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UK-based design firm Bloom launches Asia operation in Singapore

Bloom’s Andy Fennell

UK-based design specialist Bloom has formally launched in Singapore. This marks Bloom’s first office in Asia. Bloom has worked with PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestle, Danone and Diageo among others.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Bloom’s executive chairman Andy Fennell said: “We set up in Singapore a year ago, initially to service Diageo and Unilever, two pretty good foundational clients.

“2019 is about broadening the base of our clients here in Singapore. We have done projects across the world based out of London, but we feel that at a practical level, the time zone is easier to manage if you are here.

“Secondly, a number of trends are starting here and moving west, these days. In adoption of technology, the pioneering happens here. We need people on the ground to be part of that. That’s our rationale for starting.”

Speaking about the experience so far, he said: “Singapore has been very welcoming. There are places you can set up a small business. The authorities make it relatively straightforward and of course you have access to talent.”

The firm has its strategy and client leadership team in place. It has hired Cleo Smeeth as director. She moves from GSK where she was content and communications director.  Floydd Wood has joined as strategic director. He was formerly senior creative strategist at design firm Nice.

The team from Bloom Asia will initially plug into the 80 people in the London operations. But the firm intends building a creative studio in Singapore through 2019, and to increase the staff strength to 10 people.

Asked if there are plans to start operations elsewhere, Fennell said: “I do think we will need to open an office in North America. I don’t aspire to have a huge network but between Singapore, New York and London, we can cover the time zones quite effectively.”

The approach of the agency is centred around what Bloom calls: “New Informality — the deliberate move away from tradition and hierarchy, toward democracy, transparency and candour.”

Wood says: “Asia’s youthful consumers have been born into a digital world, so hyper-connectivity is natural to them, and their expectation of brands is high.

“They expect immersive, innovative and multisensorial experiences above and beyond just products, and for brands to be ‘brave’ – more accessible, in touch, outspoken, funnier, and frank, whilst respecting local cultural nuances.

“Our ambition is to partner with clients to support their strategic, innovation and design needs, providing them with the tools and inspiration to future-proof their brands and business.”

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