Canback is by now a well-recognized consulting firm in the sectors we serve. Not only do we serve the world’s most prestigious companies in consumer-facing industry, but we are often quoted in media for our knowledge of global markets. It has not always been like this though.
The idea for building a management consulting firm that leverages predictive analytics started in 2003. Staffan had received his doctorate and was traveling the world to present his findings and write articles. During a trip to Budapest to receive the 2002 EDAMBA first prize for best European doctoral dissertation, he started sketching out what the company could look like.
Later in 2003 he met Justin Dangel, a Boston-based entrepreneur with a background from Voter.com and the Red Sox buyout. Justin and Staffan decided to start a professional services company initially called Lime Street Investors (d.b.a. Canback Dangel). After a few false starts (including trying to make a major leveraged buyout), they started working full time in July 2004.
The first memo we wrote was to an executive at Gillette on July 27, 2004 so we consider this our start date. In this email we had already been talking about predicting product and category demand taking into multiple, disparate data sources, and using the embryonic C-GIDD as a foundation for our analyses. The memo led to our first project: understanding where the Russian regional markets were heading for Braun’s (a Gillette subsidiary) major categories. Soon thereafter Gillette was bought by Procter & Gamble and we started working with this gigantic company.
A major milestone happened in 2005. We started working with Kraft Foods on a project called “Cheese in China”: Will the Chinese ever eat cheese? In this project we pioneered the statistical pooling of many countries and the multi-functional approach to processing quantitative data using the Golder-Tellis model. The easy-to-remember project name made us somewhat famous. Over the next few years we worked extensively in the United States, Latin America, and China. A key contributor during those years was Frank D’Agnese.
Justin decided to leave in 2007 to start a new company called Consumer United which is America’s leading independent online insurance agency today. At this point we re-incorporated as Canback Dangel since the d.b.a. moniker was confusing (while a legal term, most clients did not understand why they paid Lime Street when Canback Dangel rendered the services).