Founding Partner, Managing Director and Chief Strategy Officer
Erminio’s career has spanned three continents and a breadth of disciplines – from brand consulting to advertising, from user experience to academia – earning him a unique ﬂuency and versatility in building brands.
Over the last 20 years he has held senior management and strategy positions at Sapient, McCann, FutureBrand and PUSH, which he co-founded in 2013. Here he plays the two-fold role of managing director and chief strategy officer.
A creative thinker and a perfectionist at heart, Erminio approaches brands as the nexus between cultural studies, customer insights and hard-edged business pragmatism.
Erminio lives between Melbourne and Milan, where he's a lecturer in brand management with Bocconi University.
In his spare time he teaches Italian to his two daughters and dreams of becoming a professional tailor. Or a cartoonist. Or a potter. Or maybe a gardener.
Founding Partner, Executive Creative Director
Ken may be the only creative director in the world to have put himself through university with money earned from training as an infantry soldier.
For more than two decades, he has led design teams across Australia and the Asia Pacific region. He has translated brand strategies into distinctive creative platforms for some of Australia’s highest profile brands.
Prior to PUSH, Ken was Executive Creative Director of FutureBrand Australia. He has also held design advisory roles at private and government agencies.
His rebrand of Fiji Airways received the coveted Rebrand 100 ‘Best of’ Global Award, and his Sydney 2000 Olympic Games brand identity was included as one of the ‘Top 10 Australian logos of all time’.
Ken’s gift for distilling powerful ideas into simple, elegant expressions, and his belief in making the most from any opportunity, give those he works with the confidence to pursue bold creative solutions to the most ambitious business challenges.
Over the last 15 years Rob has worked with some of the leading brand consultancies and design studios in Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
His experience, layered thinking and meticulous attention to detail make him invaluable during the development and implementation of extensive branding programs.
Rob cut his teeth at DesignWorks Dublin where he was lead designer on Tourism Ireland and rebranded the National Standards Authority of Ireland – the largest identity project in the country at the time.
At Interbrand Melbourne, he led major projects for Australia Post, Medibank and Yellow Pages.
And here at PUSH, he’s central to many of our rebranding projects. He guides design teams through the intricacies of applying brand assets, and trains marketing departments on how to bring their new brand to life.
But before any of that, you’ll find Rob in discovery mode, searching for those breakthrough ideas that bring logic and structure to even the most complex branding challenges.
Ron believes great strategy is a blend of the analytical and the creative. And he has groundings in both.
He started his career as a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, and ran the commercial and digital departments of Adshel. He then joined FutureBrand as a brand strategist and held senior management roles in strategy at the Dentsu Aegis Network and McCann Worldgroup.
Wanting to pursue the kind of work he feels makes a difference, Ron founded his own consultancy to advise clients about transformative growth.
Over the years, Ron has been collaborating with PUSH across a variety of projects, both as part of the strategy team and as a client while chief customer officer at Ilume, a ground-breaking start-up dedicated to dogs' nutrition and health.
He approaches his work with equal measures of curiosity and skepticism, and prefers working with clients rather than hanging a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on his door.
Before discovering advertising in the early nineties, Gerard worked as a labourer, a farmhand, a gravedigger, and a window dresser.
Those first experiences of working life and his deep belief in social justice helped shape his approach to branding and advertising. He feels a responsibility to create communications that respect consumers’ time and intelligence, and to help brands be ethical advertisers and good corporate citizens.
Gerard has worked as a writer at McCann Erickson, Mojo and Leo Burnett, and as associate creative director at Samuelson Talbot & Partners and M&C Saatchi. Since 2007, he’s been consulting directly to companies and NGOs as well as to ad and branding agencies.
At PUSH, he’s shown his versatility by working across clients and categories, and collaborated on everything from place branding to organisational purpose projects.
By advocating for consumers from concept to copy, he’s helping to build stronger, more trusted brands for our clients.
Dr Phil moved to Australia from the UK with a doctorate in anatomical neuropharmacology from Oxford – or put another way, a PhD in neuroscience.
Having published academic articles in the Journal of Anatomy and Journal of Neuroscience, he lent his intellect to some of Australia’s best research companies and ad agencies.
Phil has worked in the strategy departments at Clemenger BBDO, Whybin TBWA and DDB, as Head of Research at Pollinate, and as Discipline Director at The Leading Edge.
