Innocent Drinks' Design Culture

Topics: Graphic design, Brand, Communication design Pages: 7 (2144 words) Published: April 14, 2008
The Innocent Drinks Design Culture
Discuss and illustrate the extent to which a ‘design culture’ in an organisation can give it competitive advantage.

I. Introduction

In 21st century, the organizations are entering a brand new era full of opportuni-ties and innovations, and great changes have taken place in companies’ attitude to-wards some traditional practices. Design has become an essential issue. As the writer in “Designing the 21st century” observed:

Throughout the industrialized world, manufacturers of all types are in-creasingly recognizing and implementing design as an essential means of reaching new international audiences and of gaining competitive ad-vantage.

The term of Design culture can be defined or represented in many ways because different industries and companies have different design culture. The importance is the output or result of each different Design Culture, what is the image on the cus-tomer, and what is the impact on the company performance.

II. Purpose

This essay will look into the “Innocent Drinks”, a company based in United King-dom that produced smoothie (a kind of drink that blend juice and fruit with yogurt or water). The content will focus on the Innocent Drinks’ background, work force, brand identity , decision making, packaging and distribution in order to understand its ‘de-sign culture’ and how it influenced the company. Finally, what competitive advantage that design culture can give to Innocent Drinks. III. Background

Innocent Drinks was start by three young people, Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright, who graduated from Cambridge. In 1998, they started to make smoothie and sold in a music festival in London. The consumers were ask to throw the empty bottles to two bins, “yes” or “no”, to let the consumers decided whether three of them should keep making smoothie. After the festival the bin of “yes” was full so the next day they resigned to it. Now, the company “Innocent Drinks” has become the biggest smoothies company and has 65% of UK smoothie market share (Russell, 2007).

IV. The Innocent Drinks Design culture – Stay Simple

The design philosophy in Innocent Drinks is to “stay simple.” It influences the de-sign culture and the ethics of Innocent Drinks. No tricks, just natural, honesty, and engaging work (Germain, 2007), these four points followed by workplace, decision making, brand identity and Innocent ethics will be discussed.


The headquarters of Innocent Drinks is based in west London named, Fruit Tower. The decoration of the office is based on “natural”. The carpet is green like the grass, and plants everywhere. The garden outside the office is to let the employees can take a rest when they are tired or just want to have some inspiration.

The working place is an open area where no one is isolated but still to be respect as an individual. Their design culture can also be seen in the business card. The company asks the employees to create their own job title to put on the business cards. For example, the marketing manager is “Queen Bee”(Gibson, 2007). Further-more, the Fruit Tower invites every customers walking by to step inside the head-quarters to have a drink of their newest recipe for free.

It is obvious that the company want to create an open and natural working envi-ronment and build up a “stay simple” design culture. Everyone who visit or work in the company is not only an independent individual but also a part of the family- Inno-cent Drinks.

2. The leadership and Decision making – bottom-up, natural, and honest.

The company structure can be analyze of Power Distance. Power Distance(PD) refers to the extent to which less powerful members expect and accept unequal power distribution within a culture(Marcus and Emilie). In this case, Innocent Drinks leadership use Low PD. That means the organizations have flatter hierarchies and less difference in salaries and status.

The free, green, and open...

References: Design Council(2007), ‘Innocent Drinks:Creative culture strengthens brand values and drives profits’,
Fiell, C., Fiell, P. (2001) Designing the 21st century. TASCHEN, pp. 15-25
Gibson, R.(2007), ‘Rethinking Fruit Juice:A fresh approach to business’ , Rethinking-group.
Hofsted, G.(2004) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind
Marcus, A., Emilie, W.(2000), ‘Cultural Dimensions and Global Web User-Interface Design: What? So What? Now What?’, Human Factors.
Russell, J.(2007), ‘The Big Interview: Richard Reed, Innocent Drinks – From raspber-ries to riches’,
Temporal, p.(2002), Advanced Brand Management, Wiley.
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