MEET THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Founding Partner, CEO
Johanna Faigelman is the founding partner and CEO of Human Branding Inc., an innovative market research consultancy that has pioneered the use of applied anthropology thinking to create game-changing business results for international clients across a wide range of industries. Johanna has close to 20 years of strategic brand building and customer insight experience.
Johanna is an experienced marketer with graduate and undergraduate degrees in Cultural Anthropology. This unique combination of marketing and Anthropological expertise enables Johanna to provide strategic branding direction and customer insights in a way that marks a departure from the conventional approach to marketing. Johanna’s innate understanding of what drives behavior at a deeper human level allows her to unearth new and previously untapped insights which she then translates into highly impactful and actionable business and brand strategies. Johanna’s unique Anthropological perspective and expertise has directly contributed to her success as an internationally recognized speaker at industry conferences and media events as well as having published several articles on a broad range of issues facing consumers today.
Prior to founding Human Branding Inc. Johanna was Vice President, Director, Strategic Intelligence and Planning at MacLaren McCann and before that, Founder/Director of Anthropology and Applied Research at In-Sync Consumer Insight Corp.
Sarah McNab is Partner, CSO for Human Branding Inc., an innovative market research consultancy that has pioneered the use of applied anthropology thinking to create game-changing business results for clients across a wide range of industries. Sarah has over 25 years of strategic brand building and customer insight experience from working internationally in a variety of roles in the client, agency and research arenas. With this unique combination of marketing expertise, Sarah provides powerful and enduring brand and customer strategies to leading companies across the globe.
Sarah started in brand management on the client side, where she launched, repositioned and built brands in a variety of markets all over the world. Her innate passion for the consumer then led her to pursue roles as a qualitative researcher and agency planner. This unique and varied experience provides Sarah with a far-reaching marketing perspective, which ensures the work she does in insight discovery is always highly relevant and impactful on a client’s business.
Prior to Human Branding Inc., Sarah was Vice President, Strategic Planning Director at JWT. Before working on the agency side, Sarah was Director of Marketing at Pernod Ricard and worked as a Consumer Strategist at In-Sync Consumer Insight Corp.
VP Strategy & Operations
Wendy has over 20 years of strategic insights, brand building and consulting experience. She has extensive experience in Healthcare and consumer packaged goods marketing, having began her career with Lever Brothers (Unilever). Her responsibility for the Personal Wash category led to award winning brand strategies on Dove and the launch of Lever 2000.
Moves to sister companies, Chesebrough-Pond's and Good Humor-Breyer’s broadened her strategic responsibilities to encompass numerous brand launches, global team leadership, category management and leadership of a restructuring initiative, resulting in implementation of a new Sales and Distribution network.
Prior to Human Branding Inc., Wendy led internal operations initiatives, leveraging her deep marketing knowledge, strategic skills and leadership in her role as Director of Healthcare at In-Sync to grow the business. She has worked across numerous healthcare areas, including Diabetes, Alzheimer's/Dementia, MDD/TRD, Osteoporosis, Oncology, Schizophrenia, Nutrition, to name a few.
Wendy has helped many clients build their brands from clinical trial stage through to launch and is sought after by clients to consult on strategic corporate initiatives. She holds a BA in Sociology and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.
Sandra Davies brings over 20 years of strategic marketing experience developed throughout her career that started with global consumer packaged goods giant, Unilever and then honed in on the strategic insights industry.
At Unilever, Sandra held progressive roles across the foods, home care and personal care categories growing brands such as Dove, Axe, Degree, and Lipton, through countless brand innovation, communication and tactical customer plans. As Category Director, Hair Care and Deodorants in Canada, she had the privilege of being a part of the global “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty” and contributing directly to its success.
For the past 10 years, Sandra has leveraged her passion for human insight and honed her strategic planning skills as a qualitative researcher and marketing strategy consultant with the consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries. In pharma, her work has cut across many therapeutic areas, literally from ‘head to toe’, including Neurological disorders, Chronic Pain, Pulmonary disease, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and a range of Autoimmune diseases (RA, IBD, Psoriasis), Oncology and Hematological disorders. On the consumer side, Sandra has worked with the foods industry (retail and foodservice), home care, and personal electronics on projects that range from brand positioning to marketing strategy execution.
