Looking back to move forward: The big themes from 2017, and what’s ahead


Looking back to move forward: The big themes from 2017, and what’s ahead.

We had an amazing year here at DDW. In addition to several really cool start-ups, our client roster now includes a range of big, legacy brands like Energizer Batteries, Kingsford Charcoal (Clorox), Tazo Tea (formerly Starbucks; now Unilver), Pup Peroni Dog Treats (Smuckers), Michelob ULTRA (AB Inbev), and Campbell’s Red & White Soups, among others.

Breathing New Life Into Big Brands

What makes each of these assignments really interesting for us are the common challenges faced by all of them.

  • Many of the big brands are losing market share presenting huge challenges to CPG marketers. How do we signal to today’s discerning consumer that we are relevant, modern and innovative while maintaining core brand equities?
  • How do we breathe new life into an older brand’s story when consumers think they already know everything there is to know about that brand?
  • How do we extend a legacy brand’s core equities into new product offerings that address emerging consumer trends and needs?

We have lots of exciting work going on here that we hope to share in the months ahead.

Restoring The Human Touch

This past year was, once again, focused on the many ways technology has consumed our lives, from politics to pizza. And while the new technology in our lives is mostly a good thing, we’re sensing that for many of us, there’s increasingly a piece that’s missing.  Somehow as our lives become more digital, we’re longing more for what’s human.

Many of our clients are tapping into this and building the human touch into every aspect of their business. They’re working to create deeper relationships with their customers, putting service at the heart of their propositions, engaging in more human peer-to-peer conversations, and establishing trust through transparency and ethical behavior.

They also see packaging as the one off-line experience that allows people to unplug from the digital world and connect with a brand in a sensory way – to spend more time on tactile moments, to appreciate the unique craft of the physical object, and to experience the brand’s story in three dimensions.

In 2018, technology will continue to transform how brands engage with consumers.  But for us, the human touch provided by well-crafted package design will continue to reign supreme.

Brand Storytelling

All of our clients share our belief in the power of brand storytelling.  Some clients engage us to create a strategic brand story platform from scratch.  Others come to us with a strategic platform in place but need an extra “push” to turn an analytically correct strategy into something that’s magical.

Time and time again, the DDW strategy team comes to the rescue with their unique blend of insightful analysis and creative storytelling to form the meaningful catalyst for our team of designers.

This strategic ignition has proven to be an extremely efficient guide for our clients and our design team throughout the process.  On Energizer, for example, as we navigate our way through over 900 SKUs and multiple categories, we realize that without a strong brand story, our efforts would be in vain.

The Year Ahead Looks Bright

We’re excited about the year ahead and look forward to continued learning, evolution, and success. We absolutely love our offices in Sausalito and apparently so do our clients. It’s proven to be a stimulating environment for our brand workshops.  And when the day is done, we seem to move across the street to our “other” conference room – The Seahorse, a favorite Sausalito watering hole that’s become the go-to agency bar.

Please come visit in 2018!