Private Brands Win Big at the DBA Awards 2013

The Design Business Association (DBA) has announced the winners of the 2013 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards and there are a couple of Private Brand winners. The DBA is the trade association for the UK design industry and helps design consultancies become more professional and profitable by offering a range of industry specific membership services, training courses and events. In response to the rapidly changing economic environment in which our members operate, the DBA is no longer simply representing design to business, the DBA is now actively building the bridge between design and business.

Attended by 450 guests, the prestigious ceremony held at The Brewery in London and hosted by BBC business correspondent Simon Jack, gave opportunity to celebrate the significant impact design can have on business success.

A record number of winners were recognized in these highly coveted awards, with 16 Gold, 24 Silver and 21 Bronze awards presented to 61 projects across a range of disciplines from packaging to product design. The digital category made a strong showing this year with three Golds and the esteemed Grand Prix awarded in this category for the first time. Brand42 were the stand out winners of the night, winning the Grand Prix award along with their client The Daily Mail Group. The MailOnline was judged to demonstrate the most significant and impressive evidence of design effectiveness of all the Gold winners, with MailOnline becoming not only the UK’s, but also the world’s, number one newspaper website. Annual revenue grew 455% from £4.5million in 2008 to £25million in 2012 after the redesign.

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are both prestigious and authoritative – entered jointly by the client and design agency, the submissions must present proof to demonstrate design’s tangible effect on a client’s business. The judging panel consists entirely of clients and this year included senior marketers from brands such as Santander, TFL, John Lewis, Magner’s, Oxfam and British Airways. The panel was Chaired by Andrew Summers, Chairman of Design Partners.

Private Brand winners included:

Brand Identity

Waitrose Love Life_SOUPS2Silver
Brand: Waitrose LOVE life
Agency: Pearlfisher
Client: Waitrose

Waitrose wanted to put taste, variety and pleasure back into healthy eating. The idea was to develop a fresh approach from the idea that healthy eating is shaped by self-control and restriction. Pearlfisher was tasked with creating a health and wellbeing brand that followed a simple philosophy of celebrating wholesome and delicious food, to stand proud in a saturated market.

Pearlfisher created a proposition that emerged with vibrancy, vision and choice, changing health and wellbeing from a negative to a positive. The design focused on celebrating the shapes, colours, boldness and beauty of food – making real, natural food the hero.

In one month, for every five Waitrose customers, at least one person bought a LOVE Life product. The range achieved £60m in sales in the 52 weeks from launch, and on the back of this sales performance, Waitrose recouped their design investment in less than two days.


M Savers
Agency: Coley Porter Bell
Client: Morrisons

Morrisons, one of the UK’s ‘big four’ retailers asked Coley Porter Bell (CPB) to redesign their Value range as part of the strategic overhaul of their entire own brand offer. The objective was to better reflect their revised brand ambition of delivering quality, and bringing the people behind the brand to the fore.

Following research which showed that customers didn’t buy Value because they thought the acid yellow packaging publically demonstrated frugality, CPB designed charming, colorful and naively illustrated silhouettes of each product, printed against a plain white background to give the packaging a hand-crafted look. The result is something optimistic that says ‘entry level’ but that also makes you smile.

The Morrisons Value range is now the fastest growing food brand in the UK, with year-on-year growth of 49.7%. Theirs is the only Value own brand growing versus the competition and it has been the single most important contributor to own label growth in the last year.

Check out all the winners.



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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.