Posts Tagged ‘DeeDee Gordon’


Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

DeeDee Gordon, President of Sterling Brand’s Innovation group, recently participated in the LAUNCH 2020 Summit, a multi-day event that convened over 150 global innovators and thinkers to collectively imagine a world where the making of things has a minimal impact on people and the planet.

Founding partners NASA, NIKE, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State formed LAUNCH in an effort to bring collective genius, unprecedented networks, and new resources to overcome some of humanity’s toughest sustainability challenges.

The summit also unveiled the LAUNCH 2013 Challenge Statement, an open call for innovation to transform the system of producing fabrics. LAUNCH 2013 is open to individuals and teams. In August the 10 strongest innovations will be selected and participants will take part in an immersive program that provides access to capital, creativity and capacity.


Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Check out the Buzz from Innovation this week, as DeeDee Gordon shares her insights on how to innovate for the future.
How do we innovate for the future? It is a driving question for many businesses, but many of them are looking into too short-term of a future.  DeeDee Gordon provided a case study with insights into how to innovate not just for tomorrow, but for the decades to come.

Check out the buzz for Sterling Innovation this week, as DeeDee Gordon shares her insights on how to innovate for the future.


How do we innovate for the future? It is a driving question for many businesses, but many of them are looking into too short-term of a future.  DeeDee Gordon provided a case study with insights into how to innovate not just for tomorrow, but for the decades to come.

For the answers, click to read more.


SB Innovation Welcomes Bart Haney

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012


Bart Haney is the newest addition to the Innovation Group at Sterling, having joined the team as SVP – Innovation in May 2012. Bart has years of experience in entrepreneurial endeavors, education, and project management with clients ranging from nimble startups to Fortune 500 companies and huge global brands. Most recently, Bart hails from fuseproject, where he ran the New York studio and brought communication, coordination, and direction to fuseproject’s creative engagements.

“We’re so pleased to have Bart on the team. His expertise in product and structure design has really pushed our innovation offering to new levels. His energy and enthusiasm for what we do is infectious.”

- DeeDee Gordon, President, Innovation

At two months in, we thought it was about time to introduce Bart to the greater Sterling family right here on the 3rd Button. Here’s what Bart has to say for himself…

Q: So, Bart, you’ve taken an interesting path. Not everyone starts their own company immediately upon graduating Art Center College of Design. Tell us a little bit about what led you to where you are today.

A: It’s been a path of curiosity, exploration, and evolution.  My first company, Superhappybunny was formed at a time when micro-manufacturing was just starting to be within the grasp of well-trained designers. When my partners and I graduated from Art Center, we believed it was our responsibility to explore and guide where this would go. In order for our products to see the light of day, we needed to not only learn how to promote them out in the world, but also develop a business structure to sustain this endeavor.

Moving forward to fuseproject, I was able to hone the interaction of a design-centric vision with an evolving studio scale and philosophy. Building from the amazing vision of Yves, we were able to craft great design at the highest level for years, across an incredibly wide spectrum of challenges and brands.

All of this has led me to Sterling, where the approach to innovation and design, specifically DeeDee’s integration of articulate and well-vetted consumer engagement and co-creation, represents the next step forward for the process of product development. In a world where every consumer has a voice, we need to be amazing listeners, but even better filters to find the insights that will drive true and valuable innovation.

Q: You definitely seem passionate about what you do. What is it about Innovation that gets you so excited?

A: I am ecstatic about the idea of watching the ways of the world and finding those moments and opportunities where small focused change can make a huge impact on human behavior.

Q: What is your design philosophy? What do you feel are the building blocks that make or break great product and structure design?

A: Design Philosophy… that’s a hard one to pinpoint. If your job and your passion are to find and capitalize on moments of cultural evolution, your philosophy also needs to always be growing and adapting.

To me, great design done well is almost invisible. It’s evident when the first time you try something/interact with something new, something about it already feels familiar and instinctual. It is the result of an immense amount of research, exploration, invention and sweat, but to the user, it feels so effortless…THAT’S good design.

Q: What was it about Sterling that lured you from NYC to the West Coast to run the studio for the Innovation Group? What’s your vision for the Innovation Group moving forward?

A: It’s about coming back to my roots in design to harvest something fresh. That and the opportunity to work with DeeDee. She and I worked on a project many, many years ago. Her laser sharp vision on the inner workings of people and culture, as well as her “tell it like she sees it” attitude always stuck with me. I believe that this, mixed with my love of process and product, are going to have amazing results.

