Conran Design Group hosts insightful masterclass on ‘Citizen Brands’

Earlier this year, Havas welcomed Conran Design Group, its global brand and design consultancy, to the Middle East.

To herald the network’s entry into the market, Havas organized a masterclass led by Conran Design Group, highlighting their insightful framework, Citizen Brands. 

The study guides brands towards balanced growth in today’s challenging marketplace and outlines how leaders can deliver brand mixes that balance growth and good.

“We are incredibly excited to use thoughtful design to help a region like the Middle East continue to define its own progress in the world,” said Ludwig Duran, Strategy Director at Conran Design Group. 

The Citizen Brands framework is underpinned by extensive research, and draws insights from interviews with 225 investors, 5000 consumers, and 150 brands across five key markets, including Saudi Arabia.

Duran emphasised that the framework aims to help brands balance consumer demand and societal impact to find balanced growth in an unbalanced world.

The design group aims to use its Citizen Brands framework to tell the story of global and regional brands with cultural authenticity.

“We are not interested in being multiple dots on a map,” Duran said. “We are very selective in where we are, and the magic that we bring is investing in our local presence so that we are not imposing the worldview of global brands on the markets they enter.” 

Conran Design Group’s approach is rooted in cultivating a local connection for global brands from the ground up.

“Sofitel is a good example of our work with a global brand that had to find local resonance,” said Duran. 

For Sofitel, Conran Design Group undertook a comprehensive overhaul of the brand’s platform, visual identity, and guest experience design.  

“The core idea was about capturing the modern French spirit while being passionately local,” said Duran. 

“The evolved brand platform was about bringing that French spirit meaningfully together with local cultural experiences and was symbolised in the Sofitel mark.

This showed the connection between Sofitel’s established French zest for life and its authentic connection with local culture.” 

This refreshed brand identity was launched in Dubai, epitomising the harmonious blend of global and local flavours. 

With strategic hubs in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America, the 250-strong Conran Design Group network claims to be well-positioned to serve clients across a diverse array of markets, ensuring that both local authenticity and global standards are met with finesse.