Strategy Director

Matter Of Form

James Lees




Smarter than he dresses, James heads up Matter Of Form’s strategy department and spends his time destroying clichés and enforcing a ban on bland branding. Always armed with a pen and something sharp to say, James is a natural storyteller with an innate ability to create a lot from very little. 




James has spent his entire career in brand consulting and innovation, starting out as a Strategist & Copywriter at Christian Barnett & Co. which became Sword & Stone in 2015. Housed inside Foolproof (a global leader in experience design), James’ work – which included defining Remy Martin’s North American audiences, a global repositioning of The Powerpuff Girls (niche, we know) and product and service innovation for the likes of Mastercard and Shell – has made him a firm advocate for the value in harmonising brand and experience thinking.


In 2015, James founded Group Think, a monthly meet-up for strategists in London to network and develop. Born from the belief that there’s not enough going on for the strategy community (mainly because they never switch off), the community is now at +2500 members globally, hosting over 25 events a year across a wide range of specialisms. 


As Strategy Director, James blends classic brand strategy and CX thinking to lead MOF’s Strategy team in everything from rebranding Wilderness, Africa’s largest conservation tourism company, or redefining the future of hospitality on THE LINE to pushing forward human progress by crafting purpose with Zaha Hadid Architects. They’re a force to be reckoned with.


Off the clock – from both MOF and Group Think – James can be found showing Shoreditch’s best pubs to the rest of the team or grilling something on the BBQ.



Expert in These Subjects

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Architecture
  • NPD
  • Workshop Design & Facilitation
  • Qualitative Research



Expert in These Subjects

All his swimming badges