Harlan Kennedy

Founder, Director of Strategy

Harlan founded Orange in 2011 based on the simple insight that advertising will continue to matter less and experiences will continue to matter more. After initially throwing Harlan out of his office for this notion, Paul Venables reconsidered, and said he could stay.

Since then, Harlan has focused on helping clients envision and execute more meaningful brand experiences for their customers. As the Director of Strategy at Orange, it’s Harlan’s role to ensure that the work is grounded in both user-driven insights and brand strategy. He has a strong belief that “strategy” is not just something that happens at the beginning of the process — not just the "blueprint" — but that good strategy creates a construct that leads to more memorable (not just smarter) outcomes: Strategy at Orange informs not only the design brief, but the design, the production, and the process itself.

Harlan has been helping clients with strategic challenges since 1995. At VB&P he has headed up brand strategy efforts on a string of new business wins that include Audi, Palm, PG&E, The Phillips 66 Company, Nestea, Massage Envy, and Russell Investments. Other brands he has shaped over his career include Acuvue, Agilent Technologies, Barclays, Bass Ale, Dentyne Ice, Dos Equis, One Medical, Powerade, Reach, Sony and Xbox. His thoughts on branding, and customer experience have been published in Fast Company, PSFK, and Ad Age.

Harlan’s interest in the convergence of culture, commerce, and creativity began with a BA in Art History from Middlebury College. Harlan lives in Marin with his wife Sarah, their three kids, two cats and an overly orally fixated doodle named Riley.