About

Cc - Circle Culture Consulting - is a cultural insight, brand strategy and design consultancy. We analyze the interplay of cultural and commercial developments and its implication for brand strategies (insight-led brand growth). Our purpose is to inspire and sensitize our clients in terms of sustainable corporate values. In helping our clients to think and act in a modern, sustainable manner we support them in brand value development, product- and communication development and the evolution of their corporate culture.

Cc is in its 19th year of business with offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Los Angeles, a large global network of global thinkers and a string of blue-chip client projects, medium-sized industry pioneers and visionary start-ups. Cc`s approach to insight-led brand growth is based on its profound knowledge of cultural trends.

Cc creates forward-looking communication and product strategies to keep global brands ahead-of-the-curve of consumer cultures. Specifically in a fast changing world towards sustainability and empathy for nature we need to redefine and reassess the core values and purpose of our industries.

Client Extract

Mission & Process

To identify deep-seated consumer beliefs and to create insight-led strategies to grow your brand. We identify and partner with a very broad spectrum of global forward thinking people to provide and structure the most cutting edge brand thinking available in the market of brand services and social cultural transformation.

INSIGHTS

Insight creation and idea developement

We have developed a unique approach to insight creation and idea development. Cc makes use of the diverse thinking potential of a global network of creatives, thinkers and consumers. Custom designed workshop and in-depth interview processes put the project teams in close contact with the target groups and the forward thinking creatives in order to inspire and develop the project team’s thinking.

STRATEGY

Concept Development & Brand Planning

Following the insight and idea generation process with selected creatives, thinkers and consumers, a concept development stage readies the new thinking for mainstream market evaluation and is fine-tuned and made compatible with your brand.

DESIGN

Brand Implementation & Design

Based on the prior work steps, Cc offers guidance in the process of execution according to the given brand proposition. Key to Cc`s skill base is the ability to develop and design corporate identities (names, logos, design systems) and to conceptualize and design communication formats (webpages, apps, image brochures...) that are based on the clear understanding of emergent lifestyles and trends.

Global Thinkers Network

We realised early that true lateral thinking does not originate within one team of people. It takes diverse external stimulus to break current believes and tap into future/new world thinking. Our Global Thinkers Network has developed over the past 25 years into an unrivaled pool of visionary entrepreneurs, environmentalists, space engineers, MIT & Harvard professors, architects, biotech designers, best-seller authors, scientists, philosophers, designers and international renowned artists.
We approach each of our challenges by developing new thinking with a strategically selected group of visionary thinkers. Each one is a leading expert in their field and perfectly positioned to enable us to achieve both brand differentiation and product/service relevance.
The network has grown organically and is constantly growing through our global initiatives and cultural engagements as well as through our ongoing global expert insight projects for clients such as Nike, Apple, Beiersdorf and Leaps.
Today, it encompasses over 100 people.

Our Circle Of Trust

We create an invaluable circle of trust for our clients and business partners, having the following core values by which Cc always thinks and acts by.

Flawless work, with dedication to details. Always ambitious to perform better than expected without loosing key human relation values as politeness, attentiveness, accuracy and humanity. (Empathic and respectful human relationships).

Culture is the world outside of the corporation, the body of ideas, emotions and activities that sum up the life of consumers. It is the place to discover advantage, opportunity and innovation. We read culture, stay in touch with culture and work with culture.

QUIC

Unique ideas are driven by unique people. Cc is an international research and service platform for clients, consultants and creative leaders since 2001.

We get inspired by the challenges and desires of our clients and the consumers who are involved: we analyze, sympathize and create pro-active solutions. We call it: Empathic Client and Consumer Service (ECS).

Flawless work, with dedication to details. Always ambitious to perform better than expected without loosing key human relation values as politeness, attentiveness, accuracy and humanity. (Empathic and respectful human relationships).

Unique ideas are driven by unique people. Cc is an international research and service platform for clients, consultants and creative leaders since 2001.

We get inspired by the challenges and desires of our clients and the consumers who are involved: we analyze, sympathize and create pro-active solutions. We call it: Empathic Client and Consumer Service (ECS).

Culture is the world outside of the corporation, the body of ideas, emotions and activities that sum up the life of consumers. It is the place to discover advantage, opportunity and innovation. We read culture, stay in touch with culture and work with culture.

