Choosing a brand company

Choosing a brand company. Safe may not be best.

By Tom Dougherty

At the risk of sounding self-serving, let us just say this: Stealing Share is not the right brand development company for everyone.

aggressive is best when choosing a brand company As a leader of an organization, you are always looking for ways to improve your business through top-line revenue growth, expense reduction, productivity improvements, channel efficiencies and the like. As a marketer and communicator, you are always looking for a way to effectively get the message out to both internal and external audiences.

As a leader and a communicator, you have certainly examined your organization’s brand to improve your business and you may have even come to the conclusion that your brand is dated, lacking meaning in the market, or too similar to the brands of your competitors. Whatever you believe your brand issue is, you have realized your organizations brand is not as effective as it should be.

Perhaps you are looking for outside help. It may be time to hire a brand firm. But choosing a brandcompany is not easy.

Advertising agencies are often included when choosing a brand company

There are some extraordinary advertising agencies out there. Agencies are expertly utilizing a variety of media and mediums to put forth messaging and entertainment in hopes of persuading consumers to purchase their products and services. Whether it is a viral television advertisement for a consumer product or an expertly designed sales brochure for a B2B company, agencies are in a constant battle of one-upmanship. (Read more about ad agencies here)

an ad agency won't do when choosing a brand company
Choosing a brand company not never an ad agency

They are not brand development companies. Advertising agencies do great creative work. The problem is that they believe they can solve everything with nice pictures, viral videos, social media, and slick production.

Make no mistake. There may be a time for all of those things. But if you believe your brand is the problem (and it probably is) and your agency or one you are reviewing gives you a presentation about how they can help your brand and shows you a reel of creative work, they are really not interested in your brand. They are interested in the creative execution. Hire a brand company.  Or at least talk to a brand company.

Your brand cannot be helped and strengthened through creative executions alone. Some agencies may say they do “branding” but to them it is really just a buzzword they use to open the door to do the creative work.

Brand Companies

There are also a great number of “brand companies” and branding firms in the market as well. So many that it may be confusing when choosing a branding company. Many of these companies mean well and understand that brand is something that can be used to improve business. However, too often the results of their brand work can be an innocuous tagline or brand promise that overly emphasizes the company and does not reflect the prospect, lacks differentiation in the market, or isn’t strategically developed to actually increase market share.

choosing a brand company
Choosing a brand company? Stealing Share.

The latter is the only reason to engage in a brand development process in the first place.

The crux of what kind of “branding” your organization chooses to do is really up to the decision makers of the organization. Some organizations seek nothing more than to have someone tell them that they are doing a really good job and their problem is just that their corporate image is a bit dated.

Others believe that their only problem is getting prospects to “see” that their products or services are great. Still others are looking for the most painless solution to their perceived problem and are unwilling or unable to enact organizational change.

If you fall into one of these categories, then most advertising agencies and brand development companies should be able to devise a way to accomplish these goals.

In those cases, Stealing Share would probably not be a good fit for your branding needs. (Read about our branding company competitors here)

Who are our clients?

One of the first questions we are asked when a client is in the process of choosing a branding company is about our clients. Therefore, if you are still reading this, you believe there is opportunity for your brand to do more for your organization, and you know that in order to improve you have to change.

hiring a branding company

These are some of the clients Stealing Share works with.

One of the first things we tell prospective clients is that if you choose to work with Stealing Share you will get your nose bloodied. We will tell you that your organization has issues that go beyond a simple marketing or execution exercise. We will identify and bring into view organizational quagmires that prevent the organization from running effectively. And we will probably tell you that your understanding of your target market is either wrong or incomplete.

But we will also tell you how to fix and capitalize on these issues as well.

What we do

Our process does not always have a pretty picture or slick ad campaign at the end. Though we can do those things, they are not the destination of our work. Rather, we will give you a strategic roadmap to address both internal and external audiences to utilize your brand to provide maximized meaning and direction.

If you have the desire to bring more meaning to your organization and desire real organizational change that will better resonate with your target audiences, give us a call if you are the kind of organizational leader who needs to steal share.

Stealing Share in the News

Stealing Share’s brand experts are regularly in the news with published marketing articles, articles on brand and featured opinions on up-to-the minute issues that influence brand thinking worldwide.

