Listening to you —and we mean really listening— is our number 1 priority. Over the years, this has led to some very fruitful relationships between our clients and us. We have experience with both large multinationals and breakthrough entrepreneurs. This has trained our understanding for what makes you tick. Here are some quotes of people who worked with us. People just like you. May you join their ranks one day!
'Dear Erik, I want to thank you for your outstanding presentation. It gave me and the whole design team a lot of insight in the added value of design and how to quantify and communicate this. We also have a much clearer picture of the role design plays in the organisation, based on the Design Management Staircase. Super!!'
— Joost van Haasteren MSc,
Design Manager Sara Lee Household
and Body Care Research B.V.
'Thank you for your inspiration in 2006. Thanks in large part to your ideas we've been able to give the Trespa brand a strong impulse. Thanks!'
— Aart Jan van der Meijden, international marketing manager, Trespa International
'Zilver has worked very closely together with NLISIS to develop a
complete brand and design guide for us. This was done in a very
Erik and his team had our group (7 experienced businesspeople) pasting images on boards to express our vision, with great brand insights as a result.
After well organized meetings with our most important customers he was able to give our brand a look and feel, involving all stakeholders to make them feel connected to the brand and its design language. The result is that the people and the market have welcomed the new company NLISIS and the design of our MELTFIT ONE very enthusiastically. Next to that Zilver has given us very good design guidelines for our future developments.'
— Wil van Egmond,
Managing director, Nlisis chromatography
'The students have indicated that this is one of their favourite courses, with inspiring lectures and great guest lecturers.'
— Course evaluation brand & product strategy 2006, Delft University of Technology School of Industrial Design
'Zilver is a team of strategic designers, driven and knowledgeable in
Consumer Centered Design Research and Brand Driven Innovation.
From the first time I met Erik, we were on the same wavelength: developing new communication concepts and online consumer experiences with the use of research methods that stimulate designers in their creative processes (Research by Design). In our mission to develop new strategies and concepts in Interactive Brand Marketing, together with 'Designest', the flexible network of design managers setup up by Zilver and Nandooh, we have formed teams around specific creative challenges to fulfill specific business objectives.'
— Max van Lingen, Director Interactive Brand Marketing, Mexx International
'We wanted to thank you for the most inspiring presentation that you gave to O-I team in Rotterdam. We most appreciated that the presentation was well prepared taking account the O-I brand context. We're also sure that if we will need some more external support regarding O-I brand development in the future, we will not hesitate to contact you again.'
— Viivika Remmel, Marketing Manager Europe, O-I
We are the only place we know of where you can find branding, innovation and design expertise under one roof. On a visionary, strategic level. For you, combining these three domains leads to surprisingly relevant results for your organisation. For us, it's where we feel most at home. Our passion and hands-on experience in branding, innovation and design has led to the creation of our vision and working method, Brand Driven Innovation™. Here's who we are:
Erik (Seattle, 1969) worked for 10 years as a product designer (Flex the innovation lab, Zilver product design) before he embarked on a masters in design management. He wrote his graduation thesis on brand driven innovation and the subject hasn't been from his mind since. Erik combines strong analytical skills with a great passion for branding and design and a strong empathy for his clients. Next to his consultancy work for Zilver, Erik teaches at the Delft University of Technology (Brand and Product Strategy) and at Eurib in Rotterdam.
Christa (Arnhem, 1980) is Zilver's first proud employee. She obtained her master in industrial design engineering in 2006 through an end user insights project at Philips research. Christa combines a great passion for people with strong design research skills and a curious mind. Christa started at Zilver as design research specialist and junior consultant after several traineeships (Park, Trico) and activities in the design management domain.
Robert Zwamborn MSc (1982) obtained his master in Strategic Product Design at Industrial Design Engineering at the TU Delft through a Base of the Pyramid project in India, in conjunction with Danish design agency Designit and Ambu medical devices. Robert did a 4 month traineeship with Zilver before being hired as junior researcher/consultant. Robert specializes in design thinking, user insight research and design strategy. Next to his work for Zilver Robert is an active musician, producing commercial music and videos under the name of Studio Tony.
Jan Heijting (1975) is a truly multidisciplinary design strategist with international experience in online branding, interaction design, and innovation strategy. After being educated as part product designer, part interactiion designer, Jan embarked on a series of educational adventures that eventually led to following the Design Management Programme at EURIB. Meanwhile Jan worked as new media designer at various agencies in Barcelona and as a senior designer at Philips Design. Currently, Jan is a freelance senior consultant at zilver innovation, specialised in user-centred design research, brand and design strategy, and service design.
We help you innovate with vision. We help you capture that vision in your brand. We then guide you in the process of working with the brand, to fulfil its promise through meaningful innovation. We work with your designers, researchers, engineers, product developers, marketeers and your end-users. The focus of our efforts depend on the challenge you have for us. To assess this challenge together, we have captured our Brand Driven Innovation™ approach in a framework containing four phases:
1 Brand usability
leading to a usable brand that inspires innovation and design
The metaphor we use in this phase is the brand plaza. We use it to open up the brand for its users, and to reconstruct it to bridge the gaps between organisation and end-user on the one hand, and product development and marketing on the other. Design research techniques lead us to the insights and understanding that get everyone on the plaza. Workshops involving end-users, designers, product developers and marketeers make sure the brand is authentic, inspiring, insightful and relevant for all parties at the table.
2 Innovation strategy
leading to a strategic plan for action, realizing the brand's promise
The innovation strategy maps the opportunities for growth towards fulfilment of the brand promise. Four dimensions play a role: user trends, product trends, market trends and business trends. These are mapped into multi-year scenarios or roadmaps. The brand promise is a platform for inspiration, a guide along the way, and a check in the end.
3 Design strategy
translating this plan into concrete strategic design decisions
The design strategy turns the plans for growth into plans for meaningful brand touchpoints. Design is used to fulfil the brand's promise. The design strategy aims for relevance in five layers: look & feel (sensorial layer), interaction (behavioural layer), performance (functional layer), qualities & properties (physical layer), and meaning (mental layer).
4 Touchpoint orchestration
making sure all brand touchpoints are in tune with each other and the brand
Brands are experienced through their tangible expressions. The excecution of your innovation and design strategy define their success. We believe all design disciplines have to work in symphony to create an authentic, meaningful experience that fulfils the promise that was made by the brand. Multi disciplinary design management is employed to ensure this symphony, and to benchmark every design effort to the original brand vision and promise.