New strategic partnership to propel sustainable brand impact in the UAE

Firstwater announces entering a new strategic partnership with The Blake Project.

Strategic brand consultancy, The Blake Project, furthers its global expansion by partnering with branding and sustainability firm, Firstwater, in an exclusive agreement for the United Arab Emirates.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, The Blake Project is a global strategic brand consultancy to clients like The Coca Cola Company, GE, IATA, Intel, Nestle, Unilever, and the National Basketball Association (NBA). It is also the publisher of Branding Strategy Insider.

The exclusive partnership agreement between the two firms covers all related products and services, proprietary tools, and techniques. Intellectual Property (IP) includes The Blake Project’s coveted The Un-Conference executive education platform and Firstwater’s award-winning Brand Value Creation (BVC) methodology—seeking to bring multicultural brand development, world-class sustainability frameworks, and environmental and societal impact measurement to broader audiences. Both companies will work in unison to help purpose-led, impact-driven leaders and marketing professionals build stronger, more sustainable brands.

From winning the bid to host the UN Climate Change Conference in 2023 (COP28) to championing alignment of the working week with global markets, the UAE’s commitment to sustainable business and ethical brand practices is clear. Coupled with the region shifting to faster and more conscious narratives, the need for impact-led brand strategy and governance, global insight, and thought-leadership is critical.

Specializing in brand research, brand strategy, brand growth, and brand education, The Blake Project believes that any organization’s competitive future is inextricably linked to its ability to nurture big ideas and the people bringing them to life. This ideology has given birth to a suite of high-engagement practices, workshops, and tools to help drive clarity and confidence in the strategic direction of client businesses and brands.

For more than fifteen years, Branding Strategy Insider has been uncovering the ideas and techniques of the thought-leaders and practitioners driving brand leadership today—delivering meaningful content that promotes an elevated conversation on the discipline of brand management while fostering community among marketers. This is why tens of thousands of brand builders subscribe to Branding Strategy Insider.

Open to the public, but limited to just 50 participants, The Un-Conference is ‘360 degrees of brand strategy for a changing world’ and marketing’s only problem-solving event. Currently running annually in the US, The Un-Conference features an immersive, competitive-learning format that considers all learning styles and challenges participants to solve real-world marketing problems. Here marketers close knowledge gaps and compete in teams in a fun, gamified format that infuses skill and chance. Emphasizing participation over observation for memorable and actionable outcomes, The Un-Conference also serves as the framework for brand education, learning, and development within any organization.

The Blake Project’s Co-founder and Managing Partner, Derrick Daye, has been in the marketing and advertising industry for 25 years, working with many of the world’s leading brands. Derrick established The Blake Project in 2003 and has set up offices in Atlanta and New York. The Blake Project recently opened its doors in New Delhi, Manila, and Riyadh last year.

Derrick Daye, co-founder and managing partner, Firstwater said: “Our partnership with Firstwater amplifies our commitment to one of the most diverse and exciting regions in the world and signals a greater ability to help our client’s businesses and brands become more competitive and valuable. We do this by helping them gain an emotional advantage, a distinctive advantage, and a connective advantage that accelerates growth from the inside out. At The Blake Project, everything we do is in service of nurturing game-changing ideas that help our clients win the future”.

Firstwater’s managing partner, Dan Dimmock, relocated from the UK to the UAE in 2009. He has been consulting in the corporate brand development space for 20 years, has held executive management roles for international firms, and has advised senior leaders across an exciting range of organizations. In 2012, he was seconded to Asia, returning in 2015 to establish Firstwater, seeing the need for specialist branding and sustainability consultancy. Firstwater’s clients include the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, Expo 2020 Dubai, Landmark Group, Majid Al Futtaim, SEDCO Holding, the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, and ZMZM Society for Voluntary Healthcare.

Dan Dimmock, managing partner, Firstwater said: “There are so few reliable sources of insight when it comes to brand strategy and brand leadership, but Branding Strategy Insider and The Blake Project stand tall—being the go-to place for much-appreciated industry knowledge. As conscious consumption heightens in the UAE and the global ‘business as a force for good’ movement gains momentum, broadening brand and marketing leadership’s understanding of value is vital. We are so excited to bring The Blake Project to the UAE and to join a global ecosystem of like-minded change-makers all intent on reshaping the disciplines of Branding and Marketing for good.”