Cheskin Builds on 2006 Success to Support Client Innovation in Emerging Markets

09 Jan 2007|Added Value

Increased staffing, continued emphasis on US Hispanic and general markets, and speaking engagements planned for ‘07

Redwood Shores, Calif. – January 9, 2007 – Following on a highly successful year with record profits, innovation consulting firm Cheskin sees 2007 as the year to build on its expertise in emerging global markets and grow its customer-led innovation consulting practice for key clients in technology and consumer goods. The company attributes its 2006 success to significant engagements with existing and new key accounts including Microsoft, AOL, Nestlé, Wal-Mart, and the National Council of La Raza, as well as the positive response to the company’s two books published in 2006 – Making Meaning (New Riders, ISBN-10: 0321374096) and China’s New Culture of Cool (New Riders, ISBN-10: 0321453441).

Emerging Markets Focus
Having experienced significant growth in client innovation initiatives in emerging markets, Cheskin plans more focused efforts to support work in China, Asia and Latin America. The company is currently funding digital ethnographic investigations in China which they plan to release in Q2 of 2007. The company’s expertise in U.S. Hispanic and general markets remains a key priority.

Staff expertise expanded in 2006
Cheskin hired eleven people in 2006, boosting its expertise in design strategy, Hispanic markets and ethnography. Continued aggressive staffing is anticipated for 2007. Among those joining the team:

  • Lori Hobson is an account director based in Redwood Shores. Over the past decade, Lori has applied design innovation techniques to business opportunities while working with companies such as IDEO, NewDealDesign, and Munich-based designafairs. Prior to her work in the design industry, Lori was a management consultant to clients in the energy, technology, transportation and consumer goods industries where she identified and implemented approaches in market strategy, acquisitions, product/service offerings, supply chain management, and broader business strategies. Lori holds degrees in Economics and Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University.
  • Etienne Fang is a strategic director in the Cultural Insights Studio and brings a background in design and social science. Prior to joining Cheskin, Etienne was a strategic lead at Studio Red, where she worked with clients including The Coca-Cola Company in China, Japan and North America. As a designer at Rockwell Group, Etienne created multi-sensory brand experiences for Gap Inc.’s Forth & Towne brand, among others. Etienne earned a B.A. in psychology and photography and an M.S. in Education from Sarah Lawrence College. She has studied at Beijing University and Parsons School of Design.
  • Tommy Stinson is a strategic director in the Technology Innovation Studio and brings over 10 years of experience in ethnography and market research. Prior to Cheskin, Tommy worked for Avenue A | Razorfish, directing strategic consulting engagements for Fortune 500 clients including Scotts Miracle-Gro, Smith & Hawken, Microsoft, McKesson Pharmaceuticals, McKinsey & Co., and Genentech. Tommy holds a B.A. in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, and a M.A. in anthropology from the University of Tennessee.
  • Maria Parra is a research manager in the Cultural Insights Studio. Prior to Cheskin, Maria built the market research department at LaVERDAD Marketing & Media and was in charge of training and development of staff in market research and moderation. Before coming to the US, Maria was a project director with CJS Investigaciones de Mercado in Bogota and led projects with multinational and local clients such as Procter & Gamble, Frito-Lay, Clorox, Diageo, Bimbo, Alpina, RCN Television, and Avianca. She was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia where she earned a B.A.  in psychology from the Universidad de los Andes and a postgraduate degree in strategic marketing from the Colegio Superior de Estudios de Administracion (CESA).

Rhea Keynotes the 11th DMI European Design Management Conference
Following on the heels of 2006 presentations to the Forbes CEO Forum and the Guidewire Group Fall Leadership Forum, Cheskin CEO Darrel Rhea will present to DMI audiences in Copenhagen in March. Additional planned conference presentations in ’07 include:

  • VP of Design, Terri Ducay joins a panel discussion at the SXSW Interactive Conference, March 13 in Austin, TX.
  • EVP Stephen Palacios presents Product Innovation through Cross-border Opportunities in the Hispanic Market at the 4th Annual Multicultural Marketing for the Financial Services and Insurance Industries Conference March 29th in New York.
  • Darrel Rhea speaks on innovation at the Better by Design 2007 Conference in May in New Zealand then travels to Las Vegas to present at the annual conference of the Association of Professional Design Firms.

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