Life’s too short for beige
In 2006, Taylor & Grace began with a mission: to help you find your brand mojo. i.e. the secret sauce, the X-factor, the je-ne-sais-quoi that makes you truly remarkable to your staff, customers and partners, and makes you stand out.
Most organisations don’t give their brand the attention it deserves, resulting in a lack-lustre impact. Impassioned by this massive missed opportunity, we assembled our dream team of creatives and strategists and have been working towards this ever since.
How we work
We take a personal approach to all the work we do, and partner with you to create, refine, transform or activate your brand and help you make your mark on the world. Whether it’s expressing your remarkability, making you visually stand out, telling arresting stories or creating unforgettable experiences, we believe in a brand strategy-led process. We leave no stone unturned in our brand strategy process, with our work always built on a solid foundation of brand research, workshops, and our team’s vast expertise.
How we think
The concept of reinvention is inherent in brand work and we are always looking for better ways to do things, both for our clients and for ourselves. We make sure we look at our work through as many lenses as possible: a business lens, a creative lens, a customer’s lens, your staff and stakeholders’ lens, as many as we can find. By looking at your brand from every angle, we can approach challenges and deliver solutions holistically. We work across a variety of industry sectors and love throwing ourselves into new challenges and arenas.
We believe that branding must no longer be viewed as the stepchild to marketing but rather as a lighthouse for all business strategy; an always-on beacon to illuminate your organisation’s core. Let us help you discover your brand mojo. This belief underpins our first book Rebranding Branding; Branding for the New Millennium and podcast, as well as our regular provocative blog posts.
We believe in being big kids. We foster imagination, playfulness and fun, which means that our jobs are joyful and full of beer and skittles (literally, sometimes).
We know that nobody can achieve all their goals on their own, so we align ourselves with other visionary people and clients who share our values to work together as peers towards our goals.
ie space to be different. We encourage personal and intellectual courage by challenging our client’s practices, as well as our own. We question conventional wisdom and recognise the power in being ‘unusual’.
If we were a cat, we’d be dead long ago. We crave knowledge and actively pursue continuous learning, both professionally and personally.
We are Taylor & Grace
MD & Head of Strategy and Research
Darren is a visionary brand strategist who has helped hundreds of organisations – from traditional family-run businesses and not-for-profits, to mature multinationals and startups – to develop and grow their brand to compete in a global environment. Darren is that rare entrepreneur who listens as well as he speaks, whose facilitation workshops and brand vision models are exercises in creativity that elicit laughter as well as insight (he thinks he’s hilarious, but so do we). Educated at Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT, he worked at a number of creative agencies before starting Taylor & Grace in 2006. Darren is an accomplished pianist and pipe organist and serves on the board of Musica Viva Australia.
He is a pro-bono adviser to NFPs in the health, education and arts sectors, a public speaker and a mentor to young marketing professionals.
Craig has 20 plus years’ experience managing brand, design, marketing, advertising and production teams across key brands such as BMW, NAB, Mercedes Benz, Cadbury Schweppes, TAC, Bendigo Bank, Myer, Nestle and Australia Post. Over his career he has worked with agencies such as Clemenger BBDO, Badjar Ogilvy, J Walter Thompson and also a stint at Cadbury Schweppes. Craig is a lover of Fedora hats, red wine, Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. His children think he’s mad and a little peculiar, but we find him quite calm and relaxed.
Senior Creative & Brand Specialist
Sarah has been working as a Graphic Designer for over 10 years. After graduating from RMIT with Honours, she has worked on numerous brands, big and small. Some of the ones you may have heard of include MARS, NAB, CUB, Lavazza, Sirena, plus De Bortoli and a bunch of wine brands. Sarah likes to make things pretty. This is not limited to the beautiful brands she creates – she also loves to re-format Craig’s ugly spreadsheets and annual leave forms to ease her OCD. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys yoga (although still can’t touch her toes), and because she hates spare time she runs a catering business on the side.
