DeanHouston, Inc., a business-to-business marketing communications firm, invited Kennedy Creative in to address organizing the creative design/production process for STP. This leading manufacturer of performance products for over 60 years had been newly acquired by the client. The previous owners chose to outsource key portions of STP’s brand management and creative design to downstream vendors who offered design/production services. The best brands never waiver on effective brand management:  consistent images, effective packaging, and clear messaging are key to building customer loyalty and acquisition. Outsourcing creative design/production was a poor choice for a company hoping to maintain competitive brand standards and respond quickly to market opportunities. Why? 

  • There is little understanding of design intelligence
  • When design/production is handled by downstream supply chains there is no accountability to improving “brand value.”
  • Standards and design integrity suffer when the creative brain trust is not involved in managing the design/production process


  • A process audit was used to analyze the packaging development relationships and internal resources.
  • Brand standard guides were developed and became the framework for organizing digital artwork and related files.
  • New system enabled web based platform for design review and approvals that reduced errors and production time.  


Successfully balancing brand value and the bottom line is not easy. Purchasing and procurement departments may offer budget minded solutions, but the consequences will often cost more money and results in less brand value as the design process diminishes and productivity becomes more inefficient. Kennedy Creative re-acquired the STP data files from the downstream suppliers and began sorting, organizing, updating, managing and archiving over 1000 SKUs. The design/production management team introduced a system for creative production that improved visibility for stakeholders and vendors, reduced design errors and time delays for approvals, and enabled faster design to shelf timeline with design standards that did not dilute the brand. STP got to the shelf faster with a stronger presence, and looked good doing it!