Strategic Harmony® is the first patented method for aligning and integrating brand strategy and product strategy to prioritize and optimize product development (and service development) projects.


“The Internet of Things: Net Positive or Negative for Sustainability?
by Steven Cristol
In this Sustainable Brands guest column on IoT and sustainable innovation, Steven discusses confronting the trade-offs between the positive environmental impacts of IoT and the impacts of additional product components on supply chains and end-of-life outcomes.

2553  “Integrating Sustainability at the Front End of Product Design:  Business Value and the Role of Software”
Steven Cristol addresses the Design and Sustainability Symposium at COFES (Congress on the Future of Engineering Software), providing a strategic perspective on how Product Lifecycle Management and related software applications can ensure more sustainable product development even before product design begins.

“The Missing Link in Product Portfolio Management: Unleashing Value Through Brand-Sensitive Innovation” (PDF)
by Steven Cristol
A white paper exploring how aligning product and brand strategies intersects with relieving companies’ pain points in managing product development portfolios.

“What Archimedes Can Teach Us About Sustainable Innovation”
by Steven Cristol
In this Sustainable Brands guest column, Steven shares his perspective on the potential for Product Lifecycle Management and Product Portfolio Management software to mitigate climate change, water depletion, and hazardous substances in products — IF these tools are designed to help integrate environmental performance criteria early in the decision-making process before new product requirements are approved.

“Is Your Brand’s Sustainability Really Worth Talking About?” (PDF)
by Steven Cristol
In this Sustainable Brands guest column, Steven discusses the importance of aligning your company’s sustainability reality and perceptions, and being clear on what to do about misalignment at any given time.

“Removing the CMO’s Handcuffs: The Power of Brand-Aligned Product Development”
by Steven Cristol
In this feature article in the quarterly journal of the CMO Council, PeerSphere, Steven discusses the importance of integrating the CMO organization (or business unit marketing heads) into product development and service delivery decisions.

2553  “Making Sustainability Unavoidable in Product Development Decisions: A Systems Approach” 

At the Sustainable Brands Conference on corporate sustainability, brand strategy, and communications, Steven Cristol presents a framework for systematically embedding sustainability criteria in product development decision-making at the front end of innovation.

“Optimizing Your Sustainability Roadmap: Lessons from Product Development Portfolio Management.”
by Steven Cristol
In this Sustainable Brands guest column, Steven discusses how applying best practices from product development project selection can ensure that your company’s sustainability initiatives are effectively prioritized for maximum impact and return on investment.

“Customer Needs and Sustainability: Serving Two Masters in Product Portfolio Management” (PDF)
by Steven Cristol
An executive brief on mitigating complexity in integrating sustainability metrics into product development portfolio decisions, and building brand value by simultaneously optimizing product portfolios for customer appeal and environmental impact.

“Why Caring About Climate Change Means Caring About Chemicals of Concern”
by Steven Cristol
Featured at, this article explores the relationships between climate change and the toxic chemicals found in products all around us and how green chemistry can mitigate the climate crisis, enable development of more sustainable products, and protect human health. Brands should take note.


simplicity-marketingSimplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter and Confusion (Free Press)
by Steven Cristol and Peter Sealey

Well before “simplicity” and “simple” seemed to suddenly appear in dozens of major companies’ advertising tag lines, MIT Sloan Management Review called Simplicity Marketing “a persuasive business case for simplicity.” A framework called The 4 R’s – Replace, Repackage, Reposition, and Replenish – is a powerful and specific set of strategies to reduce customer stress and complexity, and to build brand loyalty as a result.

masterbrand-mandateThe Masterbrand Mandate: The Management Strategy That Unifies Companies and Multiplies Value (John Wiley & Sons)
by Lynn Upshaw and Earl Taylor

An in-depth look at how to manage the entire company as an enterprise-wide “masterbrand” to yield lasting market value.

building-brand-identityBuilding Brand Identity: The Strategy for Success in a Hostile Marketplace
(John Wiley & Sons)
by Lynn Upshaw

A brand building primer named by as one of the ten most popular books on brands and branding.

truthTruth: The New Rules for Marketing in a Skeptical World (AMACOM)
by Lynn Upshaw

Truth is an essential guide to building integrity into marketing programs at a time when consumers and business buyers are better informed, less trusting, and better armed to filter out messages they don’t believe.

Essentials of Media Planning: A Marketing Viewpoint (Third Edition)
by Arnold Barban, Steven Cristol and Frank Kopec

A primer on the most fundamental principles of media planning and marketing strategy contexts for media planning decisions.


Steven Cristol is interviewed for by innovation author Braden Kelley on the relationship between innovation strategy and brand strategy, and integrating sustainability into product development portfolio management.

Enlighted Interview: Steven Cristol on IoT and the Built Environment: Steven Cristol is interviewed on the subject of making smart connected buildings more sustainable.

Steven blogs on product portfolio management issues at “The Product Pulse” and on IT portfolio management issues at “Portfolio Perspectives.”

Webcast: “Embedding Sustainability in Product Development Decisions – Systematically”
In this Sustainable Brands webinar, Steven Cristol discusses how a simplified early-stage sustainability assessment can seamlessly integrate with a product development portfolio optimization process that determines which new products, features, functions, packaging improvements, or services should be brought to market.