Our Mandate

About Us


Our Mandate

About Us

Lori Miller Pike and Sean Howard are senior marketers with over 20 years of experience each. They formed The Connected Brand because we enjoy helping companies develop brands that are relevant, sustainable and emotional. 

Our approach is based on building a brand footprint that truly connects with constituents and creates an emotional relationship of value for all parties across all touch-points.  A brand that does this successfully is a Connected Brand. 


Simple, Connected Brands ...

Achieve greater brand relevance, influence and connection with customers

The multiplicity of channels builds broad, rich relationships with customers by meeting them where they are and engaging on their terms. It Creates a company-wide culture of relationship management versus a relationships department. More capable of customization to create ‘made for me’ experiences for their customers.

Multiply your innovative prowess

Open communication breeds cross-pollination and encourages the sharing of ideas with wider audiences (inside and outside organizational walls and silos). Actively sharing and engaging builds a culture that is exposed to, open to and able to act on new ideas. Socialized brands are able to test concepts quickly and early allowing faster determination of failure and potential success, which increases savings and revenue potential.

Build trust, loyalty and price premiums

Because programs are focused on building two-way respect inside and outside the organization’s walls., your customers feel that they truly do matter because they are listened to.  Everyone has something to believe in that is bigger than the product in question, creating an emotional connection with customers., and innternal culture of purpose and meaningful action is created, helping to attract and retain the best and brightest.  Trusted brands are seen as special and command higher prices.

Lead the marketplace through its flexibility and nimbleness

Social brands can act quickly to crises, competition and shifting market forces because they are less bound by rigid thinking.


The Team

Our Team

The Team

Our Team


Lori Miller Pike, MBA, Partner

Lori is a senior strategist specializing in business strategy, brand development and communications planning for over 19 years. Lori works with companies to establish a strategic foundation that enables them to build better businesses, brands and products.

Originally from New York, Lori has worked in all facets of marketing both client and agency side enabling her to understand both the needs of our clients and how to build a strong relationship with an agency. Upon moving to Toronto in 1999, Lori was the Director of Strategic Services at ICE Integrated Communications and Entertainment Company in Toronto where she managed the staffing, budgeting and the development and implementation of new products, services and strategic processes, including Brand Strategy, Digital Marketing and Integrated Marketing Communications Planning. She has worked with large global brands as Deloitte Consulting, Lucent Technologies, and Solomon Smith Barney.

Since 2002, Lori has been working independently with clients in both the corporate and public sectors as Zip Local, Green City, Goodyear Tire and CCH Tax Prep. She sat on the Resource Development Board for Assaulted Women’s Helpline and is currently the Chairperson of the Allenby Parents’ Association. Lori is also a frequent writer and Managing Editor, a website dedicated to helping women find their personal definition of success.

Lori has an MBA in Marketing and Management from Fordham Business School in New York and a BA in Economics from SUNY-Binghamton.


Sean Howard, Partner

Sean Howard is a senior digital communications strategist with more than 20 years’ experience in digital strategy development, user experience design and communications planning. Regarded as a thought leader in Canada on social media and digital marketing, he delivers insight and innovation to his clients in the digital marketing space, builds passionate teams and helps brands connect with their most passionate advocates. Weaving together planning, research, measurement, social media and digital programs, Sean achieves significant results for his clients.

As a strategist, Sean has worked on a wide range of projects, from some of the largest e-commerce launches in Canada like Canadian Tire and Signature Vacations, to developing social media strategies for TD and Aeroplan.

He has experience with global brands such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Dove, as well as Canadian icons Rogers, Allstate, Aeroplan, Air Canada, and Aviva to name just a few.

In previous lives, Sean was a Vice President at a Public Relations firm and he built the strategy offering for a “hot” digital agency selected as one of the top 10 digital agencies in Canada two years running. Sean is on the Board of Directors of Soundstreams Canada. He consults with and often speaks for numerous arts organizations in Toronto, and was responsible for one of the top Canadian marketing blogs ( Sean is a keen photographer and videographer and makes sporadic attempts at baking. Reviews pending.



Joel Gregorio, Creative Director

Joel is the principal and founder of design firm Sovereign State. As lead creative and design director, Joel’s focus is bridging sound strategic thinking with emotionally moving design. With 15 years of award-winning experience, Joel’s accumulated experience as a brand architect and builder allows him to elevate and weave business ROI with emotional brand loyalty.

Previously, Joel was the design director and a founding partner at Lift, where he developed both visual stories for brands and viable design systems for Lift’s varied and diverse clients. Joel’s work has brought both art funding organizations and multinational financial brands to life. Previous to LIFT, Joel was the Senior Art Director for ICE Communications one of the largest integrated marketing companies in North America.

