‘Non-Traditional’ Tim Allen Joins Wolff Olins

Tim Allen, former head of Amazon’s product design studio, has joined Wolff Olins as its first North American President.  Best described has having a non-traditional career in branding and design, Allen previously served as Executive Creative Director at Amazon, where he led a team of technologists and designers to create human-centered and experience-led digital products and design. Before that, he led Experience Design at both R/GA and Sapient Nitro, amassing a collection of awards for his innovative work including Nike Training Club, Nike’s first iOS app, Nike+ Active, which was highlighted by Steve Jobs at the 2009 Macworld Keynote, and Nike+, which Adweek named “Campaign of the Decade.”   Allen says his day-to-day responsibilities in the newly created post — initiated to oversee growth in the firm’s New York and San Francisco offices — will be “a combination of people, projects and purpose.” 

In a recent blogpost on the Wolff Olins site, Allen argues, in part, that “the expectation of what a company can provide has exponentially increased in relation to the unprecedented access customers now have, the proliferation of choice, and the explosion of new value derived from technology.  Because of this shift, companies can no longer be isolated from the experience customers have with them through media or technology…  Today’s customers reject that relationship. Customers are no longer consumers. They no longer buy brands. They join tribes… Customers demand control from the products and services they love. They want to co-create and collaborate. They want to feel a part in deciding what gets produced and how it gets delivered. They’re willing and definitely able to participate in product development, marketing and distribution. When brands match their promise to their delivery, associated tribes voluntarily create and promote a message of empowerment, satisfaction and love. That spirit of participation extends and defines them. The resulting level of investment also creates an expectation that a brand will learn, nurture and rekindle customer activity long after an initial purchase.”