Andrew’s “Boomerang” Experience Proves Impact and Innovation Are Possible in Every Industry

Posted by ZS on Aug 1, 2018 10:00:00 AM



ZS-Headshot-Blog-AndrewPrincipal Andrew was in business school at the University of Michigan when he started looking for an internship that would allow him to do the kinds of projects he liked most—those that helped clients improve their commercial capabilities through sales and marketing. That’s when he found ZS.


After a successful summer spent working on sales projects with a large pharmaceutical company, he accepted an offer to join ZS’s Chicago office as a consultant.

After nearly four years spent helping clients in the airline and building products industries, he was ready for a new, different adventure. In 2007, he accepted a role at growth strategy firm which was, ironically, located only a few blocks from ZS.

“I had a great experience there, but found myself missing the people and the unified culture at ZS more and more,” Andrew said. That, in combination with ZS’s growing reputation in marketing, is what led him to rejoin the firm in 2014.

Andrew “boomeranged” back to help lead our growth marketing work, and was elected principal in September, 2017. Today, he helps travel, hospitality and financial services companies see the marketplace differently and leverage insights that will help them grow more effectively and efficiently. 

“I had a great experience there, but found myself missing the people and the unified culture at ZS more and more,” Andrew said. That, in combination with ZS’s growing reputation in marketing, is what led him to rejoin the firm in 2014.

Andrew “boomeranged” back to help lead our growth marketing work in Priority Industries, and was elected principal in September, 2017. Today, he helps travel, hospitality and financial services companies see the marketplace differently and leverage insights that will help them grow more effectively and efficiently.

We talked about “the what.” Now tell us why you do what you do—and why you choose to do it at ZS.

I’m motivated by my intellectual curiosity. For me, it’s about uncovering the true nuggets of insight and using them to help companies do better in the marketplace because they’re serving their customers better. I do this work at ZS because it’s such a collaborative environment. It’s amazing to see so many smart people come together with a common purpose. We care about our clients, and we want to help them change. We're not trying to deliver a binder that sits on the shelf. What’s most rewarding is when they offer their appreciation and tell us how we’re different from other consultants they’ve worked with.

What’s the best idea you ever had?

At my last firm, one of my clients was a beef hot dog brand. In their market, “kosher” is typically the only variety viewed as premium, but I created a new segment that would allow them to capture the price premium with very little additional cost. From a margin perspective, it was highly lucrative and, after a very successful launch, their profits helped fund a long tail of innovation. The experience proved to me that if innovation and client impact are possible in the hot dog industry, they’re possible anywhere.

What’s your life like outside work?

My wife Tracie and I have two kids—8-year-old Noah and 6-year-old Jordyn. They’re both big into activities and Noah plays hockey, which is how we spend a lot of our evening and weekend time. Tracie is an attorney, so prioritizing our commitments is key. It’s something I encourage my teams to do—to decide what’s important to them outside work, communicate it, and offer each other respect and support in meeting those personal priorities.

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