Joel has worked on marketing and brand projects with a wide variety of clients as: CIBC, Lockheed Martin, GMAC, the Ontario Lottery Corporation, Virgin Mobile and CanWest MediaWorks. His work in developing the Stewardship Ontario brand helped the companies leadership positioning refocusing their brand on their sustainability initiatives.

Always keenly interested in community and community building exercises, Joel has put his efforts in the last two years to building brand and brand communities online for the Toronto Public Library, TVO, Artscape and the internationally renowned performance series Soundstreams. His work with the OCSA and Orthomolecular Health has helped to raise the profile of both organizations, helping them to develop instant visual recognition and brand association. Joel was the lead creative for brand development for the government of Qatar as well as for the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform initiative and dozens of other key launches and accounts.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Joel co-chaired on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Toronto, contributing to the club’s communications strategy and community outreach programs in many ways, including teaching arts programs to underprivileged children in Toronto. Joel is proud to be the founder of their music outreach programs in Toronto and to have spearheaded their performance series bringing attention to the talents of inner-city youth.



Douglas Reid, PhD., Business Strategy and Business Design

Douglas Reid is a competitive strategy expert. He teaches global strategy at Queen's University, and consults widely in Canada, the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East on strategic planning, strategy development and implementation, competitor profiling, cooperative planning with boards and management, corporate education design, environmental foresight, and building organizational resilience.

Before joining the faculty at Queen's, Doug worked in government - first as a researcher, then as a Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister, and finally for a former Premier of Ontario. Then he joined a global communications company, handling corporate issues management projects from their Ottawa and Toronto offices.

Next, he went solo - by forming a consulting company (Reid Here) in 1990 that started out delivering executive communications services, and presently provides management education, strategy development, competitor profiling, strategic foresight research, and strategy implementation services to corporate and government clients in Canada and abroad.

At Intrsect, he works with clients in the public and private sectors at the critical nexus point where brands meet strategy and implementation to ensure appropriate alignment and effective oversight.

Doug's clients have included: Enbridge, Bell Canada, FCMB, KPMG, Tarion, Canada Post, Constellation Software, Government of New Brunswick, Government of Ontario, Bombardier, Jonas Software, Harris Computer, Tirecraft Canada, York Region, Government of Canada (various Departments and agencies), Aviva, Government of Nova Scotia, Anchor Concrete, Young Presidents' Organization, Canadian Medical Association, Novartis Animal Health, Emerson Canada, The Offord Group, Shoppers Drug Mart, AudienceView, Perrier, NATIONAL Public Relations, Munich Re, Canada Colors, City of Edmonton, and Hill and Knowlton.

Doug holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto (Victoria College), an MBA from the University of Toronto (Rotman School), an Master's in Public Administration from Queen’s University (School of Policy Studies), and a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario (Richard Ivey School of Business). Since has still some letters in the alphabet to collect - and suffers from prodigious curiosity - he will be graduating in 2012 with a M.Des from OCAD. Doug has also completed the Directors’ Education Program, sponsored by the Institute for Corporate Directors, and earned the ICD.D designation in 2008.

Doug has served on two corporate boards and one Crown agency board. He comments often to national and international media on questions of business strategy and the future of competition, and has delivered more than 1,000 interviews since 1990.


Stephen Smith, Chief Technologist

Stephen Smith is a senior digital technologist with over 20 years of experience. His focus is on connected and local HTML5 application development, both in the browser and on the server. From CoffeeScript, Sass, Compass, Backbone.js, RequireJS and jQuery in the browser to Grails, Symfony, Play, Expression Engine, SilverStripe and WordPress on the server.

Stephen was Chief Technologist at ICE, one of the largest interactive marketing firms in Canada. While at ICE, he oversaw the development efforts of the agency and was architect for the company’s major e-commerce initiatives including Air Canada, Purolator, E*Trade, Royal Canadian Mint, LCBO, Canadian Tire, Signature Vacations and Bell Canada (Sympatico).

Stephen was a founding partner of spinglobe, a marketing firm focused on driving brands through the effective use of social media, word-of-mouth, viral and social networking. While at spinglobe, he oversaw the development of an innovative web-based file sharing service and developed solutions for a range of clients to include: Aviva, AstraZeneca, Greenpeace, OLG and more.

Today Stephen works with leading brands and agencies as a Senior IT Consultant. He has deployed websites onto every conceivable platform and architected solutions that bridge new and older technologies. He develops platforms that are scalable, secure and dependable.