Global Brand Works logo

A Small But Mighty Brand Strategy Agency

We help clients bring their brand to life throughout an organization, internally and externally.

Whether you need to launch, recharge, redesign, or completely reinvent your brand, we have the deep vertical expertise to get you there. We translate Brand Strategy into real life programs and tactics.

From start-ups to established global brands, an organization aligned around brand creates a shared sense of purpose that creates consistent and compelling experiences.

Speaking of results, here are some client highlights:

SFMOMA: Confirming purpose.

A year into its grand re-opening, the iconic museum is ready for the next chapter. Caroline and Shannon are working with senior leadership to ensure that the museum’s purpose is relevant, clearly articulated, and embraced, with tactical programs such as internal purposing workshops.

PayPal: Global brand governance strategy and programs.

An integral part of keeping PayPal’s unique brand promise is making sure the PayPal brand is healthy and protected. Global Brand Works developed PayPal’s first ever strategic brand governance practice, along with the tactical tools and programs that support it, such as internal brand training for all PayPal employees globally. (We love that our PayPal clients have nick named us their “Nimble Ninjas”)!

State Street Global Advisors: Employees learn the importance of “Living The Brand”

The challenge was to make a global rebrand just as vital and inspiring for employees as it would be for target customers. The solve: Global Brand Works partnered with SSGA’s existing agency, Landor, to develop an employee intranet, an internal engagement campaign, and targeted global brand training programs that included in-person and online modules.

Sutherland: A new logo, visual identity, and corporate applications.

This global process outsourcing firm sought out a “small but mighty” branding agency who could nimbly bring their new brand strategy to life, and found us. In 3 months, Global Brand Works delivered a new logo, logo animation, full visual identity system, guidelines, corporate story, PowerPoint template, and business card design.

LifeLock: Internal activation of a refreshed brand.

To make sure that LifeLock’s refreshed brand promise continues to come to life internally, Global Brand Works created Visual Identity Guidelines, a new master PowerPoint template, and other programs that use the brand to galvanize employees.

Veritas: Spinning off a new company and brand.

The 2016 separation of Veritas from Symantec required the revival and re-defining of the Veritas brand. Working with Symantec’s agency of record, Global Brand Works helped actualize Veritas’ new brand positioning by developing global internal and external programs, training and tools.

Kettle Brand: Product Naming and Brand Architecture

The Kettle team asked Global Brand works to explore naming and brand elasticity for one of Kettle’s new snack categories: vegetable chips. The new name developed by Global Brand Works is Kettle UPROOTED (and in 4 weeks). Be sure to pick up a bag; Kettle UPROOTED vegetable chips are delightful!

Yodlee: Preparation for IPO

Caroline and Shannon led a 2-year brand repositioning for this cloud-based FinTech company. By retiring an outdated visual identity system and messaging platform for an authentic, relevant and differentiated brand platform, the company was readied for a successful IPO, which occurred in October 2014.

BlackRock: Alignment after an acquisition

BlackRock acquired iShares from Barclays Global Advisors in 2010. Shannon and Caroline led the brand strategy for the newly-merged entity and delivered the first ever global Visual Identity system that either company had ever had.

iShares: Deepening employee engagement

Using a clever and fun grassroots internal engagement program, employees were able to better articulate the iShares brand story with a program that 68% found effective.

Vantiv: Strategic alignment in product naming

Rapid growth left this global payment technology provider with a product suite not aligned with client priorities. Global Brand Works walked the team through a customized process to elevate their offering within their brand story through product naming and messaging.

Visa: Establishing a practice for global brand management

Caroline was Visa’s first ever employee with responsibility for strategic global brand management. With Shannon on her team, she repositioned Visa from a company with a “collection of logos” in the transaction business to an emotionally-positioned consumer brand, ultimately serving as the foundation for a successful IPO.

You Technology: Creating a consumer brand after several acquisitions

The original brand name, Pay By Touch, lacked the brand elasticity to express the breadth of products and services it could deliver, an even greater challenge after eight acquisitions. Caroline and Shannon led the charge in creating the resulting brand, You Technology, which is now the largest cloud-based digital offer and rewards network.

What we do

Big: Customized Brand Consulting Services

big and small divers

Our approach provides companies with brand support that ranges from strategic coaching to program management. For companies large and small, we’ve led rebrands, created global visual identity systems, developed brand architecture, named products, trained employees, conducted research, thrown wild parties, and provided soothing reinforcement in times of high anxiety.

Small: Brand In A Box

Sometimes all you need is a springboard to get your business going, and that’s why we’ve developed “Brand In A Box.” Once we understand your objectives, we will lead you through a fast-track process that will deliver a clear and concise brand articulation, as well as a visual identity and core assets that will get you out of the starting gate and on track for success.

