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Brandwave-logo-6.png |Business Design | november '14
With the business climate deteriorating, how can you ensure that you're running your business to optimum efficiency?

Adrian Gundy, senior executive for innovation, Centre for Competitiveness (CforC), replies:


" In the current economic climate, innovation is more important than ever as it can result in significant efficiency gains as well as new markets and new revenue streams. There is the temptation in a difficult business environment to cut spending on innovation. However, this is often counterproductive.
Innovation means finding new and better ways of doing things to support business improvement and growth. A process of ongoing, planned innovation is vital.

Know your own business.
The first step to becoming more innovative is to gain a picture of your current business performance in order to understand your strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to prioritise the areas of your business on which your efforts should be focused.
There are a number of ways of benchmarking your business performance. The most widely used business improvement and planning tool in Europe is the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model. Thousands of businesses across Europe use the EFQM Excellence Model to continually monitor and improve their business in a planned and strategic way. The benefits of using the tool are well accepted and I would encourage businesses of all shapes and sizes to take advantage of its potential.

Know your business environment.
It is also vital that you scan the business landscape for innovation opportunities — know your marketplace, know your customers and continually monitor both. If you know your customers and the marketplace better than your competitors, the likelihood is that you will become aware of opportunities to develop new products or services, or to expand your products or services before they do.

Create an innovation culture.
It is those businesses that develop innovation policies and strategies and integrate them into their organisation's strategy that become the most innovative. They then empower and educate their people so that innovation becomes second nature".

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A new frontier
Brandcell announces its partnership with Livework, a global firm pioneer in service design. This partnership adds value by providing a more holistic consulting service that spans from understanding the value proposition till delivering it in a seamless way “in & out” of the organization i.e. bridging the traditional gap of both inside-out versus outside-in perspectives.

image credit: flywheel

While we often hear about innovations in technology, we hear less about innovations in the consumer industry. Why? It comprises more than 20 percent of the U.S. economy, and touches nearly every aspect of our lives, influencing what we eat, wear, and increasingly, reflecting what we believe. (I believe in sustainability, therefore I buy from sustainable brands.)

Good companies create products. Great companies create identities. We work with consumer companies day in and day out at CircleUp -- we've reviewed more than 4,500 in the past two years alone -- and we're excited to share some of the amazing things they're doing, from pioneering new categories to re-imagining new industries. 

After receiving more than 200 expert nominations we got to work selecting the winners -- 25 of the most innovative consumer product and retail companies in the world. We included both small companies and large -- because neither has a monopoly on innovation.

image credit: Shake Shack

1. Shake Shack
Why? For dispelling the belief that fast food has to be pre-cooked.  

2. Blue Buffalo
Why? For setting a new standard in healthy dog and cat food.

3.Corsair Distillery
Why? For defining a new standard of quality and taste with its small batch, ultra-premium whiskey.

4. Everlane
Why? For promoting radical transparency in its manufacturing standards and helping cement social good as a value for startup clothing companies.

image credit: Poler

5. Poler
Why? For supplying and clothing the explorer in all of us.  

6. Patagonia
Why? For innovation that results in extraordinary brand loyalty.

7. Tory Burch
Why? For weaving sensibility into style, and never letting growth compromise authenticity.

image credit: blue bottle coffee

8. Blue Bottle Coffee
Why? For attempting to upend Starbucks’ market domination by choosing quality over quantity, with no compromises.

9. Pressed Juicery
Why? For cutting through the confusion and condescension of health trends.  

10. FitBit
Why? For leading the small but growing wearables market, and getting office workers everywhere to ask, “What’s your number?”
11. TRX
Why? For re-imagining how, where and why we workout.
12. Flywheel
Why? For making indoor cycling epic.

image credit: NatureBox
13. NatureBox
Why? For marrying food with tech to make healthy eating easy, affordable and delicious.
14. ThinkThin
Why? For fueling a healthy, energetic lifestyle, and making it taste darn good too!
15. Hampton Creek
Why? For asking, “Why not?”, and innovating a fundamentally new way of food production that’s better for humans and animals alike
16. Justin's
Why? For never compromising on quality, and mixing community and sustainability into every product it makes.
17. Aden + Anais
Why? For simplifying the lives of parents and caregivers, and making beautiful products that keep babies safer and more comfortable.  

image credit: GoldieBlox
18. GoldieBlox
Why? For re-imagining toys, and inspiring a new generation of female engineers.        
19. DreamDry
Why? For creating the premiere destination for blowouts in NYC, helping women make every day glamorous.
20. Too Faced Cosmetics
Why? For developing a chic line of fashion-forward cosmetics.

21. Sweetgreen
Why? For providing a fusion of tasty food and sustainable design to those living a healthy lifestyle.

22. Asian Box
Why? For bridging the gap between fast casual and your favorite neighborhood joint -- all while using ultra-fresh and sustainable ingredients.
23. Serena & Lily
Why? For transforming the home-decor industry, starting with the nursery.

image credit: Paper Source

24. Paper Source
Why? For inspiring us to “Do Something Creative Every Day,” and bringing out the artist in all of us.

25. Ancient Harvest
Why? For introducing the U.S. consumer to quinoa and other innovative ancient grains, way back in 1983.

Read full article via Entrepreneur
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The service design hothouse was undertaken to address challenges to the bank's Hey! Adoption campaign. The primary challenge was the regulatory requirement for new customers to open a BLC account before they could use Hey! This required new customers to visit a branch and complete full account paperwork


Our goal was to either find a way to avoid this barrier to adoption or to design the experience to be a positive aspect of Hey!

Service Design, from insight to implementation
by Andy Polaine, Ben Reason and Lavrans Løvlie
Service Design is an eminently practical guide to designing services that work for people. It offers powerful insights, methods, and case studies to help you design, implement, and measure multichannel service experiences with greater impact for customers, businesses, and society.

1. Question
Don't just ask the obvious questions. Look deeper and don't be afraid to rethink basic fundamentals about your business and products.

2. Care
Caring doesn't just mean giving great customer service. Get to know your customers as intimately as possible.

3. Connect
Find ways to bring together concepts, people, and products.

4. Commit
Give form to your idea as quickly as possible: create a prototype and begin testing it right away. 


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