Brand Story + Brand Design

"They’re always giving us ideas that go beyond our expectations."

JUL 06, 2017

DDW

We’re a brand invention, rejuvenation, acceleration machine.

We help brands discover their most singular and humanly motivating brand story.  Then we turn that into compelling brand experiences that touch human hearts and minds.  The result: Stronger business on a human level.

How we do it

Our collective of designers, thinkers and storytellers work at the intersection of strategy, design and technology.

We focus on the wants, needs, desires and dreams of 21st Century customers in pursuit of fresh, new insights – discoveries that illuminate how your brand can capture imaginations and make a difference in people’s lives.   

Our aim is to create a full surround brand experience that will have the biggest impact on your business -- brand identity, naming, packaging, web, social, SEO, advertising and more.

Our process is highly collaborative – we work shoulder to shoulder with our clients on what matters most to your business, and we have fun along the way.        

And, be rest assured our process works.  We’ve fine-tuned our approach on more than 900+ brand assignments over 20+ years.

 

 
Undisclosed
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Sausalito, CA
headquarters
  • 480 Gate 5 Road, Suite 100
    Sausalito, CA 94965
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

AB-InBev, Amazon, Blue Point Brewing, Clorox, Campbell's, Energizer, Harmless Harvest, Layla Sleep, Meyer Corporation, Smuckers, Starbucks, Taylor Farms, Unilever

Reviews

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Packaging Rebrand for Home Goods & Supply Company

“Project management was one of the best parts of a great relationship and a major reason we partnered with them.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2017 - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

DDW helped design new packaging for a home supply company. They researched the marketplace and consumer-tested graphics to determine the most impactful option.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Brand Manager, Home Supply Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The result increases in-store visibility and is both modern and rooted in brand history. DDW was communicative, collaborative, and adaptive to changes in the scope. Their process was seamless and they ensured good outcomes.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a home goods and supply company as the manager for one of our brands.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DDW?

We wanted to adjust our packaging for the first time in a long time to correspond with the launch of a new innovation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The innovation was ultimately withdrawn but we were excited by the packaging effort and decided to move forward with it. DDW led the process from the insights generation stage. They researched our marketplace to understand our business needs and to generate different versions of our packaging graphics. We then narrowed and refined those options down to two, based on consumer feedback. They then co-led quantitative research to determine the final design. They helped develop guidelines and transitional material for our in-house team and rolled it out to our different product offerings.

What is the team composition?

We have an account manager, a creative lead, and a strategy lead. There are a number of other team members but we work directly with those three.

How did you come to work with DDW?

We had recommendations from other vendors and sent out RFPs to four companies. While we were searching, DDW presented an informal pitch to another business we own. We sat in on their presentation and liked what they had to say. We included them in our list of possible vendors and chose to work with them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $175,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the project in August 2017 and completed it in March 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our new packaging increases visibility and findability on the shelf. Our product looks modern but still rooted in our brand history.

How did DDW perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management was one of the best parts of a great relationship and a major reason we partnered with them. The pitch team was the same team we worked with during the project and were involved and focused throughout the project. Our account lead wasn’t afraid to have hard conversations and wanted to make sure we never fell behind or felt neglected. We could rely on them whenever questions came up and communication was good with the whole team. The whole process was fully seamless.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re collaborative, passionate, and impactful. They work well together and care about what they’re doing. They accepted changes to the scope and were always ready to take on challenges. They ensured that the outcome was something we’d both be proud of.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have any suggestions for improvements or changes. We’re very happy with the results.

5.0
Overall Score They were great partners.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Our account lead made sure we were never behind, even when we asked them to compress the timeline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their initial price was a little lower than the other agencies we considered but their quality far exceeded our expectations.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were honest about expectations from the start and they overdelivered.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already recommend them.

Packaging Design for The Clorox Company

“The new designs are sleek, modern, and celebratory of the brand’s history.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Apr. 2018
Project summary: 

DDW provided new designs based on extensive consumer research for a brand portfolio that encompasses about 65 products.

 

The Reviewer
 
5,000 - 10,000
 
Oakland, California
Sarah Fritzen
Associate Marketing Manager, Clorox
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new packaging has yet to launch, but the designs have garnered positive feedback from the internal team, including executive leadership. The DDW team communicated openly to fully understand the business challenge and managed the project attentively to meet deadlines.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m an associate marketing manager at the Kingsford Products Company, a part of the Clorox Company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DDW?

We were looking to redesign our packaging across our entire portfolio, which includes about 65 distinct products. Our challenge was to make the branding more modern and authentic. We hired DDW to provide an outside perspective.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started the project with a round of extensive consumer research using third parties, and DDW designed most of the stimuli. We then worked together on determining the new design based on the results we gathered. They delivered the final designs in April of this year, and we’re set to launch in January 2019.