We Do Everything Brand

Brand Governance

Employee Activation

Visual Identity

Brand Strategy

Naming

Employee Brand Training

Brand Positioning

Brand Tools

Messaging

Insights/Research

Brand Voice

Brand Architecture

We can complement existing agencies with brand expertise, embed ourselves as extensions of a clients’ marketing department, or lead a specific program.

Our Difference

Hands on Expertise — You work directly with Caroline and Shannon

Efficient — We are nimble and practical without bureaucracy

We are doing what we love — Our harmonious business relationship fosters creativity, ego-free brainstorming, and a contagious passion for our work

Single-minded — We are nimble and practical without bureaucracy

We’ve walked in client’s shoes — The vast majority of our careers have been on the client side

The Founders

At the helm of Global Brand Works is Caroline McNally and Shannon Riordan. We have been business partners in a variety of roles since 1998.

Caroline and Shannon

Caroline McNally

Caroline has an instinct and a remarkable capacity for understanding how brands resonate with people. She has held executive positions at American Express, Visa, MasterCard, iShares, BlackRock, and Yodlee prior to founding Global Brand Works. She has a long tenure supporting non-profit Riekes Center for Human enhancement, and is currently Chair of the Board.

Shannon Riordan

As the creative lead for the agency, Shannon puts the “kick” in “kick-start your brand.” A robust background in all facets of branding provides her with the foundation to deliver compelling, clear, creative, organized, and occasionally outlandish solutions. She has held senior management positions at Visa, BlackRock, iShares, lived in Paris in an attempt to be an artist, and was associate producer for an independent film, called The Hot Flashes.

The Team

While our senior leadership team is directly involved in strategy and tactics on all projects, we don't stand alone. Depending on your scope of work, we assemble a core group of pedigreed experts from our dream team of highly-skilled professionals. Some of these amazing people (but not all) are:

Paige complements our client-side expertise with over 20 years of agency-side proficiency (Interbrand: 6 years; Wolf Olins: 10 years, among others). She specializes in brand implementation and operating processes for big, complex, global client engagements. Some brands she has supported are: GE, HP, Nissan, Microsoft, Deloitte, KPMG, PWC Consulting, (RED), Smith & Nephew, Cadillac, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citi, BlackRock, and Verizon.

John Ledwith

John Ledwith

Senior Designer

John has more than 25 years of experience in branding and design. Prior to helping GBW on brand identity for clients such as HRMI and Sutherland, he worked as a Senior Designer at Landor for 12 years. His top clients have been Accenture, Agilent, Chevron, Corporate Express, Fiserv, GE, Microsoft, NCAA, Nationwide Insurance, P&G, State Street Global Advisors, and Shutterfly.

Brad Hennig

Brad Hennig

Storyteller

With simplicity, clarity, and often wicked humor, Brad knows how to capture the essence of a story. He has been writing for more than 25 years in a wide range of marketing capacities. But his passion is screenwriting; he wrote and produced the 2013 independent feature film called The Hot Flashes, starring Brooke Shields and Wanda Sykes. Top brands he has helped include HP, Visa, Yodlee, Fossil, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Pete Boland

Pete Boland

Senior Strategist

We worked with Pete at Visa, iShares, BlackRock, and Schwab. He specializes in understanding customers, developing strong brand positioning, and developing award-winning creative. Brands he has led include: Charles Schwab, Microsoft, Visa, BlackRock, iShares, Pampers, Pringles & ChocoMilk. As SVP and Head of Brand for Charles Schwab, he is the mastermind behind the award-winning re-invigoration of the iconic Charles Schwab brand through the "Own Your Tomorrow" platform.

Brian Leiter

Brian Leiter

Graphic Designer

With a master’s degree in art education, Brian is our go-to designer who specializes in Print/Digital Design, Brand Identity, Logo Design, Web Design and Illustration. He loves educational and non-profit projects and has worked on HRMI, Alameda Bicycle, Arc Fusion, Beynon Sports, BikeHub, Builder Target, Red Crane Media, TextRecruit, and TrueCar.

What We Believe

IBM selectric keyboard

A brand will create tangible value for your business, but only if it drives everything you do. In fact, it is your organization’s most powerful asset, whether small start-up, or global corporation.

A significant investment in positioning, strategy, or identity will only deliver results if employees are aligned and understand how to own and live the brand. By establishing brand as the lens through which employees create customer experience, your company will be successful because you will be able to deliver what your customers expect.

Let's talk.

Global Brand Works

San Francisco and Redwood City, CA

+1.415.567.3792