Richards, principal brand strategist and director of Brian R. Richards, has spent over a decade developing highly effective brand strategies for many leading export brands, regional identities, and major corporate brands in Australasia, Asia and Europe including: The New Zealand Way, Orca, Icebreaker Clothing, Cervena (New Zealand farm-raised venison), Singapore Food Fair, Tower Insurance, Richmond, Holcim (International), Auckland Regional Council, the University of Waikato, Marlborough, Southland and Manawatu.

Reuben Woods, a Council member of the Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) who worked alongside Richards last year on a project for one of his clients, Design Mobel, said Richards’ extensive knowledge and expertise of national and international branding made him an “inspiration to any designer developing a brand identity from his strategy.”

Mr Woods, who described Richards as an ‘authority’ on branding said Richards’ ability to articulate the essence of how to develop a brand to a congregation of people is “something that should be heard by every designer in New Zealand.”

Said Woods: “I recently went to a seminar called ‘Brand Building’ where Brian spoke about how New Zealand businesses are taking on the world and articulating their own unique New Zealand story through each of their brands. His speech was motivating and inspiring for any business owner. Brian’s knowledge and expertise in branding is a real asset to New Zealand.”

Fellow DINZ Council member and leading New Zealand industrial designer, Professor Tony Parker, described Richards as a “great ambassador for New Zealand design, who has done an outstanding job promoting the value of design to New Zealand businesses.”

“Brian continually demonstrates how New Zealand businesses can present themselves compellingly through design. I was fortunate to have heard Brian speak at this year’s Better by Design CEO Summit, and I have to say he was the best speaker in an international line-up. He is a true inspiration.”

Better by Design Director, Judith Thompson, said she was delighted to see Richards receive the recognition and that he was a truly deserving recipient of the award.

 “Through his unique vision and expertise in brand, Brian has made a significant contribution to many of New Zealand's most innovative companies. Beyond helping to create some of New Zealand's most iconic brands, Brian also plays a vital role in building greater understanding within the business sector of how a well executed brand and authentic story telling creates real value and makes companies more internationally competitive.

Brian is world class and a true champion of the design cause.”

 “Through his unique vision and expertise in brand, Brian has made a significant contribution to many of New Zealand's most innovative companies.”

Jeremy Moon, CEO of iconic New Zealand clothing company Icebreaker described Richards as a “brand visionary.”

“In the early nineties Brian forged a new link between the skills of design and storytelling and the business community.  He has a great skill in slicing through clutter to cut to the heart of a new opportunity.”

Moon praised Richards saying that his knowledge, expertise and contribution to the success of many iconic New Zealand companies made him a worthy recipient of the Institutes’ Outstanding Achievement Award.