Design A Continuous Future

Date 2023-09-07

Our Shanghai team recently held an exciting panel event, inviting partners from Kraft Heinz, Oatly, SinoChem, Panda Guide and Kantar to explore how to establish a meaningful connection between brand building and sustainable development through the power of design, to support businesses in achieving commercial success and brand growth.

Nikki Lin, Managing Director of Design Bridge and Partners China, said in her opening speech: “We believe that from R&D to completion, from strategy to action, sustainable development should run through every aspect of a business. In terms of marketing and communication, sustainable development is an important area that can help brands connect with consumers. Today, we are inviting everyone to discuss how to use creative thinking and ways to create meaningful experiences of practical value for businesses, brands and society.”

Wen-Xi Chen, Executive Creative Director of Design Bridge and Partners, shared our views and insights, and discussed the challenges and solutions faced by brands and marketing today in terms of sustainable development. Guests from different industries, members of our teams, brand and marketing experts, were invited to share their insights, experience and perspectives on sustainable development.

Eric Yu, Marketing Director of Kraft Heinz Chinese Sauces, shared examples of sustainable products, marketing and experience case studies launched by Kraft Heinz globally and in China, from small and unique, to innovative and ingenious initiatives.

“It is Kraft Heinz’s corporate vision to make more consumers around the world happy and achieve sustainable corporate development. At Kraft Heinz, design is a powerful ‘weapon’ to achieve this vision: it not only helps reduce waste in production and packaging, but also helps us create a series of meaningful and vital marketing experiences that serve our customers. Brands bring long-term and sustained influence, and these creative ideas reduce the waste of manpower and brainpower, and they are also a practice of sustainable concepts.”

Michelle Yu, Deputy Director of Sustainable Development at Oatly Asia, shared the origin, growth and sustainable initiatives of Oatly in China, with examples including the “Silent Barista” and “Box Bottle Recycling Plan”.

“Oatly oat milk products were originally created to meet the needs of lactose intolerant people and solve people’s health challenges. As one of our three core concepts, sustainable development now runs through our entire value chain. Adhering to the commitment of ‘becoming a good company’, we are not just about ‘selling products’, but hope to be driven by brand and creativity to promote systemic changes in diet, and ultimately making sustainability a way of life that consumers love and embrace.”

Nina Ma, co-founder and chief operating officer of Panda Guide, presented the Panda Flavor Wheel, the first sensory evaluation tool created by Panda Guide CNAS Sensory Laboratory, which can transform the vague “delicious” experience into digital, scientific information, to deconstruct the flavor of an agricultural product for consumers. Combined with digital traceability of agricultural products, Panda Guide has opened up a complete link from professional planting in the field to consumption upgrade at the tip of the consumer’s tongue, and more intuitively presents how the concept of sustainable development promotes agricultural development.

“Panda Guide is China’s first list of high-quality agricultural products that evaluates precise land parcels. At the beginning of the establishment of the brand, Design Bridge and Partners refined a clear and unique positioning for us, making Panda Guide a ‘connector between growers and consumers’. The bridge between, and through design and creativity, it accurately shows this original intention. Supporting the development of agriculture is the best way to practice the concept of sustainability. Now we are continuing to work hard to become the benchmark for high-quality agricultural products in China and contribute to the quality upgrading of China's agriculture with scientific operation methods of digitalization, standardization and branding.”

William Wei, Director of Brand & Creative Practice, Insights at Kantar Shanghai, shared Kantar’s data insights on Chinese consumers, research on brand performance, and suggestions and guidelines for brand owners on sustainable development.

“Research data shows that if you do better in sustainability, the brand will have higher value and grow faster. There is no doubt that the concept of sustainability can help brand growth. For brand owners, the most important thing is to truly understand their perceptions, attitudes and behaviours about sustainable development from the perspective of consumers, and to integrate sustainable development into consumers’ daily lives in a targeted manner. Only in this way can the brand truly resonate with consumers, which is the key to the success of the brand in terms of sustainable development.”

Ray Lan, Executive Creative Director of Design Bridge and Partners, China hosted the panel discussion, interacting with guests and the audience, and sharing his unique insights on design, sustainability and brand building.

“The discussion theme of “Design a Continuous Future” is a dynamic process and we need to look at it in stages. At present, most companies and brands are focusing on themselves and regard sustainability as a tool to market and communicate themselves. In the next stage, we can use the power of creativity to design a series of interactive experiences to invite consumers, readers and more audiences to join and work with brands to put sustainable concepts into meaningful and valuable actions. Brands will serve as advocates of sustainability and attract more consumers who support and love the brand. I think this stage will come soon.”

Nikki Lin, concluded: “We believe that there is an equal sign between business success and brand growth. For businesses, using the power of design to keep business success and brand growth synchronized and closely connected is the key to achieving sustainable development, and we have been honoured to invite guests and partners today to share their thoughts and ideas. Next year we will continue to hold relevant activities and invite everyone to join us in a richer and more creative way to join hands in Designing a Continuous Future.”