Design by Consumer Consensus

Quite recently one of the design stalwarts that I follow on twitter posted about the capricious workings of the design process. He said, “its an amazing thing when you manage to survive the design process with something you are still proud of.”

For most branding professionals, the birth, or even rebirth of a brand is a labour of love. It starts with a fledgling idea culled from a host of possibilities, nurtured and built on, until it slowly becomes a vision. It’s manifestations, whether brand identity, packaging or other relevant collateral are fleshed out and meticulously crafted to support that vision. And in an ideal world it would then be released into ‘consumerdom’, with the integrity of its vision intact.

However, there are several things that happen during the design process that dilute a design – reducing the whole to the mere sum of its parts. One of the biggest flies in the ointment is the consumer focus group. It is the altar at which many ideas and designs are sacrificed for their safer, more familiar counterparts.Where stock feedback phrases like ‘can it look more like its competitor, just different’ or ‘make a logo instead of a font’ detract from any originality and turn designs into clones of one other competing at shelf in a sea of sameness.


DY Works creates mortgage guarantee branding for IMGC

Best Media Info, Monday, May 6, 2013

DY Works, a leading brand strategy and brand design firm, has created the brand for India’s first mortgage guarantee company, IMGC, a consortium of some of the most prestigious financial institutions in the world including National Housing Bank, Genworth, Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation.

Speaking about the project, Alpana Parida, President of DY Works, said, “While we regularly work on assignments to create new brands, IMGC was particularly challenging as it was about creating a new category all together.”

Observing the importance of the engagement, IMGC CEO Amitava Mehra said, “IMGC was looking beyond design for selecting a brand development specialist. The strategic branding approach presented by DY Works showcased their ability to understand and decode the needs of the financial services industry and our specific end customer. We mandated DY Works to lead a branding initiative that would not only help us create a strong initial foundation with partners but also to differentiate us as a consumer brand in the future as customer engagement increases.”

DY Works employed proprietary brand creation tools and identified for the category the need to address the inherent stress of capital deployment and the loan burden. The core brand essence embodied by the concept ‘A Certain Future’ was a positive customer facing thought.

“The brand essence of ‘A Certain Future’ capitalises on the category characteristics while building the IMGC promise of a definitive risk free tomorrow,” said Parida. “The visual manifestation of the brand captures the thought through the symbol of a Sun, the most universal element of certainty and hope. The identity also layers in references of accelerated growth (rays racing towards outside), and the category signifier- the visual mark of a Home.”

The identity was taken forward into the design of a visual language as well. The brand was holistically defined across touch-points through brand personality, value systems and culture.

IMGC, as a business, will have tremendous social implications in terms of making housing affordable and ensuring inclusive growth in this sector. Talking about its future plans, Sovan Mandal, IMGC VP – Product & Sales, said, “With market maturity and competition coming in, IMGC will have to gear up to higher levels of market engagement and forge stronger bonds with lender partners while building a consumer presence. In a growing market, the competition will not be so much for market share as for mind share. This is the area where IMGC will focus on in terms of brand development. Thanks to the involvement of DY Works team for creating a robust brand essence and asset platform on which we can help scale up our business.”

DY Works (DMA Yellow Works) is India’s oldest and largest brand strategy and brand design firm that uses semiotics to both, decode markets and consumers and encode brands through design. DY Works builds brands rooted in culture.

The Woman On Top

The Asian Age, Sunday, May 5, 2013 

When Rekha Pamani Gulati was named COO of Mumbai-based brand strategy firm DY Works last week, it was yet another high point in an 18-year career. Speaking to us days after the announcement, Rekha was clear on what her priority would be — facilitating employee growth. “Employees are our greatest asset and if they are happy, then business will be good,” said Rekha, who lives in Mumbai with her husband, filmmaker Vikas Gulati, and their children: Gia, eight, and Ahaan, five.

After 18 years in the industry, what do you find exciting — and challenging — about the business of branding?
People! The way they behave, the constant change in their needs and expectations are the most exciting aspects of branding. They are the very reason brands are built. Never a boring day when you’re dealing with the lives of different people or consumers!

What is the one misconception consumers have about branding?
People consider branding to be just a mere logo designing and tagline creating exercise. Many people get confused with advertising and branding. Both are required by brands but the former cannot precede the latter.

What are the top-five insights about branding that you’ve gleaned over the years?
Commanding a premium for the product becomes much easier with branding. The resultant outcome is the increase in brand equity and valuation of companies. Branding also reduces the risk for consumers while they make purchase decisions. Claims become credible when they are made by a brand rather than by any generic local manufacturer. Companies/products humanise themselves by becoming brands and add a definitive meaning to their products and services. Branding exercises help companies create legacies rather than short-lived entities.



People passing by my workstation have always done some amazing or abstract with the Magic Cube placed on my desk. This is a playful compilation of what people have created out of the cube.

Siddharth Ganguly
Sr. Creative Group Head



A brief compilation of my play with spaces through photography, with objects that we seem
to miss out on a regular day. Enjoy!

Siddharth Ganguly
Sr. Creative Group Head