Product design

Madison Avenue startup Anomaly offers clients a lot more than just ads.

By Susanna Hamner, Business 2.0 Magazine writer-reporter

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Companies are increasingly willing to seek outside help in dreaming up new products. Design firms like Ideo and Frog do that on a large scale; Johnson figured small-scale product design could be a smart complement to ad services, so he hired designers to work alongside the creatives.

That unusual step is already paying off: Last year Coke enlisted Anomaly's help in designing a bottle for its new Gold Peak iced teas, work usually reserved for Coke's internal product gurus.

Then came Virgin America, which is merging Anomaly's ideas with its own on plane interiors, uniforms, and in-flight entertainment. Anomaly staffers have also acted as business-development specialists, partnering with designers like Jonathan Adler and Burton to create Virgin-branded suitcases, blankets, and pillows that passengers can purchase through the in-flight system when service starts this spring.

While Anomaly is also creating Virgin's ad campaign, it will get an additional cut of in-flight sales.

"I had no idea how involved they would get in the process," says Virgin's Kramer. "They're in it to share risk. They've become a business partner."

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.