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Olins is Chairman of Saffron Brand Consultants of London, Madrid, Mumbai and New York.
After studying history at St. Peter's College, Oxford he went into advertising in London. He was sent to India and his first big job was as head of what became Ogilvy and Mather in Mumbai where he lived for five years. He came back to London and co-founded Wolff Olins. There he was Chairman until 1997. He founded Saffron Brand Consultants in 2001 with an ex-colleague from Wolff Olins, Jacob Benbunan.
Olins has advised many of the world’s leading organisations on identity, branding, communication and related matters. These include 3i, Akzo Nobel, Repsol, Q8, The Portuguese Tourist Board, BT, Prudential, Renault, Volkswagen, and Tata. He has acted as advisor both to McKinsey and Bain on branding and marketing. He has worked for a number of cities and countries on national brand image including London, Mauritius, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Vietnam.
He has taught at many Business Schools including London Business School, Said Business School at Oxford, Lancaster University, Imperial College Business School, Copenhagen Business School, IE Business School in Madrid and Duxx University in Mexico and he holds seminars on branding and communication issues around the world.
On 9 September 2010, Olins was appointed to create a brand idea and brand identity for the state of West Bengal, India three months after he had met the chief minister of the state with a proposal to position the state as a place to invest in, study in, work in and visit as tourists. (as reported in The Telegraph , India)
Awards and recognition
Olins was awarded a CBE in 1999. He was nominated for the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 1999 and received the Royal Society of Arts’ Bicentenary Medal in 2000. He was given the D&AD President’s Award in 2003. He was given the Reputation Institute’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
Olins has written several books including the seminal work ‘Corporate Identity’. His book ‘Wally Olins: On Brand’ was published in 20 countries. His newest book 'Wally Olins: The Brand Handbook' was published in May 2008.
- "The Brand Handbook" 2008
- "On Brand" 2003
- "Trading Identities" 1999
- "The New Guide to Identity" 1995
- "Corporate Identity" 1989
- "The Corporate Personality: an inquiry into the nature of corporate identity" 1978