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Brand Positioning

Strong brands are purpose-driven.

Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning

You may have a name. You may have a logo. But you move people with a brand.

The road to building that brand can be loaded with emotional potholes, so we offer a proven process that gets everyone in your organization to a simple, inspiring idea to drive everything you do. We’ve helped craft a new brand and voice for the Auto Care Association, refreshed a 170-year-old brand for the College of Holy Cross, and taken on strategic positioning for international organizations and corporations as well. What all of them have in common: a clear, creative brand purpose that gets the blood pumping.

Brand Positioning Team

Our TeamExperienced and Driven for Change

AJ Lenar

AJ Lenar

Vice President / brand-positioning

AJ has developed strategies and award-winning advertising for leading environmental organizations, major foundations and labor unions, as well as mayoral, House, Senate, gubernatorial and presidential races in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently part of the creative and strategic team helping former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her run for the White House. Most recently, AJ led the firm’s work for VoteVets, one of America’s top veteran’s advocacy groups. His work was featured in Time Magazine, USA Today and The Washington Post. In 2012, AJ was part of the core creative team that re-elected the President of the United States. One of the ads AJ wrote and produced for President Obama was awarded “Best Television Advertisement Of 2012” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. In addition to his domestic work, AJ has served GMMB clients overseas as well. He’s worked on campaigns in Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates as well as Tirana, Albania, where he lead the advertising and media efforts for the Lulzim Basha for Mayor Campaign, which earned GMMB the American Association of Political Consultants’ Campaign Excellence Award for International Campaign of the Year.

Aimee Sanders Freund

Aimee Sanders Freund

Vice President / brand-positioning

Aimee is a skilled creative strategist with more than 15 years of experience crafting communications that change perceptions and behavior to promote social good. Her broad skills and varied capabilities have helped take her across numerous creative and strategic roles within GMMB—and around the world. She most recently provided account leadership, creative guidance and brand strategy to a wide spectrum of clients, including the American Heart Association, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Visa, The Lancet and the World Bank.

Aimee has enjoyed many years at GMMB. After joining in 1999, she left in 2003 to pursue a master’s degree at the Harvard School of Public Health. Upon completing her degree, she returned to GMMB until 2008, when she moved with her family to Mozambique. Aimee spent nearly six years living and working there, providing communications counsel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FHI 360’s Capable Partners Program before returning to D.C. and GMMB in 2013, where she’s here to stay.

Oliver Griswold

Oliver Griswold

Vice President / brand-positioning

Oliver has spent more than 15 years guiding corporate, nonprofit, trade association and startup clients to increasing engagements with their most important audiences. A leader in GMMB’s brand group, Oliver creates new ways of deepening affinity and elevating experience through mission-driven brand platforms, attitude-adjusting advertising and innovative integrated campaigns.

Oliver’s work has consistently sharpened the voices of clients like the Nature Conservancy, Consumer Reports, Oxfam and the Auto Care Association. Drawing on a product marketing and political background that honed his instincts for what compels consumers to change, Oliver has recently built successful new brand identities for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, MyChange, Conservation International, College of the Holy Cross and KaBOOM!

Michelle Austin

Michelle Austin

Senior Vice President / brand-positioning

Michelle digs in and dives deep on complex issues and campaigns. With more than 15 years of experience, she revels in working on behalf of clients that tap into her inner education wonk, passion for storytelling and appreciation of smart strategy. She supported the move to consistent academic standards and improved assessments and created brand identities and suites of materials for a range of clients. Michelle is proud to have worked on behalf the Council of Chief State School Officers, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, National Council of La Raza, College of the Holy Cross, Teach For America and others.

Before joining GMMB, Michelle provided public and government relations services for nonprofit education and social policy organizations with a strong emphasis in secondary education. Michelle has her roots in New Mexico, where she grew up and worked for former Senator Jeff Bingaman.

John Gundlach

John Gundlach

Managing Director, Creative & Brand Strategy / brand-positioning

John is an award-winning creative director, brand strategist and architect of GMMB’s brand practice group. With more than 20 years in the creative field, he oversees creative content teams, works with clients to scope and design strategy and leads brand projects from research to execution. Overcoming complexity and “me-too” storytelling isn’t just his job, it’s his mission.

From his corporate work with Visa to the American Cancer Society, he focuses relentlessly on making creative ideas simpler, more compelling and more inspiring. He’ll find that unique, big idea hiding in your story and help lead your organization through every step of the process to bring it to life. He’s helped build a stronger and more creative voice for organizations as wide-ranging as Conservation International, College of the Holy Cross, The Lancet and the Auto Care Association.

