Design Bridge has taken a minority stake in newly formed brand development consultancy Illumination, as the first part of its drive to offer a deeper research capability.
The two groups have yet to finalise the details of their arrangement under the deal.
“We are separate groups. Design Bridge’s share in us is well under 50 per cent. But where it makes sense we will work on joint projects,” according to Illumination director Ruth Tobbell.
Design Bridge managing director David Rivett adds: “We will have to see how our relationship evolves. With some clients the two groups will probably work together very closely, and with others not at all,” he says.
Tobbell says the two-strong consultancy aims to develop clients’ brands, using research and marketing. She has set up the group with Phil Palmer.
Tobbell has a marketing background. She has worked for
Johnson & Johnson, SmithKline Beecham and Johnson Wax, where she was European brand manager. Most recently she worked as an executive director at public relations agency Life @ Lynne Franks.
Palmer has worked for Wickens Tutt Southgate and on various projects with Design Bridge. He set up qualitative research consultancy Palmer Research & Planning three years ago.
“We are about understanding the client and helping them identify strategic opportunities. If this entails new packaging we will look at that,” says Tobbell.
Growing Illumination is Tobbell’s key objective and she plans to recruit people with specialist research and fmcg marketing experience in the future.
Design Bridge’s Rivett says he has plans to further diversify the group geographically. He will not be any more specific at this stage.