and his communication style is very direct and clear. He can be counted on to deliver thoughtful and strategic recommendations.”

  • Kathy Lammers; BBDO/Apple, PacifiCare, KFC (Yum!)

I've recommended James to many of my clients over the years for one simple reason, he always delivers. He's an incredibly quick study who brings clarity and simplicity to complicated issues. Clients and colleagues look to him to solve big problems quickly. He's dynamic, funny and helps get the best out of the people around him.”

  • Kate Webster; Strategic Planning Recruiter

James gets to the heart of complex challenges quickly, then communicates about them in clear, compelling, and accessible ways. He is one of the smartest people I’ve worked with, and is always thinking about how to best maximize results, even if that means challenging “business as usual”. He's also a lot of fun! James and I began our marketing careers together at Grey Advertising, and we've worked together many times since, including strategically supporting Saatchi San Francisco in developing many highly successful campaigns for HP, including their first global ad campaign.

  • Mary Doan; Saatchi

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Clients & Cases


 

Many brands, causes,
categories, constituencies,
countries, and cultures.


email James

 

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Clients & Cases


 

Many brands, causes,
categories, constituencies,
countries, and cultures.


email James

 

Future Clients

• Principled
• Appreciate non-formulaic thinking & authenticity
• Committed to positive impact (for profit or not)

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Past Clients


• Businesses (click to view list) +

  • 3Com (digital networking)
  • Academic Systems (education software)
  • American Express
  • Apple Computers
  • Axlon Games (a Nolan Bushnell Venture)
  • Bank of America
  • Broderbund (education software)
  • Coca Cola Company
  • Daewoo Motor America
  • Decipher Inc (games)
  • Excite (search engine)
  • Hewlett-Packard (many divisions)
  • Home Savings of America
  • Intel
  • Kikkoman
  • Lexus
  • Mechanics Bank
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Newell Rubbermaid (writing instruments)
  • Nike
  • Pacificare HMO
  • PF Magic (games)
  • Pottery Barn
  • Purina
  • S3 (PC graphics)
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Siemens Business Communications
  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
  • Westin Hotels
  • Yum Brands

..

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• Ad Agencies (click to view list) +

  • Anderson & Lembke
  • BBDO
  • BSSP
  • Chiat/Day
  • Fallon
  • Foote Cone & Belding
  • Grey
  • Highway One
  • McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown
  • McKinney & Silver
  • Publicis
  • Saatchi
  • Team One
  • Wolfe Doyle
  • Young & Rubicam

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• Causes, Non-Profits, NGOs (click to view list) +

Volunteer, Pro-Bono, Consulting

  • AIDS Health Project, CA
  • AIDS Walk San Francisco, CA
  • Bridgemen, CA
  • Business Volunteers for the Arts, CA
  • Business Volunteers for the Arts, NY
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum, CA
  • Center for Attitudinal Healing, CA
  • Circus Center San Francisco, CA
  • City Arts & Lectures (Nourse Theater), CA
  • City Arts Magazine, CA
  • Coming Home Hospice, CA
  • Commonwealth Club of California, CA
  • Community Housing Partnership, CA
  • Community United Against Violence, CA
  • CounterPulse, CA
  • CPMC Hospital, CA
  • Dance Mission, CA
  • Dawson Dance SF, CA
  • Footloose Dance Company, CA
  • Foundation for Adolescent Development, The Philippines
  • Garrett & Moulton Productions, CA
  • Gay Men's Health Crisis, NY
  • Glide Memorial Church, CA
  • Golden Gate National Parks Association, CA
  • Hope Mohr Dance
  • Ipas, Kenya
  • IGLHRC / Outright International, CA
  • Junior Achievement, CA
  • Kaiser Hospital, CA
  • le Cambiate, CA
  • Learning Through Art, The Guggenheim Museum Children’s Program, NY
  • Maitri Hospice, CA
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, CA
  • ODC Dance, CA
  • One Brick, CA
  • Openhouse, CA
  • Parevar Seva Sanstha, India
  • Pathfinder International, India
  • Population Development Association, Thailand
  • Post:Ballet, CA
  • RAWdance, CA
  • ReachOut, The Philippines
  • Red Poppy Art House
  • Read Speak Vote Participate (founder), CA
  • RI Public Interest Research Group, RI
  • Robert Moses' Kin Dance, CA
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation, CA
  • San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, CA
  • San Francisco Food Bank, CA
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
  • San Francisco SPCA, CA
  • San Francisco Theater Company, CA
  • San Francisco Village, CA
  • SF Small Dog Beach Walk (founder), CA
  • SOCAP (Social Capital Markets), CA
  • Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
  • Stern Grove Festival, CA
  • St. Luke's Hospital, CA
  • The SF LGBTQ Center, CA
  • United Way, CA
  • URI Arts Council, RI
  • URI Student Entertainment Committee (board), RI
  • URI Student Lecture Series (board), RI
  • URI Student Senate, RI
  • URI Weekenders (founder), RI
  • URI Yearbook, RI
  • USCF Hospital, CA
  • Volunteer Center, CA
  • Volunteer Match, CA
  • WPLR Radio, CT
  • WRIU Radio, RI
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT (age 13-16)
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, CA
  • Z Space, CA

