AIGA Richmond presents Christian Markow and Barry Saunders, founders of Joe Smith, a local Richmond firm focused on brand experience and strategy. The talk will be held at their very own studio. Coffee will be provided, and seating is first come first serve.
Designers as Brand Strategists
The art of branding has evolved greatly in the past decade. More than a name, language or visual system, branding is a strategy that informs business decisions, impacts innovation and shapes the entire customer experience. Designers play a critical role in helping to define that strategy. Yet, most of us are trained to create at the back end with little insight into business strategy, and designing components of an experience already decided. Barry and Christian will discuss the critical importance of brand to today’s businesses, and how designers can straddle the worlds of strategy and craft to better imagine and build brand experiences that grow businesses.
Christian Markow, Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Joe Smith
Christian is a seasoned creative director, and product, service and brand innovator with 20 years of experience developing unique brand identities, envisioning new products and customer experiences and engaging employee cultures around them. Formerly, he worked at Prophet – a brand strategy firm, leading brand experience and concept development in food, finance, retail and hospitality. Before Prophet, he was creative director for PadillaCRT where he led development of brand campaigns in a variety of industries. His client work includes Target, GE, T-Mobile, Kuerig Green Mountain, Hershey, Pepsi, Gatorade, Kashi, Lipton, Campina, Thrive Farmers, Campbell’s, Wal-Mart, Disney, Dell, Leo Burnett, Goodwill, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Meyer Squibb, NBC Universal, People, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Sprint, ALDO, Zurich and Chase.
Barry Saunders, Founding Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Joe Smith
Barry brings 25 years of experience to helping companies build and implement strategy-led, creativity-fueled solutions that drive innovation, growth and transformation. His work across major corporations, non-profits, and higher education combines for deep, practical insight into what it takes for organizations to imagine, validate and activate change. Barry’s expertise includes purpose and strategy development and integration; leadership strategy and alignment that engages high performance cultures; brand strategy, experience and activation; and innovation mindset, methods and processes. Prior to Joe Smith, Barry was a partner at Prophet where he co-lead the Innovation Practice. He previously served as a financial advisor with AIG where he played roles in growth strategy, marketing, risk management, and program operations.