Associate Director, Strategy

JOB LOCATION

Chicago

OVERVIEW

VSA Partners is a group of dedicated, collaborative and kind people that value smarts over egos. We work very hard to create human-centered, insight-inspired work that moves people, changes behavior, and answers real strategic problems. We started as a design firm over 30 years ago and operate today with a “design thinking” approach to everything we do. Formally, we’re a branding and marketing company that approaches business challenges holistically and aims to break down silos between branding, digital, marketing and advertising. Informally, we’re a family that comes together at the table every day to make something great.

 

VSA’s Strategy Practice acts as the leading edge of our effort to invent and reinvent brands for the modern age. By adding more robust, more rigorous strategic offerings to our portfolio—without compromising our ability to translate thinking into design—we create a combination few can match.

 

The Associate Director, Strategy is responsible for developing an understanding of a client’s business situation in the context of their industry, economic environment, customer dynamics, and competitive landscape.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Coordinate and lead VSA’s strategic initiatives on behalf of the client, including: industry and competitive analysis; consumer/stakeholder research and analysis; organizational / cultural analysis; brand positioning and architecture; multi-year messaging and communications planning; development of metrics for success.
  • Lead strategic conversations with clients at the highest level of their organizations, and contribute to long-term, programmatic relationships.
  • Coordinate / lead primary research, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
  • Develop diagrams, frameworks and other conceptual models to define, contextualize and gain buy-in for key strategic elements, insights, or other important inputs.
  • Lead efforts to create strategy deliverables, presentations, and discussion documents including research findings, creative briefs, brand concepts, etc., in highly logical ways that clarify key points and helps clients make difficult strategic decisions.
  • Help project teams align around a creative direction and tactics that address the client’s business needs/strategic objectives.
  • Contribute to or develop client proposals and actively identify new business opportunities within existing client relationships.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years of strategic planning experience at a marketing and/or communications agency, management consulting, or strategic brand firm.
  • Minimum of 5 years developing strategies for brand development, marketing communications, innovation or business transformation across a variety of disciplines.
  • Experience in developing market and consumer/customer/audience insights, driving solutions that solve significant brand and business problems, analyzing and prioritizing media and communications channels.
  • Deeply knowledgeable in diverse business issues and practices, with comprehensive understanding of and experience in activating brand strategy, marketing and customer strategy, communications planning and integrated communication programs.
  • Genuine, confident, empathetic and interpersonally skilled, with proven influencing capabilities in client relationship settings, and the talent to translate an idea into action.
  • A passion for learning more and having an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Ability to interact at all levels of the company and with external parties in a professional manner maintaining effective communication, both written and spoken.
  • Adept at preemptively identifying problems and devising solutions.
  • A commitment to high quality work and to positive and productive relationships with all - clients, team members, peers, managers, etc.
  • Skills in complex problem solving, judgment, critical thinking and decision-making.
  • Ability to be versatile and handle multiple projects and re-prioritizations.
  • Ability to organize information, prioritize, have attention to detail, and accurately follow procedures.
  • Ability to maintain self-motivation and to work independently in team environments.
  • Some evenings and weekend work may occasionally be necessary.