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...


  • joan-riversCan we talk about websites and creativity?
    Can we talk? The legendary Joan Rivers was famous for that catchphrase, as she worked her way onto red carpets and late night talk shows with her gift of gab. Joan, of course, made her name during [...]

why you’ll love working with me

-Art directors love the conceptual teamwork

-Solopreneurs love how quickly I catch their excitement

-Big companies love how I bring consensus to cranky

-Agencies of all sizes love how seamlessly I join their teams

And I love working with anyone who begins a conversation with, "What if . . ."


  Phone: 1.614.436.4599


"Can come in, literally at the drop of a hat and start working. Immediate contributions and high productivity."


"The combination of creative and logical instincts make Cindi a rare commodity."


"Thanks for stretching us to try new ideas."


"Cindi has a very effective way of choosing one of her 99 hats, getting deep into the features and benefits of your business from a customer point-of-view, and emerging with targeted concepts that really ring true."

Cross-industry experience

"Cindi is amazing! She is intuitive, highly creative, professional, easy to work with, fast, and is able to organize and clearly define highly complex projects. Her vast range of experience allows her to handle any type of project."


"We’ve partnered with Cindi on many projects over the years because we know she’ll see new angles and then deliver intelligent, well-crafted concepts."


"Cindi is one of few people who has been able to capture the essence of my work. She listens intently, does her homework, turns an incredibly well-heeled phrase...all with a delightful personality and calm demeanor."


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

Energy & Enthusiasm

"Working with Cindi was an absolute pleasure. Her work ethic, creativity and personality blend together to culminate into fantastic work."

Creative Partner

"“Cindi is the best creative partner an art director can have. She's not just an excellent writer, she's a big idea creative director who understands consumer behavior and hitting a target dead center.”"


"Cindi has a wonderfully creative way of meshing visual imagery with verbal language for the average person to understand.”"

Big Ideas

"Cindi is a valuable creative partner. She's not just talented writer, she thinks about the whole idea and consistently focuses on the customer's point-of-view."

Try Class 1 for free!


The very first class and the one you'll thank for setting you on the road to easier and greater content


"Cindi's expertise in copy writing - from CRM to Industrial to Retail has been invaluable in helping me shape brand voice"