I first came to know Mike Breen as my research partner working on behalf of a number of packaged goods products including Brawny paper towels and Northern Quilted bathroom tissue. From my first meeting with him, I was struck by the clarity of his strategic understanding of every issue facing the brands: consumer needs, operations and manufacturing, positioning and overall portfolio management. Most importantly, he always seemed able to develop incredibly unique and insightful ideas to help advance the business. And that is Mike's hallmark: he possesses an incredible ability to get to the heart of the matter with a brilliant, new, relevant, yet pragmatic BIG idea.

Unlike many consultants, Mike's ideas are always grounded in the reality of making something happen and happen profitably. But they always take that giant leap into some new domain that everyone else seems to have missed in the category - - from packaged goods to technology.

In addition to his thoughtful, deliberate and intelligent approach to any business challenge, Mike also possesses a great wit, sensitivity to people and politics, and love of a good gastronomic experience.

I feel honored to have worked with him on several projects and would recommend him unequivocally to any marketer shrewd enough to engage him,

A. Louis Rubin
Chief Marketing Officer
The Concept Farm
New York, New York
“Working with Mike’s Parallel Thinking mindset is an evolutionary experience. We knew we need to significantly change the way we represented the company but we were mired in our own thinking. Mike helped us to think and message differently. And to get there he took us down a path that was remarkably straight forward. My team very quickly had a sense of intrigue that there was something going on here that they wanted to spend more time with. Next there was the excitement that comes with a new perspective and the thrill of applying this perspective to assess what was lacking in our current efforts. While we hired him for a project, what we learned from him has had a lasting impact because we have been able to apply what we learned to future projects. As a result, we have a much stronger team. And we had fun getting there. I would strongly recommend Mike.”

Mary Hockridge
SVP, Marketing
NetDeposit
"Mike is a dedicated professional with the rare ability to bring both nontraditional and strategic thinking to the table. He can bring disparate points of view together within an organization to create solutions that would not have been arrived at otherwise, and he helps the team find a way to suspend traditional thinking before defining problems and crafting solutions. Most importantly, the solutions that grow out of Parallel Thinking are truly practical and often produce extraordinary results."

JWT
Bob Jeffrey, Chairman & CEO, Worldwide
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike Breen, President of Parallel Thinking, over the past few years and wanted to take a moment to share my views as to the unique value he has delivered to my organization across multiple engagements.

Mike has a wealth of cross-industry branding experience and brings an unusual blend of strategic thought-leadership, business acumen and non-traditional thinking to his clients. He has a unique way of pulling disparate groups together into powerful functional teams and helps them find ways to suspend traditional thinking prior to the team defining complex business problems and crafting solutions. Mike’s ability to help people collaborate and lead “out-of-the-box” thinking often leads to differentiated, leading edge approaches to solving these business challenges.

Mike’s disciplined methodology and his time-tested facilitation skills helps bring disparate points of view together, within the organization, to create what are often unexpected solutions that set companies apart from the competition. That being said, the solutions that are generated from this non-conventional thought-process are practical, implementable and deliver significant, lasting business results.

I would highly recommend the services of Mike and Parallel Thinking Inc to any company that is looking for differentiated, high-impact solutions to complex business challenges.

Eric J. Loe
Senior Director, WW Channel Sales
NetApp
Mike Breen is one of the most unique strategic thinkers in the marketplace today. As a traditional advertising and marketing strategist, Mike has an incredible feel for the pragmatic application of advertising and marketing to help build businesses and brands. It's his traditional background that allows him to translate insights into action.

But there's much more to Mike than that. He understands the intricacies of technology and new media. He understands the nuances of a brand building team versus a marcom structured organization. It's the cross roads of these four areas that make Mike one of the best strategists I have ever worked with.

He understands how brand building, driving sales, technology and advertising can work together.

I worked with Mike to launch multiple programs for Sun Microsystems, from global brand campaigns, to vertical campaigns for JavaSoft and Sun Microelectronics. What was most impressive was his ability to bring disparate teams together in working sessions to attain focused results.

I'd recommend working with Mike and if the opportunity presented itself, I'd happily work with him again.

Kevin Wassong
President,
Minyanville Publishing and Multimedia
I can wholeheartedly endorse Parallel Thinking and Mike Breen's services for strategic marketing. He brings a wealth of experience helping companies large and small find their voice, craft their message, and to deliver it to their target audience(s). He takes a different approach than any other marketing consultant I've worked with. First he takes the time to really understand his clients, their products, their needs, what they are doing that is truly differentiated in the market, who they need to communicate and sell to, and how to fine-tune both the message and the delivery of the message to the specific audience being served.

Most importantly, Mike not only strives to really understand his client's business, he also thinks about the messaging, positioning, and delivery from the point of view of those being communicated to. He understands who is being targeted, why they are being targeted, what other messages they are getting from the market, what pressures they are under, and their decision making process before recommending an approach. By examining the challenge from both perspectives he is able to find a way for your message to stand out from the rest, to capture the attention and curiosity of the target audience, and to move the process forward with urgency. The targeted audience feels they must take a look at your products and services (they fell they would be crazy not to).

His interactions with the client team also stand out. He pulls people into a process, one which may seem strange or even uncomfortable at first, but one which ultimately pulls the team members into alignment and agreement on how and what to communicate as a team. An overall strategy is identified, individual roles are identified, and a message is carefully crafted to achieve an overall objective. Language is identified to uniquely position the company, and its product and services, in the marketplace with a superior solution and a leadership position in what may be a newly defined category. An overall message architecture is identified and a carefully crafted series of deliverables are called out to achieve the objectives that have been identified.

The end result are strategic objectives which the team is bought into, and an approach to achieving them which no one alone might have proposed and which the team would not likely have endorsed without Mike's help, but one which the team agrees is optimal. Messaging is precise, audiences are well defined, the tasks required to achieve the objectives are clear, and each person's role in those tasks is well understood.

Michael Rogers
Chief Provocateur
Numobiq, Inc.
                     
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What are clients saying?

What Clients are Saying

 

  A. Louis Rubin: Chief Marketing Officer, The Concept Farm, New York, New York
  Mary Hockridge: SVP, Director of Marketing, NetDeposit
  Bob Jeffrey: Global CEO, J. Walter Thompson
  Eric J. Loe: Senior Director, WW Channel Sales, NetApp
  Kevin Wassong: President, CEO, Minyanville
  Michael Rogers: Chief Provocateur, Numobiq, Inc.
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