Our Team

Our incredibly talented team is made up of the brightest minds in research, strategy, storytelling, data visualization,
and design.

BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy

BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy

BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy

Meet the enthusiasts who eat, sleep, and breathe innovation.

Mike Murphy

Chief Energizing Officer

Mike is the Founder of BrandIQ and a veteran marketing professional. His distinguished careerincludes brand management positions with PepsiCo (Pizza Hut) and the Dial Corporation, as well as a term as CMO for Papa Gino’s restaurants. He also created, owned, and operated his own award-winning restaurant in the Boston area.

Prior to founding BrandIQ in 2002, Mike co-founded and served as COO for Q2 Brand Intelligence, which was sold to ComScore and became the foundation of their custom research division.

At BrandIQ, Mike spends his days finding new ways to help our clients grow and visualize success — with new insights, compelling and differentiated new products, and a deep understanding of key consumer targets. His personal passion and enthusiasm for helping BrandIQ clients win is contagious.

Mike works hands-on with the team to solve our clients’ most difficult brand and business challenges, bringing his remarkable ability for integrating brand strategy and consumer insights into actionable business, brand, and innovation solutions.

He has consulted on more than 500 challenging client initiatives across diverse categories and industries including consumer products, restaurant, food and beverage, and retail apparel. Three of his most memorable recent challenges involved helping a leader in the travel share-company transform the travel experience both in the US and abroad; launching a new menu item for a well-established restaurant company that lead to it being selected “Restaurant Stock of the Year” in 2013; and creating new television content targeted to Millennials for one of the largest media companies in the world.

Mike holds a BA in Finance from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and a past board member for EO and the Kauffmann Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He speaks frequently on innovation, brand strategy, and new-product development, and is a guest lecturer within the California State University system.

Mike lives in Los Angeles. When not at BrandIQ, you might find him checking out the hottest new restaurants in Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and Hollywood.

Linkedin

INDIGO. PISCES. ENTJ. IDEAS. HOLIDAYS. CASABLANCA. RENOVATION. THAILAND. MOUNTAIN LION. CALIFORNIA WINE. KAUFFMAN FOUNDATION. FAMILY. SYDNEY. SOLUTIONS. SNOW SKIING. MURPH. EXTRA CHUNKY PEANUT BUTTER. BEACHES. GARDENING. CEDAR FALLS. IOWA. LADY GAGA. FITNESS. YEO. THAI. IOWA STATE. HGTV. RESTAURANTS. FASHION. BMW. TRAVELING. KINETIC. FOCUSED. COOKING.

Chris Kennen

Chief Creative Officer, LEED AP

Chris is a seasoned marketing strategist, architectural designer, and classically trained chef with 20 years of experience in brand strategy, innovation, concept creation, design thinking, and new-product development.

Before joining BrandIQ, he created, owned, and operated three award-winning restaurants; a successful catering company; and a commercial kitchen-hotel for hospitality professionals in Manhattan.

As the lead creative executive at BrandIQ, Chris has spearheaded the creation of dozens of new retail and restaurant concepts, invented new consumer products and services, and breathed new life into some of America’s most iconic brands.

Chris is an expert at bringing new products and concepts to life in ways that deliver real value for clients, while building and strengthening emotional connections with customers. He thrives within initiatives that combine consumer co-creation, brand innovation, consumer behavior, experience, and product design.

Chris holds a BA in Communications from Binghamton University; graduated with honors from The French Culinary Institute; and received his M.Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), where he was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, and served on the board of directors.

Linkedin

PERIWINKLE. INFJ. GRAY. COFFEE CAKE. VIRGO. SWIMMING. SCULPTURE. LILLY. READING. NARNIA. LONDON. CPAP. COOKING. HUMOR. BLUEBERRIES. PTOWN. COOKIES. PETER ZUMTHOR. FACTORIES. BUILDING. CULINARY. UNCLE. SAILING. GARDENING. CREATIVE. HIKING. BABY LOU. SCI–ARC. BINGHAMTON. COMPOST. RESTAURANTS. BEES. MIDDLE. TUBA. GODFATHER. PIZZA. SKIING. YANKEE LAKE.

Alice Gold

Senior Vice President, Brand Strategy & Innovation

As Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Innovation, Alice leads BrandIQ’s client service team.

With a background in market research and advertising, Alice is a highly skilled strategic thinker, and brings real-world, actionable insights to our clients’ businesses. She is experienced across a wide range of consumer goods and services categories, and is well-known as an analyst of emerging media trends. As part of her client service work at BrandIQ, Alice is a valued partner and advisor to Fortune 500 companies and their ad agencies on strategic, communications, tracking, positioning, and other custom research.

With her roots in ad agency account management, Alice has an extensive background in creative development and communications effectiveness. She was most recently with Ipsos ASI and OTX, where she was a go-to senior executive who helped raise the game of a number of the world’s most innovative brands.

Alice is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a degree in French Literature, and studied extensively abroad. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with family.

