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Building Your Brand

When opening a brewery, it’s important to identify what sets you apart from the other 99 already existing breweries. Your business proposition might be a good one, and the beer is fantastic, but neither matter

When opening a brewery, it’s important to identify what sets you apart from the other 99 already existing breweries. Your business proposition might be a good one, and the beer is fantastic, but neither matter if your product or position if no one knows about it. ‘Doing business without good marketing is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing but no one else does’.

Since 1999, Hyphen Strategic Design has helped businesses both big & small establishments find an identity, create an edge through design and engage and retain customers through fresh storytelling. There have been path breaking business & brand ideas, responsive websites that challenge technology frameworks and yet deliver innovative experiences across devices, unique events & branded experiences across all kinds of media. Recently venturing into the beer market, Hyphen Strategic Design completed the marketing & branding of XOOX Brewmill located in Bangalore. Sneha Nair, in conversation with Utkarsh Singh, Founder & Director of design at Hyphen Design, about their experience working on a microbrewery.

When and how did you start a career in design?

I studied architecture for my bachelor’s degree. And during graduation itself, I was very interested in the world of story-telling for businesses and brands. This led to my choice of a PhD level topic – Context and Identity: The symbiotic relationship (with the study period restricted to post-industrial world). Selection of the topic was also led by an anxious search for my own design style. My thesis guide and other professors were unable to help me with such a deep topic and I was lost. However, my encouraging parents supported my research that I extended to 3 years instead of the stipulated 6 months. During this period I lived in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Bhopal and Bangalore. The time in various cities was spent meeting as many senior artists and architects I could, as also in visiting architectural landmarks, museums and art galleries to expand my awareness of application and execution of things in the real world.

Eventually I joined some of my close friends in Bangalore to kickstart my career as I really appreciated this city, it’s people, the weather of course and the overall quality of life it offered in 1999. My first and only job was at a cutting edge internet school called ZAP, which offered courses in digital media and building e.commerce website. I joined this school as a Graphic Design Teacher, within a quarter I was heading their South India business. Ethical clashes with the management led to my quitting this job and the realisation that it would be best if I ran my own business, there would never be conflict of values or any other kind. In the next phase, lasting approximately 12 months, I started an e.commerce venture, focussing on architecture community and the real estate and construction sectors, funded by family and family friends. Hyphen Interactive was born, and it grew to a team of about 25, but the venture folded as the dot com bust of 2001 arrived. I retained most of the team and switched from an e.commerce startup to a design and consulting firm model.

Over the last 19 years, over a 100 people have worked at Hyphen Design Pvt Ltd and most of the ex-employees today work at leading Indian and MNC businesses like Amazon, Flipkart, GE, Logica CMG, Wipro etc in both India and at International Locations. Some of them have also gone ahead and started their own businesses and entrepreneurial careers.

satish@brewer-world.com

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