What is the team composition?

We worked with 10–12 designers, but I worked most closely with four or five of them.

How did you come to work with DDW?

We put out a general bid to find a design company that specialized in packaging. I wasn’t involved in the selection project, but I know that my company chose them due to the quality of their preliminary designs. They aimed to make the existing design more bold and modern while still prioritizing the value that our brand has built over time. It was clear that the team would be easy to collaborate with, and we knew our working relationship would be productive and enjoyable.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested about $175,000 on this project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together between September 2017–April 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve yet to launch the new packaging, so we can’t point to specific metrics until we go live in January. However, the research that we did with consumers indicated that they saw the new design as more modern, more attractive, and more authentic. The new packaging also made the process of finding the product they were looking for about 19% faster, which means we’re making progress in simplifying the shopping experience. In terms of qualitative feedback, internal staff, including our executive team, have universally loved the work that DDW delivered. The new designs are sleek, modern, and celebratory of the brand’s history. They make it easier for consumers to see what sets us apart from the competition.

How did DDW perform from a project management standpoint?

DDW is one of the best agencies I’ve worked with in terms of fostering open communication, providing substantive feedback, and setting clear deadlines when they need to hear back from us. They never hesitated to follow up with us to keep the project on schedule. They were very organized in determining the various phases of the project and met almost every deadline on their end. On the rare occasion that there were delays, they were transparent and honest. We had frequent meetings in person, over the phone, and on video to stay updated on the project’s status. They were always flexible and adaptive in making last-minute changes, and they did a great job managing our expectations throughout the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They very effectively understood why we were looking to redesign our packaging, which was clearly reflected in their work. They also understood the importance of preserving key elements of the brand to retain the value of the company. We also had a great relationship with them; they were highly skilled, professional, and friendly, which made them very easy to work with.

5.0
Overall Score They understood our business challenges and we’re very excited about the results.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They hit almost every deadline while being transparent around any delays.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We saw significant returns on the money we spent and the work that they delivered.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered on everything they said they would.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They can do great work on many different types of projects.

Packaging Concepts & Branding for Housewares Manufacturer

"Every single person on the team is nice, friendly, and easy to work with, and they did really good work."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Major US housewares manufacturer, Meyer, needed DDW to extend existing branding and create additional branding, packaging, and logo design for the rollout of a celebrity product line.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Director of Creative Services, Meyer Corporation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Though the product has not yet launched, DDW was extremely easy to work with and has met, or exceeded, every deadline Meyer set for them, going the extra mile to conduct market research and make sure Meyer’s vision, needs, and timelines were accommodated.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Meyer Corporation US is one of the largest cookware companies in the US. We primarily focus on cookware but we also distribute bakeware, cutlery, dinnerware, cast iron, tools, gadgets, etc. Circulon, Anolon, Farberware, Rachael Ray, Cake Boss, Silverstone, BonJour, etc. are brands that fall under us. I am the senior director of creative services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DDW?

I needed packaging concepts for a new celebrity brand we were getting ready to roll out. There was some existing branding already, but we had to create a little more since this was the first roll out of her national product line.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our first meeting lasted a couple of hours. Our brand marketing team and I sat down with the DDW team and briefed them on the project. We told them who the celebrity was, who the demo was, and what our research had shown about her. We let them know how we felt the brand needed to be differentiated from our competitors and showed them some photography examples we had. They listened and asked a lot of insightful questions that helped move the conversation in the right direction. Eventually, we gave them the full brief of exactly what we wanted from them. We were going to be creating a brand from scratch so we needed to work through how to put the celebrity on a package but also consider how we would incorporate some of our own thoughts on branding into the concept.

We had already met with the celebrity prior to our briefing with DDW. We couldn’t start planning until we understood her aesthetic and what she stood for. We had presented four or five options to her, each of which indicated who we felt her consumer was and what she could stand for, and then she helped us narrow it down to what she liked. We presented that to DDW. In the course of those few hours, we were able to narrow down the brief to the packaging we needed and the products we were going to package.

Then we also asked them to help with logo creation. The celebrity already had a logo but we didn’t feel it was particularly good, so we asked DDW to help. We also asked them to consider how this new logo would translate into other collateral like signs, posters, and banners. We wanted to develop a website for the celebrity, and we needed help on how the overall design aesthetic could be applied to other things we would use in the market.

DDW took three or four weeks and came back to our marketing team with a number of options. We spent another couple hours talking through each one of the concepts and then narrowed it down to three. They went back and played with those concepts including the feedback we had provided. We then narrowed it down to two and refined them over the next couple of weeks until we settled on the one we liked best and moved forward with that one.

