President and CEO
To meet Alan Siegel is to be struck by a man of tremendous zest—zest for information, zest for challenges and zest for opportunities to contribute to a society he sees as beset by complexity and hungry for clarity. From his passion for clear writing to his love of fine photography, from his contributions to New York City culture to his entrepreneur’s instinct for building businesses, Alan exudes a passion to make things better. He is one of the most sought-after advisers to any company, nonprofit or government seeking clarity about who they are, what they do and how they can motivate others.
It is no wonder that Alan has become one of the best-known figures in branding and a driving force behind the plain-English movement in the U.S. and abroad. Alan helped shape the branding industry by popularizing the concept “brand voice” to describe integrated-communications programs that reflect the unique character of companies, and by championing the Internet as a powerful expression of brand strategy and an essential component of the brand experience. Alan’s belief in the transformative power of simplicity led to his pioneering efforts to bring clarity to business communications, including insurance policies, bank-loan notes and mutual-fund prospectuses. He also initiated the development of plain English for complex legal documents and directed a project for the IRS to simplify individual tax forms.
Over five decades, Alan has gained the stature of both pillar of the establishment and provocative iconoclast while building Siegel+Gale, one of the leading global brand consultancies. He has advised leading organizations such as Xerox, American Express, the National Basketball Association, Caterpillar, 3M, U.S. Air Force, Dell, The Girl Scouts, Phoenix House, the Legal Aid Society, Carnegie Mellon University and The New School.
In 2011, Alan created Siegelvision, a new company focused on solving tough problems for nationally known organizations as well as for quirky little causes. Supported by a small team of handpicked talent, Alan startles and delights organizations by untangling their wayward sense of self and creating a robust brand identity.
Alan has written extensively on branding and the importance of simplicity as a competitive advantage for The New York Times, Across the Board and The National Law Journal and has appeared nationally on “Today,” “PBS NewsHour,” CBS and ABC News, CNN and the TED Conference. He is the author of a series of personal guides for The Wall Street Journal, including the best seller The Wall Street Journal Guide to Money and Markets (Lightbulb Press) as well as Writing Contracts in Plain English (West Publishing) and Simplified Consumer Credit Forms (Warren Gorham & Lamont). Alan’s latest book, Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity, co-written with longtime colleague Irene Etzkorn, was released in April 2013 to critical acclaim and named a “Best Business Book of 2013” by Booz & Company. It has since been published in several international editions, including UK, China, South Korea, Hungary and Brazil.
A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Alan also attended New York University Law School, the School of Visual Arts and Alexei Brodovich’s Design Laboratory.