Angela Driver, MD and owner of Sainsbury Design (pictured above) believes great design can be both beautiful and purposeful. It should be functional and perform perfectly at every touchpoint of the consumer journey, from standing out on shelf to being easy to open and presenting its contents in optimum condition.
Over the past two decades, Angela Driver’s passion for design has guided Sainsbury Design’s evolution into a full-service, through the line agency that produces brand messaging and packaging solutions, which comply with corporate identity, yet push the consumer experience envelope. ‘Quite a lot has changed since Joan Sainsbury founded Sainsbury Design in 1975. Today, branding and packaging is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary industry where analytical and creative skills are equally important,’ explains Angela. ‘Keeping abreast with the latest national and international design trends and developments, and specialising in integrating these with brand requirements, plays a key role in the agency’s ongoing success.’
The team also remains curious about sustainability and is constantly exploring innovations. ‘In recommending and encouraging that brands use more ecologically responsible packaging options, it’s necessary to remain conscious of the cost implications,’ she notes. ‘We’re also experienced in communicating brands’ environmental credentials to consumers, many of whom are now making more mindful purchase decisions.’
According to Angela, the agency’s approach is a combination of sound strategy and the creativity required to surprise and delight. ‘Our creative impulses and strategic insights are supported by consumer research, using cutting-edge mobile engagement platforms. This allows us to reach large numbers of people in the places and at the times when they are most receptive, and in a very cost-effective way. By gaining meaningful insights from all sectors of the community, Sainsbury can help brands avoid expensive missteps and bring new products or designs to market more quickly, through a process of rapid prototyping.
‘Agility and relationships are the most important aspects of our business, both within our team, and with our customers and extensive network of suppliers. Our strategic outlook lends itself naturally to building and nurturing long-term partnerships, and has enabled the company to regularly achieve the near-impossible.’ By adopting this sustainable approach with each brand owner, Angela notes that Sainsbury Design has had the privilege of sharing the journey as their offerings have adapted to stay ahead of competitors. It has, for instance, helped Dairymaid ice cream (an Afristar Awards 2016 winner) remain the market leader since 1994, despite many entrants into this competitive sector. Other companies in the portfolio include Nestlé South Africa, Kellogg’s, Martin & Martin, Pfizer, and Amka Products’ Chemico (Gold Pack Awards 2017 Bronze winner), Playboy (Nielsen 2019 Design Impact Award winner) and Playgirl.
She adds that the team, led by and largely made up of women, forms the heart of the agency. ‘An advanced approach to teamwork leaves plenty of room for each person to contribute, learn, grow and deliver. ‘We enjoy the energy and fresh perspectives that talented graphic and packaging design graduates bring to our team. Final year students are welcome to join us to learn more about agency work dynamics, and seize the opportunity to start their upskilling journey,’ Angela concludes.