Directors

The Forge has a unique, business model. Our team exclusively comprises senior directors.

Every director at The Forge is most motivated by working on projects. Based in multiple locations, every member of the team brings 15 -25 years’ experience helping marketing leaders at global businesses target the greatest opportunities for growth.

Our Directors

Co-Founder & Director

Steven Melford

Co-Founder & Director

Simon Garnett

Director

Kirsty Yeomans

Co-Founder & Director

Karl Miley

Co-Founder & Director

Ben Glassock

Director

Lee Manning Craik

Director

Simon Bailey

Director

Joe Catling

Director NL

Daniel Quinn

Director

Adam Rowles

Director

Shanna Boland

Unique Business

Our director-led business provides clients with the following benefits.

A clear focus on commercial returns

We are outcome driven and always focused on how we can unlock true future value. Nearly all our work involves understanding how we can positively change or shape behaviour, so that we can influence how and where people choose to spend their money.

Hypothesis-led, helping you make more of what you already know

We always start with what you already know and use that to build a hypothesised solution. We then use fresh research to efficiently fill any gaps and test the hypothesis. This enables us to move at speed and develop agile solutions.

Landing actionable solutions in complex environments

We understand how to effectively collaborate with senior stakeholders, and how to secure buy-in across large and complex organisations.

Flexing to your working style

We don’t have a mandatory process, and neither are we wedded to a specific set of tools. We are confident flexing our approach to fit the challenge and your organisational culture and working style.

Delivering impact across a diverse range of sectors

We have developed a deep understanding of how to understand and influence behaviour across a wide range of business sectors, and we apply this to every engagement.

We build the solution with you

We act as a true partner to your business rather than a ‘black box’ solution provider. We bring you on the journey and transfer ownership at completion. 

Co-Founder, Director

Steven Melford

About Steven

Steven is an entrepreneurial business leader with 25 years of experience of bringing strategy, creativity, and a range of insight approaches to brand challenges.

He has created two successful growth consultancies. He founded, managed, and grew one the industry’s leading brand and marketing consultancies – Clear. A desire to get back closer to projects led to the launch of the Forge.

He has strong track record of delivering brand growth for clients: driving market share, profitability and sales/revenue for both products and services businesses. This includes Developing a growth strategy for Unilever’s €20BN Beauty and Personal Care division, created a new brand architecture for Tesco’s Own Label business and Helping to unlock the lunch occasion for PepsiCo leading to an award-winning creative campaign

Originally a scientist who worked for the BHF, Steven loves truly understanding of how things really work and providing evidence-driven recommendations to clients. He holds a DPhil in Molecular Biology from the University of Oxford.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Co-Founder, Director

Simon Garnett

About Simon

Simon leapt over the client desk to become a consultant almost 15 years ago, following a thorough grounding at Diageo, GSK & Nestle in marketing and innovation roles.

That experience of the practicalities of client-side businesses – and the hard work that goes on once the consultants leave the room – ensures he brings a deeply commercial and pragmatic approach (as well as boundless energy) to his projects and recommendations.

These include: creating a strategy for a major apparel company to win in natural and sustainable materials; developing an approach to innovation strategy and concept pipeline development that has led to norm-busting results and been adopted as global best practice in one of the world’s largest consumer healthcare companies; and helping unleash the lunch occasion for PepsiCo, leading to a ground-breaking campaign.

Prior to founding The Forge, Simon was MD at a consultancy in the US and has worked across pretty much every category you can think of (except cars, Simon doesn’t understand cars). He also has a degree in Theology.

When away from the office, you’ll most likely found Simon on water or snow, probably standing on (or falling off) some sort of board.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Director

Kirsty Yeomans

About Kirsty

Kirsty has spent the last 16 years solving complex customer problems for some of the world’s leading brands in industries as diverse as automotive, education, finance and FMCG.

The common thread running through her work is a passion for helping people to understand the world in all its messy, contradictory glory whilst remaining sympathetic to the unique challenges of the clients that she is advising.

She has a natural bias for interrogating a problem from multiple angles and uses bespoke frameworks and models to help her clients focus on the things that will deliver the best commercial results.

Her successes at The Forge include: helping to unlock the lunch occasion for PepsiCo leading to an award-winning creative campaign; creating a framework for the future growth of femcare for J&J; developing a trends and growth model for PepsiCo Europe.

Prior to The Forge she ran the consumer and retail division of FreshMinds (now Decidedly), and has served on the committee of the AQR. She has a degree in History.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Co-Founder, Director

About Karl

Karl has spent the last 20 years working with some of the world’s leading brands helping to define robust strategies for growth.

Adept at deploying a wide range of insight approaches to brand challenges, his expertise lies in numbers and storytelling. Karl has a keen analytical eye enabling him to identify the pertinent points in any dataset before translating them into actionable and compelling frameworks and stories, that anyone can engage with.

It is this skillset and his belief in the power of simplicity, that has enabled him to successful partner with clients across categories as diverse as personal care, snacking & beverages, retail, consumer technology and financial services.

Prior to joining The Forge, Karl was European Board Director at Clear, one of the industry’s leading brand and marketing consultancies, where he led the 20 strong European Insights team.

Karl has a BSc in Chemistry & Food Science and a MSc in Food Economics and Marketing.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Co-Founder, Director

Ben Glassock

About Ben

Ben is an insight specialist with over 20 years experience helping clients diagnose and unlock their strategy and innovation challenges.