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Past Work

(These are summaries; complete cases are below.)

Delivered 107 Ideas When Asked for 12

• Fortune 50 Financial Institution • B2B & Consumer: Idea Generation

Ensured CEO Approvals

• Fortune 50 Technology Company • B2B: Primary Research, Strategy

Prevented Unwanted Pregnancy & Sexually Transmitted Infections

• Multiple NGOs • Consumer: Primary Research, Secondary Research, Strategy, Messaging, Education Programs

Developed Brand Strategy for Product Range Expansion

• Fortune 500 marketer of large portfolio of brands • B2B & Consumer: Secondary Research, Strategy

Recommended Against Global Message to Maximizing Regional Impact

• Fortune 100 Technology Company • B2B: Primary Research, Strategy, Messaging

Multiplied Customer Base with No Changes to Product

• Regional Financial Institution • Consumer: Ideation, Secondary Research, Primary Research, Targeting

Created Safe Space for Small Dogs & Their Humans (10 Years + of Large Weekly Gatherings)

• Community Service • Consumer: Community Organizing

Rolled Out Hybrid Vehicles to Mass Market

• Fortune 50 Automobile Manufacturer • Consumer: Primary Research, Planning, Targeting, Messaging

Introduced Scanners to Early Majority

• Fortune 50 Technology Company • B2B & Consumer: Targeting, Primary Research, Messaging

Click here to view complete cases +

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Delivered 107 Ideas When Asked for 12 • Fortune 50 Financial Institution • B2B & Consumer: Idea Generation

  • Global
  • Assignment: Challenged to identify at least 12 ideas to expand relationships with existing customers within two weeks (not a recommended timeline).
  • Results: Presented 107 solid ideas for new businesses, services, and service features, representing over 25 industries, all relevant and applicable to existing divisions, services, and or customer segments.
  • Impact: Several ideas and features adopted and/or adapted for implementation by various divisions. One service fully implemented to serve multitudes of customers across many divisions, contributing significantly to fee income and profit.

Ensured CEO Approvals • Fortune 50 Technology Company • B2B: Primary Research, Strategy

  • North America & Europe
  • Assignment: Interview CEOs of Fortune 500 and similar corporations to understand their decision process when IT executives make brand recommendations for final approval of major purchases.
  • Results: Deeper understanding of priorities and decision process for CEOs.
  • Impact: Client expressed great satisfaction with insights provided, indicating that substantive changes were made to corporate communication, sales proposals, and recommended strategies and language for salespeople.

Prevented Unwanted Pregnancy & Sexually Transmitted Infections • Multiple NGOs • Consumer: Primary Research, Secondary Research, Strategy, Messaging, Education Programs

  • India, Kenya, The Philippines, U.S.
  • Assignment: Help to educate and inform adolescents about avoiding unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Compel adolescents and adults in the U.S. to prevent HIV transmission. Work aimed to deeply understand target audiences and inform/advise them through education programs, published materials, and public service advertising in various forms. Specific contributions ranged from focus groups in remote villages to consulting Non-Profits/NGOs and their ad agencies. Audiences ranged from highly educated, multilingual urbanites to illiterate, isolated villagers.
  • Results: Contributions over several years were innumerable, well utilized, and often praised.
  • Impact: Several large, diverse populations were effectively advised about prevention of both sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

Developed Brand Strategy for Product Range Expansion • Fortune 500 marketer of large portfolio of brands • B2B & Consumer: Secondary Research, Strategy

  • North America & Europe
  • Assignment: Help unify multiple writing instrument brands for marketing purposes, to aggregate legacy brands and newly acquired brands ranging from cheap stick pens to extremely fine writing instruments.
  • Results: Recommended that there was much greater benefit in sustaining separate marketing/branding than in unifying branding and messaging. More specifically, some of the brands on the lowest and highest extremes of the price/quality range benefited from being completely separate, while the majority of others could be co-marketed as a portfolio while maintained as having independent product names and value propositions.
  • Impact: Client proceeded as advised.

