Meet Our New Strategy Director, Alexa Jewell Schaefer

March 13, 2023

Alexa Jewell Schaefer Headshot

We’re excited to introduce our new Strategy Director, Alexa Jewell Schaefer! We sat down with Alexa to learn more about her approach to brand strategy, what drives and inspires her, and more.

Tell us about yourself! How did you get into strategy?

My career as a strategist has morphed over the years, with an emphasis on brand strategy in industries including retail, sporting goods manufacturing, and luxury hospitality.

The bulk of my career has been in the hospitality industry, where I crafted and executed full-spectrum brand work from competitive analyses to customer lifecycles, to marketplace positioning. I also spent my time on digital and hands-on experiences and activations that enhanced the guest experience, with a mission to humanize hospitality through evoking emotional connection and enriching experiences. 

Personally, I’m a mama of two, Portland native, and passionate bread baker.

Can you tell us about your new role as Strategy Director?

As the Director of Strategy at ChangeUp, I develop and execute brand-led strategies for our clients. My position is really unique, as I act as a bridge between client challenges and creative solutions. I help them solve seemingly complex problems, unlock their potential, and define their unique position in the market.  

The day-to-day tasks of my role include finding and distilling insights on the brand, consumer, or comp set, and finding insights to help identify the white space for brands and the customer journey.

What role do you think strategy plays in retail design?

I may be a bit biased here, but strategy is the most important part of retail design! A strong strategy is the blueprint for any business; it’s the story of an exciting journey for your brand and your guests. 

An effective brand strategy defines who you are as a business by assessing your challenges and leveraging your assets. It’s a holistic approach behind how the brand promises to show up for its customers. More importantly, creating a comprehensive brand strategy allows you to control the narrative on how your brand exists and interacts with consumers. Without it, you run the risk of someone or something else controlling that narrative which can be detrimental to your brand and future growth.  

A brand strategy holds your business accountable. Accountability allows you to put metrics in place to measure against. This is key for any growth and goal setting within a business.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I absolutely love solving problems. Even as a kid I would always find ways to overcome my obstacles—being the youngest of four forces you to be creative and curious to get ahead of your older siblings 😊.

Being a problem solver is an incredibly rewarding part of my job. It’s never boring, keeps me curious, and allows me to continuously learn and evolve.

What excites you most about the work at ChangeUp?

Oh man, where do I even begin! The work we do at ChangeUp is by far the most impressive, exciting, and downright awesome work I’ve ever done in my career. And I can attribute that to our people. I work with an amazingly talented team who I get to collaborate with every day. We challenge ourselves; we keep each other on our toes, and we push one another to be the best we can be.