Patrick Palmer

Pat began his career listening to farmers talk about hog gestation products. It’s been mostly uphill since then. Pat’s focus at Purple is innovation, thought leadership and the development of insights that inform the firm’s strategic counsel and creative activation. Over the course of 30 years, he’s worked in brand strategy and research across a wide range of industries including energy, healthcare, financial services, automotive, consumer products and technology. Before joining Purple, he was partner and head of strategy at renowned design and branding consultancy, VSA Partners. There he helped build global brand platforms and enterprise design solutions for clients such as IBM, Google, Nike, Harley-Davidson and ABInBev. As EVP, Global Director of Strategy for Leo Burnett Worldwide, he led clients like The Coca-Cola Company, General Motors and Allstate Insurance. Pat is an experienced qualitative and quantitative researcher, uniquely adept at understanding human behavior through the lenses of social psychology, anthropology and semiotics.

“After many years in ad agencies, I’m struck by the level of thoughtfulness and rigor we put into every decision. The stakes are higher and the visibility greater. Advertising is checkers. What Purple does is three-dimensional chess.

“Someone once said, ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics’. Using numbers to spread misinformation is just as bad as using words. Maybe worse, because there’s an authoritative quality to numbers that can cause people to abandon all  judgment.”

“Sometimes people succeed because other people want them to succeed. My college French teacher woke me up in my dorm so I didn’t miss a quiz and fail her class. She wanted me to learn French more than I wanted to learn French. That inspired me.”

“Communication happens faster and more relentlessly than ever. But the human brain can’t possibly keep pace. We still process information, remember and make decisions a lot like we did 100,000 years ago. We still seek out the familiar, the patterns, the narratives.”