At PUSH, he has applied his classic bricolage philosophy, blending and adapting a variety of qualitative and ethnographic research techniques to solve client problems across a variety of sectors – from public transport to higher education, financial services and philanthropy.
By using his idiosyncratic sense of humour to turn research settings into fun experiences, Phil gets people to drop their guard. And thanks to his fanatical obsession with what makes people tick, he’s able to identify fascinating connections and insights that translate into razor-sharp strategies.
Our core team includes strategists, researchers, designers, writers, and project managers. It draws on a network of senior collaborators who add specialist know-how. Here are some of the people making PUSH a true collective.
Shinhea once had a client who asked his fortuneteller if he should approve the colour she had recommended for his rebrand.
At that point, she could have easily returned to her original plan of becoming a Japanese language teacher (she’s qualified). Thankfully, she pursued her passion for design.
After six years at FutureBrand, Shinhea is now a regular collaborator with PUSH. She has worked on CareSuper, VMCH, and extensively on Perth Airport, where she helped develop the new visual identity system and implement brand experiences in both physical and digital spaces.
Her work for Air Tahiti Nui was a finalist at the AGDA awards in 2018, and her work for Fiji Airways the winner of Rebrand 100’s ‘Best Of’ Global award in 2014.
Shinhea has a ritual of seeking out beauty in the everyday, and it’s that practice, that way of seeing things anew, that informs her design aesthetic, and enables her to present a fresh perspective for our clients.
Cultural Insights and Trends Analyst
Madonna is a distinguished researcher, strategist and reporter – who just happens to be followed by Barack Obama on Twitter.
Australian by birth, she spent ten years in the strategy departments of some of London’s top advertising agencies, including six years as Head of Information for the Leo Burnett Group.
In 2007, she moved to New York and began working in investigative news research at Fox News and The New York Times. She covered the Obama election, the collapse of the global financial system, and infamous news stories including the death of Michael Jackson, and the Spitzer sex scandal.
Returning to Adland, she headed up business intelligence globally for Ogilvy & Mather before being headhunted to establish another world-class intelligence department for Deutsch in Los Angeles.
Now Madonna is back in Melbourne and is a regular collaborator at PUSH – bringing her renowned finger on the pulse, business savvy, and intellectual curiosity to the table.
Senior Finished Artist
You could call Andrew a digital native. Back in 1986, at the age of just 16, he was one of a small group of graphic designers learning how to use the first Macintosh computers brought into Australia – and he’s been performing magic with them ever since.
Andrew spent 17 years at FutureBrand, where he rose to become Head of Artwork and Production. Since then, he has run a successful freelance business winning multiple awards along the way, and has been a close collaborator of PUSH from day one.
Throughout his career, he’s worked on many high profile brands including ANZ, NAB, AFL, and Cricket Australia. And his work on the Sydney Olympic Games is legendary: in the final days of the project, after already working 24 hours straight multiple times, he worked 46 hours without a break to meet the deadline.
If you’re a lawn bowler and come up against Andrew at the annual Victorian and Australian Opens where he competes, that’s the kind of commitment and determination you’ll be up against.
When John started working in IT, the Internet didn’t exist, portable computers weighed 15 kilos, and fax machines were all the rage. That was in the eighties, and with a background in electronic engineering, John gravitated towards IT – just as personal computers were taking off.
Since then, he has witnessed and implemented IT innovations that have transformed the way companies work, from desktop publishing to fibre optics, and video services to remote access.
John’s broad experience, understanding of business process, and sensible, pragmatic approach have all been vital for PUSH from day one.
The systems he has implemented here enable us to do what we do. In fact, without John, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
MASS aims to re-align technology with humanity’s best interests. They bring this aim to life by designing beautiful, functional digital products and experiences. Their culture merges free-thinking with exacting standards – always designing with the end user in mind.
It’s a powerful way of applying technology to solving human problems. And being design-led means selecting the best possible solution to each project, free of constraints and bias.
Team members bring their big agency experience to demystifying the design process and enjoy working directly with clients. Using a tool called Figma is a good example: their UI work can be viewed in a browser by anyone at any time.
MASS does its own usability testing, has a deep understanding of production, and brings the studio’s group intelligence to every project.
They have brought their flexible, human-centric approach to many projects with PUSH including Netwealth, CareSuper, EstimateOne and IDP.
Writer and Creative Director, Brand Voice
Pete helps complex brands make sense to busy people. Often the very people working for them. How? By teaming with strategists to bring their work to life through engaging ideas.