Q: And now for a serious question. After spending time in NY, San Fran, and LA, is the West coast really the best coast?

Two words : Avocados and sunshine.


DeeDee Gordon on Co-Creation in Design

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

On June 24th, DeeDee spoke at the 2012 Dieline Package Design Conference about a topic near and dear to our hearts—co-creation with consumers.

What is co-creation?

We define co-creation as the process in which consumers and experts collaborate in a meaningful way with brands and product developers. At Sterling, we believe that co-creation is about establishing an open transmission of ideas, and an honest exchange between a brand, our team, category and topic experts, and consumers. The result? Big, actionable ideas that resonate with consumers and address specific needs and motivations.

Why is co-creation so important in design?

While we believe co-creation is appropriate for any branding challenge that involves a human being as the end user, we’ve seen a growing need for co-creation specifically in package and structure design. This is due to the evolution of today’s consumers to become increasingly conscious of design, and as demanding about the presentation of a product as they are about the product itself.


Today’s consumers are inundated with beautiful design across all categories. They have come to expect nothing but the best when it comes to design.

The package is very often the first touchpoint of a brand with which a consumer interacts. To this end, it’s incredibly important that structure and package design speaks to consumers, piques their interest, and encourages trial and usage. Co-creation helps us to ensure that it does.

Co-creating with the-Collaboratory:

In almost all of our work with clients, we engage the-Collaboratory, our proprietary database of brand enthusiasts from around the world, to gather insights and to work with us to develop new products, services, and designs. We seed hypotheses into the-Collaboratory and then we receive feedback, builds, and even blue-sky ideas in response.


Sterling’s co-creation process involves a number of unique inputs and an open feedback loop with consumers and experts.

Keeping this feedback loop open with consumers is incredibly important and a task that we put a great deal of time and energy into. To this end, DeeDee rounded out her presentation at the Dieline Conference with some design assertions that we’ve heard first-hand from members of the-Collaboratory. What entices consumers? Gets them excited to try a new product? Keeps them coming back for more?  Here are some thoughts, straight from the mouths of members of the-Collaboratory:

Refined Simplicity

“Excess is out. I want understated, clean designs that let the product shine.“

Some examples:


Unico Musk perfume designed by Lavernia and Cienfuegos; Voda Vodka designed by Mass Design; Sifteo Cubes designed by New Deal Design

Global Influence

“I see inspiration from around the globe in everything I do. Packaging should be no different.”

Some examples:


Taiwan Centennial Blessing Tea designed by Bonho Inc.; Brickhouse Soaps designed by The Soap and Paper Factory; Ojon Hair Oil designed by designpackaging


“Hand-crafted packaging and structure is a key indicator of a high quality product…and I’m not one to settle.”

Some examples:


Bar Gelato by Naia, designed by Mette Hornung Rankin of Bureau of Betterment; Wahl’sche Schnapsbirne by Stahlemuhle

Tactile Curiosity

“There’s something about haptic packaging. If it makes me want to touch it, I’ll likely also want to buy it.”

Some examples:


Coop’s Hot Fudge designed by Marc Cooper; Seedbom by Kabloom, handmade in the UK; Ten over Six Unisex Perfumes designed by Henrik Vibskov

Sustainability and Substance

“These days, I want a package that’s more than just green. It needs to stand for something.”

Some examples:


Boxed Water designed by Kevin Hockin and Benjamin Gott; Guactruck Mobile Eatery packaging is designed by Michealle Lee (owner of the truck) and encourages consumers to bring their packaging back in order to receive a free meal; The Replenish cleaner bottle reduces materials usage by 90%, designed by Jason Foster

Display-Worthy Design Objects

“I try to surround myself with beautiful design objects. Why should packaging and structure be any different?”

Some examples:


Evian by Jean Paul Gaultier; 21 Drops designed by Purpose-Built; Lov Organic tea

Mobile Life

“Everything in my life is mobile. I expect packaging to follow suit. I want streamlined, portable options.”

Some examples:


Help Remedies designed by; GoGo Squeez Applesauce designed by Menage a Trios; Loffle Mich designed by Createam

What does this mean for brands?

In today’s environment, brands must do more to surprise and delight consumers. At Sterling, we believe that co-creation is one important way to do this.

As brand practitioners, we must not only listen to consumers, but also engage them in the creation process. We believe that the best packaging of the future, won’t just be designed for the consumer, it will be designed with the consumer.

DeeDee Gordon, President of Innovation at Sterling

Check back in for Full coverage of the concurrent, HOW Design Live Conference from the expert lens of Debbie Millman-Coming Soon!


