The best ideas happen when you look outside

Outside-in thinking

The big strategic idea is the organising principle that galvanises the business around overcoming the challenge.
We have a proven process which combines rigour and collaborative workshops, in order to create breakthrough business, brand, marketing and communication strategies. Outside-in thinking involves integrating diverse perspectives from outside of the client's world, in order 
to arrive at better ideas.


Get Strategic

We believe that the businesses and brands that win, have a strategic culture.  They diagnose problems well, and then organise the business around overcoming them.  
At The Planning Department, we offer our clients training, coaching and mentoring in order to help them become their best selves, and to encourage a strategic approach to problem solving in their work.  Our training includes  all aspects of brand strategy, communications planning, as well as helping people to facilitate workshops and research.


Give us a call

Need some freelance planning or strategy? Need help building a marketing plan, generating ideas for growth, or understanding your customers?  Call us anytime and we'll let you know if we can help



The Planning Department are Steve McCarron, Rebecca Ashley, and Helen Davies -a 3-strong team of Strategic Planners, each with over 20 years experience in building brand, marketing and communication ideas, as well as developing customer insights.

We specialise in strategy and research but can also draw upon agency partners who we have worked with and built relationships with over many years.  These include creative, media,  PR, digital and category management partners.


Intelligent Research

Original thinking happens when you surround yourself with diverse perspectives.  The magic happens when people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints work together to solve a problem.  That's why we design innovative qualitative and quantitative research approaches, so that we can use outsider thinking to help reshape how we view the world.


Ideas + Strategic Plan

We use both offline and online collaborative workshop approaches to generate new product/service, marketing and communications ideas designed to deliver against  the overarching strategy. We design in order to embrace diverse perspectives which help generate quality and quantity of ideas. These ideas are then used to create the plan for delivering the strategic direction.


Registered address:

 197-201 Manchester Road, West Timperley, Altrincham, WA14 5NU

©2020 by The Planning Department. 

Company no. 12601233

Vat reg. no. 348 7350 74