Mike Mooney | Content & Brand Strategy
As a strategist, writer and client lead at Catapult Thinking, Mike gives a voice to brand, marketing and design strategies in ways that help make hard things simpler, new things more engaging, and nuanced things more discoverable. He uses his information design skills to shape content and his creative writing style to defy inertia — animating the presentation of findings, insights, models, scenarios, recommendations and strategy.
Mike cofounded Catapult Thinking in 1998 as an interdisciplinary design consultancy in Boston. His work at Catapult Thinking has spanned industry segments and business sizes from Greater Boston high-tech start-ups to global leaders and challengers. It includes brand strategy, verbal branding and experience design for iRobot, Shure, Ansell, Zildjian, Color Kinetics, Ambient Devices, Polaroid, Kraft, Comdata, Office Depot and Panasonic among others.
Before co-founding Catapult Thinking, Mike spent ten years as a writer and information designer at Fitch — formerly Fitch-RS, formerly Fitch RichardsonSmith, but originally RichardsonSmith+ — where he had an interdisciplinary design epiphany regarding language as a design tool. At Fitch, Mike was embedded as a writer on retail, product, service, communications, interaction and research engagements, working with diverse design teams on projects for Disney, Blockbuster, Steelcase, HarmanKardon, JBL, Reebok, GE Plastics, BancOne and others in both Boston and Columbus, Ohio.
Prior to Fitch, Mike was a writer on the marketing team CompuServe, where he aligned his Masters work evaluating new kinds of multimedia communications experiences with the text-only online offerings of this proto-Internet sandbox.
Mike has a BA and an MA in Communications from The Ohio State University. He is a media omnivore who relishes connecting high and low art dots from all spheres: print, digital, audio and performance.
Dean Whitney | Research & Brand Strategy
Dean is an expert at finding out what customers like — and then advising clients about how to make their brands more relevant to these stakeholders. Many times this involves conducting user research that reveals to clients how their customers really live or think and why they make the choices they do. At other times it involves helping clients understand how their brand and their actions as a company are perceived and interpreted and why. Always, why.
Dean majored in psychology — an interest that drives his desire to understand how people process the things they interact with. Why do certain colors, shapes, and language convey meaning and elicit reactions? What is the psychology of their design? He applies these insights to help companies define and shape their brand messaging in ways that audiences find relevant and compelling.
Dean spent his early career conducting various types of psychology research. Starting with human factors research at GTE Labs, then the study of the psychology of creativity at Brandeis University, and later team and organizational dynamics that lead to innovation at Harvard Business School. The engagements provided a broad grounding in varied qualitative and quantitative research methods.
With a move to Fitch, Dean began aligning his research background and interests with interdisciplinary and user-centered design methods. He also spent a few years at Continuum as a Principal in their Brand Experience practice. His broad client exposure as a consultant since includes favorite engagements with Avid, American Express, Boar’s Head, Cervelo, D’Addario, Dell, Harpoon Brewery, Sun Microsystems and Zildjian.
Dean lives in Newton, MA with his wife, twin 10-year olds and a flock of chickens in his back yard. He coaches soccer and baseball teams, mountain bikes as much as possible, and believes it is important to stop for a good hotdog.