When you’re wrestling with a marketing challenge, you actively seek objectivity. You are wise to question your own perspective. Which suggests that you will be even wiser to engage SwoodWorks.

Biases diverted. Blindspots illuminated. Opportunities revealed.


“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself

and you are the easiest person to fool.”

– Richard P. Feynman


SwoodWorks is not an agency. It’s not quite a consultancy either. It’s a collaborative resource, designed to give you a fresh perspective shaped by experience with a range of brands: from Blockbuster to Walmart, from Capital One to USAA, from McDonald’s to Thrifty Car Rental, from Bayer Animal Health to PetSmart. B2B. B2C. See?

Business Strategy

 Studying category, competition and consumer to capture goals and design ways to meet them. 


Research Design

Qual. Quant. Ethno. Street. What tools are best suited to eliciting usable insights to guide planning?


Account Planning

Insight-driven briefing that focuses message and media development.

Brand Development

Parsing out truths that connect brands and audiences in durable, sustainable ways.

Creative Direction

Imagining how to bring insight to life in evocative omni-channel executions.


Using design-thinking to align brand or product offerings with consumer experience.


Bailey Lauerman

Bayer Animal Health

Boom Ideanet

Clair de Lune

Friends of Multisport

JNA Advertising

Puente Marketing/Puente X

Seratti Group

Strategic America

Walsworth Publishing

Walz Tetrick Advertising



Experience In The Trenches

Objectivity is the reward of experience, shaped by the places I’ve been, the discussions I’ve participated in, the decisions I’ve witnessed – brilliant and foolish and everything in between. I’ve been in test kitchens and board rooms, spent nights in mass retailers and days behind mirrors, studied deep sea drilling and written manuals for submersible pumps, pitched skate boards and chefs boards, witnessed the disruption by digital, while staying in tune with enduring traditional principles. So you can expect me to ramp up fast, focus on the business challenge, dig for audience truths and … connect the dots. 

To be frank, I’ve worked on so many brands, it’s safe to say I’ve done some digging around in your business category. The fact is, it’s tough to recount them sufficiently here. Most are still around. But tragically, some have flourished then flamed out. (See brilliant/foolish clause above.) So consider the list below a sampling at best. 


When you work with Swood, you get an account planner with a creative director inside … well … and a creative director with an account planner inside. You know, both sides of the brain working furiously on your behalf.

What Clients Have To Say

(Just so you know, I didn’t have to put too much pressure on these fine folks to share remarks about working with SwoodWorks.)

Steve brings an experienced planning skillset oriented to gaining insights that are actionable and strategic.”

Mike Schreurs

Chairman, Chief Strategist, Strategic America

Working with Steve and team was an absolute pleasure.  The ideas to solve for the challenge we presented were widely varied and extremely creative.  It was difficult to choose only one solution – instead we continued to collaborate and came up with something that was a hybrid of multiple ideas.  The solutions we arrived at are going to be game changing for our category.

Susan Robel

Brand Manager, Consumer Innovation, Bayer Animal Health

Steve has the ability to make the complex doable. And he does so with the greatest integrity that makes everyone a winner. There is no better example of this than his help developing Boom Ideanet, a distributed created network that years after its inception is still ahead of its time.”

Steve Bernstein

CEO, President, Bernstein-Rein

Working with Steve is a delight. Watching him develop ideas…after a long day of conducting interviews with people in their kitchens…and then crafting those ideas on a napkin is a magical experience. His ability to extrapolate what’s important and articulate those values in meaningful ways is a skill few people have in this  business. There’s always a seat the Seratti Group table for Steve.”

Karen Seratti

Founder, Seratti Group


No obligation. Let’s schedule a few minutes to identify your challenges, expose blindspots and scope out solutions you might not have arrived at otherwise.