Design Strategy

Boots the Chemist | I worked with the London brand strategy firm Brandsmiths, to help them create and test a new strategic offer, that elevated product design in their client’s brand strategy. Boots, as an existing client of Brandsmiths, was asked to evaluate the business value of the new service offer.

My role was to undertake some covert design research in Boots’ UK high street stores and to present a strategic business perspective, using findings from retail market research.

My conclusions were presented in a report, which clearly identified retail strategy opportunities for Boots. In my research I investigated the broader market threats surrounding Boots’ high street retail operation and helped identify potential own brand opportunities for consumer durables.

The report was considered insightful and appropriate, in the context of Brandsmith’s tight budget and short timescales. 

Report: Boots Own Brand – Design strategy opportunities

HSBC Bank, City of London | I led a small research team auditing Design Management within the bank’s operation across its marketing channelsRichard demonstrated a mature, diligent and responsive approach to the objectives of the audit, delivering a balanced approach to questioning existing practices and providing creative solutions. He was an excellent communicator, delivering clear and concise observations and recommendations, and proved to be a natural leader of the team.” Mark Dawson, Head of Marketing Operations, HSBC.

Report: HSBC Design Management Audit


Engine Service Design | I worked with Oliver King and Joe Heapy, to help the founding partners explore their business strategy and value proposition. This report was a qualitative research case study, exploring the emergence of Service Design as a new discipline, in the context of designing aspects of the Orange brand expression. This early research work helped Engine define and position their Service Design offer.

Report: The Strategic Vortex


Brunel University | My MA Dissertation explored 3 new ways to re-think design. The report offered a fresh perspective on how design can be better positioned, to play a more important role in companies who manage it strategically.

1/ How design, as innovative thinking process can contribute to business strategy.  2/ How to develop a brand experience strategy to engineer the ‘customer experience’ and reduce the risk of brand commoditisation.  3/How to initiate a new dialogue between business and design.


Research scope: business strategy and creative, strategic thinking theory, exploring underlying concepts and development. Design strategy – case study reviews. Interviewed academics, designers and management consultants, to test and validate my key findings against their knowledge and experience, working across market sectors.

Report: How can business better leverage the potential of design as a strategic management tool? 

My other design strategy reports include…

1/ New technology and it’s impact on Design.   2/ Innovators and adaptors  a study of a creative individual.   3/Apple  a study of key business strategy milestones, corporate culture, relationship with brand values, key external influences.   4/ Ericsson – Make Yourself Heard, a study exploring the past, present and future relationship of design & technology for Ericsson mobile communications in the years 1990 – 2010.   5/ Sony Aibo a study of Sony’s innovation and business strategy.