Richard Holbrook has been helping companies create innovative and commercially successful products and brand positioning strategies for over twenty-five years.
As a 1981 Industrial Design graduate of the prestigious Art Center College of Design, he was recruited by several international automobile brands, and accepted a position with PSA Peugeot Citroen as part of the company’s first Global Design Center. First in Coventry, UK and then in Paris, France, Holbrook held the position of Design Manager for the Corporate Exterior Styling Studio, responsible for creation of design proposals for the company’s three brands – Peugeot, Talbot, and Citroen.
Returning to Los Angeles in 1985, he established his studio to expand into other areas of interest, including sports equipment and products for cooking and work environments. Initial projects with Casablanca Fan, Dacor Appliances, Herman Miller, Thermador, Tropitone Furniture and other industry leaders helped build a portfolio of work diverse in scope, but consistent in design excellence.
In 2000, Holbrook formed dna, a joint venture with Teknion, an office furniture manufacturer based in Toronto, Canada. Serving as startup CEO and Creative Director, Holbrook led a team that designed and delivered a new line of products including seating, storage, desks and accessories, as well as a ground breaking website and “configurator” to specify custom desk and storage systems with a drag-and-drop interface.
In 2003 Holbrook returned to his product development practice with brand creation and business strategy skills to complement his extensive experience in design, engineering and manufacturing, initiating projects with new partners including Bernhardt Design, Brown Jordan International, Gunlocke Furniture, Office Depot and Staples.
“The experience of creating and running the dna venture gave me a deep appreciation for the importance of considering all aspects of a customer’s experience – not just in product design, but from the brand promise to all of the ways a company touches customers, at each level of the relationship. What a company makes is of course important, but how a company defines its purpose and values, and how it connects with customers, is equally important to creating a resonant and durable brand. When these factors inform the highest level of corporate strategy, the results can be very powerful.”