  • Integra rebranding to grow market share

    Stealing Share rebrands Integra to increase their market share Stealing Share conducted brand research, developed a new brand for Integra Stealing Share, Inc. a brand company that helps brands steal market share, recently concluded a project for rebranding Integra LifeSciences. An initiative with global medical ... Read more...
  • Tom Dougherty is Keynote Speaker At Major Travel Conference

    Tom Dougherty is Keynote Speaker At Major Travel Conference Stealing Share CEO, Tom Dougherty, has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the Governor’s travel/destination conference. The Conference is sponsored by the Colorado Tourism Office and the Office of Economic ... Read more...
  • Branding Disaster- U.S. Banker

    U.S. Banker on Bank Marketing By Joseph Rosta There is no Budweiser or Federal Express of banks, and that spells trouble for the banking industry, according to a recent study from Stealing Share, Inc., a brand development and research outfit. “No major ... Read more...
  • Stealing Share Rebrands SECU of Maryland

    SECU of Maryland. Rebranding a Credit Union STEALING SHARE SPEARHEADS CREDIT UNION REBRANDING Brand firm conducts research, develops brand for SECU of Maryland GREENSBORO, NC – August 10, 2010 – Stealing Share, Inc. a brand development firm that helps companies steal market share ... Read more...
  • Stealing Share Featured Speaker at IMCA Annual Meeting

    Tom Dougherty is a Featured Speaker Branding Strategist and expert in growing market share, Tom Dougherty, CEO of Stealing Share (, has been chosen to be a featured speaker at this years Annual Convention of The Insurance Marketing Communications Association (IMCA) ... Read more...
  • Brandweek – Brand Positioning

    Don’t mix brand with position. What does branding have to do with the realities of today’s market? Why did a recent study… Don’t Confuse Brand Position with Positioning By Tom Dougherty From BRANDWEEK What does branding have to do with the realities of ... Read more...
  • Brand Strategy Propels New ProAssurance Brand

    A New Brand Strategy for ProAssurance Brand firm conducts study of medical professionals, positions insurance company GREENSBORO, NC – January 6th, 2009 – Stealing Share, Inc., a brand development firm that helps companies create brands to steal market share from competitors, recently finished ... Read more...
  • Tom Dougherty invited back as Speaker – Stealing Share

    Stealing Share invited back as featured banking speaker Stealing Share CEO and Senior Strategist, Tom Dougherty, is invited to be a featured speaker at the National Financial Symposium once again. After a strong reception at last year’s Chicago gathering, Stealing Share was invited to ... Read more...
  • Syngenta – New Brand for FarMore Services

    Global Global Crop Protection Company Seeks US Division Brand Message. Stealing Share, a global brand strategy firm specializing in developing strategies to steal market has been once again retained by Syngenta, AG to develop a more competitive brand for their FarMore ... Read more...
  • The Brand of China. A nation is a brand.

    The Brand of China. A nation is a brand. 中國產品 邁入領先創新階段 【本報記者邰彥紐約報導】中國對外開放30年,中國產品在美國完成廉 價、低檔和普及的第一階段使命「中國製造」已經在西方製造業站穩 品牌。專家認為,未來20年,中國產品將進入「領先」和「創新」的新 階段。 從日本到美國、專門從中國進口玻璃纖維原材料的業者齊彤表示:「過 去幾年來,隨著中國產品大量出口,並隨著國外對產品質量意見反饋增 多,中國製造這個品牌已經闖出來,雖然多數產品還不精緻完美,但西 方社會對中國製造的這個品牌已經普遍接受。」 他認為,西方市場上90%的中國產品都沒有問題,從人們對中國產品的 接受程度上看,如果在從一到10的量尺上,過去僅為三或者四,現在足 可以達到七或者八。這種進步非同小可。 他表示,經過多年的摸索和努力,中國產品在西方站穩腳跟,可以說完 成第一階段使命。隨著西方市場的需求更明朗、質量監督更嚴格,「中 國製造」這個品牌的前途更邁向光明。 總部設在北卡州的品牌開發公司Stealing Share Inc. 高級策略師多提 (Tom Dougherty)表示,北京奧運會向世人展示,中國製造的品牌進 入全新的一個階段。他受訪時表示:「主辦奧運會的完美工作,讓世人 驚嘆中國人的創造性,但人們還沒有意識到的是,中國日後的創新能 力,將在未來20年,使人為自己未能從一開始就抓住良機認識中國而後 悔。」 他預測,中國人不久的將來,將把很多西方人想像不到的新產品 帶到市場上來。中國有大批受過良好教育的生產力,有大批先進的科技 勞動力,「中國(在創新產品方面)很饑渴」。 The brand of china is a juggernaut that cannot be underestimated. China’s manufacturing reputation is on the rise. Read more...
  • Tom Dougherty of Stealing Share Featured Speaker at Travel Conference

