A little about us


A little about us

When you engage us for a branding mission, our strategy expertise and hands-on experience with design and implementation make the process of brand invention (or reinvention) enlightening and enjoyable. Throughout the course of your project, you’ll find us inclusive, collaborative and easy to work with.


Richard Wheatley


The ringmaster of Brand Counsel’s creative team, as well as the key interface between clients and the agency team, Richard has been eating, sleeping and breathing graphic design for more than 35 years. Before setting up shop in New Zealand in 2002, he ran his own creative agency in the UK that specialised in design for book publishing and corporate branding. Today his immense knowledge and skills are focused on helping small-to-medium Kiwi businesses get the most mileage from every branding dollar they spend.

As a member of the Chartered Society of Designers, Richard likes to keep his perspectives fresh with regular exposure to others who share his passion for remarkable graphic design. And to ensure he’s always as sharp as a tack, he maintains a regime of long-distance running and golf. Fresh air and family are important.

“Nothing pleases me more than being clever with a client’s budget, which means thinking differently and finding new ways to extract maximum value and impact from their investment. We’re here to create influential business assets that lead to greater customer conversion and retention. It’s all about results, because they produce client happiness. That’s our ultimate goal.”

Email: richard@brandcounsel.co.nz  | Office: +64 9 445 7444  |  Mobile: 021 031 1294 | LinkedIn

Alissa Wheatley

Brand Strategy

Alissa’s ability to connect with people and their businesses, capture their points of view and look beneath the surface without bias provides exceptional front-end clarity for our clients’ branding projects.

Before she became a brand strategist Alissa was a lawyer specialising in construction litigation, so she brings truth-seeking and analytical rigour to the Brand Chemistry process. She also has an understanding of business imperatives and distilling underlying themes to reveal powerful insights. Her empathy for end users adds value to our digital solutions, as she refines and contributes to the overall user experience.

When the opportunity presents itself, Alissa enjoys escaping to the solitude of a movie theatre. She also makes time for reading non-fiction – popular science books take her to realms she describes as “absolutely fascinating”.

“Each branding project is unique, so you have to approach it with a clear mind and a fresh perspective. I like the way Brand Chemistry can significantly change a client’s understanding of how potential customers see them and what customers really want from them. But for me the best part comes after the project has been completed, when the client witnesses the power of a well thought-through and designed brand.”

Email: alissa@brandcounsel.co.nz  | Office: +64 9 445 7444  |  Mobile: 021 037 4753

Russell Johnson

Senior Designer

Russell has been happily immersed in the world of design since 1988. Before immigrating to New Zealand in 2007, he worked at the BBC, Wolff Olins and other leading design and brand companies in the UK. Russell brings invaluable brand knowledge and experience to our clients, along with the ability to create standout designs that reflect the personality and objectives of their business. As the digital world has grown, Russell has kept pace with the challenges and opportunities it presents for the application of brands. It’s all part of a conscientious dedication to ensuring his creative work is an effective business asset for clients across all their customer touchpoints.

To help nourish his creative mind, Russell likes to stay active. He enjoys keeping fit and indulges in a wide range of activities, including circuit training, gym work, running and cycling.

“I love coming up with original ideas and seeing them become part of the real world. I’ve always found it intriguing how you start with a blank piece of paper, then a couple of months later you have something that’s out there representing a business and helping them achieve their goals.”

Email: russell@brandcounsel.co.nz  |  Office: +64 9 445 7444

Grant Senior

Web Engineer

Grant is the technical brain that brings our more complex website concepts to life. Originally a 3D animator, he ensures the journey from web design to web reality is seamless and successful. Grant takes pride in being a thorough coder and maintaining W3C standards. He also has an excellent understanding of the user experience, which means the websites he builds for Brand Counsel are easy to use, as well as being easy on the eye.

When he’s not coding or polishing the user experience, Grant is a musician. He studied jazz, loves to play music with a strong improvisational element and currently plays in two bands.“

Our aim is to create websites that look great and stand out because there’s something different about them. That can mean technical challenges, but I enjoy making the code behave itself. I also like seeing the site through a visitor’s eyes, so that browsing the site is intuitive and enjoyable.”

Email: grant@brandcounsel.co.nz

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