Linkedin

CHARTREUSE. GOURMET COOK. ENFJ. MANICURES. PIANO. MAGIC JOHNSON. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. TRAVEL AND LEISURE. MODERN FAMILY. TEACHERS. VOLUNTEER. CIROC MARTINI. CURIOUS. HELPFUL. KITE RUNNER. FIRST BORN. PTA PRESIDENT. MOTHER OF PEARL DIP PENS. FAMILY. PASSIONATE. THE HELP. DANIEL. HAPPY TOGETHER. ANDREW. THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE. BRACELET.

Carrie Robbins

Senior Manager of Brand Strategy and Innovation

Carrie joined Brand IQ in 2014 with a background in both quantitative and qualitative market research. She has managed research for Fortune 500 clients across a variety of industries, including CPG, apparel, financial services, food and beverage, and beauty.

She was most recently with Lieberman Research Worldwide, where she managed all phases of the research process, from questionnaire and discussion-guide development to data collection, processing, analysis and report-writing, and presentation.< br>
Carrie holds master’s degrees in Global Media and Communications from both the London School of Economics and the University of Southern California. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in Spanish and Italian languages and literature.

An East Coast transplant from Boston, Carrie has also worked and lived abroad in Spain, Italy, Argentina, and the UK. In her free time she loves to cook, listen to music, and go hiking and camping with her husband, baby son, and dog.

Linkedin

ITALY. KEY LIME PIE. LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS. GOING TO THE BEACH. ICE HOCKEY. OPERA. ENFJ. COOKING. FIVE NAMES. FOUR SIBLINGS. RED. PIZZA. BOSTON. LISTENING TO MUSIC. SINGING. SWIMMING. BASH. HIKING. SPANISH. ARGENTINA. GARDENING. WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY. A HOUSE FULL OF SCORPIOS. CAMPING WITH MY HUSBAND SON & DOG. GOING TO THE MOVIES. TRAVELING.

Andrew Lum

Research Manager

Andrew is a Research Manager at BrandIQ, where he lends insight and provides support on various projects.

He holds a BA in Business Economics and a minor in Management from the University of California, Irvine. Marketing courses in his minor shed new light on branding and consumer behavior — a perspective he found both riveting and different from his background in economics. With experience in financial services, he now focuses on helping BrandIQ’s clients achieve and exceed their goals.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Andrew enjoys traveling, and taking advantage of the Southern California weather.

Linkedin

BLUE. SUSHI. 2PAC. FOUNTAINHEAD. SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND. SPORTS. HOOKAH. ECONOMICS. TWILIGHT. 1986 MERCEDES-BENZ 560SL. ANCHORMAN. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. TIRAMISU. INTP. CALM. THINKER. KOBE AND CHARLEY. TRAVELING. THE SIMPSONS. MOVIES. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. HIKING. DREW. THE BEACH. JEOPARDY. HOPEFUL. FIRST BORN. BASKETBALL. AMBIDEXTROUS.

Brigitte Kouo

Senior Design Strategist

Brigitte is a concept and experience designer with a varied background in architecture, graphics, and visual culture who believes strongly that collaboration across disciplines makes designs better.

Prior to joining BrandIQ, she created retail prototypes for internationally known consumer products and footwear brands. She also has a background in restaurant, exhibition, and graphic design.

Brigitte received a BA in Art History with honors from Northwestern University, an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from The University of Texas at Austin, and an M.Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).

Linkedin

SHOES. ART HISTORY. TALL LAYER CAKES. TO BE INTERVIEWED BY CHARLIE ROSE. UNIBALL PENS. VARIOUS CHEESES. ESTP. FLEA MARKETS. CHICAGO. ELLE DECOR. CRAFT. BEAGLES. WINE. ARCHITECTURE. PIANO. COOKING. GRACE CODDINGTON. ONLY CHILD. GRAPHIC DESIGN. GRAPEFRUIT. LOUVAIN. THE SARTORIALIST. VIRGO. RURAL MISSOURI. FOOD52. TWO PIGTAILS. OFFICE SUPPLIES. DUSK. HUMOROUS.

Edward Ruiz

Research Associate

Edward is the Research Coordinator at BrandIQ. Before joining BrandIQ, Edward was a student at UC San Diego, where he earned his degree in Physical Anthropology with a Minor in Cognitive Science and Physics. Much of his coursework focused on Cognitive Science and Ethnography. His previous research experience is in human behavior and culture. His passion for ethnography is a driving factor for his previous research projects.

In addition to his anthropological work, Edward also has research experience in behavioral neurobiology, computational astrophysics, and ethology. He is also proficient in computer programming and information technology.

When not at work, he can usually be found training for triathlons, at the beach, or working on his next novel.

Linkedin

ROCK BAND. SNORKEL. FANTASY NOVEL. BACON-WRAPPED HOT DOG. SAILING. ANTHROPOLOGY. BOARD GAMES. JOHNNY CASH. CREAM CHEESE ICE CREAM. SWIMMER. UCSD. SURELY YOU’RE JOKING MR. FEYNMAN. PISCES. LIFEGUARD. HEADSTRONG. VIENTO BY CAIFANES. MIDDLE CHILD. AMATEUR ASTRONOMER. INTP. CARNE ASADA TACOS. 2 DOGS. CARL SAGAN. BEARDED DRAGON. KINDLE.