Senior Creative & Digital Specialist
Simon can do pretty much everything, at least that’s what he tells the boss. After graduating from Swinburne with Honours in Digital Design, he has worked for a number of agencies both locally and internationally before landing at Taylor & Grace. With more than two decades of experience across brand, design, art direction and all things digital, Simon loves nothing more than creating powerful brand stories that engage, resonate and inspire a response. Also likes a pleasing colour palette, dabbling in the kitchen, and having a good laugh along the way. Not Darren’s brother.
From French translator to horse wrangler to brand strategist and wordsmith, Claire finally found what she loves to do. After an initial bachelor degree of French studies, she graduated with a Master of Communications and Media from Monash University and found her home with Taylor & Grace shortly after. She wears many hats, hopping from brand strategy, to copywriting, to account management all in a day’s work. Claire serves up healthy doses of positivity for the team, as well as baked goods if we’re lucky. After moving to Melbourne and failing to find any horses to wrangle, Claire has taken up the unlikely hobby of hula hooping to fill her spare time.
Head of Content & Senior Account Manager
Addressing the unpronounceable elephant in the room, ‘Aoibheann’ is bafflingly just pronounced ‘even’ and means ‘ethereal light’ in Gaelic. She’s very low-key, we promise. With a name like that, it is unsurprising that Aoibheann studied languages at University College Dublin before a 5 year stint in London where she worked in music and digital agencies, earning her keep with brands like Boiler Room, Ray-Ban and Island Records. After volunteering on the Galapagos Islands (as ya’ do), Aoibheann then moved in-house, crafting animal-tastic content for Dublin Zoo before relocating to Melbourne. Outside of work, she is usually busy fostering her double life as a nature-loving, guitar-playing, hippy woman.
Melinda is a copywriter with a Health Science degree and yes – natural talent is a thing. For much of her career she’s been self-employed, running a naturopathic clinic, a tiny tea empire and for the past decade, her own freelance copywriting business. In the midst of that she spent a few years back home in Central Australia working in Indigenous health. After a 5-year stint living and freelancing in Berlin’s burgeoning startup scene, she relocated back home to Melbourne and now joyfully hangs with us. Melinda has worked across a range of brands including AFL, First National Real Estate, Flinders University, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and many more. Her once adored passion for international travel now lies dormant, making space for refining her ever expanding personal recipe collection, curating her cocktail trolley, trying to read all the books in her house and belting out power ballads in the car.
Employee of the month
Chief Lap Warmer
As a purrfect latest addition to our work family, Spags is a cool cat who encourages us all to stay pawsitive despite this nasty pandemic. While she can be a little shy when you first meet her, she’s actually very purrsuasive. Thanks for keeping us all feline fine, Spags!
Very special advisers
Jack Room is an Australian advertising statesman whose career started in Melbourne at international advertising agency JWT in 1970.
He is a multi-award winning Television Art Director who has owned design companies in London and managed the creative output of one of the world’s largest multi-national agencies. In 1987 he co-founded BADJAR, which grew to become Australia’s largest wholly owned advertising and brand agency. Jack is an Honorary Life member of the Melbourne Art Directors and Designers Club.
David is a Senior Coach at Directioneering, helping senior executives with their career transition. He was Managing Partner at Horton International, a global Executive Search firm.
Prior to then he had a 15 year career in advertising, as a Director at DDB, General Manager at Grey and Leo Burnett. Before advertising he was Marketing Manager at Cussons and Brand Manager at Rowntree confectionery. David is a past Governor of Amcham and majored in Economics and Marketing at Monash Uni.
Ernest has over 20 years’ national and international experience in business management and projects.
He is a professional facilitator with experience across a broad range of strategic interventions, and has conducted numerous strategic reviews for clients across critical business areas. He also has general executive management and ICT management experience across a broad range of government and non-government organisations. He is the principal founding consultant of S.I.P. Management Consultants, and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, Fellow CPA and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.