Branded for success

DRAGON ROUGE is the world’s largest independent design group founded in 1984 by Pierre Cazaux and Patrick Veyssiere, now giant names in the brand design world.

By David Light (Staff Reporter)

Published: Tue 22 Jul 2008, 3:05 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:11 PM

Today, Pierre and Patrick are both based at Dragon Rouge in Paris and while still being very involved in the day-to-day running of the company decided to set up shop in Dubai. Over the last few years, Dragon Rouge has worked with a number of clients in the Middle East region, and are confident that they can build on these existing client relationships to establish a full-service regional office in Dubai.

To obtain a fuller picture of what Dragon Rouge is all about City Times spoke to Riaan Muller, Client Director of the company. Riaan joined the Dragon Rouge UAE office in 2008, as Client Director for the Business Brands area and spoke to us exclusively.

Could you give a description of the company and what you do?

We are a brand agency, covering all aspects of strategy, architecture, innovation, design, communication and engagement. Dragon Rouge is the world’s leading independent agency, we are not part of any large communications conglomerate.

Are there household name brands you have dealt with in the past?

We have dealt with global brands including: AXA, Admirals Cup, Cadbury, GSK, J&J, Lafarge, Kraft Foods, London Stock Exchange, Marks & Spencer, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Vittel, Tropicana, Fromageries Bel, Unilever and Perrier.

You have now opened up in Dubai, how has the transition been to a Middle Eastern Market?

We have been working in the region for three years already, very closely with Almarai in KSA and Nakheel in Dubai, so we have experience and a feel for the local market. It has been important to understand the local culture and to appreciate the differences between here and other regions - to work with the pace and expectations of local businesses and individuals. It is an exciting place to work, because of the ambitions that people have here.

Could you give examples of design jobs you have undertaken in the region?

We have worked extensively with Almarai in KSA on the structural and packaging design of many of their product ranges, and we were the lead agency in the recent re-branding of Nakheel.We have also worked with a number of brands in the region: Beyti (Interagro Investment Group) - Egypt, Enjoy (NCFI) - Egypt, Sohat (NestleWaters) - Lebanon, Ghadeer (NestleWaters) - Jordan

What future projects do you have lined up?

We continue to work with both Almarai and Nakheel, and have been asked to extend and deepen those relationships. Of course, there are other projects in the pipeline, but we must respect confidentiality and talk about them at the right time. Our establishing an office in Dubai is a sign of our commitment to the region as a whole as well as to the clients with whom we are building long-termpartnerships.

How has the company evolved since its inception?

The company has a strong presence throughout Europe (Paris, London, Hamburg, Warsaw) enabling us to work with clients across the continent including Scandinavia, Russia and the Mediterranean.We are also growing quickly in NewYork.

As an agency, we are constantly enhancing our ability to anticipate and react to changes in the brand world - so while we have always had a great capability in the blend of strategy and creativity, we have added specific skills in the areas of on-line design and management, naming, sonic branding, internal communications, and so on - and we’ll continue to invest in new areas.

Are Pierre and Patrick as involved today as they once were?

One of the principles of Dragon Rouge is that all the owners are actively involved in the day-to-day business - and that includes interaction with clients. Whilst we have grown our own new generation of senior managers, Pierre and Patrick are as involved and personally interested in the business as they always were.

How do they feel about opening in Dubai?

Excited and committed. It is a natural step for us in our international growth, and confirms the relationships we have already begun to build in the region.We’re convinced that this is not only where growth and new ideas will be demanded, but also where some of the most interesting and high-quality work will be possible.

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