Ashley Middleton

Ashley Middleton

Vice President / brand-positioning

Ashley helps her clients tell compelling stories across a variety of platforms, including web and social media, media materials, video production, meetings, and events. By researching and understanding clients’ priorities, Ashley builds a strong foundation for strategy and message development, which she supports with ongoing and thoughtful analysis of project outcomes. She enjoys the challenge of distilling complex topics into clear talking points and working with diverse coalitions to ensure that all needs are met.

Ashley cares deeply for her clients and causes—from education and public safety to global health and the environment. Whether she is working with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety on technology that can prevent drunk driving, helping businesses and parents get more involved in public education, or building the advocacy skills of public libraries throughout the world, she is a committed, creative, and enthusiastic leader.

Serrin Ransom

Serrin Ransom

Associate Design Director / brand-positioning

Serrin joined GMMB in 2006. As the Associate Design Director she has led much of GMMB’s brand identity work, establishing the logos, style guides and other visual elements for clients including the Heathcare Distribution Alliance, College of the Holy Cross, the American Beverage Association’s Mixify and Point of Sale campaigns, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and the CHPA Educational Foundation. Serrin creates a wide range of print and online materials including annual reports, event signage, collateral pieces, banner ads and websites. She created a series of materials for the 2008 and 2014 global launch of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Nutrition Advocacy, which included banners and materials for press conferences in Washington, DC, London, Ethiopia, Senegal, Vietnam, India and Peru, along with a website. She also designed the entry pages for the Vermont Health Connect website as well as the identity, online ads and collateral for the Washington State health exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder.

Serrin graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.F.A. in visual communications and minors in art history and history. She also received a certificate to teach ESL and has taught with Berlitz International.

Tanja Hester

Tanja Hester

Senior Vice President / brand-positioning

Tanja is a brand and campaign strategist who intuitively understands what her clients need. With more than 15 years in cause-driven branding and social marketing campaigns, she’s successfully guided clients through introspective branding processes and built cohesive campaigns around even the most discordant stakeholder voices.

Based in California, Tanja has translated her expertise engaging diverse audiences and her ability to bring people together into major behavioral shifts. She led the Me Not Meth campaign, leading to reduced meth use in California’s LGBT community, and also led policy victories like expanding funding for Linked Learning, an education reform initiative seeded by the James Irvine Foundation. Tanja has also led mission-driven rebrands that resulted in higher profiles and greater impact for major associations, foundations and nonprofits, including the Auto Care Association, College Futures Foundation and Center for Powerful Public Schools.

gmmb_branding_insight_icon Brand Insight 

The most groundbreaking insights are often the most hidden. We know how to listen carefully to your leadership and staff, analyze...

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gmmb_brand_advocacy_icon Internal Brand Advocacy

Change is hard. We offer tested leadership engagement strategies and internal sell-through support, helping you transform even the most...

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gmm_brand_position_strategy_icon Positioning Strategy 

Positioning is about simplicity. Using our proven methodology, we distill your brand to a single, simple idea that clearly identifies your...

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gmmb_brand_platform_icon Brand Platform 

Marrying strategy with art, we bring the brand to life with its own unique story and voice. Get ready for goose...

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gmmb_brand_visual_identity_icon Visual Identity 

Your brand doesn’t just have a voice, it has an appearance. We can restyle your visual elements – logos, design, colors and fonts...

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gmmb_brand_activation_icon Brand Activation

A perfect brand can fall perfectly flat if not brought to life with care. We offer a full range of brand implementation services, from...

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The most groundbreaking insights are often the most hidden. We know how to listen carefully to your leadership and staff, analyze competitor brands, and pull big ideas out of your audience research to uncover fresh ways for your brand to be relevant, resonant and distinct.

Change is hard. We offer tested leadership engagement strategies and internal sell-through support, helping you transform even the most established cynics and critics into your strongest brand advocates.

Positioning is about simplicity. Using our proven methodology, we distill your brand to a single, simple idea that clearly identifies your unique role and value.

Marrying strategy with art, we bring the brand to life with its own unique story and voice. Get ready for goose bumps.

Your brand doesn’t just have a voice, it has an appearance. We can restyle your visual elements – logos, design, colors and fonts – so what people see matches what you say.

A perfect brand can fall perfectly flat if not brought to life with care. We offer a full range of brand implementation services, from planning to execution, to ensure your brand interacts where, when and how it should with the people who matter most.

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