Our Company

relentlessly curious and agile marketing consultancy built to help you better position your brand and deliver strategic, big picture ideas to grow.

Our Inspiration

The astrolabe was invented by Hellenistic civilization between 220 and 150 BC to aid navigation in the Old World. Navigation (even today) focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. All navigational techniques involve locating the navigator’s position compared to known locations or patterns.
Navigation, in a broader sense, can refer to any skill or study that involves the determination of position and direction.

How does this relate to marketing?

Understanding your brand is critical. Whether you are marketing to consumers or selling to other businesses, you need a strong brand position and vision. Without this, your growth is limited. 

What Brands Want, LLC was built to help you better understand your brand and deliver strategic big picture ideas. We have proven expertise building better brands and richer relationships with your key audiences.


Michael S. La Kier is the Founder and Principal of What Brands Want, LLC.

He is a widely recognized strategic thought leader and cutting-edge marketer with an impressive track record of building stronger brands by unearthing insights to break new ground and enter new markets.

Previously, Michael was the Corporate Lead for Shopper Marketing and Retail Strategy at Gannett/USA Today Network responsible for creating compelling omnichannel marketing plans that engaged key audiences through the creative use of content, media assets and digital marketing services to deliver value for clients.

Prior to working at Gannett, during an impressive 17-year career at The Coca-Cola Company, Mr. La Kier held a variety of roles including leading Shopper Marketing Strategy & Capability for the U.S., loyalty and digital marketing, brand management, promotional marketing, and innovation. Key accomplishments included serving as general manager for My Coke Rewards where he built a consumer-engaging and award-winning loyalty program, as well as leading the POWERADE business in North America to become a billion-dollar brand.

Mr. La Kier is an in-demand speaker and author on Food Marketing, Emerging Technologies, Shopper Marketing, Loyalty, and Creating Irresistible In-store Experiences.

In the News

Holiday Advice for Walmart


Will “doubling down” on the in-store experience with holiday helpers, product demos & parties help Walmart drive higher sales?

10 Shopper Marketing Influencers To Follow


To help navigate the noisy world of CPG & Retail Marketing, we compiled a list of influencers for expert opinions and insider news.

Successfully Connecting Brands

Print Illustrated

Many brands fail to not only understand and communicate their value proposition, but simply don’t know how to listen.

People Now Buy On Purpose

Shopper Matters

Think Beyond Profit. Brands can become something greater than just making money by embedding ‘purpose’ in everything they do.