How Taking A Design-Centered Approach Builds Stronger Brands

Last updated: 02-12-2021

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How Taking A Design-Centered Approach Builds Stronger Brands

The beauty and wellness industry has continued to grow despite the pandemic. Marc Jacobs recently launched Perfect, a new fragrance which celebrates optimism and originality. Bad Habit launched a skincare line embracing the realities of our daily life. And The Feelist launched a luxury plant-powered skincare and self-care collection. Beyond sharing messages of inclusivity and self-love, the common thread of these companies is Rinat Aruh of Aruliden, the creative powerhouse behind some of the world’s buzziest beauty and wellness brands.

As the CEO and cofounder of Aruliden, a global design agency, Aruh and her team have worked with renowned brands such as Supergoop!, Glossier Play, and Merit from design ideation to launch. She specializes in purpose-driven branding and design innovation. “The core of what I do is work closely with business leaders to help solve fundamental business problems and deliver on them through the lens of design,” she says. “The other part of my job is related to people-building relationships, listening to the needs of my team, clients, and communities at large.”

Aruh began her career at the BMW Group, working on the MINI brand. Experiencing first hand a design-centric culture allowed her to truly understand the importance of design. “When you place a MINI in front of people, the car does all the talking. People smile. They want to touch it, give it a hug and name it. The emotional connection is incredible,” she explains. “And that was at a time when the rest of the market was camouflaging, you know, a bad product with great advertising. This instigated me to be design-centric. In the end, we have to make sure that products have a reason to exist.”

As a Turkish Israeli who moved to Texas in her youth, Aruh comes from a rich global cultural perspective, which she feels has been beneficial to her creative path. She doesn’t feel like her current job is work. “It's a joy. I get excited about it every single day,” she says. Even balancing her work life with her personal life, including raising two kids, she doesn’t feel the need to “switch off.” Rather she sees her work and personal lives as being totally intertwined. “My work is part of my dinner conversations with my family. In fact, my kids’ point of views on things serve as important inspiration,” she says.

Aruliden has become stronger in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Aruh feels. Projects became accelerated. The company had to align closely with clients, suppliers, and manufacturers to move forward quickly without compromising design excellence – all in a virtual setting. While it wasn’t easy, Aruh says that it made her team “extremely disciplined in how we use our time. It also created stronger bonds with our partners and clients because we had to solve business challenges together. While we’ve always strived for truth and transparency, we had to become even more transparent during the pandemic.”

In addition, the agency continued to engage with underserved communities to bring design into education and help minority-owned businesses accelerate. Aruliden provides pro bono design services, and also teaches small businesses, schools and cities how to build a brand and product and bring it to market. During the pandemic, the agency worked with the city of New York and NYC+Co to build a revitalization campaign.

Aruh urges young people to understand that purpose and profit can co-exist. “I think there is a misconception with the younger generation that doing good can’t be profitable,” she says. “But the financial rewards will come if you are truly passionate and purposeful about what you do and how it will have a positive effect on people’s lives.”

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