Robin founded the brand boutique Honey Design in 1989. She has worked with hundreds of brands over her 30-year career from national corporations like Labatt Brewing and Chrysler, to international consumer brands like Jolly Jumper and 3M, to entrepreneurial start-ups. In 2014, she sold her company to Arcane, a London based digital agency and built a creative team that integrated brand with digital practices across three offices. The firm scaled rapidly from 20 people to more than 100 people during Robin’s time.
Robin has evolved to the next stage of her career, as an independent brand and creative consultant and champion of female entrepreneurship.
Robin's work has been featured in international publications and has been awarded local, national and international recognition for excellence in both design and strategy. Robin is an author of a primer on branding for SME business –The Beebrand Manifesto, A Quest for Authenticity and many articles on branding.
A graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business’s Strategic Marketing Program, and Sheridan College’s advertising program, Robin is a frequent speaker on branding and has appeared at Design Thinkers and various graphic design events for students and practitioners alike, as well as client-focused events throughout Canada and the U.S.
Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (6)
Craft Brewery and Packaging Branding
Vice-President, RGD Ontario (professional)
Served on the board of RGD Ontario for 4 years. Received an 'Outstanding Contributor' award for contributions; developed sponsorship opportunities and founded a London chapter, personally inviting new members and receiving media coverage for design; established a partnership with IABC to promote design awards locally.
RGD member (professional)
Registered Graphic Designer designation achieved.
Paul Harris Fellowship (personal)
Rotary Club of London South awarded the prestigious Paul Harris award for outstanding contribution to the club in the area of awareness and fund raising.
Graphis Designers USA3 (professional)
Published in the annual publication featuring 'the best design efforts from the most talented design studios from across America'
Richard Ivey School of Business: Strategic Marketing Management program diploma, Marketing 2001
Sheridan College: Applied Arts Diploma, Advertising Illustration 1983
Loretta Smith, MacKay CEO Coach | Mackay CEO Forum
The evaluation sheets are in and you really did well. The points that you made were spoken about throughout the day and that is always a sign that the topic and the speaker resonated. Well done – but you knew you are a great presenter!
Event Appearances (6)
MaxLiving Brand Launch Orlando, Florida
The Art & Science of Brand Naming
DesignThinkers Toronto, Ontario
Incorporating Feminism into a Design Space
Registered Graphic Design Educational Webinar RGD Webinar
Corporate Cool: Taking Control of your Company's On-Line Persona
YPO Great lakes Ontario Chapter Meeting Kitchener, Ontario
The Authenticity Gap. How to define and keep your brand relevant.
MacKay CEO London, Ontario
MLX Atlanta, Georgia
Sample Talks (4)
Managing Brand Acquisitions
What happens when business growth and acquisition brings a new company, a new service, or a new product to an existing lineup? It can be good your stock price, but bad for brand equity if the acquisition is not addressed as part of the brand plan, the marketing plan, and most importantly, the business plan. Using examples from her 30 years in business, Robin will demonstrate what the advantages and disadvantages are between a House of Brands (like P&G) and a Branded House (like Fedex) as well as the newest option; a hybrid. Helpful for both brand equity and corporate communication, your strategy can also drive further acquisitions and ensure they can be quickly monetized.
What is Brand Authenticity Worth?
Branding has never mattered more and has never been so complicated, particularly for medium-sized businesses. Whether you are starting from scratch or trying to update yourself, it is important to get it right. Robin leads you through the process of how to ensure you have the right foundation. Her Brand Blueprint process is outlined so you can go back to your organization with a plan of how to align both your promise and your message. Case studies from small and large craft breweries, to B2B examples provide lively and interesting real life examples.
Visual Thought is 400 Times Faster Than Verbal – What is Your Logo Saying?
The brain's response to imagery is complex and instantaneous. Logos have never been more important with the amount of online information – not to mention external advertising - we wade through daily. Your favicon has to say a lot in a very small space. To put it into some perspective, the Coca-Cola logo is recognized by 94% of the world's population. Online, users have been measured making aesthetic decisions about their overall impression of a website in as little as 1/20th of a second.1 This rapid processing is known as affected or visceral response, and is related to the part of the brain that governs the basic instincts of sex, food, fear, etc. Robin will provide examples of her own work, published in more than a dozen international books on logo design, as well as some cautionary tales of how you can get what you pay for.
Coin Something New. How Brand naming is as much as art as a science.
As more and more products flood the market, and domains are purchased or hoarded, it is difficult to find a good name. This is true in any industry but some are particularly crowded. Take the instance of craft breweries, an industry that didn’t even exist until a few years ago. Now there are few new names left and small breweries are accidentally naming their breweries or their beers with the same hoppy puns. When Avery Brewing Co. in Colorado named a beer ‘Salvation’, they discovered at a beer festival that Russian River Brewery in California had a beer by the same name. Rather than hiring a lawyer, the two breweries came up with a blend they called ‘Collaboration Not Litigation.’ Not all competitors are so reasonable though and starting your business with a name someone else already has registered or is using, whether you knew about it or not, will be an expensive proposition.
- Workshop Leader