Meaningful differentiation strategies

By Benito Opitz

That society has become more critical over the last few years is not just a marketing ploy. We are constantly confronted with new examples of how user demands are increasingly specific and hold ever more sway over brands.
Within this article, I will outline two strategies that help brands to deal with the increasing potential for criticism. The secret lies in a higher, more meaningful form of differentiation than we have known in the field of marketing so far. A new form of differentiation that makes brands so meaningful that they might be protected against the hysterical form of social criticism that we observe regularly in the digital age.

Your Design Sprint is Actually a Relay Race

By Jack Mitchell

“We work in Design Sprints.” We’ve all heard it, some of us have said it, for others, it’s on the horizon. The ‘made famous by Google Ventures,’ originally product-oriented working method has made waves across a number of industries as people everywhere refine and repurpose it to meet their needs in product, strategy, and even company culture. Unfortunately, it now also belongs to the most vilified cohort of words in the English language and, increasingly, many others: the buzzwords.

Survival of the Relevant: The Evolution of Brand Governance

By Rupali Steinmeyer

Even at the risk of sounding somewhat polarizing, there is truth to the argument that brands are in a state of paradoxical crisis. The possibility of becoming irrelevant and disappearing is real in this competitive world. Many brands have already been negatively impacted. Some have seen their intrinsic value erode. Others have seen dwindling customers. Several have even folded. And while some manage to work their way back to success, they remain few and far between.

Finding the Right Story

An Interview with Steven Cook

Steven Cook, who joined MetaDesign Berlin as Head of User Experience in April, in conversation with Linus Lütcke about the challenges of digital transformation, his advice to brands and how he sees MetaDesign’s role in the future.

The Human in the Center

An Interview with Diana Brix

What constitutes a good consultant-client relationship? And how to react in times of a crisis? Diana Brix, client partner at MetaDesign Berlin, discusses these and other topics in a conversation with Linus Lütcke.

Design Is Future

By André Stauffer

Imagine your MacBook with an engraved banana. Or your Mercedes with a shiny crescent moon. And imagine Coca-Cola old and grumpy. Slightly irritating ideas, aren’t they? These alone prove what design is able to do to us. And furthermore, that design not only supports the success of a brand but makes it happen in the first place.

Goliath Gives David a Lift

By John Winkleman

Reports of scandals and missteps at Uber over the last several months have been prolific. Allegations of sexual harassment, the theft of trade secrets, and regulatory obstruction, plus the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick, created a sense of never-ending drama for the company and clouded perceptions of the brand.

America (TM)

By Hozy Rossi

Rupali Steinmeyer recently left Berlin to take the role of managing director of MetaDesign San Francisco. Her arrival comes at an interesting time in U.S. history, to say the least. In this conversation with Hozy Rossi, she looks at the country past and present from her perspective as a branding expert.

The Challenge to Design Business

By Arne Brekenfeld

If you talk about design in Germany, you’ll find a very one-dimensional way of seeing things. To put it crudely, the general perception is still that design is about “making things look nice“ or “polishing the surface.“ Using design to impact innovation and transformation processes, as well as brand development, is not yet widely recognized. Even though the quality of German design is exceptionally high and there’s a strong design tradition dating back to the Bauhaus school almost a century ago, Germans often underestimate the potential of design.

The Startup Brand

By Hozy Rossi 

It’s been nearly a decade since MetaDesign San Francisco created the iconic 23andMe brand. The project helped establish our reputation with startups, and prompted other entrepreneurs to reach out to us. Andy Giles, VP of client engagement in San Francisco, sits down with Hozy Rossi to discuss what makes working with startups different, and to offer some practical advice for entrepreneurs.