Columbus, OHIO: Business strategist Eugenia Erlij, and consumer branding and innovation expert Mike Bills announced today the formation of VENN Growth Collective. A year in the making, the new partnership employs proprietary frameworks and processes for driving business growth and innovation. Bills and Erlij created VENN based upon a shared belief that:

  • Developing operationally sound and emotionally compelling strategies requires a rigorous process that integrates data-driven analysis with creative ingenuity.

  • Co-creation facilitates collaboration, builds consensus, and drives internal ownership.

  • Traditional consulting models are broken and require a new approach to strategy formulation that deliver great work, quickly, and at a fair price without the overhead of large offices or junior associates.

Bills and Erlij have already applied their complimentary skills to work with a range of global clients including Kroger, Highlights for Children and Wusthof. Harold Wusthof, third generation, CEO of the leading German cutlery brand, described the value of the VENN approach:

“Working with VENN, we learned amazing facts and gained new insights about our business, about our brand and about ourselves. Every step of VENN’s process has been key in helping us to clarify and build our business."

With more than twenty-five years of experience, Bills was most recently Executive In Residence at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where he founded the Center for Innovation and created award winning, MBA-level courses in innovation and marketing. Prior to Ohio State, Bills was President of Retail Planning Associates and Managing Partner of Fitch (A WPP Agency).

Erlij has held senior roles in global business consulting, retail fashion apparel, food & beverage and specialty chemicals at Ashland Inc., LBrands, and McKinsey & Co., where she operated in Asia, South America, Europe and North America.

“Disruption is occurring in virtually every category, in every industry, and the pace is only accelerating”. said Bills. “… as a result, it is more critical than ever to envision new paths for growth and to evaluate them from multiple lenses that address financial, operational and brand viability.” added Erlij.

About VENN Growth Collective: We help businesses grow and brands thrive. VENN is a collective of independent and experienced practitioners with diverse backgrounds across strategy, design and marketing with offices at The IDEA FOUNDRY in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus. VENN works on referral to deliver scenario development, brand positioning, migration strategies, innovation competency building and facilitation services for B-to-B and B-to-C companies of all sizes.

For more information:

Dirk Defenbaugh