Garrett Reil — brand consultant

Garrett works with leading and growing brands — and in close collaborative partnership with partners and agencies — to create, reinvent and manage breakthrough brands.

ABout Garrett
Garrett’s teachers said he wouldn’t amount to anything.

Since then, he’s worked with some of the world’s leading brands—and big names in branding, like Futurebrand, Landor and Brand Union (does that count for anything?).

These days, he spends his time zooming between Dublin and London, working with brands and brand consultancies to devise breakthrough strategies. He also works directly with some of the nation’s best-loved (and soon-to-be-loved) brands. His experience spans all sectors: from Alcohol, Automotive and Aviation (never together!), Through B2B, Banking and Building (never boring), all the way to Weaving, past Yogurt, to big insurance beginning with Z.

garrett reil MA MIDI FRSA
broad experience across sectors

Garrett has directed major brand projects, naming, employee engagement and communications projects for; Aton (Lifesciences, France), Around Noon (UK), Atypical Law (BRE, UK), Bord Bia (Food, Ireland), Bosch (Global / Germany), Bcell Design (Biotechnology/France), CPL Aromas (UK/UAE), Engie (France / International), Etex / Eternit (Belgium/International), Euronit (Iberia and Ireland), Fexco, FutureBrand, Glenisk, Heineken, Hilti, Hybrigenics (France), Industry Branding, Karen Millen, KFH Bank (Kuwait), Kingspan, MABI, Merck (Germany), Microsoft (Seattle), Mitsubishi Corporation, Meraas (Dubai), Morrisons, Natwest, NYK (Japan/Global), Optimum Group (UK), Royal Bank of Scotland, Warba Bank (Kuwait) and Zurich (Gobal).

With extensive global experience of creating consumer, corporate and b2b branding, I help brands build a competitive advantage by focusing on delivering a brand that is:
— Purposeful and personality packed
— Simple, memorable and compelling
— Clearly voiced and communicated
— Visibly and verbally different
Garrett Reil
leading agencies — London & Dublin
Recently Garrett has held leadership and consulting roles with leading brand agencies in Dublin and London.
Beginning his career in London, he held senior roles and led brand design programmes with industry-leading design and brand groups; FutureBrand, Landor (The global branding business), Retail design group BCD (Butler Cornfield Dedman) and Banks & Miles; with work including retail branding & campaigns for Bass plc, literature for CME Media (Eastern Europe/TV), retail identity for Kiabi (France/Fashion retail), corporate identity for Delta Air Lines (US/International), and identity standards and typographic consultancy for London Underground and Transport for London.

Background… brand and communications
As partner in Rain brand consultants, Garrett l strategic banding p Botany Weaving, Gabriel Scientific / SleepAngel, Kleerex Group, PEI Medical, Trintech plc, Magnetic Solutions, Shell and Wexford Festival Opera.

He was Creative Director of The Identity Business / Brand Union (now Design Bridge and Partners). His work included branding for Allfinanz, branding and card design for Bank of Ireland, strategic brand review for Eircell (Vodafone), NPD for MBNA cards, identity consultancy for ICS / The Mortgage Store, and an extensive brand audit for Eircom.
Garrett Reil MIDI FRSA, has an MA from NCAD. A grad of LSAD Visual Communication, with distinction, he was also National Design Graduate of the Year. Garrett was RSA (Royal Society of Arts) WHSmith/Banks&Miles Bursary Award Winner (UK). He has been a visiting lecturer at NCAD, Exeter, University of Plymouth (UK) and was external advisor on their MA in Design.
Fellow and former board member for Ireland of the RSA (Royal Society of Arts), member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland and awarded member of the ISTD, International Society of Typographic Designers.
FAQs machine

Frequently asked questions — answered

Do you specialise?

Yes and no. I’m a certainly a brand specialist in that I create unique verbal and visual identities based on unique brand strategies. But I work across sectors and include B2B and B2C branding in the mix. I believe this is essential to creativity.

Can we skip the boring research and strategy bit and skip to the brand design?

Well, no. If you want to make something unique and useful –  that’s what branding requires. But if you have a clear brand strategy — or good research already (meaning a thorough written understanding of your project and market), and you have a plan for how to solve it, we’re half way there. And, good news, it’s never boring! Call me to discuss.

How do you approach naming?

Each project is individual. But, like any other design process, it should be built out of an understanding of the marketplace, your customer and product(s) or service. First we take (or make) your unique strategy and define creative territories to explore. Then, when there is an agreed direction of travel, I create names and collaborate with you/your team to arrive at the strongest solution. Visualising these as research quality visuals or mockups helps the decision-making process.

What is brand architecture?

Your brand architecture is a framework that aligns product and service offerings with brand and business strategy — and the customer journey. It’s designed to organise and simplify your brand(s), creating consistency and clarity across  channels. The goal of a brand architecture is to create a clear understanding of how customers perceive you as an organisation, what makes them want to do business with you, where they should go for various services or products within your portfolio—and how those services or products are different from one another. I’m the survivor of many brand architecture reviews. I believe a strong brand architecture is built from your audience’s point of view, not to represent your internal structures or power centres. That’s the key and should be your north star. But like many things in life – that’s easier said than done.

How much does a brand strategy, naming or brand design project cost?

That’s a million dollar question. But the answer is not as much as that! As above, projects and problems to be solved come in all shapes and sizes, typically from a few weeks to a number of months and costs reflect the time involved. Call me to discuss.

Do you have a style?

No. I have an approach. In fact, blindly following a given style of work, whether verbal or visual design, is anathema to a genuinely differentiated brand. Yes, there are plenty of designers and consultants who have a house style and they may be a good choice for specific projects — and good luck to them. But if you ask me to repeat for you exactly what I have done for someone elsewhere, prepare for some tough questions ;-)

How long does it take?

Projects and problems to be solved come in all shapes and sizes, typically from a few weeks to a number of months. Building a brand is an ongoing process, so while the strategy, messaging, creative and design phases are critical, it is even more important to have a guiding set of principles to guide you on what is a constantly changing and iterative journey. As a startpoint — to run a strategy programme from interviews to signed-off strategy document usually takes about 3 months.

Do you work directly with brands and brand managers to create brand strategies and identities?

Yes. More than half of my work is direct with companies (across both Consumer and B2B brands) and I have worked with major and upstart brands across brand strategy, new product development, brand naming, brand identity concepts and creating brand guidelines.

Why do people insist on having frequently asked questions on a site?

Good question. It saves a lot of bother answering the same questions repeatedly and at the same time is a digestible format. It does not hurt your site’s performance in search either – which I guess is one of the prime reasons people take the time to answer questions clients may have. For more complex questions, get in touch.

Build the best foundation for your brand.
If you want to discuss the issues and opportunities you face…
get in touch
© Garrett Reil 2012-2024.
Some images are placeholders courtesy of client brands and partners and all rights remain with individual photographers and rights holders.