FUSE: New Dimensions of Magical

Thursday, April 5th, 2012


That time is once again upon us!

We invite you to join Debbie, DeeDee, Pam, Simon and many more Sterlingites this April at this year’s FUSE, the premier conference for showcasing how design can drive brand growth and bottom line.

Come network with structural, digital, and graphic designers, as well as creative directors from all over the world. Get inspired and inspire others with your design vision.

Headliners this year are:

-Jonah Lehrer, Author, How We Decide & Imagine

-Sheena Iyengar, Author, The Art of Choosing

-Maggie Macnab, Designer & Author, Design By Nature & Decoding By Design

-Mathieu Lehanneur, Industrial Designer & Interior Architect

-Joe Sabia, Digital Producer & Creative Consultant

-Vince Voron, Head of Design, Coca Cola North America & Former Apple Sr. Industrial Designer

-Steve Frykholm, Vp & Creative Director, Herman Miller

Be sure to catch the Sterling gang Day One at the Design Leadership Symposium, where DeeDee Gordon, President of Sterling’s Innovation group, teams up with Guido Schmitz, Packaging and Technology Innovation & Global R+D at Bayer. They’ll be talking about the Power of the Consumer in driving Innovation, and how co-creation worked for the Bayer brand.

And of course, we’ll all be there when Debbie Millman, President of Design at Sterling & Co-Chair of FUSE, gives her welcoming remarks to all FUSE attendees, Day Two, alongside Cheryl Swanson, Co-Chair and Principal at Toniq.

This year promises to be better than ever and we truly hope you enjoy the show! See you this April.

For more information, visit

Check @sterlingbrands on Twitter for a special 25% off discount code off your registration!

See you there!


Sterling Buzz…

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Our head of Innovation, DeeDee Gordon, gets profiled on


The-Collaboratory is a key element of how we approach innovation at Sterling. 
We believe in innovating in the context of the culture. We look at each innovation challenge as it exists within todayĘĽs society and all of the things going on in the world that are impacting the specific opportunity—the brandĘĽs truths and business objectives, macro trends, category trends, marketplace dynamics, consumer expectations and needs, etc. 
We use the-Collaboratory to co-create with consumers and develop new products, services, and experiences that truly resonate with a given audience. It provides a constant feedback loop for our own work as well as for the work of our clients, and this direct link to consumers is truly priceless.”

Read on to see how Sterling’s The-Collaboratory, our unique innovation co-creation tool has been redesigned for maximum results, and to learn everything you wanted to know about DeeDee…


Celebrating Innovation

Monday, March 5th, 2012


What a difference a year makes.

DeeDee Gordon is celebrating her first anniversary with Sterling Brands! In one year, she has opened the LA offices to serve as the hub of Sterling Innovation and transformed our culture, our deliverable and our business.

“She’s inspired new heights of creativity. Her brilliant work with Disney, P&G, Bayer and many more has changed the way we think about brands, market research and innovation. We are madly in love with her.”

- Debbie Millman

DeeDee brings a fresh perspective to innovation at Sterling- one where consumers and trends play a key role in the innovation process. With over 15 years experience in brand building and trending, along with a number of proprietary tools under her belt, she offers clients an arsenal of innovation expertise and techniques.

The big gun that is kept tightly under wraps is The-Collaboratory, our global online database of consumers available to co-create with our clients. It’s truly one of it’s kind and we use it to tackle innovation challenges, as well as in collaboration with our Design and Strategy projects.

DeeDee will be kicking off her second year with Sterling as a speaker at the FUSE conference. We hope to see you there!

Click here for more info on Sterling Innovation


Next Up on Design Matters…

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Last year, with the help of Hillman Curtis, a live version of Design Matters featuring MALCOLM GLADWELL was filmed at the SVA Masters in Branding Studio.

In this episode, Malcolm discusses the launch of his illustrated collection of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, with insights from Innovation expert DeeDee Gordon, illustrator Brian Rea, designer Paul Sahre and entrepreneur Josh Liberson– who all contributed to the project concept and creation.




Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Branding is more than just advertising, it is one of the major engines powering society…”brand_thinking

The first review for Debbie’s upcoming book Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits (September debut) is out! >>Read more and stay tuned for updates on the launch!


Welcome: DeeDee Gordon as Sterling’s New President of Innovation!

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

D.GordonRecognized internationally as a leading consumer insight and trends expert for more than 15 years, DeeDee Gordon has joined Sterling Brands as President of Innovation. (more…)