Stephen Hersh

Stephen Hersh

Stephen Hersh consults with companies to help them manage their brands, their business strategies, their creative strategies, and their relationships with consumers, customers, and employees. He often works through in-sourcing, training company employees to develop the skills to solve these problems themselves. He is a teacher, investigator, and idea man whom organizations trust to get to answers that will help set business goals and strategies, and to help deliver on them.

Stephen works in two consulting practices. One of these is Lightbulb Strategy, where he focuses on consumer insight, branding, and marketing communications—both training employees to develop their expertise in these areas, and working directly with companies on projects himself (see more at Additionally, at the firm AND Advisors, Stephen is part of a team of experts on human behavior who develop strategies for business growth with a focus on the people who are the internal and stakeholders—both employees, who can drive business growth by developing their skills and strengths, and customers, whom companies can always understand and serve better.

Part-time, Stephen pursues his curiosity about the human experience at Northwestern University, where he is Adjunct Lecturer in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at the Medill School. He teaches the course Consumer Insight, focusing on behavioral and psychodynamic psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Previously, Stephen was Adjunct Lecturer at the Kellogg business school at Northwestern, where he taught Consumer Behavior.

Stephen has an M.A. in Psychology from Northwestern, and is certified in Emotional Intelligence by the University of Illinois program in PdEI Leadership. Stephen developed his expertise in market research and strategic planning during 23 years at Leo Burnett Advertising, where he was Senior Vice President and Strategy Director. There, he gained profound insights into consumers, developed successful brand strategies, and learned how to move projects through large organizations—and he experienced the importance of company culture as a factor in achieving business objectives.

Stephen lived the more entrepreneurial side of life when he helped start up the Chicago office of ad agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, and he also helped the interactive agency Leapnet grow from a small organization, by founding the company’s practice in Account Planning. In the early 2000s, Stephen started up the successful Account Planning Shop, a consulting firm providing market research and strategic planning services to ad agencies and marketing companies. He has spent much of his career working on international markets, building bridges of understanding across cultural barriers.

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