Heidi Dangelmaier launched her New York City branding think tank, 3iYing, in 2005 to "bridge the growing gap" between young females and the companies targeting them. "Who can lift the brand up to the 21st century girl?" asks Dangelmaier, 41. "It's got to be a group that totally understands that girl."
Her staff is made up of 18 young women ages 16 to 22 from area art and design schools. "They had to be girls with not only deep analytic skills, but also creative skills," she explains. The group analyzes, researches, evaluates and designs marketing concepts, helping companies that target females in their teens and early twenties develop campaigns. Clients include Jones Apparel Group Inc., Playtex and Unilever. "When [the girls] come together, they are extremely fast and collaborate really well," says Dangelmaier, who projects $1.5 million to $2 million in sales for 2007. "For this particular game, I couldn't think of a better team."