Applebaum is a brand identity firm specializing in name development, branding systems, and marketing communications. We have been helping clients create successful identities for new products, companies, and services since 1982.

Who We Are


The department you never knew you had.

At Applebaum, company principals work hands-on during all phases of the project. This is one of the things that makes Applebaum unique and contributes to the level of service, strategic focus, and creative energy we bring to each project.

Our combined talents create a formidable branding think tank that knows how to overcome challenges and produces great creative that is both inspired and targeted to meet objectives.

Applebaum Associates was founded in 1982 by Lila Applebaum when this visionary marketing consultant recognized the need for a specialized focus in developing marketing identities. Lila had gained invaluable experience at Lefkowith Inc., a corporate communications firm in New York, and decided to strike out on her own. Applebaum Associates developed into a tightly knit group of smart, dedicated professionals who work together as a team on every project. This successful formula is still employed today and Lila continues to contribute to every project.

Lynn Haviland — Managing Director
Lynn Haviland joined Applebaum Associates as Vice President and took over active leadership of the company in 1997. She is a recognized branding expert specializing in naming, verbal branding, strategic communications, and brand architecture. Her effectiveness as both a strategist and creative is built on extensive experience working with industry leaders for more than 25 years across a broad range of categories, including medical, technology, beauty, media, food, the arts, and more.

After graduating from Smith College with a BA in psychology and related studies in biology, Lynn began her professional career in neuroscience research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and several other prestigious institutions in New York and Rome. Her marketing communications career began as a medical writer at Ayerst Laboratories, Grey Advertising, and other agencies.

At Applebaum, Lynn began leading branding projects for Fortune 100 clients and naming such products as Nicoderm, PureLeaf, High Endurance, Norvir, Life Water, Navan, Zemplar, and many more. Other notable achievements at Applebaum include leading the team on challenging corporate identity projects for such giants as Johnson & Johnson and Time Inc., broadening the Applebaum portfolio of services to include all aspects of visual branding, and developing a small-business model that provides start-ups, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits with access to branding expertise and customized, scalable services.

Lynn’s expertise and insight inform every project, while her love of language, science, and the arts continue to be a source of inspiration for her work. She enthusiastically continues the Applebaum tradition of building lasting client relationships by meeting the specific needs of each project with a steadfast commitment to excellence.

Dirk Kammerzell — Creative Director
Dirk has been the strategic and creative lead for visual branding and design at Applebaum since 2007. A recognized expert in the field, Dirk lectures in brand identity at the School of Visual Arts and Parsons The New School for Design. His work has been featured in many publications and won numerous awards.

Educated in visual communication in Mainz, Germany, Dirk began his design career at Pentagram in London. He then joined Interbrand to develop and implement a new global brand identity and brand architecture for British Airways, and led other rebranding initiatives for Barclays Bank, IBM, and Marks & Spencer. From the Interbrand Amsterdam office, Dirk led the creative on branding GM Opel and PWC. He then went to Melbourne to start up Interbrand’s Australian creative offering. In 2002, Dirk moved to New York, initially to work with the Arnell Group on branding initiatives for Masterfoods, Reebok, Sun Microsystems, Pfizer, and Diageo. He is equally gifted at developing visual identities for start-ups and nonprofits as Fortune 100.

With the creative capabilities, vast experience, and leadership Dirk brings to Applebaum, clients have direct access to world-class talent and design services that work seamlessly with the verbal identity.

Michael Graetzer — Branding Strategist and Creative
Michael Graetzer is an established creative and branding strategist who brings disruptive ideas and a seasoned perspective to every project. As a copywriter for more than a decade with leading New York agencies, he has worked extensively on pharmaceutical brands, including a large number of oncology products. His most recent staff position was VP, Associate Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. The first half of his 20+ years of experience was in consumer and B2B advertising.

Michael holds degrees in physics and mathematics. He is also a musician and songwriter trained at Berklee College of Music. As a songwriter with a science background, Michael is the perfect fit for Applebaum. His facility with words and innate feel for the rhythm of language helps us provide clients with memorable names that move markets.

Vicky Forster — Branding Associate
Vicky Forster has been with Applebaum since 2000. Her impressive skills as a verbal branding creative reflect her flair for language and communication, fearlessly creative streak, and experience in musical theater and the arts.

Vicky graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA degree in Music and Theatre. Soon after, she pursued musical theater in NYC, working as an actress, singer and director. Later, she earned an MSW from New York University. As a member of the Applebaum team, Vicky brings intellect, enthusiasm, creativity, and psychological insight to every project and her efforts always find their way to the client’s “short list” of top names.

Jonathan Blunk — Branding Associate
Jonathan Blunk makes a formidable contribution to our team developing great names, verbal branding, and targeted communications. His creative spark and communication skills are grounded in a formal command of the rhythm and syntax of language.

Jon has a BA in English and Latin American Studies from Cornell University and an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. A published poet and nonfiction writer, his work has appeared in several well-known literary journals. He is the authorized biographer of the American poet James Wright, and a co-editor of A Wild Perfection, the poet’s selected letters.

With his passion for language and strategic thinking, Jon provides a winning combination for Applebaum and our clients.

Rachel Becker — Branding Associate
Rachel Becker, a recent graduate of Connecticut College with a background in sociology and research, brings valuable insights to every project. She also contributes in the areas of copy, editorial, and community management. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the Applebaum team, where she can use all of her skills and further her natural affinity for branding.