    Featured speaker at travel conference Stealing Share CEO and Senior Strategist, Tom Dougherty, was a featured speaker at travel conference. He was also a moderator at the The Educational Travel Conference. Now in the 20th year, the Educational Travel Conference is the only ... Read more...
  • Tom Dougherty Speaks at International Wireless Conference

    Tom Dougherty to appear on International Wireless Conference panel to discuss mobile advertising GREENSBORO, NC – March 14, 2011 – Tom Dougherty, President and CEO of Stealing Share, will be a panelist at an international wireless conference sponsored by the International CTIA ... Read more...
  • The marketing message in social marketing – Get the basics right

    Social Marketing has changed us. How do we use social media?   Published in Food & Drink magazine. By Tom Dougherty Social Media Advertising agencies and marketing consultants are quick to tell their clients of the importance of social media. Companies and brands throughout the ... Read more...
  • Rescuing Newspapers

    Rescuing Newspapers and the Power of Brand By Tom Dougherty Of all the changes that modern technology has ushered in, nothing is more distressing than the demise of the daily newspaper. Across the globe, newsrooms are clipping the wings of their staff of ... Read more...
  • Online advertisers have stepped on a landmine

    Remember when advertisers influenced TV content? Probably not. We have been in a free for all for years when TV advertising began being bought by mindless media agencies who match up demographics with target audience needs. Years ago, when a laundry soap ... Read more...
  • The fallout from Rolling Stone

    Can a publication that’s been around for 47 years be permanently harmed by one article? Can a movement be doubted because of the mistakes from that article? Those are the questions I’m asking in light of Rolling Stone’s admission that its ... Read more...
  • The State of CNN

    I tuned into Tuesday’s President’s State of the Union Address and found myself totally disappointed. Not in the speech itself, that value judgment depends completely on your political bent, but on the coverage. For whatever reason, I tuned to CNN. I ... Read more...
  • Flipboard has changed this blog

    I always find it interesting how the patterns of our life evolve into new patterns. My job, as a brand guy, is to take notice of those patterns and ask why they exist in the first place. And so, I have noticed ... Read more...
  • MSNBC and its lack of brand personality

    Love it or hate it, Fox News has a brand and that’s the single reason why it leads in the cable news ratings by a large margin. With news that MSNBC will shake up its primetime lineup to jump start ... Read more...
  • Politically ignorant generation of sheep

    Are we the generation of the politically ignorant? The word ignorant gets its root from the word ignore. Someone who is ignorant is someone who ignores. Because we ignore, we are politically ignorant. I worry about the future of my government because ... Read more...
  • Galaxy Note 7 fire hazard disaster

    The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall because of the Galaxy Note 7 fire hazard has me thinking. What if any long term effect could this Galaxy Note 7 fire hazard have on the BRAND of Samsung? Sure an exploding or smoldering ... Read more...
  • The US brand. What is the United States of America?

    The US brand is under siege. Is anyone else worried about the future of the US? I don’t mean in terms of which candidate you support in the upcoming election. There are sane people on both sides of that debate. I’m ... Read more...


Branding Consultants. Stealing Share’s consultants

The Stealing Share Branding Consultants

Our leadership team of branding consultants and strategists has a singular focus – to grow market share. With collective experience spanning a myriad of industries and countries, our branding consultants utilize their expertise to manage complex Stealing Share projects and dynamic teams.

Tom Dougherty one of the Branding Consultants and CEO of Stealing Share

Tom Dougherty, our founder and one of our most senior branding consultants, began his strategic marketing and branding career in Saudi Arabia working for the internationally acclaimed Saatchi & Saatchi. His brand manager at the time referred to Tom as an “instinctive marketing genius,” and Tom demonstrated his talents to clients such as Ariel detergent, Pampers and many other brands throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.

After his time overseas, Tom returned to the US where he worked for brand agencies in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. He continued to prove himself as an one of the world’s exceptional brand consultants and strategic brand expert for global companies. Tom has led efforts for brands such as Hamilton Beach, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Medtronic, Wright Medical, Fairmont Hotels, Coldwell Banker, Homewood Suites (of Hilton), Tetley Tea, Lexus, Santander (Sovereign)Bank, Freightliner, ProAssurance and McCormick to name a few.

