We are focused, passionate, experienced, agile
We know human behavior, brands, business, design
We create experiences, visions, strategies

Driving transformation at the intersection of design, brand and innovation

We are The Deep Bench

In a complex and fast-paced world, it is becoming ever more difficult to create lasting relationships between people and brands. To address these challenges and drive sustainable transformation a holistic approach is necessary.

We combine the art of human-centered design with profound expertise in brand development to design innovative experiences, products and services.

Our mission is to create simple solutions with big impact. Meaningful, memorable and delightful for the user. Purposeful and value-adding for our clients’ brands.

We help organizations to move into the future.

From our Deep Bench Office in Munich we work globally. To leverage our clients’ capabilities we believe in working agile and in close collaboration. We have access to a worldwide network of experts in design, branding and innovation.

The founders

Christiane Wenhart

Christiane is an experienced brand strategist with a deep passion for building meaningful relationships between people and brands.

As a trained psychologist and business coach she is a competent adviser for creative and transformative processes. Over the past 17+ years she has been working at the intersection of strategy & creation helping brands such as Vodafone, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Viagra, Deutsche Bahn, RWE, Axel Springer, Siemens, Nike, Adidas, Deutsche Telekom, Baloise, China Mobile and Huawei to grow by turning insights and ideas into successful brand experiences.

Prior to co-founding The Deep Bench, Christiane was responsible for the brand transformation and communications strategy of McDonald’s in Germany. At German design agency designaffairs – where she met Philipp –  she led the strategy and research team. Before that she was Managing Partner of Berlin-based brand consultancy Musiol Munzinger Sasserath. Her professional career includes senior positions in the strategic brand & communications planning of international agency networks Publicis and McCann-Erickson.

Christiane is active in academic teaching – at the Miami Ad School Hamburg, the Berlin University of the Arts and the Fresenius Psychology School – and she regularly publishes on brand-related topics.

Philipp Refior

Philipp has held multiple international design leadership roles and combines a global industrial design education with an MBA from a top ranked university.

He holds a BFA in Design from New York’s Parsons School of Design and an MBA in International Management from Montreal’s McGill University. Multiple patents are registered in his name and he has been a guest lecturer at Parsons School of Design and KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).

Previous to co-founding The Deep Bench, Philipp has led the design and strategy practices at German design agency designaffairs where, amongst others he worked for clients such as Bosch, Siemens, Hyundai, Nestlé and MINI.

Before that he built up and led the design capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region for the innovation company 3M and worked for Panasonic developing products for global markets.

Having studied in New York City, Philipp started his career there, working as a consultant with such clients as OXO, HP, Estée Lauder, Renault, Herman Miller and Coca-Cola.

About our name

Our name – The Deep Bench – derives from a sports metaphor.

Having a deep bench means to have a large number of expert players – thereby being able to always configure the perfect team for each match.

We believe that passionate collaboration of experts is the secret to great results. This mindset is the foundation of our culture.

Our motivation

We have worked for some of the best known brands.

Our careers have taught us that brand and product development are inseparable. A conviction we now put into action.

Combining our individual expertise gives us a truly holistic perspective and allows us to create innovative experiences, products and services that speak with one voice.

Expertise is what matters

Holistic perspective

Interactions between organizations and their customers are changing. What used to be a one time transaction is evolving into lifelong relationships.

Due to digitalization, the borders between brand experience, customer experience and user experience are blurring. Today, people are choosing their individual path through an ever increasing number of touch points.

Therefore it is important to consider the total experience journey – people’s journey through different touch points and their behavioral, experiential and emotional responses.

Our approach

True innovation happens when company’s capabilities are matched with people’s genuine needs.

However, only experiences, products or services which are aligned with the total brand experience will deliver sustainable growth. Our diverse expertise allows for a truly holistic approach that is guaranteed to deliver impact.

Structured process and proprietory tools

We connect in-depth psychological understanding with business challenges, strategic thinking with operative experience, holistic analysis with creative magic.

On the basis of the established design process we choose our tools according to the specific challenges. Continuous focus is paramount.

Visualizing the future makes it actionable

Visions, strategies, experiences – created for impact

Using the tool set of a designer, we help our clients to create the future.

Collaboratively we develop strategies to move forward and design solutions that deliver the full brand experience each step of the way.

Our references

Currently, we are working on projects in the fields of Automotive, Furniture, Luggage, Corporate Development and FMCG. We have previously worked for some of the best known brands in a wide range of industries. We are excited about any challenge, big or small.

We work in long-term partnerships. Our work is strategic in nature and confidentiality is key. Therefore we can not showcase any recent projects.

If you want to know more, we are happy to explain our work in more depth: