For 15 years Valen Strategy has worked with top executives on significant new revenue growth, by answering questions like –
  • How do we address competition and position our company or brand for growth?
  • What is our best strategy to uniquely take advantage of market changes?
  • What is the next beachhead that sets us up for significant growth?
We are a strategy consulting firm focused on growth strategy, innovation, and brand licensing. Many times executives know their growth vision but need a clear fact-based plan or roadmap for growth or innovation. We specialize in developing critical insight for areas of the business where the path to growth is not clear.

We think broadly about global growth and global brands. Everything we do is based upon sound principles in:
  • Competitive Advantage (Strategy)
  • Critical Insight
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Change Management that evokes Passion, Buy-In and a Bias For Action
By bringing clarity to your future and where you are heading, we help you create top- and bottom- line growth and a sustainable, competitive organization. Because we are a learning organization that works on cutting edge issues, across many companies and categories, we can inspire you and your team to do new things.

We like to think our partnership approach and bias for action make us different, but you don’t have to take our word for it. You can look at the client list of iconic brands we have worked with over the years. Forrester Research named us a top trending innovation consulting firm, and LIMA recognizes us as a top 35 global licensing firm.

Our Vision, Mission, and Core Values guide our work and our relationships -


When you think of business growth, you think of Valen first


Inspire people to do new things

Core Values

  • Strategic - thinking through to the end
  • Entrepreneurial - bias for action
  • Collaboration - leveraging strengths
  • Trust & Respect - foundation of how we treat each other
  • Learning - always improving, no failure
  • Humor & Fun - love what you do, diffuse stress


Gus Valen was convinced that there is a better way to deliver the discipline and strategic insight of a McKinsey or Boston Consulting Group, by better linking strategy to execution, integrating disciplines, and offering superior value. So he started a boutique strategy consulting firm in 2000 with a mission to inspire people to do new things. Always focused on growth, and tuned into client’s needs, the company evolved to offer innovation consulting in addition to strategy consulting, and then into work on partnerships and licensing. Often the answer to the question, “How do we grow?” was to innovate, or to acquire capabilities the client did not have through a partnership or licensing. In practicing what we preach, we created a business – Blue Ocean Facilities – where we bring clients to our creative meeting space in Cincinnati, Ohio to solve strategic problems and inspire teams.


Each member of the team at Valen Strategy brings global perspective and experience, diversity in thought and culture, and multi-disciplinary thinking to their work.  Driven by a desire to move markets, our people are creative problem solvers whose curiosity has them always learning.  Our culture encourages them to tackle the hard issues through transparent communication, and to be aware of what they don’t know.

How We Work

  • We always start with strategy, even in our innovation and licensing engagements.
  • We integrate disciplines for faster, better solutions and decisions.
  • We communicate real issues and real recommendations to help you make the right strategic choices.
  • We bring the outside in via benchmarking, external interviews, and a fact-finding approach.
  • We concentrate a lot of effort upfront in framing the problem to ensure right direction of effort.
  • We identify a core issue to study, conduct appropriate analysis and provide a business recommendation or options.
  • We provide fact-based support for all decision making.
  • We provide recommendations framed with strategic & financial ROI for top executives and the Board.
  • We engage team leaders via action-oriented sessions and communications to link strategy to execution

How Do We Get Started?

It begins with a discussion on a business issue or opportunity to frame the problem. We then draft a strategy brief or discussion document to flesh out the appropriate approach and scope of work. From those discussions, and with agreement, we draft a formal engagement letter that outlines the agreed upon objectives, approach, deliverables, timeframe, and investment which forms the legal agreement we sign. There is no cost or obligation until we reach a formal agreement.


Our philosophy on longevity in the consulting business is to deliver one successful engagement at a time. That success hinges on identifying each client’s unique organizational structure, team skills, attitudes and beliefs, risks and perceptions of what they need from a strategy consultant. We craft a team structure that fits the needs of the client for that engagement.

valen group, strategy, consulting, innovation, licensing
Gus Valen


Gus is an active entrepreneur and consultant who offers strategic clarity to some of the top global companies known for innovation including Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Chiquita Brands as well as small, entrepreneurial businesses...Learn More »

valen group, strategy, consulting, innovation, licensing
Nizar El-Khoury

President Strategy
& Innovation

Nizar has deep experience in consumer products with Procter & Gamble.  He established and launched new business opportunities in Food & Beverage (Pringles, Sunny D, Jif, Crisco), Home Care (Cascade), and Family Care (Luvs, Always) in North America, Western Europe, Asia, and the Middle East...Learn More »

valen group, strategy, consulting, innovation, licensing
Steve McCamley

Vice President
Business & Client Development

Steve has more than 30 years’ experience in CPG, including having worked at Fortune 500 companies Procter & Gamble, Mattel, and Hasbro. He has extensive experience in marketing, branding, product development, business development, and sales in the following categories – food and beverage, toys, sporting goods, gifts, home products, and retail...Learn More »

valen group, strategy, consulting, innovation, licensing
Marlene Cuesta

Strategic Licensing

Marlene Cuesta has 20 years of licensing experience and management in all aspects of the licensing process. She has negotiated global licenses on behalf of major entertainment, corporate and automotive brands...Learn More »



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