Previously Global Head of Qualitative at Clear, Ben has a passion for harnessing new approaches and technologies with the power to distil todays myriad sources of information into stronger, sharper and more robust insight.

He has a particular interest in building strategies for the future of categories as diverse as financial services, home decoration and personal care. This includes developing a set of foresight platforms that will shape the future of differentiated CX for Zurich, helping Dulux understand how to drive a behaviour change revolution in decorating, and helping Unilever create a vision of the future deodorant category to inform innovation.

Ben has a degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford and retains a love of understanding people and what drivers and influences on their choices and behaviour.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Director

Lee Manning-Craik

About Lee

Lee has 24 years’ experience as an insight professional across both developed and developing markets.

Previously Head of Qual and on the Business Management Team at Added Value, she has worked across geographies as diverse as Taiwan, Russia and El Salvador, and categories as diverse as retail, alcohol, financial services, FMCG and utilities.

She specialises in helping clients understand how to grow categories, leverage their portfolios, and unlock cultural nuance to better respond to specific market needs. Lee is passionate about understanding consumer motivations and behaviours however she firmly believes that insight only matters if a business can use it to realise a commercial impact.

Lee started life as an Archaeologist and was fascinated by how humans evolved. Working with scientists at Duke, Johns Hopkins, the Smithsonian, WITS and the University of Cape Town, and using fragments of the fossil record to piece together a story of behaviour, she pioneered new approaches to human dietary and evolutionary understanding.

She now uses these same skills to help businesses understand how to drive growth with their consumers.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Director

Simon Bailey

About Simon

Simon is an experienced business leader, business consultant and brand specialist.

Simon has over 25 years’ experience in strategic consulting and business leadership and has spent his career advising some of the world’s largest organisations.

Prior to joining The Forge, Simon was the European CEO of Interbrand where he had responsibility for a network of 14 offices; prior to that he was the UK CEO at a WPP agency where he led the global rebranding of Vodafone.

Simon’s main area of interest is in helping brand owners accelerate the growth of their businesses by developing more meaningful, authentic, and valuable relationships with their customers and employees.

Simon also advises on broader business strategy and transformation, including how to build and sustain a business culture capable of delivering a truly distinctive customer experience.

Simon has made frequent appearances on TV & Radio and has written for a variety of different publications. In 2019, Simon co-authored ‘Myths of Branding’ – published by Kogan Page – the book contains (almost) everything that a practitioner would need to know about how to build a successful brand.

Simon holds a degree in Law and English and a postgraduate LPC.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Director

Joe Catling

About Joe

Joe is a quantitative insight specialist, with 12 years’ experience working with leading brands across a wealth of sectors, including FMCG, telecommunications, energy and personal finance.

Before joining the Forge, he was Head of Analytics at Relish. He specialises in using data, and in particular analytical techniques, to address his clients’ strategic challenges. He’s adept at combining the art and the science: blending commercially-minded, practical problem-solving with statistical know-how. He’s spoken at a range of industry events, including Big Data World and an MRS Speaker Evening on segmentation and storytelling.

Successful projects at the Forge include: building snacking Demand Spaces for PepsiCo across multiple European markets; creating a multi-market, values-driven segmentation framework for a global beer brand; and developing a UK demand space model that underpins Tata’s brand, category and channel planning.

Joe holds a BA in Maths and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.

Specialism

Director NL

Daniel Quinn

About Daniel

Daniel has spent 25 years advising some of the world’s leading organisations on insight-fuelled growth strategy and innovation. His expertise and passion lie in high-empathy consulting – developing clear and compelling frameworks for action which take equal account of the human needs and qualities of the end user as they do the drives, strengths and cultural context of the client team and organisation.

His quest for commercial impact has seen him develop category-shifting profitable innovations for categories as diverse as beer, premium spirits and consumer electronics through to charities, mining and fuels retail.

He has a strong entrepreneurial streak, having helped co-found, manage and scale Happen in mainland Europe – a pioneering Innovation Agency famed for generating speed-to-market and impressive ROI for its clients, which was acquired by Accenture in 2019. Prior to joining The Forge, Dan was a Director within Accenture’s European Innovation Network where he successfully built the Energy and Natural Resources practice, applying insight and innovation to big existential challenges around the Energy Transition and Sustainability.

Specialism

Director

Adam Rowles

About Adam

Adam looks after marketing for The Forge.

He has spent 14 years in the industry helping leading global clients find solutions to their strategic marketing challenges. At The Forge, he is responsible for identifying opportunities to support new clients before promoting and presenting the propositions that will help them to move forward.

Prior to The Forge, he led the New Business and Marketing team for brand and marketing consultancy, Clear, where he was New Business Director. He also has a degree in Marketing.

Outside of work, Adam is a passionate, but distinctly average, sportsman with a keen interest in uphill skiing.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Director

Shanna Boland

About Shannon

Shanna is a senior brand strategist with a specialism in quantitative insights. She has helped some of the world’s leading brands as well as start-up businesses grow through insight-driven, commercially viable and sustainable growth strategies. Her industry experience spans FMCG, consumer health, technology and financial services.

Shanna is passionate about balancing creativity and commerciality, creating simplicity from complexity, and telling meaningful, consumer-centric stories that turn insights into action.

Before joining the Forge Shanna was a director at Kantar Consulting as part of their Commercial Strategy team. 

Shanna holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Heidelberg and an MA in Economics and Development from the University of York.

Specialism

Thought Leadership

Have a question for us?

Let us know how we can help.