In a nutshell:

IDEO San Francisco’s Design for Food Studio is in search of a Brand Strategist with a passion for food. We’re looking for a someone who sees themselves below:

  • You consider yourself as much a storyteller as a strategist.
  • You are as inspired by talking with clients about market sizing as you are standing in someone’s kitchen to learn how they feel about the peanut butter in their pantry.
  • You love food but are frustrated by the food system, and want to make a difference, using design. You know and care about issues like food waste, children’s obesity, the link between health and nutrition and understand the complexities around small food scaling big, and big food shifting to better food.
  • You get excited by designing brands and their strategic underpinnings, from scratch or as evolutions. You insist on well-crafted brand promises and mission statements that are meaningful and clear, rather than simply designed to please all of the stakeholders.
  • You know how to cut to the heart of what drives people, and you use that to craft insights that are actionable, inspiring, and lead to big opportunities for innovative solutions. You have demonstrated the ability to simplify the complex and communicate it in clear and inspiring ways (you love a good framework!)

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

The Brand Strategist is a designer on a multi-disciplinary team crafting holistic brand solutions for our clients’ brands in the food and beverage industry. Our work in Design for Food focuses on helping the next generation of eaters build better behaviors, as well as helping food creators build better solutions to address our complex food system.

As the brand strategist on an IDEO design team, you will guide your team to crafting holistic solutions where the brand story is integral to the design from the earliest stages. You will constantly be looking for, weaving, and pressure-testing the thread that ties together concepts into cohesive platforms that ladder up to a larger brand story. Our work spans a spectrum of brand creation to brand shift—to projects that aren’t even (technically) about the brand, but that require an empathy and understanding of brands in order to develop a holistic solution, such as experiences and services, or helping organizations make cultural shifts.

Once here you will:

  • Synthesize and leverage insights from people and culture to design creative solutions that are a fit for a brand as well as the people it needs to serve
  • Understand our clients’ business challenges to design brand strategies based on their realities
  • Work hand-in-hand with diverse teams, from culinary and chefs to graphic and industrial designers
  • Explore future market trends that might influence the evolution and/or revolution of a brand
  • Create compelling storytelling and expression to communicate strategic solutions that inspire organizations and people to engage and take action

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

What we’d like to see from you:

Required: Provide 2-3 work samples

Show us a couple of inspiring examples of how you tell stories and express ideas and strategies. Could be a creative brief, a brand or campaign platform, a presentation, an article, or short brand insights or manifesto film. Share examples that showcase your voice—how you inspire clients and teams to grasp, rally behind, and execute against a strategy or creative concept.

Some previous projects to check out:

Designing a Brand to Scale Big

A Trusted Source of Food in China

How can we design a better food system for tomorrow?

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • You have 5-7 years of experience in brand strategy and creating brand experiences for food and beverage companies globally 
  • You know what it means to work with clients (internal or external), and collaborate to tackle challenges across a range of topics, brands, and audiences.
  • You are a natural storyteller who can develop and communicate a clear insight  
  • You embrace ambiguity
  • You have a strong business sensibility
  • You express empathy for clients
  • You demonstrate an interest in creating experiences for a food and/or beverage brand