Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga, the newly merged global design consultancy, is expected to create a series of specialist centres of excellence at its offices around the world, and to establish a London base within the next six months.
Brandimage is formed by the equal merger of US design group Lipson Airport Glass & Associates with the long established Paris-based consultancy Desgrippes Gobé. It was put together earlier this year in a deal only formalised last Friday.
The new independently owned group, reportedly backed by US private equity group Thoma Cressey Bravo, will be headquartered in the US and will boast a combined turnover of £30m.
Desgrippes Gobé founder Joël Desgrippes has been named as chief creative officer of the group, while Laga chief executive Jim Barrett takes the role of Brandimage’s chief executive.
The group employs 300 staff, half from the Laga side of the business and half from Desgrippes.
Explaining the rationale behind the deal, Barrett says, ‘Laga is very strong with consumer packaged goods in America. Gobé is very strong with luxury brands and retail environments, as well as corporate branding in Europe and Asia. So the connection is obvious and means we can taken on a wider variety of brand challenges, with global strengths.’
Desgrippes & Laga will provide a spectrum of ‘holistic’ services, including brand identity, industrial and packaging design, graphics and brand strategy.
Barrett says, “When we look at a brand we can provide the full suite of design offerings, in most part of the world. We can take on brand strategy, consumer insight and graphic and industrial design.’
Barrett adds that the company hopes to capitalise on the rise of design over advertising as the most powerful way to build brands.
Barrett explains, ‘Over the last few years, most people have spent more money on advertising than branding. But now most people agree advertising doesn’t do much to fix a brand – you have to do it by designing a better brand experience for the consumer.’
The group’s clients include Air France, AOL, Banana Republic, General Mills and Staples. Desgrippes & Laga has offices in Asia, Europe and the United States.