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What’s The Idea? is a brand consultancy that works upstream of creative development, providing  clients with an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. 

Steve Poppe is managing partner at What’s the Idea?  He began his career at ad agency Poppe Tyson, then moved to McCann-Erickson and FCB.  Poppe was recruited by Pequot Ventures in 2006 to head up marketing at Zude.com a $10M start-up and the Web’s first drag-and-drop social media platform. In 2008 he founded What’s the Idea? specializing in start-ups and challenger brands, but ended up catching the eye of Fortune 500 companies as well.  Notable clients include Abbott Nutrition, ConAgra, Handcraft Mfg., JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Samsung, Sunkist Energy, Sweet Loren’s and Trail of Bits. An academic background in Behavioral Science and Anthropology paired with strong business and analytic skills offer clients a unique right brain/left brain perspective.

Over his career Steve has also created successful marketing strategies for Adecco, AT&T, Capgemini, Esselte, Intrawest Resorts, Isopure Plus, Lucent Technologies, Newsday, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Protica Nutritional Research, Teq, U.S. Airways and ZDNet.

Speaking and Publishing

Poppe publishes a daily marketing blog and speaks on branding, social media and technology marketing. Steve refers to himself as a “beyond the dashboard” planner. Email Steve at Steve@WhatsTheIdea.com. Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.


Client comments:

“Branding activities can be tough for us, as a niche tech consulting firm led by engineers. Working with Steve made it easy and painless. He was efficient with peoples’ time while gathering a wide range of perspectives from inside and outside our company. He created a branding packet that has become a core resource for conveying our business to others.”

Dan Guido, Co-Founder & CEO, Trail of Bits, May 2019

“It has been my pleasure to work with Steve and his company on three projects over the last 10 years and he is my “Go-To Guy” when I am launching a new concept for which I need to set my product apart from the competition. Steve’s unique and insightful process always delivers a strategy that wins. Steve is a pleasure to work with and has a talent for disarming all the stakeholders to get at the true genius of his Branding process.
JoAnn DeTurris, Vice President, Handcraft Manufacturing Corp.

“I was truly impressed with Steve’s detailed understanding of our industry after only a few weeks of background research and interviews. The brand strategy that he produced for our firm was clearly articulated, innovative, and ambitious. It will certainly prove useful to us. I would absolutely recommend Steve, and will likely work with him again in the future.”
Dan Guido, Co-Founder & CEO, Trail of Bits, Jan. 2016

First off, let me just say that Steve’s positioning document (for our mutual client) was outstanding. Having many people work on a project is often a burden and not a benefit as “decision by committee” is dangerous. But Steve has managed to consolidate a rather unwieldy industry into a comprehensive and coherent strategic plan that has actionable items and clear direction. Forgive me for gushing, but we don’t come across it all that much. “|
Jed Morey, President, Morey Group, Feb. 2015

“Steve did an outstanding job on our new brand strategy. He was thorough, professional and creative. He was a pleasure to work with and we are all pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend Steve for anyone looking to change, develop or strategically enhance their brand.”
Simon Prince, CEO president Beacon Health Partners, Jan. 2015

“Neat blog.”
Mark Wnek