How did you come to work with DDW?

I have worked with four or five other branding agencies while I’ve been at Meyer. There was a man who was with two of the previous agencies I’d worked with, and he and I had a really good working relationship. After working on some similar projects with me, he got used to our design aesthetic, how we operate, and what we were looking for. He left the agency he was at and started working at DDW. When I asked what he thought of DDW, he told me we would be happy with their work. Based on his advice, we got hooked up with them and started the relationship. I called him and asked if he could take on this project because I trusted he would do good work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in January 2017, and the initial packaging portion of the project was completed in March 2017. We’re still working with them on a number of things.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We haven’t launched the product. It will be in stores in October 2017. Everybody who has seen the packaging likes what we’ve done but I don’t have any metrics.

How did DDW perform from a project management standpoint?

I went over the entire scope and timelines of the project with DDW, and they met every deadline we set for them. They had set out a plan about how they saw it moving forward. There were some parts of their plan that didn’t work for me but they couldn’t have been easier to work with, and we were more than happy to make any adjustments we needed to in terms of deliverables and timelines, etc. They’re a fabulous group to work with.

What did you find most impressive about DDW?

I’ve been doing marketing for 30 years, and this was the first time I called an agency back and spoke to the president. I called Mike [President] and told him how great his staff was. They go above and beyond. It’s not that other vendors don’t do this but, for example, during our second meeting, they delivered what we had asked for, and they went that extra mile. They had conducted a lot of market research and researched who the competitors and other celebrities in the marketplace were. They came in with ideas for other things we could pack in with our cookware products and shared ideas for additional marketing opportunities. These were things we could do on our own, but they would also help with if we wanted.

The creative they came back with was top notch. Every single person on the team is nice, friendly, and easy to work with, and they did really good work. Usually you end up with a couple of people that don’t like what the agency did, but everybody thought DDW did fabulous work. I couldn’t have been happier and, because of that, I inquired with them about some additional opportunities beyond our current project. We’re starting negotiations for additional work in the future, and I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.

Are there any areas DDW could improve?

No, there isn’t anything. I have nothing but praise for them. Every person I deal with is friendly, accommodating, willing to help, and wants to go the extra mile. I’ve asked them to jump through a few hoops with really short timelines, and they were able to figure out a way despite projects for other customers. Other vendors aren’t always willing to do that.

5.0
Overall Score I couldn’t be happier. I would use them again in a minute and would recommend them to anybody who is looking for a good branding design agency. These guys are top notch.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    DDW met, and in many cases exceeded, every deadline we put in front of them.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’ve worked with other agencies before that were priced even higher. Our budgets tend to be small at our company. DDW has been agreeable and has found ways to work with the budget I have.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything was fabulous. No problems.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have already recommended them to a number of people.

Product Branding for Amazon

"They’re always giving us ideas that go beyond our expectations."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DDW provides detailed brand exploration and conceptual design solutions for new consumable products, maintaining a broad scope within each category to deliver comprehensive conclusions for testing. 

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Toki Wolf
Creative Director, Amazon
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

In total, 100% of DDW’s product recommendations have passed click-through and purchase-intent assessments. The team’s impeccable adherence to deadlines, reliable creativity, and thorough updates contribute to a valuable working relationship. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the creative director of Amazon’s private-label consumable brands. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DDW?

We’ve engaged them for multiple projects. We are creating new brands within the consumable product category, and DDW offers a wide range of conceptual design solutions for our product needs. They’re tasked with keeping the exploration scope wide, and then we start testing 6–9 of the different concepts. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They do everything from exploration to design to execution. We give DDW a product category, and they know they have to deliver within the range of that category. First, they do a category assessment by taking a look at all the other brands within that product category, and they deliver a comprehensive study and conclusions of those brands, including logos, packaging, and trends. Then, we go into the design exploration phase, which usually has one touch point. They start their exploration and we kick off the project. Half way through that step, we have a phone call to make sure that we’re tracking our ranges widely enough and to discuss whether we should explore more or cut some products. Then, we transition to the execution of testing assets on the range of concepts. At that point, it’s a waiting process. We make our deductions, and DDM delivers a product rollout based on our chosen concept across a set number of products. They do all the pre-press work and deliver the actual files.

I work directly with the creative director. They also have a business director, a product management team of two or three people, and a design team of up to four people.

How did you come to work with DDW?

