Design and branding firm DMA-Yellow Works, part of the Future brand network, has been focusing on creating business solutions through design and branding. The agency has created brand experiences that encompass packaging, retail solutions and communication leading to success at the purchase moment. Alpana Parida, President, DMA-Yellow Works, shares her views on the challenges in coping with the Indian market for design and its vision for DMA in India.
The agency has a roster of blue chip clients such as Dabur, HUL, Heinz India, Air India, Unilever, Godrej, Marico, ITC, Amul, GlaxosmithKlien, Diageo, and UB, among others, creating holistic brand solutions for all.
On tackling conflicting business interests, Parida said, “We have created watertight vertical silos with aligned strategy, creative and marketing teams, who do not work on competing businesses. Additionally, we have elaborate security systems in IT. Also, we typically work on short term projects and ensure that no direct conflict occur for that period.”
Sharing recent developments, Parida said, “We are the only international agency for General Mills US, and now we are starting an exchange programme for design talent with a US based design house. In that regard, we have already recruited an advertising talent from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York.”
According to Parida, to get clients to see design solutions as smart marketing solutions gave them the biggest bang for the buck and not just aesthetics. She said, “Advertising has ceased being as effective, and the costs have escalated. There are simple, but very effective design solutions that can create a disproportionate market impact, but still allocate 85 per cent of budgets to ATL and 15 per cent to BTL. Usually, this part of the budget is a footnote, with tactical interventions and no real strategy.”
However, Parida did agree that design industry in India was still seen as only being in packaging design and identity creation. But she asserted that design solutions could encompass everything – from advertising to organisation design.
She further noted that surprisingly, some of the largest and most sophisticated marketers were letting the digital design opportunity go. “Digital design is not just websites and e-mailers, it is also about creating social communities, online review systems and promotional activities that actually drive offline sales,” she stressed.
Commenting on several ad agencies starting their individual design cells within the agency, Parida said, “I am not sure if the best talent goes there. But as per my experience, best talent is still reserved for the 30-second ad film.”
Speaking on the vision for DMA-Yellow Works, Parida stated, “The vision is to become strategic brand partners for all our clients and become the biggest brand solutions firm in the country.”