About Spark

Who We Are

Spark Consulting Group serves as a catalyst for organizations seeking to better understand themselves and their customers. Helping organizations deliver on their brand promise and continue to meet evolving customer expectations. At the intersection of modern product management, customer centricity, and agile delivery, we provide a spark of clarity and inspire results. 

We help high performing teams to think big, move fast, and continuously improve in the areas of

  • Innovation

  • Design 

  • Strategy

  • Brand Experience

  • Product Management

  • Team Dynamics

What We Believe

What We Believe

We have moved from the Information Age to the Experience Age. Successful organizations will compete on experience, while navigating complex, adaptive systems. Providing valuable and meaningful experiences relies on customer insight and understanding. While companies need their customers more than customers need a particular company, most organizations struggle to meet customer expectations. Spark offers proven human-centered design and innovation practices that help companies compete in the experience economy. 

Don't confuse precision with accuracy. Spark helps organizations with accuracy and alignment.

Our Values

Spark Consulting Group is a values-based organization. Our values provide stability in a rapidly changing and chaotic world. These are the values that guide us:

Radical Candor

We embrace transparency, we care personally and we challenge directly. Why? Because we give a damn and we want our customers to succeed.  

Ethical Practice

We'll be upfront and honest with you, we'll let you know what we can and can't do to help, but most importantly, we are advocates for your customers. 

Perspective & Parallax

We work to explore and synthesize many perspectives, efficiently looking at things from multiple perspectives. We share our perspective, seek to understand your perspective, and work to understand the perspectives of our clients and their customers. 


Great improv is built on two powerful concepts:

  • Yes, and...

  • Declare and commit 


A Finnish term that means grit, determination, and resilience. Sisu helps drive us to continuously improve our practice and bring our best to each customer engagement. 





Spark is led by co-founder and Chief Catalyst, Matt Arnold. Matt has over 25 years of experience focused on brand strategy and human centered design. He has led successful, mission-critical projects for some of the world's top brands. He has built and led multiple design teams and can help your organization improve your design and brand outcomes.


He holds a BA in Communication Studies from The University of Iowa and an MS from Illinois State University. His research focused on computer-augmented group decision-making. Matt is a Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) and Certified Experience Analyst (CXA) through Human Factors International. He earned product management certification from the Pragmatic Institute. He has in-depth design thinking training from The Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design. Matt is a trained Strategic Doing practitioner, trained by Purdue University's Agile Strategy Lab. 

He is a proud resident of Iowa City, IA, where he lives with his awesome wife and their wonderful kids. 

More information about Matt can be found on LinkedIn

Endorsements & Praise

We love happy customers! Sometimes we share what they say about out us.

Helping one of Canada's top researchers improve team dynamics in their lab. 

"I have had the pleasure working with Matt. Matt helped us improve team work and communication dynamics in my lab. His thoughtful and pragmatic approach has helped improve team outcomes in our lab. His experience and perspective, combined with the bullseye model helped us improve productivity and quality as a team. As teams set out to accomplish important tasks and worthwhile goals, it's imperative that they have a shared framework to maximize productivity, quality, consensus, and satisfaction. The best ideas will struggle if the team struggles and Matt helps teams avoid those challenges to improve their collective output. Working with Matt has really helped me improve my skills as a team leader and has been very beneficial to the growth of my research team."


Martin Richer, PhD

Martin J. Richer Laboratory

McGill University 

Increasing value through customer-centricity. 


"At Synet, Matt brought to us an outstanding level of intellect, creativity and passion that really added to the value of the entire organization. He wore several hats while at the company and made really significant contributions to the way we looked at the communication process in our projects as change agents for some of the largest organizations in the country. I always found that Matt had a great way of viewing the entire process from the perspective of the audience/target which was a step above and beyond how the rest of us thought about it."

Bart Greenwood

COO Synet Service Company 

Chief Operating Officer, Outsell, LLC

Managing Partner SynetVentures, LLC

Alignment through brand clarity.

Matt kickstarted and managed the branding process for The UpTake, which has gone on to become a nationally-recognized citizen journalism non-profit. Matt led us through branding exercises that helped us define our identity, providing us with guideposts that continue to resonate with us.

Chuck Olsen


The UpTake

Spark Consulting Group, LLC.

136 S Dubuque St

Suite 2
Iowa City, Iowa 52240


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©2019 by Spark Consulting Group, LLC.