Recommended Against Global Message to Maximizing Regional Impact • Fortune 100 Technology Company • B2B: Primary Research, Strategy, Messaging

  • Global
  • Assignment: Determine the more effective of two global brand messages across multiple cultures/continents, as represented by mock-up advertising. Client and agency expected to move directly from research into production based on the “winning” approach.
  • Results: Dramatically disparate perceptions and needs were identified in different regions. Thus, while one message clearly resonated for some cultures, it had little relevance in others. Based on obtaining a deeper understanding of the targets in multiple countries, it was recommended that client reexamine messaging strategy to consider multiple messages if they cannot identify a more effective global message.
  • Impact: Client and ad agency returned to planning & message development rather than proceeding with either of the messages.

Multiplied Customer Base with No Changes to Product • Regional Financial Institution • Consumer: Ideation, Secondary Research, Primary Research, Targeting

  • California
  • Assignment: Expand customer base for a retail financial institution with a long legacy and strong reputation as an “old people’s bank.”
  • Effort: Extensive in-branch observation and focus group research among current customers and other age groups.
  • Results: Observations: (a) the existing client base was mostly attracted and retained by high levels of personal service, (b) the institution had unmatched mechanisms for delivering such high levels of personal service, and (c) the same levels of service were very compelling to younger adults.
  • Recommendation: Adjust positioning and messaging to be inclusive of existing targets and younger audiences, with no changes to the services offered.
  • Impact: At no additional cost (marketing budget kept constant, no changes to services or delivery mechanisms), new customer acquisition results were remarkable, particularly for highly profitable accounts (large balance, low activity).

Created Safe Space for Small Dogs & Their Humans (10 Years + of Large Weekly Community Gatherings) • Community Service • Consumer: Community Organizing

  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Need: Many small dogs are frightened by larger dogs and their owners become overprotective, thus activities become restricted, many dogs are not properly socialized or exercised, and many small dog owners are disappointed by their inability to enjoy outdoor activities with their dogs.
  • Action: Created a free, weekly “San Francisco Small Dog Beach Walk”
  • Results: Over 10 years of weekly gatherings (every Saturday morning, rain or shine) of up to 200 small dogs & 350 people.
  • Impact: Many thousands of dogs socialized and exercised, elders with dogs provided with social outlet and exercise, friendships and romances forged, joyous outdoor activity and ocean air for everybody. Many have come to consider it their weekly “church” with their dogs. Regular attendees travel from up to 50 miles away to attend.

Rolled Out Hybrid Vehicles to Mass Market • Fortune 50 Automobile Manufacturer • Consumer: Primary Research, Planning, Targeting, Messaging

  • North America
  • Assignment: Conduct focus group research to advise Japanese HQ about North American long-term strategy for expanding sales of hybrid cars from early majority to various segments of mass market.
  • Results: Provided useful targeting insights and engaged in highly productive planning exercises with Japanese clients and North American ad agency to chart out realistic timelines for messaging strategies to incrementally expand to broader audiences.
  • Impact: Easily observed by looking on the streets ;-)

Introduced Scanners to Early Majority • Fortune 50 Technology Company • B2B & Consumer: Targeting, Primary Research, Messaging

  • U.S. (impact quickly expanded globally)
  • Assignment: Identify a compelling feature-based message for a new scanner product to reach early adopters (the only people purchasing scanners at that point). Product was the first PC-compatible scanner offered for under $1,000, and the first entry with a friendly user interface.
  • Results: Convinced client to expand project to include research among potential early majority business and home targets, then recommended a broad market, benefits-based campaign, in which the brand took ownership of “easy, accessible scanning.”
  • Impact: Brand was recognized as first mass market entry for affordable, easy to use scanners. Sales far surpassed client’s most optimistic projections, manufacturing was escalated rapidly, and the desktop scanner market mushroomed.

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Positive Impact


Follows Many Tracks

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Positive Impact


Follows Many Tracks

 

Help, Enable, or Empower

Bringing positive change to people's lives is the goal, whether for an entire society or a very specific population.

It could be anything from a huge game-changer to a simple tweak of a product or service feature that adds a previously overlooked element.

(for profit or not)