A POWERFUL IDEA

 
 

The VENN team is based upon a simple but powerful idea: effective strategies are created through the integration of financial and operational business planning and compelling consumer value propositions and creative brand positioning. This holistic approach requires a collaborative team of highly skilled experts across business strategy, customer experience design, technology and digital consulting, brand strategy and design.

 

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MICHAEL BILLS
Founder & CEO

Michael is a recognized expert in consumer-led brand positioning and innovation. With twenty-five years of experience leading retail branding and product development agencies Retail Planning Associates and Fitch, and having served as Chief Marketing Officer for Select Comfort Corporation, Michael develops strategic and creative solutions that resonate with target consumers and are competitively differentiating for brands.

Over the course of his career, Michael has partnered with one hundred twenty Fortune 500 retail, and manufacturer brands including Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, Levi Strauss, BCBG, Diesel, Wrangler, Adidas, Nike, Target, Federated Department Stores, Breville, Disney, Universal Studios, Playboy Enterprises, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Virgin Atlantic, to name just a few. His work has taken him around the world with engagements in seventeen countries. The International Retail Council and DDI Magazine named Michael one of the 40 Most Influential People in Retail and he is a keynote speaker at leading industry events wherein his perspectives have been featured on CNN, CNBC, Sky Radio and in Time Magazine and Business Week.

Michael joined the faculty of The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business in 2008 where he developed MBA and executive education - level courses in innovation and brand marketing. Fisher MBA students awarded Michael the James L. Ginter Award for excellence in teaching in both 2010, and again in 2011. Michael also served as the Founder and Executive Director of The Ohio State University Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship where he was responsible for the development and management of the comprehensive strategy for curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular innovation and entrepreneurship - based programming across the undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs.  In addition, Michael was responsible for the development of corporate partnerships and outreach as well as design of trans-disciplinary curriculum within the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor and MBA programs.

Michael serves on the boards of Best Buddies Ohio and CINCO - The community Investment Network of Ohio.

Michael resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Megan, his daughters Madeline and Claire, and a dog named Henry.

THE COLLECTIVE

VENN is a collective of independent and highly experienced practitioners with diverse backgrounds and skillsets in management consulting, brand marketing, design and innovation. The Collective is a  carefully curated team comprised of A-listers with proven track records and unparalleled talents. VENN’s “Hollywood Model” delivers superior work more quickly, more efficiently and yields better results for its clients without the overhead of large offices and junior staff.  


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OUR EXPERTISE

 
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AT THE INTERSECTION OF INNOVATION & GROWTH

 
 

Our work comes primarily from referrals, and we work with brands and businesses which are at the intersection of innovation and growth.

We have unique insight to the challenges faced by middle market companies and have deep expertise in retail, apparel, consumer packaged goods, and food & beverage.

We also collaborate with growing companies on behalf of private equity firms at the initial point of investment and with new brands following a carve out or as part of a roll up.

 
 

OUR TOOLS

 
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VISION ASSESSMENT

An electronic diagnostic tool for efficiently and comprehensively initiating each engagement. Includes input from key stakeholders and a checklist of desired data, while also identifying gaps in research.

DASHBOARD & DIAGNOSTIC

Top line documentation of each scenario including all relevant qualitative and quantitative data illustrated through imagery, graphs and charts that brings each scenario to life for all stakeholders. Provides consistent articulation of each scenario and aids in decision making while forcing consideration of strategic trade offs.  

SCENARIO PORTRAIT

An image based portrait of each scenario illustrating the differences in target consumers and lifestyles, product design and assortment, distribution and brand essence. Aids decision making by underscoring

 

SPARKING GROWTH IN OTHERS

 
 
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OUR GIVING

VENN joined of the Pledge1% corporate philanthropy movement because our community is a key stakeholder in our business.

We’ve joined companies like Yelp, Yahoo and hundreds of other leading brands to donate 1% of our equity, product and employee time to help others grow and prosper.