"The Next Phase"

Award-winning IDSA Ambassador Marks 30th Year With New Direction

One of the most established design firms in Silicon Valley that is also an IDSA Ambassador, has unveiled the launch of what it calls its “Next Phase.”

“We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of LUNAR by McKinsey & Company—creating a groundbreaking proposition for the integration of business strategy and design,” says LUNAR President John Edson, IDSA. “After 30 years of creating outstanding products, services and experiences for clients through our full-service product development offering, we are doubling down on delivering design impact by joining forces with the most respected name in management consulting.”

He adds, “This news is only the latest evidence that design is an essential ingredient, approach, and result for businesses that regularly deliver outstanding products and services—not to mention lasting customer relationships. Superlative design and development talent is the bridge that links strategy to the real world—identifying, envisioning and delivering opportunities and impact with tangible solutions.”

This is the first acquisition of a design firm by McKinsey. “As more businesses understand the role design can play shaping their strategy, acquisitions, such as McKinsey's of LUNAR, will only become more common,” writes Fast Company’s Mark Wilson in his March 14, 2015 article on the deal.

Fast Company reports McKinsey initially approached LUNAR, a 30-year-old mid-sized firm with 75 people, in 2013. They decided on an acquisition for an undisclosed sum, and an arrangement in which LUNAR’s four offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Munich and Hong Kong will continue to operate as usual and serve existing clients. The main difference now is that LUNAR will take on McKinsey client projects, and also sit in on McKinsey's consultation practices—even helping clients build out their own internal design practices.

“While we are becoming part of the McKinsey family, we will also remain LUNAR. Better but not different," explains.Edson. "Our brand and studios will continue to thrive as they do today as the foundations to the most important sources of our creativity: our people and culture. Our organizations are different in many ways, but both have at their core world-class talent and an unrelenting commitment to delivering client impact.”

Fast Company’s Wilson asks, “The question, of course, becomes whether or not LUNAR can retain its creative freedom working under a big organization. 'Maintaining that heritage is an important part of keeping the culture of the firm intact," McKinsey partner Derrick Kiker says, "and we don't see any reason it needs to change.’”

Kyle Vanhemert of Wired reports, "The deal illustrates just how central design is to business today—and how design’s influence is growing beyond the tech industry into the corporate world at large."