He founded Stealing Share in 2001 and has been a hands-on leader and is one of the brand consultants for many of Stealing Share’s brand projects, ranging in industries as varied as medical devices, insurance, quick-service restaurants and many more. (Read his blog here)

Part of Tom’s brand expertise rests in a unique knowledge of human behavioral modeling. “When we buy product, we are buying ourselves,” he explains. Tom understands the importance of human behavior and thus demonstrates the ability to create brand identity that goes beyond marketing theory to change this behavior and create brand preference.

Tom’s passion for and dedication to the brand business has elevated him to the small list of global branding consultants that are asked to speak at conferences and serve as a source in the media. He has been quoted in The New York Times and CNN Money, as well as appearing on Fox Business.

He is also a regular contributor to Retail Wire, where he is a member of the BrainTrust team.

Tom regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. He also conducts client-sponsored seminars and lectures on a variety of topics. To find out more on Tom’s speaking engagements, topics and experience, click here.

You can email Tom at

Mike Van Ausdeln, Senior Branding Strategist and one of the Branding Consultants at Stealing Share

Michael has more than 15 years of experience as one of our senior branding consultants and has developed a keen sense of how to investigate even the most complex market. He first developed that capacity for investigation and instinct as a reporter for the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Anchorage Daily News for more than 12 years. Since then, his brand experience has taken him from the largest advertising and public relations firm in Alaska to serving as a communications expert for agribusiness giant Syngenta Crop Protection.

Since joining the branding consultants at Stealing Share, Mike has become a published columnist on financial branding and has developed brand strategy for national and international clients and specializes in banking, fast food restaurants, investments, credit unions, petroleum, tourism, telecommunications, transportation, beverages, retail, pharmaceuticals, finance and insurance. He has led efforts in rebranding ProAssurance, Medtronic, Integra LifeSciences, GlenGuard, and Biscuitville.

“Many brands represent time and money misspent,” says Van Ausdeln. “They are treated as a simple reflection of an internal culture instead of being used to create preference. Even worse, the brands are often shockingly familiar within the category. Developing a brand that’s a reflection of the customer and positioned against the competition is what will steal market share.”

You can email Mike at

Corbin Rusch, Senior Brand Strategist and one of the Sr. Branding Consultants at Stealing Share

Corbin has spent his career in a variety of positions that have enabled him to gain practical insight into the art of stealing share before joining the group of senior branding consultants at Stealing Share. He is a specialist in the finance, banking, healthcare and medical sectors where he is considered an expert. He had led teams in rebranding St. Jude Medical, Biomimetic, SECU, Medtronic, Wright Medical, and Genesis Healthcare.

“There are many ways to approach building meaningful brands, but ultimately brand is only valuable if it is to steal market share,” says Corbin. “Otherwise, you are wasting your money and time. Most markets are mature, meaning target audiences are finding ways to obtain those services through a variety of avenues. The task of branding consultants is to find what is most meaningful to the market so consumers will choose you, position you against the competition and make sure you can deliver the single-minded brand promise. Those who do that, win.”

Holding an MBA, Corbin is adept at cutting through the waste and finding what is most meaningful and important – and what prompts important change.

You can email Corbin at

JoAnne Cross, Market Research Director at Resultant Research and works with the branding consultants at Stealing Share

JoAnne has an innate knack for understanding what brand research is supposed to achieve. With a degree in Sociology, she is our research and one of our branding consultants with a focus on designing qualitative and quantitative research so that it uncovers what really drives brand identity: The belief systems that control purchasing behaviors so social and psychological forces can be used to create preference and works closely with the Stealing Share brand consultants.

“Research is more than just usage and attitudes,” she says. “While understanding those are important, it’s more valuable to approach market research from an anthropological point of view. You have to grasp what people believe in order to change behavior.”

JoAnne brings her share of careful, innovative thinking and energy to Stealing Share and Resultant, and is our resident expert in market segmentation. Her attention to detail had made her a legend in the Resultant offices.

Her consumer insights and cunning ability to tease important facts out of detailed brand research makes JoAnne a cornerstone in our clients’ desire to steal market share. JoAnne’s no-nonsense approach and focus on detail has positioned her as a top research developer.