I worked with them in my past role as a creative director for the Starbucks design group. At Starbucks, we had a large internal team and couldn’t take on the work to redesign a coffee line, so we started fielding RFPs from other design firms. DDW’s portfolio attracted me. I found I had a connection with the creative director when he was telling me about their design team. We came up with a strategy to work differently on that project from our setup at Amazon. We co-directed his team through that creative project. They came to Seattle, and we did a bunch of design process steps. When they went back to San Francisco, I visited their location and embedded myself in their team. It was a great working relationship, and we were able to work through a wide range of products for testing quickly.

How much have you invested with DDW?

We’ve spent $250,000 since February 2017.

What is the status of this engagement?

They’ve been working with Amazon for a long time, but I joined the team in February 2017. I have completed four projects with them since that time. Our relationship is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

We create a product range that goes into an online click-through and purchase-intent test. All of DDW’s work that gets through this testing process has passed the recommendation and is on par with their benchmarks that we use for testing. I think that 100% of the products that we’ve produced with DDW had to pass this data-driven process to get to market.

How did DDW perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management team communicates clearly and stays on top of the schedule. We mostly interact through phone calls and emails. They ask all the right questions and are very thorough in giving us updates.

What did you find most impressive about DDW?

I've been lucky enough to work with their design team, so I know their designers and trust them. They’re always willing to push the limits of our concepts. They’re super easy to work with and open to feedback. They’re always giving us ideas that go beyond our expectations.

Are there any areas DDW could improve?

No, I haven’t had a bad experience with them. 

5.0
Overall Score I’ve worked with DDW at two companies, and our experience with them at Amazon is an ongoing relationship that we look forward to keeping.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve never missed a deadline. If anything’s late, it’s been our fault.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. We know we’re buying great creative skills with DDW.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We’ve had a long-standing relationship with them. The creative side is important to me, and they always excel in that. Their project management is top-notch as well.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them a couple of times already.

Package Design for Large Coffee Brand

"They would deliver above and beyond. I had a wonderful experience with them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May. - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

DDW augmented a brand’s internal graphics team to redesign the packaging for a line of products. They led the process from concepting to review, and continued to assist in additional projects thereafter.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Brand Manager, Large Coffee Brand
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Initial testing of the redesign increased purchase intent, and the soft rollout received positive feedback. DDW excels in both project management and customer service, and met deadlines despite additional scope changes. DDW surpasses expectations.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a brand manager of a large coffee brand.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DDW?

We wanted to do an entire graphics redesign for our whole bean, ground, and K-cup business. We have a long history of different packaging on the brand and wanted something that was more modern, stood out on the shelf more, and would help grow the business. We usually use an in-house design studio, but they didn’t have resources to support this particular project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They came to our office and did a brand overview workshop with us. They quickly concepted some initial designs and went above and beyond looking at the logo. We didn’t think we wanted to change the logo but we ended up changing it a little bit. It was a smooth and quick process with them. They came up with 40 or 50 packaging files in six months. Our design studio still wanted a say in it, so it was an interesting model where DDW did all the work, but connected with our design studio in-house to make sure they felt good about the directions they were going in.

How did you come to work with DDW?

We put out an RFP to a number of companies we’d worked with in the past and also those that were suggested by our creative studio. Someone internally had heard of DDW and suggested them. They were outstanding from beginning to end. They impressed us with their presentation and the work they’d already done in CPG (consumer packaged goods). We felt like they had a strong background and had worked on some pretty large brands. We felt comfortable with them and their pricing was pretty great. It just felt like a good fit from a team perspective.

How much have you invested with DDW?

We spent between $100,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in May 2016, and the project was completed in October 2016. We liked the work they did so much that we kept adding on other projects. They still might be doing some work for that team. I’m not on that team anymore.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We did package testing prior to the launch with a couple of the designs. We saw increased purchase intent with this particular design. The expectation is that it will lift sales itself. It was a soft rollout that just happened this spring so I’m unsure about all the results. Everyone loved the design. It was a great mix of our history and heritage in a more modern look and feel. We get compliments from the different teams. I know DDW has been hired to work on a package refresh for another brand that the company owns.

How did DDW perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was excellent. We had a dedicated project manager who was very committed. We used a lot of email and DDW used Box to send files and share information.

What did you find most impressive about DDW?

I’ve worked with a lot of agencies in different capacities over the years. Their customer service was excellent. They were on top of it and exceeded expectations. They would deliver above and beyond. I had a wonderful experience with them.

Are there any areas DDW could improve?

I don’t think so. We got everything out on time even with a lot of twists and turns on our end.

5.0
Overall Score They were wonderful.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We met all of our deadlines and we threw in a lot of additional things.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t have a ton of context about how much it would have cost us otherwise.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything was on time and they met and exceeded expectation.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer