Patrick Cahill

Patrick has been conducting qualitative research and providing consultation on marketing issues for almost 30 years. He began his career at 2 boutique new product consultancies (Rand Levine and EBV).

In 1986, he was a founding member of Greenfield Consulting Group (now Firefly). At GCG Patrick served as Executive VP and Chief Creative Officer. In addition to project work, he lead the firm’s innovation and moderator training efforts.

While he started his career as a generalist—working on everything from financial services to toys to beverages—Patrick soon discovered that he was particularly well suited to the task of using qualitative research to craft positioning and innovation strategies. After 30 years of groups, Patrick has lots of “qual chops” but he still gets excited by the chance to develop new projective exercises and stimulus. 

Patrick started Brand Riffs, Inc. in 2004.  The vision for Brand Riffs was to provide a higher level of creativity in research execution, deeper insights, and ultimately a more consultative deliverable.

Patrick left NYC in 2010 and now lives on a farm in NY State’s Catskill Mountains. His interests include ranching, snowboarding, hunting and personal fitness.


Brad Martin

Senior Moderator and Qualitative Research Consultant

After 15 years of sitting in the client’s seat and leading Insights teams at PepsiCo, Hillshire Brands, Jim Beam Brands and Diageo, Brad truly understands the challenges faced by Insights professionals in today’s business world and what it takes to turn qualitative research into insights that matter and impactful implications that lead to business results. Brad’s insight into our clients’ world sets us apart from other qualitative researchers because we start with truly understanding the client’s issues and objectives and then apply research methods to solve them.

Now, as a highly engaged qualitative research moderator and Insights consultant with Brand Riffs, his consultative spirit, strategic mindset, and experience working with Marketing teams, CMOs, and CEOs alike make him a unique asset for our clients to tap into to deliver insightful, impactful, and results-oriented qualitative research and consultative services.

Brad has led an expansion of our qualitative research toolkit from strictly focusing on in-person research to leveraging online/mobile tools and technology.  Also, he has led creation of multi-stage research programs that provide cost effective options for our clients’ more strategic initiatives like brand re-positioning and developing innovation/new product pipelines.   


Brett Zinober

Senior Moderator

Brett has been conducting qualitative research for 20+ years. His work spans across a vast array of clients, categories, and brands. Prior to working at Brand Riffs, Brett was a top performing moderator at Greenfield Consulting Group / Firefly and Synovate/ IPSOS.

Brett’s bilingual capability (English/Spanish) has allowed him to work both domestically and internationally, with projects conducted in over 25 countries.

He believes that the most compelling brand insights are the ones based on the intersection of human truths and brand values.

Brett brings his balanced approach of active probing, deep listening/observation, and action oriented analysis to every project he conducts.


Derek Lizza

Project Manager 

As project manager Derek plays a critical role in the daily operations at Brand Riffs.  He handles project oversight and develops our proprietary research stimuli.  He is also responsible for Brand Riffs' internal marketing research, categorical reconnaissance, and trend analysis. Derek’s knack for technology has broadened our capabilities as we incorporate next-gen research methodologies into our standard practices.

Derek earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the State University of New York at New Paltz; an AACSB accredited School of Business. There, Derek was elected Vice President of the American Marketing Association. Through his work with the AMA, Derek was introduced to Patrick Cahill. 

Prior to his role at Brand Riffs, Derek worked with the Village of New Paltz as a marketing consultant.  He helped establish and promote a multitude of local initiatives that developed recognition among the broader community. 

Derek’s aptitude for information technologies, media design, and online communication platforms has proven indispensable as technology grows increasingly essential in marketing and in life.  


Sarah McEvily

Operations/Field Director

Sarah came to Brand Riffs with over ten years’ experience managing both qualitative and quantitative projects across various industries including media, sports/entertainment, CPG, travel, retail, and technology.

At Brand Riffs, Sarah is responsible for maintaining company procedures and practices, as well as overseeing project coordination across the company.  She supervises and executes all aspects of the recruiting / fielding process for Brand Riffs such as scheduling, screener development, and project management. 

Sarah previously worked as a Project Manager at other market research firms, and client companies such as ESPN.  She has developed marketing strategies using several different study designs.