A native of Vancouver, B.C., Sandra achieved her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at UBC’s Sauder School of Business; she continues to have close ties to the West Coast. Prior to Human Branding Inc., Sandra spent 7 years at in-sync Consumer Insight Corp. where she was Vice President, Healthcare Practice Lead.
Sarah Rider has nearly 10 years experience developing strategic and creative solutions for the future of businesses and brands, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research. Sarah is passionate about understanding changes in how consumers interact with brands and how the market landscape evolves in order to spark creative brand positioning and communication strategies, as well as winning new innovation.
Sarah has developed her expertise in a broad range of industries which include Food & Beverage, Personal Care including Prestige Beauty, Technology, Financial Services, Hospitality, and Healthcare.
Throughout her career Sarah has been based in the United States and latterly Canada and brings significant global experience across all areas of brand strategy, including consumer insights, leading-edge trends, ethnography, ideation, strategic positioning and new product development.
Sarah received her undergraduate education at the University of Kings College and Dalhousie University and continuing education at the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto. Prior to Human Branding Inc, Sarah was a Consultant in the Market Opportunities and Innovation division of GfK.
Nicole has over 20 years of supplier and client side experience including senior roles as Executive Director of Strategy & Consumer Insights and Director of Marketing.
A RIVA trained qualitative moderator since 2004, Nicole has enjoyed working on research studies that have helped drive strategies on a number of global and national businesses and brands across a wide variety of sectors including consumer packaged goods, technology, finance, retail, pharmaceuticals and public space. In addition to extensive consumer based research, Nicole has deep experience working with patients and health care professionals across a number of therapeutic areas such as immunology, oncology and hematology.
Prior to her career in Consumer Insights, Nicole worked primarily on the “client side,” namely as the Director of Marketing at Lavalife and as a Brand Manager at Unilever Canada where she worked in the Personal Care and Food divisions. She also has experience in Customer Development and Advertising.
Her experience working in brand management, advertising, customer development and consumer insights provides Nicole with an unique perspective, understanding and appreciation of the needs of various stakeholders on strategic research projects.
Nicole has completed moderator and advanced moderator training at the RIVA Training Institute in Rockville, MD, USA, and holds a B.Comm Hons Co-op degree from Memorial University.
VP, Strategy & Operations
Susan’s innate curiosity about people and why they do the things they do, has led her to a highly rewarding and successful career with almost 20 years of experience in strategic planning, research consultancy and account management.
This combination of experience uniquely arms Susan with the skills to maximize her clients’ business & brand potential. Throughout her career, Susan has developed insight-driven brand strategies and communications for complex clients for some of North America’s biggest brands, across a wide spectrum of categories including: CPG, OTC, Pharma, retail, telecommunications, travel, alcohol, not-for-profit and government.
Key to Susan’s approach is to truly understand the person behind the ‘stakeholder’. She uses an Applied Anthropological approach to dig beneath the surface to unearth the unarticulated insights that drive behaviour. In essence, investigating beyond what people say, to what they do, and why they do it. It is these deeply rooted, motivating insights that can lead to the most powerful brand, creative and communication strategies, unleashing a brand’s potency, building stronger equity, and ultimately driving share growth.
Susan has recently returned to Human Branding. Prior to her return, Susan’s most recent roles were Sr Director of Planning at Publicis; Vice President, Head of Strategy at KBS (Now Forsman & Bodenfors); & Sr Human Behaviouralist at Leo Burnett. Susan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and was admitted into the Ontario Bar.
Diane has over 20 years of brand building and integrated communications experience, honed from her career that began in advertising and transitioned to market research.
During her advertising career, Diane held progressive positions, culminating with VP, Group Account Director. Diane worked on a broad range of categories, including consumer packaged goods and non-prescription drugs. Working in the advertising field helped Diane develop a keen appreciation that all successful, enduring brands are founded on a relevantly differentiated target insight.
Since her transition to market research over three years ago, Diane has expanded her repertoire beyond CPG brands to encompass various pharmaceutical brands in therapeutic areas including rheumatology, dermatology, oncology and cardiometabolic disease.
Diane holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business. Her passions outside work include travel, art and barre.