Traditionally, the product is made first and then the brand management is set in action. In Brand Valley, we seek to integrate these two aspects.
— Monika Hestad, founder of Brand Valley

Many entrepreneurs find an inspirational book or a quote that becomes the starting point of their business. The founder of Brand Valley, Dr. Monika Hestad, read several books both within innovation, design and branding, but none that brough these perspectives together. This was the starting point of a long journey where she met designers and marketeers in within the industry that all shared their perspectives on how the product and product design could build a strong brand. In 2013 her book «Branding and Product Design: An Integrated perspective» was published by Gower (now Routledge).

According to professor Michael Beverland, Professor in Brand Management, RMIT University this was the first book world wide that brought the perspectives of marketeers and designers together:

“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

In her research, Hestad saw the wide gap between marketing and product development and innovation process and wanted to bring them closer together. Key in closing this gap is involving people through design thinking in development process. Hence, Brand Valley was founded in London in January 2014 with the mission of help companies collaborate in the innovation process to build meaningful brands. A short year after, she established the Oslo department in close collaboration with a global network of leading researchers and practitioners in branding, design and innovation.



Founder, Industrial designer
+47 93 20 17 95

Monika Hestad

When I was an industrial design student at Oslo School of Architecture and Design I started to ask questions about the branded context the product was part of. When designing a car, we are designing a feeling of Renault or an Audi, not just a car with functionality and ergonomic features. However, in the literature there were little about how I as a designer should work to strengthen the brand in my design. This led to 15 years of research and exploration into the field of design, innovation and branding. 

My passion for learning more was also the reason why I chose to establish Brand Valley. Working on consultancy projects is rewarding as this is how theories developed can become a reality and in helping companies in their journey of developing stronger brands based on products and services that matter to people. 

  • 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)


Organisational psychologist
+47 45 21 96 96

Ihna Stallemo

Through my experience within the public sector, NGOs, start-ups and a political career I have been curious on how decision making and involvement of employees affect individual creativity and organisational culture.

My interest in innovation culture began when I understood how essential leadership and organisational culture is to make sustainable progress. During my MSc in Leadership and Organizational Psychology my interest grew further to how to make people creative. Allowing creativity has shown to increase the ability of innovation, but also strengthen employees’ satisfaction at work. Thus, an innovation strategy on top of this can strengthen the companies’ brand. With Brand Valley, I had the opportunity to combine these interests of educating on individual creativity with developing innovation culture strategy.

  • MSc in Leadership and Organizational Psychology at BI Norwegian Business School

  • BSc in Business Administration and Management from HiOA (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)

  • Annual year in Societal Safety from UiT (University of Tromsø)

  • Subjects in Environmental Science and Chemistry from UiO (University of Oslo)

  • Semester in Social Entrepreneurship through UiO and UCT (University of Cape Town)


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

Anders Grønli

Chairman of the board

Photo: Phillip Reitsperger, intern at Brand Valley 2014