Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our Legacy – A Passion to Help Brands Grow

In 2002, Synergy, an award-winning brand strategy and research consultancy, was founded, to meet the increasing needs of organizations to better understand the consumer journey, increase customer and community engagement and leverage holistic brand experience across organizations.

“Synergy was founded to help brands connect, inspire and GROW. We use insights to help leaders INSPIRE their consumers and employees. In everything we do, from our signature product Bloomprint™ for Brands, to our Research, to our Executive Coaching Services and our Bloomprint™ for Diversity programs, our passion is helping our clients FLOURISH.”
– Dr. Rachel Talton

At its inception, Synergy was focused on its full-service marketing research practice and its burgeoning customer experience practice, serving world-class brands and ad agencies alike. In 2005, we began to design comprehensive brand strategies – including strategies to ensure brands attract and retain diverse customers, patients, students, employees and leaders. We also began designing complex customer personas and hired several consultants to grow the insight-driven strategic practice of the firm.

In 2007, Synergy International purchased DecisionPoint Marketing Strategy and Research, and Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research, Inc. was born. The Synergy Insight Center, a high-technology focus group facility, is headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Today, the award-winning brand strategy and research consultancy is highly respected for its in-depth research practice (as much for data analysis as for research activation) and its brand strategy and engagement practice, which includes deep experience in building market share, wallet share and consumer trust, loyalty and passion among several consumer segments.

Synergy’s network of 16 researchers, project managers, strategists and diversity experts collaborate with an serve the needs of clients from across the industry spectrum – including public, private and nonprofit sectors. Utilizing the core business expertise of marketing research, brand building, trust building, and strategic marketing, Synergy successfully designed and implemented extensive marketing projects with organizations as diverse and global as Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Best Buy – and as targeted and local as COSE, Destination Cleveland and the Neighborhood Centers Association. Each of these organizations has had a need to understand and influence consumer and/or employee behaviors to drive results.

Synergy has been recognized as one of the best and brightest by its peers. Most importantly, Synergy is recognized as an extremely effective and passionate partner by its clients. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.

“Synergy has been engaged in creating more inclusive brands since our inception in 2002. Frankly, it’s just part of our DNA – which is important, since the core of our work is to conduct rigorous research, draw insights and developing brand strategies and develop brand strategies for world-class brands. Brands that recognize the value of inclusion”
– Dr. Rachel Talton

The perspective we bring to the table is one that believes smart, engaging and insight-driven strategies – executed brilliantly – will always prevail in the marketplace. We layer our data-driven and strategic expertise with an unyielding passion for building an economy in Northeast Ohio. An economy that thrives because it leaves no group of people behind, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual preference or political beliefs.

This combination of marketing science, passion for the human community and believe in the power of inclusion is what has fueled our ability to help our client win – through increased market share, increased share of wallet, and increased share of heart.

We have worked to develop KeyBank Plus, a multi-tier approach to banking created for the traditionally “unbanked” and underserved populations across the U.S. Synergy has also developed a national Advancement of Woman and Minorities program at PNC Bank. This program worked to understand barriers to advancement to senior leadership and the executive ranks of the organization for women and minorities and created a successful plan for closing those gaps. We also created a multi-tiered training program to attract and retain multicultural small business owners across the national footprint, increasing small business acquisition among minority and women-owned businesses year-over-year by over 25%.

Synergy has worked with Kent State University to drive supplier inclusion from a mere $100,000 spend (of $157 million total) with women and minorities to what is today over $16 million in MBE/EDGE and WBE spend, and an award-winning supplier inclusion program.

Synergy has also worked with multinational brands to build multicultural communications platforms, manage and build reputations among multicultural audiences, create engaging event marketing and social media platforms and build awareness with brands such as McDonald’s, K-Mart, Nestea, MillerCoors, Nielsen and Unilever. Each of these brands have called on our team specifically for multicultural insights, strategies and marketing.

Our work with Kent State University Supplier Diversity has been touted as a national exemplar for university inclusion programs, and our work with the State of Ohio Department of Transportation, including the design and implementation of the Economic Inclusion Forum Series – which attracted over 500 executives from across industry sectors to create a regional platform for inclusion, was the first of its kind. This effort created partnerships between JumpStart and Ernst & Young – and University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University to improve supplier inclusion in the region and to create more opportunities for historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs, including women and minority business owners.

“We are so pleased with the work Synergy has done for Kent State University. Their team provided the foundation for much of the great work we have done around inclusion. In addition to designing the university’s Standard of Ethical Conduct – including Diversity Policy – Synergy created our first strategic plan for Supplier Diversity, they designed and executed our Diversity Communications strategy for many years, recruiting and facilitated our Supplier Diversity Advisory Board and conducted extensive research to understand how to better engage our internal audiences (faculty, staff and purchasing community) and increasingly diverse supplier community.”
– Willis Walker, Vice President and General Counsel, Kent State University

Our DNA drives us to ask great questions first – and then we work to design a marketing and creative strategy. Synergy is unmatched in the regional and in the State of Ohio in terms of our reach and our experience serving brands across industries for multicultural campaigns, creative execution and achieving measurable success through media and marketing savvy.

We have executed diversity, equity & inclusion training for L Brands, Swagelok, NEOMED and many other organizations who are interested in creating a culture that fosters innovation, attracts, retains and engages the best and brightest talent and provides a brand that customers are proud to support.

What We Offer

By focusing on four main areas of inclusion consulting, we help you bring multicultural focus to your company as a whole, building understanding and strategic plans areas to increase diversity practices across the board.

Multicultural communication consulting
Communicating with new audiences can be daunting without the right preparation. You don’t want to negatively affect your brand image with insensitive or ineffectual marketing in a new demographic. 

Supplier diversity evaluation & training
Feel like you don’t know what you don’t know? We can facilitate the process of evaluating your current buying process and suppliers and offer practical solutions to strategically increase your buying power and authentically engage your suppliers.

Multicultural market research
Need to know how your brand is perceived by a variety of demographics? We can find out and help you effectively engage them.

Diversity training & consulting for your company culture
True inclusionary practices come from within. By creating a welcoming and positive company culture, you can gain access to the powerful authenticity necessary for a successful brand. 

Inclusionary practices aren’t just about doing the right thing. The public is more aware of company makeup and executive structures than ever before, and this knowledge affects buying behavior. Diversity within and without is necessary for doing business in our global economy, and it makes practical business sense. 

Let us help you the way we have helped other companies like yours to increase market share by increasing your Passion Equity from within. 



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