We are difficult to tightly define. We’re part innovation consultancy, part brand agency, part design firm, part venture studio. We’re a unique business, bringing together an uncommon range of disciplines. That’s where the magic is.
We assist in the development of new:
Our innovation consulting team are highly experienced experts in corporate innovation, CX and new product development - from insight and ideation through to the design and delivery of new products, services, platforms and experiences.
We have New Zealand’s most experienced start-up and scale-up brand strategy and design experts, with an unmatched track record in defining abrand’s positioning and story, to designing brands that connect emotionally and power high growth in innovative start-up and scale-up companies.
Our ventures team have led the creation and development of both start-up and joint venture companies - from an early idea or opportunity, through product and brand development, to launching, fundraising, scaling, and exiting.
You can work with us to...
We offer a range of strategy, design and executional services which can be employed together in a large innovation programme, or as individual assignments. You can work with us to...
Plan your innovation strategy
From the largest corporates to the youngest start-ups, we’ve worked in industries as diverse as FMCG, telecommunications, energy, lotteries, alcoholic beverages, tech software & hardware and medical tech to help leadership teams define the future they want to create, identify opportunities for innovation and shape the strategy to capture them.
Conceive and develop new innovation ideas
We use a human-centred approach to understand customer problems and needs, and a highly creative approach to coming up with new ideas for products, services or experiences. We’ve delivered innovative concepts for beverages, SAAS platforms, restaurants, subscription products, charitable fundraising products, baked goods, social platforms, tech hardware, content platforms and banking and financial services.
Take your idea from concept to prototype to reality
We’re experts at working with ideas in their very early, blurry, conceptual stages, and aren’t troubled at all by ambiguous ‘first thoughts’. We help take early ideas through to clear definition, then prototype those ideas rapidly and cost effectively, test and iterate on them, and develop them into final, market-ready propositions.
Take your startup from idea to market launch
We’ve incubated several start-up companies, and helped countless more founders through the process of developing their early ideas into clear consumer propositions, robust business and channel models and feasible operational plans. We can act as surrogate co-founders with significant experience setting new businesses up for success.
Develop and design new products or services
We believe execution is everything when it comes to new products and services. A great idea, delivered poorly, rarely survives. We stay close to the customer and develop product and service concepts into propositions that are truly desirable to customers, operationally feasible and commercially viable. And we apply world-class design to ensure they stand out among the crowd and are a delight to use.
Develop and design new platforms or experiences
We’ve developed websites and innovative digital platforms in eCommerce, social networking, SAAS, content, marketing and even babysitting. We’ve developed restaurant concepts, charitable fundraisers, and education experiences. Just like products, we develop and design these in a way that ensures high engagement and user delight.
Develop and design concepts that are unusual,
untraditional, or difficult to categorise
Sometimes things don’t fit neatly into a box. We’ve led the design of concepts as unusual as a design partnership between a Crown Research Institute and a University, a new model of advertising effectiveness, a collaboration between 50 leading Aucklanders to define the essence of their city, and a video set 10 years in the future to showcase a corporate’s vision to their people. If you want to do something innovative but hard to categorise, we know how.
Plan or reimagine your customer experience
CX is one of the fastest growing areas of our business. Designing delightful customer experience is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re now overhauling organisation-wide CX for major energy and financial services companies. Our process is rigorous, collaborative and customer-obsessed, and we’re equipped to deal with large, complex organisations with multifarious customer journeys.
Develop a strategy to position or reimagine your
brand and tell your story
Our experience has taught us that it’s easier to come up with a world-changing idea than it is to convince the world to let you change it. That’s where brand comes in. We have a long history of developing brand strategy for innovative products and companies. Branding innovation is a different skillset to branding more traditional products, and there’s no one inNew Zealand more experienced than us in this particular discipline.
Design or redesign your brand
Great design is what connects your brand’s story with customers in a way that engages their emotions. People buy more from brands that they feel emotionally close to – and we have a process that’s all about determining the emotional connection we want to establish, then designing in away that will elicit that emotion. We have a long history of designing award-winning and highly effective brands.
Develop your capital raise story and pitch deck
We’ve helped many companies develop the story they use to pitch for investment. We work with all of New Zealand’s leading venture capital firms, which has taught us what investors need to hear. We can work with you to develop that story, and design a pitch deck that blows investors away.
Design and execute your packaging
Packaging is often the touchpoint that consumers interact with the most. Ensuring your packaging cuts through on shelf and supports your brand’s story and emotional connection is critical. We have significant experience designing packaging for traditional packaged goods and eCommerce and subscription products.
We work with client partners in three key ways
We provide our services in a traditional ‘fee for service’ model, but also enter equity or revenue-share arrangements with select clients.
Where we trade our services for fees. We scope and estimate projects in advance, and bill progress monthly.
Where we trade the value of our services for an equity stake in select ventures. We are confident in the value we create, and are happy to bet on that value in cases where we are values-aligned and believe we can be the difference between success and extraordinary success. We have a very simple and transparent approach, whereby we cost our services and trade the value of those for equity in companies at their current valuation. We aim to take a very small stake in such companies, and become a long-term partner in their success.
As a joint-venture partner
Working in partnership with one other company to co-own, develop and steward a new venture.
They say you’re defined by what you say no to - and for us to be the best partner to those we can help, we embrace saying no to those we can’t. Here’s what we don’t do.
We’re not an ad agency. We do the foundational work creating or reimagining brands, which often includes the development of key messages and design of simple communications – but others are more appropriately resourced to manage ongoing marketing campaigns and brand and comms maintenance. In saying that, we love ad agencies and are happy to connect our clients to, and work with, agencies that are resourced to create and deliver advertising and marketing campaigns.
We are strategic partners and advisors to our clients. We work with clients who trust us, respect our deep experience and expertise, and value our recommendations.
Work with traditional or non-innovative businesses
We are not a provider to companies who aren’t pushing forward innovatively and ambitiously.
We don’t compete on price, and we’re not resourced to pump out executional output at cut-price rates. In saying that, we work with select start-up and scale-up companies on an equity basis to ease short-term cashflow and provide a deeper partnership.
We don’t pitch strategic or creative thinking. You are welcome to visit and meet us, learn about our process, see our work, talk to our clients, and ask us how much your project might cost. If you’re still not sure we’re right for you, then we're probably not :-)
Other than in special circumstances, we prefer not to accept the compromise, politics and excessive stakeholder management that government-aligned projects demand. If you’re a senior leader in a government or publicly funded organisation, and you’re prepared for a completely different approach, we’re happy to talk and consider your project.
We are a team with a proven
track record of investing our strategic thinking and creativity into businesses that have gone on to become market leaders and achieve significant valuations. See our track record