Established in early 2008, Joie Brands is a boutique branding agency based out of Dubai. We specialise in building passionate brands that enrich the human experience. Our strength lies in determining the “Big Idea” behind a brand and in creating partnerships that go the distance.

EST. 2008

JOHN WATKINSON

Founder/CEO

Our founder and CEO’s demeanor, “Joie de Vivre” is what Joie Brands is named after! It is a french saying that John has modeled his life around and it means to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; or an exultation of spirit.

John thoroughly enjoyed his Masters of Mechanical Engineering at Southampton, where he rode motorcycles, skydived, made lots of friends and designed a race car...and some say he learnt stuff too! He is good at the sciences and the creative subjects and paid for part of his degree by selling paintings to Formula 1 racing teams. In 2002 John got a job as an engineer in Dubai, he was quickly recognised as a leader in Tarmac, who invested in his business education.

In 2008 John’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he set up Joie Brands, a company he was passionate about. Armed with a few dirhams, an analytical and creative mind and an appetite for learning, he ventured into the world of branding. He employed a world class creative director, and through him John learned about, digested and improved upon many of the processes and rationales associated with developing sustainable brands. As a result, nearly 9 years later John and his company, Joie Brands, have helped hundreds of companies from startups to multinationals realise the power of their brand. Repeat business is high at Joie Brands and John attributes this to the fact that we have developed great relationships with our clients, many of whom have become personal friends and this is a reason to believe in humanising brands.

Mo Saad

Creative Director

Resident office-DJ by day, and Netflix aficionado by night, Mo’s true passion really lies in developing brand strategies and visual identities. Back in New York City, Mo worked with the likes of Procter & Gamble, Novartis, Merck, Genentech, NIVEA, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and Air Canada. After making the jump to the Middle East, his client roster grew to include Saudi Telecom (STC), DP World, The Tourism Department of Ajman,
Dubai Opera and Emaar Hospitality.

Mo is actively involved in the local and regional design scene. He is the Founder and President of AIGA Middle East (The American Institute of Graphic Arts), and is a published contributing author on "Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing and Sustaining Brands".

Mo has participated in and moderated a number of panel discussions on design in the Middle East. In 2015 he conducted a workshop titled "How to Design a Great Logo" which involved over 300 students and designers as part of the Expo 2020 Logo Design Competition launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Mo received his "Masters in Branding" from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and attended the Art Institute of California.

Jemima Desouza

Account Director

She’s known as our resident law enforcement officer, but she’s always willing to turn a blind eye when a cupcake is in sight.  

With over 7 years of industry experience, Jemima is a Marketing and Communication specialist. During her time with Grass Roots (WPP), the world’s leading provider of Employee, Channel and Customer engagement solutions she worked with clients like Titan, Prestige, HDFC, Mars, Major Brands and many more.

She also has significant digital marketing experience having run an Ecommerce gifting portal and having worked with Orios Venture Partners to establish India’s first online luxury floral boutique.

Jemima is an MBA from India’s premier school for communication MICA (Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad).

Here at Joie Brands, Jemima works closely with our clients to create and execute their brand and communication strategy.

Our Approach

What would happen if an Irresistible Force met an Immovable Object? 

Well, that’s one we’ll never be able to figure out. But we do know this; a brand is much more than just your logo.

Building a successful brand means diving deep into its essence to bring out the qualities that make it truly unique and sustainable. At Joie Brands, we listen, observe, reflect and question, so that when we help you build your brand we can find the little triggers that bring joy to your customers and to your bottom line!

Joie Brands - Our Process
who-we-are-mobile-8.png

Our Process

In general, a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, but when it comes to choosing products and services, people always have the tendency to do so. Your brand is effectively that cover (but often your brand also influences many of the chapters within that book too) and as a result, your brand should be built to attract the right people.

Our process is simple but very effective. It’s split into five key steps that allow us the ability to build your brand by following logic and empathy—by listening to what your customers want and then delivering the most optimal solution to them.

And by following our “Humanising Brands” approach, we’re able to help customers perceive the human connection between them and the brand and as such create brand loyalty and help you improve your business.

Joie Brands - Our Approach

1 / Discover

Everything is all about you as the client, but at this stage even more so! We will understand the personality your business has and how you see it looking and communicating. This could include:

  • Kick-off Meeting
  • Market Research
  • Brand Dive
  • Visual Research and Insight
  • Competitive Brand Audit
  • Focus Groups

2 / Define

The objective of this stage is to arrive at a brand strategy, or what we prefer to call a “big idea”. This is one overarching thought that will help us communicate your brand better. We spend 1-2 weeks understanding the messaging and key points that you have told us are important to you and your business and marry those identifiers with our own research and analysis of the market to help us define the following:

  • Strategy Recommendations
  • Brand Vision
  • Brand Essence
  • Key Insights
  • Consumer Insight
  • "Big Idea" Presentation
  • Learnings from Competitive Set
  • sign-off on "Big Idea"

3 / Develop

This is the stage that most of our clients want to see. Here we take the approved findings from the “DEFINE” stage and start to tell a story that is both strategic and visual and a story that will connect with the hearts and minds of your customers - we make it personal! At the end of this stage which typically takes 2-3 weeks you can expect to see:

  • 3x Brand Concepts
  • Tone of Voice
  • Logo Development
  • Contextual Mock-ups
  • Brand Visual Language  (Colours, Typography, Imagery, Illustrations, Patterns, etc.)
  • sign-off chosen concept

4 / Deliver

During this stage we take the approved concept from the “DEVELOP” stage and start to apply it to the list of items we agreed upon in the cost action plan. At the end of this stage you will have the artwork ready so that a printer merely has to press “print” and the physical business cards, letterhead, packaging etc. will start to come to life. Items within this stage could include:

  • Master Logo Suite
  • Digital (Website templates, App Templates and EDM’s)
  • Business Cards & full Stationery Suite
  • Communication Tools (Brochures, Catalogues, Menu's, etc.)
  • Convenience (Packaging, Boxes, Carry bags, etc.)
  • Uniforms or Vehicle Graphics
  • Brand Guidelines

5 / Deploy

You are now armed with the tools to ensure your brand is stable, so at this stage we need to start talking to your customers. There are various means by which one can get their brand in front of a customer and we work with partners who can help you figure out how best to do this. Here are a few items that may fall into the “DEPLOY” category:

  • Social Media
  • PR & Marketing Plans
  • Website Development
  • Social Media Options
  • Arabic Translation
  • Corporate Video
  • Arabic Layout
  • Advertising Plans
  • Photo Shoot - Images
  • Print / Production
  • Illustration
  • Loyalty Programs
The Joie Brands process