Creating value for the people you are designing for is at the core of the design profession. Many managers think design is about style, form and colour, while for a professional designer the “look and the feel” of the product is the end result of a process. This process is driven by a quest to solve a challenge or delivering meaning for an end-user. The growing interest in design thinking among managers is a start of changing their understanding of what design has to offer. They have started to see that designer’s way of approaching a challenge, lead to novel concepts and ideas that inspires the users to engage with their company.
However, there are pitfalls in design as well. Herbert Simon’s description of design is “how things ought to be”. Indicating that it is about something “new” and “future-oriented”. When developing a brand this “new” is important to invigorate the brand, however, a new direction could be potential harmful if it is not aligned with the expectation’s users have of a brand. Questions concerning brand management and marketing, were seldom discussed when I was an industrial design student. Which for me led to 15 years project trying to change the field of design. Resulting in a PhD at the Oslo School of Architecture and later the book «Branding and Product Design: An Integrated perspective» published by Gower (now Routledge) in 2013.
“Marketers often find designers wanting to make things in ways that do not reflect the brand's position and heritage. Designers on the other hand wish to push the boundaries, shape markets and take the brand to places new. Ultimately both functions are partially right - but both need one another to ensure new product success. Branding and Product Design: An Integrated Perspective is the first book to speak to both audiences.”
- Review by Michael Beverland, Professor in Brand Management, RMIT University
To continue the quest of bringing design-driven innovation into brand management. Brand Valley was founded in London and Oslo. The mission is to instil design leadership in organisations to empower them to become brands. Brand Valley is established in close collaboration with a global network of leading researchers and practitioners in management, branding, design and innovation.
If you share our passion for design leadership and branding, have a need or a desire to learn more about these issue. Please get in touch.
Best Monika Hestad
+47 93 20 17 95
Founder, Industrial designer
+47 93 20 17 95
PhD in branding and design and Master of Industrial Design degree from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)
Associate lecturer at MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins
Author of Branding and Product Design (A Gower book by Routledge, 2013)
Anders Groenli has a BA in organisational psychology and political science from the University of Oslo and an MSc in global security from Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He has previously worked for the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a policy adviser in the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget), as a project manager for the European Commission and run his own consultancy with projects on three continents. After relocating to the UK in 2009 he spent three years in the consulting engineering company Arup advising clients globally on security strategy and planning.
He currently works on strategic security risk management for a Norwegian Government institution, in addition to being a non-executive director at Brand Valley
Chairman of the board
Photo: Phillip Reitsperger, intern at Brand Valley 2014