Why Us

We are experts in maximizing relationships and revenue to support positive social impact.

Unlike a traditional, outsourced agency that fosters ongoing dependency, we increase your agency to acquire new skills, build enduring systems, and manage change. Our flexible partnership model allows us to work as an external advisor or embedded onsite team member.

All our work is principled, data-driven, and heartfelt.

Who We Serve:

  • CEOs and marketers embracing new challenges
  • Organizations navigating changes in their leadership, board, systems, and business models
  • Teams seeking to optimize short-term vs. long-term revenue and impact
  • Anyone passionate about inclusive social progress in unstable times
  • Any entity actively leading or challenged by today’s most disruptive technology trends

Typical Roles:

  • Consulting Chief Marketing Officer responsible for full-funnel relationships and revenue
  • Consulting Head of Marketing and Development responsible for leading and integrating nonprofit relationship and revenue functions and systems
  • Leader of complex, large-scale business and culture transformation initiatives
  • Brand strategist responsible for all aspects of brand identity, storytelling, and experience design
  • Coach for CEOs, high-potential employees, and motivated self-starters


Our network includes some of the world’s best designers, channel marketers, writers, and researchers. For project work, we can assemble an ideal team whose members all have their names and reputations on the line doing work they love. We find this produces an excellent result without the overhead costs of a traditional agency.


Mark Gibson

Mark is a relationships and revenue expert who for over 25 years has worked with well-known global businesses and pioneers of positive system change. As the founder of The Next Us, he has worked directly with the leadership teams of Synopsys, Omidyar Network, Honeycomb.io, Linux Foundation Energy, OfferUp, eBay, Zazzle, Clinton Foundation, Mindful Schools, LeapFrog, Art Center College of Design, Misnomer Dance Theater, Community Youth Center San Francisco, Small Magic, Community Vision, and Sundance Channel.

Mark began his career as a grant writer for the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. After several years at small creative and web agencies in San Francisco, he eventually became a Director of Program Management at Sapient Corporation, leading large-scale web projects for Walmart.com, Gap, and Cisco Networking Academy. In 2002, Mark joined Stone Yamashita Partners as a strategist helping CEOs and executive teams articulate visions for change, build cultures of innovation, and create unique customer experiences. Mark’s clients during his four years at SYPartners included Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, NBC Universal, Lifetime Television, Yahoo!, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

In 2006, Mark started The Next Us to help organizations and individuals achieve breakthrough change. His typical roles include strategic advisor, executive coach, Consulting CMO, and Consulting Head of Marketing and Development.

Mark has served as Board President for BAY Positives, Board Member for San Francisco Suicide Prevention, and Board Member and Development Committee co-Chair for Felton Institute. In 2020, he served as the Marketing Lead for U.S. Digital Response, helping local governments across the country rapidly scale their technology systems to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Outside of work, Mark is passionate about the performing arts, anti-racism, and healing individual and societal trauma. He is an opera fan and amateur singer, and a member of both Opera America and the Opera Parallèle Marketing Committee. mark@thenext-us.com


Todd Schulte

Todd Schulte believes in using the power of design for good. With over two decades of experience in brand identity, web/UI, print, packaging, and environments, Todd possesses a well-rounded and seasoned perspective. Prior to starting his namesake company Todd Schulte Design, he worked at several prominent design firms including IDEO, SYPartners, and the in-house design team at Apple. Today he focuses his work with nonprofits such as Coral Reef Alliance, Center for Humane Technology, Community Youth Center SF, Earth Species Project, Small Magic, The Nature Conservancy, UC Berkeley, and Vibrant Planet among others. Learn more at toddschulte.com.

Jennifer Bostic

Jennifer Bostic has been a Creative Director in San Francisco and New York for over 20 years. Project highlights include the Creative Direction of the TED Conference, working for Oprah, and creating the HP Global Event and Tradeshow Guidelines. Other clients include Plan C, Emerson Collective, Burford, the XQ School Project, La Colombe, Apple Computer, Chronicle Books, GlobalGiving, and the Future Project. Jennifer’s work has been featured at the San Francisco Museum of Design, and her work has been showcased in Communication Arts Magazine, Graphis, AIGA exhibitions, Print Magazine, and the Art Director’s Club Annual. She is also featured in the books “Women in Graphic Design” and “Graphic Design America.” She was named by HOW Magazine as one of the “5 Designers to Watch.” paperplanestudio.com


Our clients include well-known global businesses and pioneers of positive, cross-sector change.

