Suzi Weiss-Fischmann

Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of IER Partners, which has guided and strengthened brands of all sizes with savvy best practices for creating customers for life. Combining her passion of adventurous listening and working across diverse industries, her "outsider-insider" creative branding and merchandising expertise and objectivity has been valued by companies as diverse as Spanx, Ben & Jerry's, Celestial Seasonings, CHEFS and Boston Proper.  She holds an MBA and has dedicated more than 20 years to providing clients both domestic and international with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She is the author of  two books in which she shares her hands-on approach for both brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators, and BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants. You may reach her at

Great brands tell great stories. Annette Simmons' book title sums it up best: "Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins." The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) published a study last year that agrees with her sentiment: "Advertisements that tell a branding story work better than ads focused on product positioning." Bill Cook, senior vice president of research and standards of ARF, stated that "when the emotional peaks align with the presence of the brand or the impact of the brand in the story, the emotional connection with the brand is the greatest."

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