Brands also need a unique voice to spark a narrative in a shouty world. Pete is one of Australia’s few verbal identity specialists: creating a brand’s language then training brand teams and their agencies to own and speak it – in every media.
He’s held creative director roles in Australia, Europe and Asia, and his work has won international awards spanning every major category. He has worked on both verbal identities and creative campaigns for a very wide range of clients with PUSH.
Pete escapes the wordy world of branding underwater. He spearfishes, captained the first ever Australian Freediving Team and can cook you a lobster at least ten ways. Back on land, he’s also co-founder of a property tech start-up named SpaceBook, and a start-up human named Marlon.
Collaboriamo is a team of specialists in community design.
Drawing from the disciplines of service design and business innovation, Collaboriamo works with clients to design communities – of customers, suppliers or employees – which bring people together and facilitate the generation of shared value.
It was set up in Milan in 2013 by Marta Mainieri, a pioneer in the field of community design, and equally renowned as a consultant and as a published thought leader.
The team has built its methodology in collaboration with researchers from Milan Politecnico’s Desis Lab and Università Cattolica’s Trialab. Today such methodology forms the basis for both consulting and training aimed at organisations and professionals who believe in a more open and participatory approach to business strategies.
PUSH and Collaboriamo’s partnership revolves around the pivotal role that brand positioning plays in inspiring people to join a community and in informing the design of activities, rituals, incentives and touch points.
GRAMM is a multi-disciplined animation and motion graphics studio that crafts wonder – the spark we feel as kids, impelling our feet to creep closer. The sensation stretching our minds to dream wilder and question what we know.
The GRAMM team is fuelled by curiosity: a sense of infinite possibility keeps them exploring, making and breaking – because ideas aren't just found, they’re built.
Their work has been seen in television commercials, social media campaigns, virtual reality experiences, and motion branding solutions – often created in collaboration with PUSH.
Mike and Mali lead the team, drawing on their respective animation and design backgrounds. Combined strengths in traditional cell animation techniques and modern 2D and 3D animation formats gives GRAMM a diverse range of tools to tackle any challenge.
With a strong emphasis on animation as a craft, GRAMM is known for its creative solutions, and tailor-made approach to working on major campaigns for big brands.
Qualitative Market Researcher
Helen is a seasoned qualitative researcher who has researched just about everything from telecommunications in Portugal, to mobile gaming in Shanghai. She came home to Australia in 2015 after nearly a decade in qualitative research in London. There she led complex, multi-country projects for brands such as Vodafone, Sony PlayStation, Tesco Bank, UBS, and Barclays.
Since then, Helen has travelled extensively across Australia conducting qualitative fieldwork and satisfying her own curiosity. Endless vagabonding and conversations with strangers feed her deep interest in the economic and cultural influences changing the way Australians live, and aspire to.
Personable and creative but commercially-focused on the business issues behind a marketing challenge, Helen enjoys putting together a strong story that’s honest, on point, and a joy to read and absorb.
Helen has completed the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice (UK) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
Samplify creates music and sound design for film, television, games, and digital media. The award-winning Melbourne based music production house also develops bespoke sonic branding for some of the world's biggest brands and events.
Their creativity draws on deep experience and sensitivity to how audio influences individuals, environments, and occasions. The Samplify team is passionate about exploring instrumentation, music diversity and sonic possibility to make everything sound fresh and on-brand.
With decades of experience in London and Melbourne, they’ve learned how to use music and sound design to create a memorable emotional connection between a brand and its audience. The sonic identities of Melbourne’s train network, Macquarie University, AFLW, and HCF are among the many collaborations with their friends at PUSH.
When not collaborating with clients, this group of artists also love to work on personal compositions and projects. Driven by curiosity, they strive for new ways to present sounds and music people haven't heard before.
Experience Driven Design Consultancy
As an experience driven retail design agency, E2 creates environments that elevate our senses into excitement. They cultivate ideas, emotions and memories that become deeply ingrained within the human psyche. These brief moments of engagement transform into enduring relationships between consumers and the brand.
E2 works to maximise strategic insights in order to create immersive environments for many of Australia’s biggest brands across retail, exhibition and museum experiences.
Their work has launched iconic Australian brand R.M. Williams stores around the world and made The Australian Music Vault the most visited museum experience in the country.
E2’s driving passion is launching the next generation of consumer interaction. And doing so in as fresh and unexpected way as possible.