Chris Tade

Director Brand Strategy and Innovation

Christopher Tade brings more than a decade of marketing research experience to BrandIQ as a true consultant to his clients. Chris’ experience spans research program design, strategic analysis and turning insights into action. His areas of expertise include brand equity, advertising effectiveness, consumer segmentation, competitive landscaping, and customer satisfaction.

Prior to joining BrandIQ, Christopher worked for both Millward Brown and J.D. Power and Associates focusing on full service, custom research spanning a wide variety of categories — restaurants, travel, consumer and business products, eco-friendly “green” products, fashion, sports, real estate, technology, and telecommunications.

Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Christopher received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing Research focus, from the Business Honors program at California State University, Northridge. In his spare time, he enjoys participating in sports, surfing on the California coast, and spending time with his family.

Linkedin

Evelyn Shih

Research Manager

Evelyn joined BrandIQ in 2014 with a background in quantitative market research. As a trusted advisor, she works closely with her clients to help them grow their brands and achieve their business goals.

She began her research career at Millward Brown, where she designed and executed a wide variety of solutions, including trackers, copy tests, and brand equity studies. Her experience spans various industries, including social media, technology, consumer goods, entertainment, and telecommunications.

She received her BS in Business Administration and International Relations from the University of Southern California. When she is not at work, Evelyn can usually be found at the beach or a local café, researching her next travel destination.

Linkedin

Valerie Benitez

Research Coordinator

A Miami native, Valerie moved to Los Angeles in 2013, mere days after graduating from Florida International University with a BS in Communications. Her specific field of study was Public Relations with a minor in Psychology. While studying, she explored various realms of the communications world, including writing, research strategy, design, and integrated marketing campaigns.

Prior to graduation, Val spent two years working as a producer, script writer, and customer-service representative for a video production company in South Florida. She played a major role in the creation and production of numerous advertorials and editorials, along with a couple of show pilots.

During her downtime, Val enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, cooking, hiking, supporting local artists, being a mother to her Chihuahua-mix pup, and discovering new activities and places (especially eateries).

Linkedin

TELEPORT. MILKSHAKES. BROADWAY PERFORMER. ONLINE WINDOW SHOPPING. CHI-WHAT-WHAT. ENFJ. GRAPHEME-COLOR SYNESTHETIC. THE LITTLE MERMAID. DANCER. ADVERTORIALS. BRA & BRIDALWEAR FITTER. PULP FICTION. PANCAKES. SPONTANEOUS ROAD TRIPS. CRAFTY. VAL PAL. THE SUPERNATURAL. MY PILLOW. TRAVEL. FRIES. TRANSPARENT. SCORPIO. MARINE BIOLOGY. A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC.

Imelda Villalobos

Project Manager

Imelda has experience in a variety of quantitative research projects ranging from apparel to food, where she has worked on everything from sensory testing to brand health studies. Imelda is bi-cultural and bi-lingual (Spanish/English) and is a key interface on all Latino research projects for our clients.

Imelda brings a wealth of multifaceted talents to the market-research arena. Her extended exposure to various industries such as food, construction, apparel, healthcare, and manufacturing provide her with a unique, well-rounded perspective.

Imelda received a BA in both Finance and Marketing and a minor in Spanish from New Mexico State University. She also received an AAS degree in Apparel Manufacturing Management at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles.

Linkedin

Faith Jarratt Rouse

Innovation Strategist, LEED AP

Since 2006, Faith has worn various hats at BrandIQ — both creative and strategic — including ideator, innovator, and integrator. Initially a part of the product-development team for Energizer Portable Power, she’s been bringing the positive energy ever since.

Her title — Innovation Strategist — stems from Faith’s inventive design thinking and her holistic creative approach, which draws from her background in architecture and interior design, as well as her passion for photography, the culinary arts, and the cultivation and preservation of our natural environment.

After receiving a BA in Environmental Factors and Interior Design from California State University, Long Beach, Faith became part of the full-service Contract Interiors team at Eastman Office Products (now known as Office Depot). Seeking a deeper understanding of the design-build industry, she returned to school, completing a Master of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in 2004.

Three years later, she founded DFRAGD/Spatial Strategies, Inc. — a boutique architectural and interior design studio dedicated to cultivating environments that are innovative, experimental, poetic, playful, functional, and sustainable.

Though Minnesota will always be her heart’s home, Faith is a self-proclaimed LA devotee who has happily lived in Southern California for more than 25 years.

Linkedin

PURPLE. PIZZA. INTERIOR DESIGN. PHOTOGRAPHY. ARCHITECTURE. THE POLICE. FOOD RULES. JOAN CUSACK. MAY. ‘FOOT’. SNOW SCULPTURE. GEMINI. THE INTELLIGENT OPTIMIST. LAVENDER FILLED EYE PILLOW. PASSIONATE. RESNICK PAVILION. PLAYFUL. THE PERFECT WHITE CAKE. RACHMANINOV. FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. INDIVIDUALISTIC. HIGHLY PRINCIPLED. FUTURE-ORIENTED.