Stefan Liute, co-founder and strategy director at Romanian branding agency Grapefruit, announced, on Thursday, that he decided to leave the company on July 1st and start a new business in branding together with his wife, Adriana Liute.
I chose to leave Grapefruit because passions that animate us, me and my old friends there, push us in different directions. I know we will stay close one to another, that we all face good and big days and that we will help each other every time is needed
On a post on his newly relaunched blog, Liute also thanked the people he worked with along the time
“I chose to make branding within a new company, named Storience, together with my wife, Adriana, the person with strategic and communication insights I worked with during the last 2 years. Storience means coherent brands, with a red lining and catch, as the best stories in real life, not in books, are.”, he said.
Recently, in an interview for AdHugger, Stefan Liute gave some opinions on Romanian branding market, in local and regional context.
Opinion on Romanian branding market and evolution of segment during the crisis period?
I think this particular field is a pretty good mirror for the overall status of our economy and for the business acumen of our entrepreneurs and managers. There is less money to be spent on anything, of course, but the need to find and sustain differentiation has, if anything, increased in the last four years. Branding clients know this, most of them, and their appetite for branding services has not diminished. It is only the level of understanding that varies. Some believe that hastily being offered logo or packaging proposals (even before they understand their own business needs) is the proper way to do branding in these times. Others go deeper and think about product design, service design, and experience design before asking themselves if their logo needs a refresh.
Main trends/evolutions to influence Romanian branding market in the future
We will pretty much continue to ape the evolution of Western European markets. With a slight delay, of course. So there will still be lots of digital potential to tap into. Also, market/consumer research and ROI measurement will provide significant potential for development. Branding projects will be more closely assessed by clients. Such projects will easily span across multiple fields, from the traditional ones (eg. communication and design) to more exotic or technical ones, such as industrial design and supply chain management.
Romanian branding market in CEE and Europe context
There’s still much work to be done—in my opinion, we still do not excel and I’m not talking international award competition, but street-level reality. We’ve always been behind countries with richer design traditions in our area, such as Poland and the Czech Republic. Serbia and the other former Yugoslavs have done a better job after the fall of Communism, but I was shocked to realize that even Bulgarian supermarket shelves and high-street storefronts look better than our own. We do not have a critical mass of at least decent (if not outright good) design and communication apparent in our everyday lives—not yet