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Allen Adamson

Allen Adamson

Joined Stern 2016

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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“The number one reason for organizational success or failure is the ability to stay relevant. Having the wherewithal to strategically shift ahead of accelerating marketplace changes is the single most critical skillset an organization can possess.”

Allen Adamson is a noted industry expert in all disciplines of branding. He has worked with a broad spectrum of consumer and corporate businesses in industries ranging from packaged goods and technology, to health care and financial services, to hospitality and entertainment. With his perspective and depth of experience, Allen has helped his clients understand and activate strategies that enable them to shift ahead of the market and the competition, generating long-term value and increased brand equity. Allen and his teams help clients identify what truly matters to the audiences they serve - what is relevant to their audiences - and to brilliantly deliver on it.

How organizations do – or do not - stay relevant is the subject of Allen’s most recent book, Shift Ahead, co-written with Joel Steckel, NYU Stern Professor of Marketing and Vice Dean for Doctoral Education. Using fascinating first-hand accounts and detailed case studies, Shift Ahead explains how the best organizations recognize when it’s time to change direction, and how they pull it off while bolstering their brands. Following the approach of Allen’s previous books, BrandSimple, BrandDigital, and The Edge:50 Tips from Brands That Lead – which are used in universities across the country - Shift Ahead offers up practical and readily applied lessons learned.

Allen is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Metaforce (, a disruptive marketing and product consultancy which, unlike traditional firms, takes a multi-disciplinary channel-agnostic approach to marketing challenges. It was created to help leaders understand all the forces at work inside and outside their businesses in order to identify strategies yielding the highest returns. Once determining the best strategy, Metaforce’s consortium of partners, each industry experts in their fields, pivot to help clients brilliantly act on and execute customer experiences in market. Metaforce combines the best aspects of brand management, strategy, and experience consultancies to deliver solutions that ensure its clients shift ahead of the dramatic changes in the marketplace in order to meet fast- evolving customer needs.

Prior to this Allen was Chairman of Landor Associates, a global communications and brand strategy consultancy. Under his leadership, the company partnered with a wide array of iconic brands, including Accenture, GE, Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, HBO, Marriott, MetLife, P&G, Sony, and Verizon. Additionally, he provided guidance for non-profit organizations including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others.

Before leading Landor, Allen worked on both the agency and the “client side” of the industry. At Unilever he was a marketing executive across a number of major packaged goods brands. He also held senior management positions at Ogilvy & Mather and DMB&B.

A sought-after industry commentator, Allen has appeared on ABC News Nightline, NBC’s Today Show, CNBC’s Squawk Box and Closing Bell, and Fox Business Network. He is often quoted in publications including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, USA Today, the Washington Post, and Forbes, for which he also regularly writes a column on current branding topics. He is a frequent guest lecturer at New York University’s Stern School of Business, the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and the Harvard School of Continuing Education. He is a member of the American Management Association and speaks on branding for a range of professional organizations, corporate events, and at industry conferences.

Allen received his BS from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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