About the Valen Group

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About Us

Since 2000, The Valen Group has worked with top executives on significant new revenue growth, by answering questions like –

  • How do we address competition and apposition 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 as a trending innovation consulting firm, and License! Global Magazine ranked us a Top 25 global brand licensing firm.

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


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 The Valen Group 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.


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.

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.