Design Middle East learns how ODG aims to build “inspired designs that work

Award-winning retail and branding design agencies, Open D Group, Retail Access and Sparkle, have announced their rebrand to ODG to implement a simpler, cleaner, agile and integrated organization to deliver its expertise in intelligence, branding, design, project management and digital solutions.

According to ODG founder Laurent Caucé and co-founder Martin Mirmand, the rebrand signals the next step in the evolution of their business, with the commonality of vision and strategy, a highly complementary geographic offering, and a shared focus on the development of digital technologies across our business allowing the company to capitalize on strong opportunities for future growth. Design Middle East talked to Mirmand to learn about ODG’s design sensibilities, and the road ahead for the company—excerpts from the interview:

With respect to your rebrand: why did you think this integration of services was necessary? Have you had any reactions from your current clientele already, and, how do you hope this rebrand will be perceived by potential clients?
For the last 15 years, our agency has constantly evolved offering a broader range of services from merchandizing, category management, branding, store design, digital store experience, brand content, duty free concession design or mall commercial planning.

Our approach was to segment these different lines of expertise under three business units; Retail Access, Sparkle and Creative Content. In today’s world, all retail channels are integrated and need a coordinated and consistent approach. A retail concept now requires branding, brand content, digital consultancy, merchandizing expertise, creative interior design all delivered by one team, now ODG.

This new branding makes our agency brand stronger and more visible since all our actions in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore are now consolidated under one name. So far, the feedback received from our clients and partners has been extremely positive due to the newfound clarity in our offering as ODG.

From a personal perspective, which project from among your current/ previous projects have been especially noteworthy for you? Are there are any particular projects that you are working on that you are especially excited about, and if so, please let us know which they are?
We are very proud of some of the breakthroughs we have achieved in airports and duty-frees around the world. Our work has encapsulated full duty-free retail master planning and architecture to F&B, always with the shopper experience at the heart of what we do.

For certain, Dubai airport is one of our flagship projects that we are proud of. The airport has grown from strength to strength breaking records in passenger’s numbers year on year to now firmly establish itself as one of the world’s most highly regarded airports.

Design speak
Martin Mirmand’s essential factors for creating winning customer-oriented concepts:
1 Connectivity – both physical and digital
2 Experience and storytelling
3 Assortment and category management
4 Creative and memorable designs that echo brand identity
5 Creating long-lasting, memorable customer journeys