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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Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.