UK Brand Agency Elmwood Expands U.S. Presence

UK brand design agency Elmwood is expanding its U.S. presence and has named Jessie McGuire strategy director, U.S. Her key responsibilities will include formulating new products and approaches in brand design; leading client development and framing and selling new client programs. She will also oversee current U.S. clients, Fairway Supermarkets and Irish Spring. 

Founded in Leeds, UK, in 1977, the Elmwood agency helps brands overhaul their images. The agency's repositioning and redesign of Durex, for instance, helped increase sales in Europe by more than $24 million and market share by more than 35%. And Elmwood’s overhaul of the Walmart Great Value brand in the U.S. is credited with contributing to a $1 billion sales increase while helping to spark the trend toward high-design, high-value private-label brands.

The U.S. strategy position is a new role at Elmwood. Elmwood has Directors of Provocation -- its word for strategy and ideas -- in Europe. 



Although Elmwood has operated a New York City office for five years, McGuire's hiring signals the added importance the agency is now placing on the U.S. market. Earlier this spring, the agency announced the appointment of non-executive directors Steve Gatfield (former president of Lowe Worldwide) and Bob Petisi (former president of MCA) for global strategy and business development.

McGuire brings a wealth of brand experience to the agency. She previously worked at Kimberly-Clark, where she led the redesign that helped transform the $1.4 billion Kleenex brand into a modern lifestyle accessory, as well as the redesign that re-established the Cottonelle brand. Prior to Kimberly-Clark, she worked as chief culture officer for Colorful Brands, where she co-wrote the design book, Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing, and Sustaining Brands. 

“There is no greater compliment than a Fortune 100 design leader joining our studio,” said Jonathan Sands, founder and chairman of Elmwood. “Effectiveness is what matters, and Jessie is grounded in the business imperative of design. We expect her to play a pivotal role in our U.S. expansion.”

In addition to its New York and Leeds locations, Elmwood has offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Melbourne.

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