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New Zealand's foremost brand strategist

Business for me is about three things: Ethics, Aesthetics and Functionality.

Brian believes that understanding customer needs and creating a compelling user experience is the key to unlocking innovation inside organisations.

Current work
Brian helps businesses and brands discover the difference between what people want and what we give them, uncovering insights that help companies convert these differences into products, services and strategies that deliver superior value. A master storyteller, Brian believes brands should delight and inspire their audiences, simplifying the complex in a bewildering world of choice.

Brian has been the architect and principal advisor to many high-profile successful brands in the Asia-Pacific area, including: Zespri, Icebreaker, Cervena, Merino NZ, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Steinlager Pure, Wools of New Zealand, Holcim Global, America’s Cup, BHP Billiton and Antarctica New Zealand.

In 1987, Brian founded his own brand strategy consultancy, BRR Limited, now known as Richards Partners. He leads an award-winning team of strategists and designers advising governments, companies and communities in defining their point of difference and delivering brand strategy and high-end design. The firm’s enviable reputation has enjoyed industry peer group awards in both business and design categories. Their continuing commitment to left and right brain thinking in a single offering has developed an exemplary record in the bottom line performance of brands.

He has led a number of successful collaborative industry strategies, bringing together diverse interests and competitors: The New Zealand Wine Guild, The Cotton Growers Association of Australia, The New Zealand Kiwifruit Authority, Deer Industry New Zealand, Central Otago Fruit Growers.

With a keen interest in the identities of countries, cities and places, Brian has also provided strategic advice to the governments of New Zealand, Singapore and Bahrain as well as regional authorities such as Tourism Victoria Australia, Central Otago, Auckland, Marlborough and Southland.

In 2007 the Design Institute of New Zealand acknowledged him with the prestigious Designers Institute Black Pin in recognition of his lasting and valuable contribution to the design profession and design culture in New Zealand. Jeremy Moon, former CEO of New Zealand clothing company Icebreaker described Brian as a “brand visionary”, praising his knowledge, expertise and contribution to the success of many iconic New Zealand companies.

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