Max SmallBrand Marketing Executive with a history of increasing revenue by rebuilding and developing new brands through high-impact integrated marketing and new product programs. Excels in analyzing businesses and industries, identifying insights and opportunities, as well as developing strategies and plans that drive results. Significant experience in defining, redefining, enhancing, and protecting brands. A creative problem solver who draws on a diverse, multi-industry consumer and B2B background to apply best practices from a variety of markets. A versatile leader, inspiring teams to create connections between brands and consumers that inspire advocacy and loyalty to drive sales.

Latest From The Blog

Latest News!

Case Studies

Books, Articles, Research, Websites I’ve found to be helpful.

This Case Study is an overview of a much larger undertaking that included Sociologists, Anthropologists, Linguists, Architects, Interior Designers and Industrial Designers. The case study contains highlights but is not all inclusive of the much larger Ethnography results.

Learn More

This Case Study covers a small portion of a much larger undertaking, that included a cross functional team of sales, operations, marketing, IT, customer service and finance. This is only a few highlights of the much bigger project.

Learn More

This Case Study covers a small portion of a much larger undertaking, that included a cross functional team of sales, operations, marketing, IT, customer service and finance. This is only a few highlights of the much bigger project.

Learn More
More Stuff!

Brands I’ve Known

What Others Are Saying…

I’ve known Max for over 10 years and we’ve collaborated on many projects during that time, including in helping drive a successful turn-around brand strategy for the Klean-Strip Automotive business. Our collaboration began when Max was tasked with rebuilding a declining automotive business within a tight timeline. He had a keen since for the direction the business should go and we worked together to execute marketing research and develop a new brand architecture and position. Together we developed and rolled out the new strategy in a six-month time frame moving the business toward double-digit growth in the first year. His work was always well executed, but in order to ensure that the launch was flawless and on time, he took the extra steps to ensure that both the internal and external teams were aligned and focused on the task at hand. Max has a strong understanding of the strategic importance of aligning internal teams and external agencies to create the most successful outcome possible. The result from the Automotive Business turn-around is the proof!

Michael was a consultant or contractor to Max at Barr Brands International – Klean-Strip Automotive Group

Michael Lafortezza - Owner, LAM Design
I have known Max Ruckman professionally for over 9 years, since joining WM Barr in a Regional Sales Manager role. Max is a very detailed, knowledgeable and energetic individual that helped lead our organization to significant growth. He has a three dimensional view of the internal business goals/strategies and external market dynamics, which enables him to formulate a plan for growth and success. These qualities were a significant contributor to doubling sales and increasing profits over a 5-year period. Max is very team oriented and always looks for input and understanding from all groups involved in the decision making process. Max is a joy to work with using humor and logic to approach difficult situations, allowing all involved to be more comfortable and open to add input and draw consensus. Max is a capable leader with extensive marketing knowledge and the ability to draw teams together, driving an organization toward sales growth and increased profitability.

Mario worked directly with Max at Barr Brands International – Klean-Strip Automotive Group

Mario McGhee - Director of Sales, Klean-Strip Automotive
I have known Max for 17 years. I originally hired him to be Senior Product Manager for the Titan Brand of Door Hardware. Max is a strong product and brand marketer with a strategic approach to business. Max led the strategic development and brand overhaul to reinvigorate the Society Brass Collection by connecting the brand with consumers and ensuring that the brand basics for both consumer and retail were on target and compelling. This resulted in sales growth of over 500% in the first two years. Max was also instrumental in the analysis of several partnerships and potential acquisitions. I found Max to inspire collaboration across all functional disciplines in my time at Black & Decker and consider him a friend. Max would be very capable running a business of any size and has an exceptional leadership and management style with his peers and direct reports. Max is “insights driven” and has the can do attitude to accomplish wide-ranging strategic initiatives. He made a difference in the future of our business.

Vicki managed Max at Black & Decker HHI – Society Brass Designer Hardware

Vicki Silver - Chief Marketing Officer, Feld Entertainment
I worked with Max at Barr Brands International for five years. During that time, I watched him lead the development and implementation of a new automotive business unit strategy and brand repositioning that increased sales by over 150% and turned around the fortunes of a business that had been in decline for many years. In additional to delivering successful sales and gross margin improvements, he built a successful cross-functional team that delivered the highest business unit operating income in the organization. Max has a keen ability to assess markets and develop plans that lead to success. His strong grasp of strategic planning and brand marketing allows him to approach business opportunities from a different perspective, creating effective brand strategies that can cut through the competitive sameness to steal market share. Max would be an asset to any company looking for step function growth, and I have only optimistic predictions for his career in the future.

Timothy worked with Max at Barr Brands International – Klean-Strip Automotive Group

Tim Whelan - Brand Marketing and New Product Development Director, The Hunter Fan Company
I was the general manager at Gibson’s bass division while Max was the Sr. Product Manager. He is an excellent brand strategist with implementable ideas. His understanding of positioning, pricing and distribution were essential to our successful financial turnaround. For instance, Max used a detailed competitive analysis of over 100 electric bass brands to define distinct marketing positions for each of our three brands. He then led re-development of our product lines to fill good-better-best gaps in each line, re-priced the products competitively while better matching the brand positioning, and developed new advertising campaigns for each brand. He also extended distribution to numerous new dealers.

Greg managed Max at Gibson Guitar – Tobias, Steinberger and Gibson Basses

Greg Whiting - Product Creation and Launch

Learn More About Max