Congratulations to Designsensory’s founders Joseph Nother and Brandon Rochelle for being recognized in the eighth annual edition of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 under Forty: The region's Rising Stars!

When Designsensory was formed in 2001, Joseph's design aesthetic coupled with Brandon's technical expertise created a combination that helped differentiate it within the industry. At the intersection of culture, design and technology, it was always important to be craft-oriented: To produce quality material that is beautiful, inspirational and creative.

"I still obsess over beauty and meaning," says Joseph. "Beautiful packaging design can telegraph a sense of respect and care not only for the user but for the planet. Thoughtful advertising can remind people of their own humanity. A funny Facebook post can make people laugh. These designed experiences, however small, have the ability to inform, persuade and influence. That has always excited me and always will."

The branding and marketing industry is constantly evolving but, with the leadership of Joseph and Brandon, Designsensory has adapted to changing technology and media through the years while maintaining its focus on what really matters: creating moments that delight and inspire.

“Since our founding, brands are now perceived and experienced across a much more diverse set of touchpoints,” Brandon observes. “Navigating the complexities of how each of those technologies is unique while also staying consistent with brand messaging is difficult.”

Current consumers can easily become overwhelmed. Determining what information to provide and in what manner is just as important as the information itself. Adapting your message to a variety of channels (social media, press releases, blog posts, websites, mobile apps, videos, etc.) is paramount, as using the same content can make a brand seem unapproachable or out of touch. Our team is presented the opportunity and the challenge of balancing cohesion while also respecting the uniqueness of each platform.

Along with shifts in technology come changes in how we talk about process and progress. We hear more about mobile, social, programmatic and inbound. Now, Web 2.0 has been replaced with the Internet of Things. Fixed to fluid to adaptive to responsive. The design process became Design Thinking, which is really just Human Centered Design, which then became just one more method of sparking innovation.

“Progression is exciting, and adapting to new tools is very important, but the underlying needs of people remain the same," Joseph comments. "For as much as methods have become more data-driven, targeted, tech-enabled and sophisticated, people still pine for moments that matter. They want to feel connected. They expect value and respect for their time, money, family and community. They want to be delighted and they are looking for a little joy. This has not changed.”

While Designsensory has adapted to a changing media and technology landscape, it has remained focused on connecting with people—not targets, segments or cohorts. And so, Designsensory helps brands tell stories and sell dreams and aspirations, not simply products or services.

Amid all the change, the brands that take the time to understand who they are, what they want to be, and how they make good on their promises in all those small moments, are the ones with staying power.

Today, Designsensory has more than 35 employees in Knoxville and Nashville. For the second year in a row, the company has been named one of the fastest growing companies in Tennessee by Inc. 5000. Read more about Designsensory in the latest edition of Cityview Magazine.