Date of Birth’s John Mastro on the power of strategy, and why brands must evolve to stay relevant.
Born in 2015, Date of Birth was founded by experienced brand design specialists. Since then, the Melbourne-based agency have created and evolved brands of all shapes and sizes - helping both start-ups and exisiting companies with everything from their strategy and identity to packaging and retail prescence. To find out more, we caught up with Founder & Chief Creative Officer John Mastro; speaking about Date of Birth’s unique philosophy, their revamped website, ambitious plans for the future, and much more.
PT - Hi John! How’s everything going?
JM- Great! We’re heading into summer in Melbourne, there’s some excitement in the air and new opportunities at Date Of Birth.
PT- Can you summarise what the agency does, and what services you offer?
JM - We’re a branding agency creating the next generation of brands for today, and our services include brand strategy, brand identity and experience design. We work across all industries but have a special focus on retail; launching some of Australia’s most innovative brands. We cater for established brands, start-up brands, traditional brands and out-of-the-box, shake-up-the-system brands – ultimately we bring brands to life with great design, unique ideas and sharp strategy.
PT - Where did this focus on retail come from?
JM - My co-founders and I have over two decades worth of experience in retail design, so it was only natural for us to use that experience and knowledge to our advantage. We’re an agency that likes to create brands that not only look great, they work. This focus on purposeful design naturally led us down the path of retail brand design. Clients come to us seeking help with creating a brand that cuts through the noise, they realise the need to lean on an agency that has years of retail experience, connections and strategic ideas. One project led to another and now we’ve developed a bit of a reputation – we love it and of course, we don’t ignore other sectors, our approach to design is very transferable.
PT - What was the driving force behind your new website and branding, and what do they both mean for DOB?
JM - We needed a website that better reflected our values – we create disruptive brands, brands that cut through the noise and challenge the status quo. Our previous branding wasn’t representative of that, we needed to take the very advice that we give our clients, which is to evolve. Now we can showcase our skillset for all to see, and hopefully, it will inspire people to start something of their own or evolve and nurture what they have.
PT - Many agencies tell us how challenging branding themselves can be – was this the case for you? How did you approach it?
JM - It is challenging working on your own brand while you are so committed to servicing and working with our clients on theirs. It's a matter of allocating time and resources but also trying to take the same approach that we apply to our clients’ work. Ultimately it’s all about the work, telling our story through our clients’ work and showcasing what we are capable of.
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