Family (and friends) – Hothouse talk 

Hothouse Talks, Inventivity


Today Derek co-founder of Family (and friends) branding agency, who really incoorporated the philosophy that you have to love who you work with and love design.



Derek stated that our company is not about colouring in, we’re about brand strategy, about thinking and working things out. We work with a wide variety of designers which come together as a nucleus to form a strong unit.

“The best way to generate clients is if you do a good job on a project, its word of mouth.”


Derek said we work in a specific field, because its hard to tackle all the other competitors out there, it’s best to be specific and be good at it. We work with healthier – better for you – life style brands. We’re known for this now.

“Our idea is that we want to create brands that people love to love. We want to make people feel that they need the product.”

In life we are experiencing brand overload, you walk down an isle and theres hundreds of brands and you walk down the isle in 30 seconds, so you give each brand a split second and its gone. We want to open up a dialogue in that small space of time.


We have to find a way of being different. Its all about personality.

A case study on Gaymers showed how they changed the personality of the brand.

Gaymers went from and old Englishmen’s cider, and was not doing particularly well with their sales.


To this hip festival brand. By understanding who they wanted to target as an audience. They created quite a transparent brand, to build a sense of honesty. Gaymers became the official cider of Glastonbury shortly after.


Focusing on quite a technical side a technique they use is an eye tracker when looking at a clients old packaging. The old packaging showed that the eyes darted everywhere, there was no one plae to focus. And the new packaging showed that the eyes stayed centred and focussed into the middle.


A brand identity created for Seed and Bean was aimed at the high end Waitrose audience. People at Waitrose expect the best of the best, so it wasn’t necessary to explain the ethics of the brand. So the branding was focussed on developing this kaleidoscope of flavours and colours. And once they established a look, it was all about saying what they’ve already said across different platforms.

One final comment was that metrics and analytics is absolutely the way forward to help shape better brands.

I asked a question “after you’ve created an identity, who owns the work you or the brand?” The answer was complicated to explain because if you’ve sold the work then who owns it? You are the creator but the brand is the owner, and they can replicate the identity.

The talk was very pasionate and I really believe their ethos that they love their colleagues and design work, they really do come across as a family.

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