Williamson, John (11 of 17) Oral History of Wolff Olins.

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  • Recording date

    2003-02-13; 2003-03-05; 2003-03-25; 2003-06-17

  • Is part of (Collection)

    Oral History of Wolff Olins

  • Recording locations

    British Library, London and Wolff Olins offices, London

  • Interviewees

    Williamson, John 1946- (speaker, male, marketing director)

  • Interviewers

    Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 11: Tape 6 (F13096) Side A: Mentioning business now developing in Japan with Tokyo Metro, Mazda and Suzuki- Aidan Kirby now based there with an base in Hakahodo's office- Explains more about way they are working with H plus with the benefit of Hakahodo's being an agency favoured by Omnicom as a working partner- Returning to Addison's talks about working with SAAB after they had been acquired by General Motors- Working with SAAB for three months on a vision book in 1989 when this was new territory- Learning from Addison's view of identity and vision which were different from Wolff Olins and which JW brought back to WO, as well as a clearer view of what business is and a sense of international possibilities- This led to JW recruiting more consultants from a business or industry background- Talking about SAAB refers to 'lagom' which means sufficient in the most productive sense of the word as the term that drove the SAAB work culture- The threat to SAAB's culture of being bought by an American company- Talks about the problems of achieving what WO wished for the company- WO employed by GM- Explains how SAAB cars are built on an American platform- Continues talking about different car markets finally relating it back to SAAB and its particular problems- JW's reintegrating into Wolff Olins- Luck of being approached by Boehringer Ingelheim, a privately owned pharmaceutical company, who wanted a new vision- JW creating a programme for them- Describes the early ninety's public's' perception of the terms of identity as being a logo, brand as a consumer thing, vision being something that the whole organisation would share, and that would now be called an idea- This was a new area for WO, so JW got the company Imagination involved- The BI board wished to work only with WO so JW rolled out new vision worldwide- Explains structure of the company and how this related to the job- Brief details of the event and the follow up- How job approached through interviewing- Explains politics and areas of sensitivity within the organisation- WO focussing on value through innovation as a common focus for the company and as a way of reasserting the brand-

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