What’s the common thread connecting IKEA’s Home Smart range of furniture, which incorporates wireless charging stations, and Gillette’s smooth ProGlide razors? Both were researched and codesigned with the client by Veryday, an award-winning Swedish design agency—and our latest acquisition. As with the purchase last year of California-based LUNAR, the deal adds new talent to McKinsey Design and enables us to help more clients grow more quickly by creating amazing new products and services.
“We were searching for a design firm with an unquestionable reputation and world-class designers,” says Volker Grüntges, the Munich-based senior partner who led the acquisition from the McKinsey side. “Veryday is ahead of the curve because its work combines physical product design, service design, and an engaging experience. The convergence of physical and digital, of products and services, is a huge opportunity for a lot of our clients.”
Founded in 1969 as Ergonomidesign, the agency changed its name to Veryday only recently, in 2012. The shift reflected the changing nature of its work, says Niclas Andersson, chief business officer; projects now are about product service and digital interaction. The Veryday name is a nod to Sweden’s history of affordable, universal design: “We always strive to improve the ordinary every day.”
There’s nothing ordinary about the agency’s record. Veryday has won more than 240 awards, and new products it designed have been granted more than 300 patents. In 2014, the firm was selected as Red Dot Design Team of the Year, an internationally recognized honor previously awarded to the likes of Apple, BMW, and Porsche.
After the acquisition, the agency will retain its management team and the Veryday name. Its 90-plus designers, researchers, and other colleagues in Stockholm and New York will continue to serve long-standing clients while working with McKinsey teams on joint opportunities. They will also be getting to know their new colleagues at LUNAR, plus the deep bench of design talent assembled by our Digital Labs.
In Stockholm, the firm’s designers will continue working from the 19th-century former church rescued and renovated by the Veryday team. Volker had the pleasure of visiting several times as the two companies got to know each other. “It’s a real mix of community and professional space,” he says. “It has soul.”