Flawless work, with dedication to details. Always ambitious to perform better than expected without loosing key human relation values as politeness, attentiveness, accuracy and humanity. (Empathic and respectful human relationships).
Unique ideas are driven by unique people. Cc is an international research and service platform for clients, consultants and creative leaders since 2001.
We get inspired by the challenges and desires of our clients and the consumers who are involved: we analyze, sympathize and create pro-active solutions. We call it: Empathic Client and Consumer Service (ECS).
Culture is the world outside of the corporation, the body of ideas, emotions and activities that sum up the life of consumers. It is the place to discover advantage, opportunity and innovation. We read culture, stay in touch with culture and work with culture.

Cc Art Collaborations

In this division we couple brands, corporations and institutions of all kinds with artists to infuse these organizations with the arts` creative power, non-linear thinking and outside perspective. We fully leverage our long-standing expertise in both the art and commercial world and serve as bridging match-makers, cultural translators and true partners for both parties. We believe that there is no other entity today that is more capable of bestowing creativity, aesthetics, insights, value and legitimacy on brands, corporations and institutions than art. Cc (Circle Culture) Art Collaborations enables peerless experiences, one-of-a-kind products, sustainable architectural art projects, unparalleled knowledge, unique perspectives and excellent corporate cultures: https://cc-artcollaborations.com

Our Heads of Department

HEAD OF INSIGHTS

Dirk Staudinger

Dirk is specialised in trend research, consumer research and the future in communication. In 2001 Dirk co-founded the insights and brand strategy Circle Culture Consulting and in 2005 the Circle Culture Gallery together with his business partner Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer. His career as an athlete (former hockey player for the German national team) convinced him that as with job and sports, every successful project will need a team that thrives on a common set goal and that a dedicated working plan is necessary to realize your dream projects.  Today I’m excited about the future of Circle Culture in conveying the experiences and insights of our encounters with global blue chip brands and the spirit and mindsets of all the great biotech start-ups we have teamed up with. He helps brands to understand and internalize future market needs.  He believes that successful brands assume responsibility towards consumers and nature in a similar sense as governments do towards their citizens. Previous and present clients include: Nike, Nivea, Nokia, Ikea, Leaps by Bayer, Blue Rock Therapeutics, Joyn Bio, Unfold Bio, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Telekom, Apple, Wrigley`s, Umbro, Microsoft, Converse, Mini, Zalando, Red Bull, Soho House, Gruner & Jahr, Esprit, H&M, Museum Frieder Burda, Art Basel.

HEAD OF RESEARCH

Louisa Kastner

In her work, Louisa is specialized in qualitative – both desk and field - research with a particular focus on emerging trends, weak signals and all kinds of futures (that is, probable, possible, plausible and/or desirable futures). After completing her Franco-German master’s degree in strategic management and international marketing, Louisa worked for several years at the intersection of art, culture and commerce. Prior to joining the insight, strategy and design consultancy Circle Culture Consulting – first as Head of Culture and Communication, later on as Head of Research –, she held various positions within the luxury, fashion and lifestyle industries, both on the agency and client side. These roles led her, amongst others, from producing haute couture fashion shows over conceiving branded content strategies to consulting on interdisciplinary marketing partnerships. Louisa has deep knowledge and expertise when it comes to complex project management, Zeitgeist client consulting and futures thinking. She is convinced that true and unique value for brands, corporations and institutions of all kinds always results from some kind of cross-pollination and interlacing between different cultures, disciplines and communities. Louisa has published several books and articles, amongst others on pop-up stores and luxury brand-art collaborations. Currently, she pursues an executive master’s degree in futures studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

HEAD OF DESIGN

Annette Fischer

Annette is Head of Design & Art Direction at Circle Culture since 2010. She covers all workflows from design concept to creative execution and production services and has experiences and expertise both in print and digital media – giving her the ability to always zoom out in order to gain a holistic perspective. Developing bespoke and interdisciplinary creative projects she always strives for an insight-led strategic derivation and a holistic project implementation. This includes design conception and creative execution, such as the development of corporate identities, design systems or production services. With more than 13 years her experience consists of cooperation with art and cultural institutions, as well as leading lifestyle and fashion brands, global blue chip brands and aspiring bio-tech start-ups. Previous & present clients include: Leaps by Bayer, Beiersdorf (8x4), Joyn Bio, Unfold Bio, Charité Berlin, Century Therapeutics, Evonik Industries, JIN, Natural Cycles, Gala, Iris von Arnim, Galeries Lafayette, stilwerk Berlin / Hamburg, radio.net, Berlinische Galerie, RVCA, Soho House

