EDR shifts strategy and position

Client advisory group EDR is to change its name and rethink its direction following the departure of founder partner Patrick Smith to an unnamed design consultancy at the end of the month.

London group Bosworth Field has been brought in to create a new identity for EDR, which will be renamed to take account of its increasingly international business. “We will tweak the name to reflect the fact that Europe is just a region,” says remaining partner Richard Watson.

Watson is acquiring all shares in the business, with a view to bringing in new partners, one of whom should be named next week. He plans to hire a third next year.

He is also talking to potential associates in New York and Malaysia to spread the agency internationally. EDR already has links with agencies in Germany, The Netherlands and Ireland.

Under the new name, EDR will continue to focus on corporate identity, retail design and branding and packaging, putting clients in touch with design groups. It will, however, look to bigger projects and brands. “We’re not going to actively chase small brands. We’re after big national or global brands,” says Watson.

Watson also plans to limit the design groups on EDR’s books to around 25. It has already upped annual fees for design groups from 4000 to 5000 to reflect the change in emphasis.

EDR was set up in 1992 by Watson, Smith and former Fitch director Rune Gustafson. Gustafson left in 1995 to join 20/20 Design and Strategy Consultants.

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