Brian Richards and Julian Smith are leading the change at branding firm BRR. Photo / Brett Phibbs
It is a time of change for BRR, one of New Zealand’s leading branding companies, which started as a consultant Brian Richards in 1993 and was incorporated in 1999 as BRR .
It now has a strategic, design and digital offer with 20 employees and an average turnover of 3 to 5 million dollars over the last five years.
Owned by Brian and Brigitte Richards and Julian Smith, Brian Richards is in the process of handing over ownership to the younger members of the company headed by Smith. “As the oldest statesman, I will be free to do other things,” said Richards.
Richards has contributed to NZ Trade & Enterprise’s Better by Design program for the past seven years and continues to lead a coaching team in the BBD process and practice.
BRR’s team of strategists, writers, designers and digital developers seek to bring diverse thinkers to a project, “workshop” ideas with clients using a technique called Design Thinking. “The key is to think broadly with a diverse team and then very specifically about a brand or a project,” says Richards.
The consulting firm’s most recent success has been its project for the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, which was elected by “Brand New” – one of the world’s leading authorities on corporate brands – as one of the 12 best international projects of 2012.
Since 1999, BRR has created and developed world-class brands for New Zealand companies seeking to increase their international competitiveness.
“Orca, ZiwiPeak and Icebreaker are all companies that have worked closely with BRR from their inception to develop the brand and the history of the company,” says Smith.
Other BRR clients include local startups Pushpay and Teknique, as well as larger companies such as Turners & Growers, agrotech company Simcro and Vogel’s Cereal. The consultancy, which works internationally with clients such as Haworth Australia, the global manufacturer of office furniture, and Swiss concrete and aggregates company Holcim, also enjoys working with small and medium-sized businesses.
“About 40 to 50% of what we do now are startups. Four or five people on the North Shore, but with cutting edge technology, that’s what we like, ”says Richards.
The founder, who trained as a chartered accountant and studied commerce at INSEAD in France, believes in the performance of brands.
Since joining BRR after serving as Global Marketing Director at Orca in 2006, Smith has developed the company’s social media expertise. BRR recently created a new social media platform for Nikon New Zealand.
New technologies, smartphones and mobile devices of all kinds require continuous development and management of content, says Smith.
The company also works with industries and regions, and currently supports the avocado industry.
“We bring industries together – a lot of them don’t work together as well,” says Richards.
The founder will leave the company in three to five years.
“We are looking for other partners in the team. The key element we want is diversity of thought. We need a creative leader, someone who comes up, who has a great creative mind and who can help us. to balance.”
Meanwhile, Smith plans to expand the business. The “big” brands should receive a premium of at least 20 to 30 percent in the category in which they are traded, say the two directors.
“New Zealand has a great deal of intellectual property that can please the world. Our belief is that 80% of it is poorly stored, packaged and delivered to the market and is not getting the premium it deserves.” , said Smith.
Richards, meanwhile, would like to see more Maori heritage businesses.
Think about your brand from the outside to the inside. Create a set of four or five non-generic values for your brand.
Biggest commercial success: Rebranding Holcim, a company three times the size of Fonterra.