We are brand-systems thinkers.
We believe that brands innovate
successfully and sustainably by
cultivating a portfolio of ideas
where the whole is greater than
the sum of its parts.
Parts & Assembly

Our approach is rooted in the strategic study and creative exercise of what we call Parts and Assembly.

We take stock of diverse building blocks (ideas, insights, competencies and equities) and re-frame them into elevated concepts that play quintessential strategic roles.

We look to make sense of the full context for growth, in all of its complexity, so that ideas—no matter the size—link up to something bigger and build momentum on a systemic basis.


We figure out how to connect the pieces together so as to have more impact.

Innovation Architecture

Re-framing the brand in terms of why people engage with it, how it behaves and what it makes—to specify where brands can grow, as well as where they should not.
Platform Development

Creating the springboards which link brand to innovation in order prompt the development of ideas we never would have conceived, yet which prove to be utterly vital.

A subset of prioritized conceptual directions articulated and visualized at a critical level of resolution so as to gain momentum with consumers and stakeholders.
Systems Status

A deconstruction of component parts across consumers, category and context in order to identify which "forces" are most dynamically shifting the landscape.
Generative Inspiration

Identifying and gathering new sources of stimulus so as to see the situation with new lenses, and from a variety of perspectives.
Future Vision

Crafting stories that make the case for change clear and compelling in order to generate consumer enthusiasm and stakeholder momentum for why the nascent idea(s) matter.


We believe our fundamental strength is in seeing the small as bigger than it might otherwise appear.

Unknown Obvious
We look to identify the most obvious, yet most overlooked, "levers" because we believe they provide the most effective paths to value. It's our spin on the Dieter Rams' edict that "good design is as little design as possible."

Signal to Noise
We look to create models which are simple and "good" rather than complicated and "right" because clarity of purpose is fundamental to progress.

First Person
Whether through interaction with consumers, expert interviews or client work sessions, we prize the human connections that help connect the dots.

Adaptive Intelligence
Small enough to be flexible, and experienced enough to cut through the clutter, we engage collaboratively and effectively.


With the creativity to imagine new possibilities, and the discipline to make things work, we are a nimble network of senior partners with an appetite for big challenges.

Daniel Schwartz The Clever Industry was founded by Daniel Schwartz, who was looking for a better answer to the cocktail party question, "What industry do you work in?" Daniel has worked in world-class innovation, design and brand strategy firms, including IDEO, the Arnell Group, Redscout and Prophet, and has over 14 years experience leading multi-disciplinary teams of marketers, business strategists and designers to unlock new sources of growth, from new products to new revenue streams. Previous clients include Procter & Gamble, Hyatt, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Citi, Time Inc., hp and PepsiCo.

Though Daniel helps shape innovation projects from start to finish, from insight to implementation, his greatest strength is in "turning the corner" from research to concept generation, ensuring that the ultimate creative output—clever, to be sure—is well supported emotionally and rationally, from consumer, technology, brand and business points-of-view.

Paul Ayers is a creative strategist — a hybrid thinker who helps brands envision their futures. Paul has applied his insight across a range of industries, including FMCG, Service, Retail, Technology and Real Estate, working to inspire action and change for organizations looking to uncover new paths to brand growth and value.

Most recently, Paul helped build and lead the innovation team at Chobani, developing new products, platforms and processes. Prior to Chobani, Paul worked with a host of blue-chip global brands at Redscout, including J&J, Kellogg's, LG and Gatorade.

Paul holds a B.F.A. in Industrial Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Brand Strategy from the VCU Brandcenter.


222 Broadway, 18th Floor
New York 10038
+1 781 439 5891