HEAD OF PURPOSE

Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer

Johann is co-founder of Circle Culture Gallery and Circle Culture Consulting. Johann has two decades of experience in how cultural communication and innovation can achieve maximum impact in business and society. He believes the greatest work of art of them all is nature. It is such a beautiful, complex and spiritual piece. After managing artists and creatives his whole life he finally discovered his biggest assignment. He dedicates all his activities to (re-)make the human community able to be an integrative and balanced part of our beautiful and complex bio-geo system. His client is mother nature. And with this anything including it: You, me, flora, fauna, the planet.. He is harnessing his 20 years of experience as an innovation and brand consultant for influential companies and institutions (i.e. Nike, Nivea, Siemens, Chanel, Museum Frieder Burda). The privilege of having learnt closely from artists (i.e. Julian Schnabel, JR, Banksy, Hermann Nitsch, Stefan Strumbel, David LaChappelle) what it means to be really alive, open and loving has been a beautiful challenge for him as a human being. And it will remain a challenge each day. In 2018 Johann founded the Arts & Nature Social Club, an international members club bringing together the most profiled professionals in science, arts and entrepreneurship to cultivate the question of our time: “How can humanity come in balance with the global bio- and geosystem again?” In the salon formats that also includes a partnership with the German Society Club`Club of Rome`, the following personalities have contributed to date: Luisa Neubauer (head of Fridays for Future Germany); Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart (the inventor of the `Cradle to Cradle` sustainability concept; Peter Schwarzenbauer (Ex-BMW CEO); Frida Gold (German pop band); Hannah Helmke (founder right.Based on science).

HEAD OF STRATEGY

Oliver J. Litten

Oliver is specialised in marketing, innovation, consumer research and insight management. Ex-director brand strategy of the branding agencies Added Value/WPP and Interbrand/Omnicom (London & New York/ 1993 - 2000) and founding member of Circle Culture Consulting in 2001. He has developed consumer insight and brand development processes since 1995. Next to brand building for global blue chip brands Oliver has also developed a charity platform, run a nightclub and took part in a race to the moon (Google Lunar Xprize). Previous and present clients include: Unilever, Blue Rock Therapeutics, Joyn Bio, Leaps by Bayer, Guinness, General Motors, Shell, L’Oreal, Nike, Apple, Telekom, Estee Lauder, Procter&Gamble, Unfold Bio, Virgin, GlaxoWellcome, Levis, PepsiCo, Ikea, Iceland Air, German government (education), New Yorker, Converse, Audi AG (PTS/MttM), Century Therapeutics, Volkswagen AG.

Head of Experience

Marie Polo

After studies in France and the US (Princeton, NJ), 2 years-preparatory classes in Literature and Social Sciences and an under- graduate specialisation in Literature and Communication at la Sorbonne (Paris), Marie decided to keep on learning through practice: work.Her main skills lay in the conception/ redaction, logistic land production of live experiences as well as building and crafting relationships to creative talents all over the world. Due to her many years of theater training and work in the music industry, she has a special understanding of staging and creative processes. Marie is continuously observing ahead-of-the-curve art installations and best-in-class brand experiences and lets this understanding flow into brand expressions. Previous and present clients include: Maison Martin Margiela, Saint Laurent, Uniqlo, Mini, Converse, Leaps, Nivea, Soho House, Diesel, La FIAC, Leaps by Bayer

HEAD OF FINANCE

Susanne Bayer

Susanne is the heart and soul of our company and she has been managing our budgets and finances excellently for 12 years.

HEAD OF L.A.

Eric Laine

Eric is our cultural connector, insight manager and project coordinator in LA. Our collaboration goes back to 2003 when we realized one of our first productions for Nike in New York where he lived for 15 years. He has an important ‘helicopter’ view over all cultural segments as he is part of the art, music and design scene. His insider experience provides us with decisive data from the US consumer landscape. Eric is an experienced professional having worked in the gallery and advertising industry for 20 years. He is skilled in High Low Culture, Marketing, Insight Generation, Recruitment & Curating of Creatives and Thinkers, Branding, Creative Team Management, Sound & Documentation. Previous and present clients include: Nike, Highsnobiety, Rag & Bone, Under Armour, Lodown, The Journal Gallery, Andrew Edlin Gallery, Margulies Foundation, NADA Art Fair, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, VA Lottery, Sea-Doo, OSCAR.

Head of Art

Jovanka Matzke