Robert Brunner: What All Great Design Companies Know

About this presentation

What’s the secret to becoming a legendary design company like Apple or BMW? In this 99U talk, designer Robert Brunner deconstructs his creative process revealing the stories behind products like Beats by Dre headphones and the Polaroid Cube.

First, he says, recognize that a brand belongs to your customers. “You don’t own your brand. A brand isn’t a logo or packaging,” he says. “It’s a gut feeling. And when two people have the same gut feeling, you have a brand.” Secondly, most people view design as a part of the production chain, you get requirements in and out comes a product. But design is the chain, and for the best products it permeates every step. “It should be a topic of conversation constantly,” he says. “Thats how you make great stuff.”

About Robert Brunner

Robert Brunner founded San Francisco-based design studio Ammunition in 2007 to communicate ideas through products, brands, and their surrounding experiences. His work as an industrial designer has spawned numerous brand-defining designs over the past three decades. Prior to founding Ammunition, Robert was a partner at Pentagram and led strategic brand consulting and industrial design programs for Fortune 500 companies. Previously, he was the Director of Industrial Design for Apple, where he established its pioneering internal corporate design organization, Apple IDg. Before joining Apple, Robert co-founded design consultancy Lunar.

Named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Robert’s work is included in the permanent design collections of the MoMA in both New York and San Francisco. He is the co-author of the book Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company.


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  • Keshaw Gajadin

    Such a great one, loved it from start to end.

  • Stephen Lee

    Man, that was awesome..! I would have loved to listen to him for another 30 minutes..

  • ben

    Always a pleasure.

  • Domenica Genovese

    Giving credit where it’s due: your comments on branding are straight out of Marty Neumeier’s, “The Brand Gap.”

    • cruuze

      You say that as if the “brand gap” was the first and only book written on the subject. Nor is the idea actually that you don’t own a brand revolutionary – its simply a fact.

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