Misnomer Dance Theater
Sundance Channel

Apollo Alliance
Coral Reef Alliance
Linux Foundation Energy
San Jose Project

Indr Software
Synopsys Software Integrity
Terrain Data

Art Center College of Design
Children’s Day School
Global Kids
Izzi Early Education
KnowledgeWorks Foundation
Millennium School
Mindful Schools
New Tech Network
Prospect Sierra
Small Magic

Clinton Foundation
Community Youth Center San Francisco

CRE Income Fund
Bankrate Insurance
Mortgage Cadence
Pace Capital

Omidyar Network

Tea Collection

Case Studies

Synopsys Software Integrity

The Next Us worked with the Software Integrity business unit as an embedded team member to help the company position itself successfully in the application security market over a two-year period of rapid growth and expansion. We helped Synopsys integrate its storytelling and visual brand across all marketing and sales touch points and iteratively assimilate the assets of five major acquisitions: Coverity, Codenomicon, Protecode, Seeker, and Cigital.

During this engagement, Synopsys moved from a niche player in the application security space to one of the largest based on revenue, reputation and solution breadth. It also evolved its Software Integrity marketing approach from pure lead gen to a thoughtful mix of demand generation and brand-building at every step of the marketing funnel.


  • Onsite marketing lead responsible for all aspects of brand strategy and outbound marketing
  • Functional manager of all in-house creative resources and outside agencies
  • Development and management of all core Synopsys Software Integrity outbound communication tools, including platform and product positioning, messaging architectures, sales decks, tradeshow training materials, visual brand style guides and templates
  • Design of Software Integrity cross-channel brand campaigns
  • Liaison to Synopsys Corporate Marketing for the year-long redesign of the Synopsys.com corporate website, including referring the final selected design agency and representing all Software Integrity technical, marketing, visual design, and information architecture needs and requirements


The Next Us worked with Zazzle as an embedded team member to help the company navigate a major transformation of its product, external brand, and internal culture.

In 2012, Zazzle was already a one-of-kind maker platform with a stellar track record and a bold vision for the future. The Next Us worked hands-on with the Zazzle leadership team on brand repositioning and served as interim Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for two quarters.

As part of this project, The Next Us consulted on brand identity redesign and product experience redesign, and led the cross-channel marketing strategy and creative direction for Zazzle’s 2012 holiday campaign, which exceeded revenue and profitability benchmarks.


The Next Us worked with Nextag for 4 years as an external brand consultant and embedded team member responsible for all brand strategy and outbound marketing.

Nextag was an early e-commerce pioneer with an incredible track record for profitability and resilience. Since its inception in the late 1990’s, the company used its data science and lead gen capabilities to help thousands of retailers and content providers maximize their revenue across every device and digital ecosystem. During our engagement, the company also managed a network of over a dozen consumer e-commerce sites worldwide.

Major responsibilities:

  • Brand strategy, brand identity design, and messaging for all Nextag major consumer brands: Nextag, Wize.com, and Price Machine
  • Positioning, rebranding, site design, and launch for the Wize Commerce corporate parent
  • UX design consulting and ongoing optimization for all the brands above
  • Onsite Brand Director responsible for all aspects of brand strategy and B2C / B2B outbound marketing (1-year appointment)
  • Functional manager of all in-house creative resources and outside agencies

Leapfrog Toys

The Next Us helped this beloved educational brand articulate a vision as bright as its past, and deliver strongly against that vision.

In 2007, Leapfrog had many successes to celebrate. But the electronic educational toys space the company once pioneered was now rapidly changing, with new technologies, market entrants, and consumer expectations. Over a two-year period, The Next Us worked with the Leapfrog executive team and across business units to revitalize its consumer value proposition. The long-term bets made during this project were re-evaluated three years later, and all were found to be fully correct and successful.


The Next Us led positioning, messaging, brand voice development, and cross-channel content and editorial guidelines for this fast-growing, mobile-first P2P marketplace. OfferUp was named by Forbes to be one of the Top 5 Hottest Startups of 2015, and the company reached a $1B valuation in September 2016.

Community Youth Center San Francisco

The Next Us has worked with CYC continuously since 2019 as strategic advisor and consulting Head of Development and Marketing. Over the past five years, our key responsibilities have included:

  • Leading the rebranding, repositioning, website redesign, and messaging development for the agency’s 50th anniversary
  • Leading the design and execution of the Richmond Hub capital campaign
  • Creating serial cornerstone content assets, including multiple annual reports, Executive Director and board speeches, annual gala materials, and major donor brochures
  • Leading the business requirements, design, and/or configuration of key development and marketing systems: WordPress, Genesis, Classy, Slack, Constant Contact, Salesforce NPSP, iWave

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