You can email Joanne at

Ran Jones, Director of Branding and Design and one of the Branding Consultants at Stealing Share

An award winning graphic designer, art director, writer, and creative director, Ran is one of those rare talents that started his career thinking visually but soon adopted those sensibilities to thinking strategically. it is rare to find a creative director that is also a branding consultant. But at Stealing Share, branding is what we are all about.

“That’s the trap most brands get into,” says Ran. “They want a pretty picture or something humorous. It’s all just about capturing the eye or the ear. It’s also about rising above the noise with something that’s meaningful and has great power with target audiences.”

Ran has worked in New York, Philadelphia and Princeton, and also held senior and executive creative positions at some of the Mid-Atlantic’s most prominent advertising agencies and graphic design firms.

He created original brand identities and campaigns for such notables as WHYY (Philadelphia PBS Affiliate), Wright Medical, Biomimetic, Integra Life Sciences, Delaware Tourism, Janney Montgomery Scott, First Financial Bank, ProAssurance, St. Jude Medical and Sovereign Bank. He’s also created many memorable projects for Black & Decker, The Philadelphia Opera Company, DuPont Corian, Union Station Washington, DC and the Delaware Lottery. (see some of Ran’s work here).

He is a treasured member of the Stealing Share’s team of brand consultants and creatives because of his ability to turn strategies into brilliant creative executions.

You can email Ran at

Brand Work. Our branding and rebranding clients

Our Brand Work and Experience

Take a look at some examples of our work. Our work crosses a multitude of industries. In some cases, it required a logo development as part of the new meaning. Other times, a new focused meaning was all that was necessary. The creative that you will find on these pages hints at the strategic work that fostered it. You will not see the research, the brief, the strategy, the brand charter, the brand training and the competitive analysis. What you will see it the results of all that work.

The real test of effectiveness is how the new strategic work affected sales. These results are not visible in the work but only on our client’s bottom line. Only they can speak to this and they proudly do so.

Change is never easy and real brand change requires adjustments and focus on cultural changes as well as marketing and messaging changes. Both must work together as the brand focuses on ways to make the promise and positioning true.

Here is a partial list of some of our past clients and examples of our work. Call us and ask about all of our experience.

St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical brand  and logo
**2008 AGDA Award Winner For Graphic Design.
Click Here for More Information


SECU brand work and SECU logo





Telworx Logo and brand work

Loral Skynet

Loral Skynet brand work and logo

Insight Recruiters

Insight Recruiters brand logo and brand work


Emerge  logo

About Stealing Share

About Stealing Share

Stealing Share is a global brand company that arms its clients with the tools they need to drive competitive advantages. We provide corporate rebranding, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, brand positioning, training, design and conduct research and with one goal in mind: To steal market share for our clients. We are experts in the science of persuasion, and have proven it with brands and companies all across the world. We have developed strategies and conducted research in the US, Europe, the Middle East as well as all over Asia. Our strategists uncover the fears, aspirations and belief systems of your target audiences and then we infuse those understandings into the DNA of your brand position. That’s how your brand creates real preference. It’s how we steal market share. If you don’t want our kind of brand company click here.

Click the image below for a brief video introduction on how we steal share.

Video about how a brand company steals market share
Stealing Share has a singular focus as a brand company and that is to steal market share

Our strategists create strategies and tactics that work

We don’t simply create a static image like other brand companies. We create actionable strategies that move the target audience to covet you and create lasting preference. Our brand company, as our logo suggests, goes “beyond theory.” We delve deeper into all the emotional interactions with your brand. Smart companies from around the globe see change as the avenue to steal market share. They have come to us to guide them through it and take advantage of those changes. Our strategists come from some of the finest branding companies, advertising agencies and marketing companies from across the globe. We have come together at Stealing Share to turn the world of branding upside down and engage in work that utilizes brand anthropology to guide you to become more important to those that you need to influence. Because we look at your brand organically, digging deep to analyze your strategy from the perspective of the target audience, we are different from any other brand company. Our work begins and ends with your target audience.

What makes the Stealing Share brand company different and better

Brand development choice
Every brand makes choices

Our strategic work is persuasive. Most of the time, other brand companies take their cues from you. They pursue positions that have the most meaning to the client. That is why so much brand work turns into chatter that ends up preaching to the choir, not the customers you can attract from the competition. The most important target audience is the customer of the competitive brands. We develop strategic positions that have significant meaning to the target audience you need to influence, recommending strategies so you own that position in the market. With Stealing Share, you are armed with specific and actionable tactics and strategies, as well as a strategic position you can implement immediately to start stealing share from the competition.