creative haberdashery

strategic work

Solve complicated and contradictory objectives.

We’ve all got more than a few creative brief horror stories. You know, the one like this:

  • 4 audiences (all of equal importance)
  • 3 messages (none very clear)\
  • 5 stakeholders (jostling for control)

As a creative strategist, I bridge the gap between creative teams and business executives, helping find solutions that satisfy everyone.

Here are a few examples of how that works.

This series of ads was strategically positioned to elevate the St. Luke's brand as not just a capable healthcare provider, but a top-medical facility. Gold Medal Winner, 35th HealthcareADAWARDS. Partner: Thread Marketing Group/David Proudfoot, VP/CD

Let's go shopping!

OK, how fun is it to be paid to go shopping? I was hired to complete an analysis of outlet mall shopping by a major sunglasses retailer. Here are the fascinating findings.

A Holly, Jolly Soul

One of the great secrets to an exceptional retail experience is, believe it or not, making sure all the buyers are on the same page--literally. Click through for a story written for Bath & Body Works, for just that purpose. The idea was, the merchants could refine their buys based on what would or would not fit into the story. This is a fun example of how storytelling and fiction can inspire business strategy.

Getting the messaging right

Often, brands have an established visual identity, but very little in the way of verbal brand identity. This messaging matrix was created to help the many people writing for the parent company to understand the parameters and delivery content in a consistent, brand-right voice.

Increasing donations by sharing real stories

A touching video profiling Delta Airlines Cincinnati and a sweet Make-A-Wish family about their experience as they set out for Hawaii. Created in partnership with Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and Sharon Brink at

A wonderful example of repositioning a regional health care system by focusing on the people of the community. Created in partnership with Paul Werth Communications and Sharon Brink at

This website for Summit Financial Planning was written to really illustrate how the staff forms close, lifelong bonds with their clients. Written in partnership with the legendary

Flexible Strategery

A well-known retailer invited me to participate in an RFP to united their many brands under one umbrella. The other participants were agencies . . . you know, with doors, and parking vouchers and such. Of the 6-8 invited, I was one of 2 asked to return for further discussion. In the end, they went with the brick and mortar. Good ideas/no parking vouchers = "WFT?" from their ex-military CEO. I was grateful to be involved, regardless the outcome.


cindi acker-hein

cindi acker-hein

writer + creative partner
I love my work: teaming up with awesome creatives. Word nerdery. Problem solving. Simplifying. Intelligenting. Learning. Seeking FTA, SOH, PR.Read more...


"Cindi is a great thinker. She can analyze situations and information and come up with innovative solutions to problems."