Q&A with newly appointed Principal of Design Innovation Asia, Charles Ingrey-Senn | PDD

Q&A with newly appointed Principal of Design Innovation Asia, Charles Ingrey-Senn


on March 14 2018

We are excited to announce that Charles Ingrey-Senn has been appointed Principal of Design Innovation Asia at PDD. This is a key appointment, supporting growth and development of PDD as a leading global consultancy.

An experienced British designer, Charles has been based in China since 2006. Prior to joining PDD, Charles founded and ran his own industrial design consultancy for six years and also held the position of Creative Director in the Shanghai and Taipei offices of a Swiss branding agency. Charles brings with him a wealth of experience of working across industry. His ability to identify and highlight client and user needs whilst bridging the gap that translates and guides solutions within design and innovation teams is exceptional.

Charles’ main focus will be in the China and Asia FMCG sector. We are delighted to have Charles on board, with his experience, drive and ambition as part of our design and leadership team.

PDD’s Marketing Executive, Susie Quddus (SQ) has the pleasure of interviewing our new Principal of Design Innovation Asia, Charles Ingrey-Senn (CIS) about his exciting role at PDD Shanghai and the latest FMCG trends in China.

SQ. Firstly a big welcome to the team.

CIS. Thank you, I’m happy to be part of it!

Describe your role?

I think it’s best to say it’s rather multi-faceted. On a day to day basis I can be working with clients helping to formulate their concerns and ideas into briefs, to running projects and guiding teams across our three global offices. From a wider perspective, PDD has strong plans for development in China and South East Asia and I’m at the forefront of helping to guide that process and drive that success.

What’s the favourite part of your job?

With my background as a designer, it would be very easy to say that seeing the results of our work in the market would be a highlight. Although, to be honest, achieving success at all points of a project; from seeing the satisfaction of team members, to delivering beyond client expectations and the many in between… It all combines to a singular feeling of success. That is what drives me and is probably my favourite part of the job.

Where do you see the biggest potential for FMCG companies when targeting markets in China?

As the world’s largest and fastest growing E-commerce market, China is projected to see continued growth in this area in the near future as the uptake of online shopping by consumers in lower-tier cities increases. While sectors such as clothing and electronics are relatively mature in China’s E-commerce, other sectors such as FMCG are gaining popularity and showing signs of being the ‘next big area for growth’. I believe brands operating within this space are eager to find more innovative ways of leveraging ‘digital’ to appeal to the heart and minds of consumers.

Buying products online, whether reordering familiar products or searching for something completely new and different, consumers are now viewing and ‘interacting’ with photos of products rather than the actual physical product itself. As a consequence, some sensory cues experienced through instore purchases that often influence a consumer’s purchasing decision have been stripped away; think of how scent is used in the packaging of laundry products to convey the fragrance sealed within; or how the tactile qualities of different packaging materials are used in personal care and cosmetics to communicate a sense of quality or luxury.

In the absence of certain sensory cues such as smell and touch, what else could be amplified to communicate a message to consumers?

We need to start thinking about how the use of colour, the size and layout of graphics, packaging shape and material finish and texture can be optimised to enhance your message when a photo is potentially a consumers’ first touch point with your brand.

In this increasingly competitive space, brands that take a fresh approach to packaging, designing for both online and offline consumption, will be those that capture the attention of existing customers and those new to online shopping.

With even more brand and product variation available to consumers online, sometimes it is just as much about what is subtracted rather than what is added to stand out from the crowd.

Finally, what FMCG product can you not live without?

Trick question – Water! For those knowing a little about the UK, I’ll say Marmite.

If you would like to find out more about how PDD can drive innovation within your company contact Charles on:

e. [email protected]
t. +86 21 5265 6990