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From Ideas To

Inspiring Brands

We believe it is time to go beyond operational efficiency and invest in strategic visibility.

Through the power of branding, we seek to awaken India’s service branding potential.

India has countless service organisations, teeming with potential. Brands that are innovating and delivering immense value across sectors, led by purpose-driven, passionate founders with a transformative vision. These are well-run successful firms, but their branding is ad-hoc and deserves better visibility.

We see a future where India stands tall as a destination for world-class service brands.

Why Selective Simplicity

  • Creates Distinction Through Clarity
  • Authentic Portrayal of What Truly Matters
  • Timeless Elegance that Stands the Test of Time
  • Connection without Ambiguity
  • Seamless Experience Across Channels
  • Identity that Inspires

The four tenets of Selective Simplicity Marketing

Start with the core message

Every marketing campaign should have a clear, concise, and compelling core message that resonates with the target audience.

Prioritise essential value

Identify and focus on the most essential value proposition of a product or service that is unique to your organisation.

Optimise for the right channels

Rather than trying to be present on every channel, select and optimise the channels that are most effective for reaching the target audience.

Embrace the power of simplicity

Leverage simplicity to communicate effectively, stand out, and leave a lasting impression.

Branding Services

We prioritise owned media over expensive promotions and paid publicity.

Brand Blueprint

  • Narrative
  • Positioning
  • Core Purpose & Values

Pathways to Promotion

  • Naming & Visual Identity
  • Strategic Mantra (Tagline)
  • Thought Leadership
  • Website Design
  • Employee Induction

Us

C+R was founded in 2014 with a genuine passion for craft (strategy) and art (design). We are a small team of people (with greying hair) who choose to show up to work everyday.

Bold Ideas Told with Brevity

Our Work

Teach-for-india
Dr.Reddy's
Dunzo
Vahura
Vivrithi
Janaagraha
Rohini Nilekani
Ramaiah
Microsoft
TC Global
Fernandaz
Societal
Aroghya City
Entrust

recognition

2019 Kyoorius creative awards
India's Best Design Project 2019
India's Best Design Studio 2019

TESTIMONIAL

The Cracker and Rush team, led by Ashutosh & Ruhi, spent a lot of time getting to know our work and getting to know us as people, in order to understand our ideology. Their method of speaking to our partners and collaborators was unique, and it was also the first time for us to know what our partners thought about our work. What we value most is the intensity of their work and method in getting to know us – something that very few firms do well. It was a wonderful surprise for us that the way in which they created our identity and our story was so true and accurate. It was something that we could not articulate ourselves, but when we saw how they articulated our values and vision, it was an ‘a-ha!’ moment as to why we had not managed to think of this before! We would highly recommend C&R – they are a great firm and a great team to work with. As a team, they are not only highly talented and creative but really interested in getting to know their clients and their work. The rigour of their work process is unique and clearly makes them stand apart.

JAYNA KOTHARI
Executive Director
Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR)

…we wouldn’t have been where we are today without the phenomenal work you and your team have done since day one. C&R is as much a part of TC Global as any other core team in our company, if not more, and we look forward to a very strong future together. At the end, we are only just getting started, and have a long road ahead of us in which we have the pleasure of having you as a strategic partner!

SHAN CHOPRA
Chief Brand Strategy and Community Partner

The process of arriving at what a brand represents, what it says about itself, and how it chooses to do this, is a journey.
And, like any journey, who you travel with often defines whether you’re going to have fun on the ride or be silently praying that your companion slides down a very steep gorge.
Ashutosh is a great guy for these explorations (and from the little that I have interacted with Ruhi, she seems decidedly equal to the task as well).
Ashutosh’s enthusiasm is infectious. His sense of direction, impressive. And best of all, he understands creative people (who tend to speak in short grunts), faster than you can say “monolithic brand architecture.”
We’ve been out there, in the middle of nowhere, on at least two exciting projects:
On Nightingales, it was on his professional recommendation that the brand was able to straddle ‘excellence of hospital care’ with ‘convenience of home,’ and claim, in the process, the leader stance of a home-health specialist.
On Dr. Reddy’s, we needed to create a powerful undercurrent that would carry the organisation’s aspirations of changing the way in which healthcare was being delivered. Here again, it was Ashutosh who linked this purpose to the essential selflesslessness of the Caregiver, resulting in a lovely little film, ‘Inspired by all those who care.

ROBERT ANTHONEY
Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Phantom

Through our engagement with C&R, the biggest takeaway for Dunzo has been to learn how to incorporate deep reflections and learnings into our ways of working. As a data driven organisation, it was good to be nudged and reminded about the stories behind those data points and this is a challenge that we faced when we began thinking about charting out a purpose and vision. That’s exactly what Ashutosh and Richa from the team facilitated. While the project that we collaborated for was to do with strategic identity and trying to articulate what our larger purpose in the consumer technology space is; through our 6 month long partnership we were guided in articulating our problem statement, the philosophy of why we are doing this and highlighting current blockers within our system that may disallow us to achieve this goal. The C&R team works with ease and breezes through the many stages of interventions and becomes one among us, and that I feel has been key to the success of this collaboration. Personally for me, this has been one of those projects that has brought a lot of joy.

GEETANJALI SWAMY
Head, HR

What Cracker & Rush did really well was combining branding, strategic consulting and design all together and helped distil and articulate our purpose, our brand identity and weave it together beautifully. It was a co-creative experience because it’s so rare for someone to get where you are coming from but also help take you where you want to go.

RITVIK LUKOSE
Founder
Vahura

The Cracker and Rush team did an excellent job of understanding and translating my philanthropic philosophy and personal ethos into a compelling design and authentic narrative. The new website is aesthetically pleasing, a pleasure to navigate and has an excellent information architecture. They are able to integrate design and clarity of messaging even around work that is complex. It was a pleasure working with the team on this project.

ROHINI NILEKANI
Founder, Writer, Philanthropist
Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies

Ruhi has been doing a tremendous job with the design and creative work around Microsoft Research India’s branding for the last few years. They have helped us establish a strong visual identity around the brand, keeping a constant look and feel while giving individual events their own identity. We are very happy with the work she has done for us.

SRIDHAR VEDANTHAM
Head Communications

The perspective Cracker & Rush added was very useful and it was special because it was very relatable to the founding team, the larger team. What they also did very well was bring focus to our work. From the on-the-ground perspective, it has helped us a lot. Suddenly our work is more intact, our presentation seems to be more cohesive and sticky. All this came through the findings they got.

KULDEEP DANTEWADIA
Co-Founder

Ashutosh and his team started working with us at a critical time – we had acquired a very good brand and we were re-orienting the brand to stand for specialised care and that too in an evolving category. The team spent a lot of time conversing with stakeholders to get insights around value and helped us visualise a persona for our brand and then the identity and logo as well. The foundation has helped us develop various brand assets over the last couple of years. I’ve found it a delight to work with them because they take the time to do the groundwork, work with all internal stakeholders and help develop a point of view.

LALIT PAI
Co-Founder & CEO

Ruhi, Ashutosh and their colleagues are a dedicated and creative team. Ashutosh with his brand strategy and Ruhi with her creativity together have crafted for i-Cue a brand new identity that has helped position i-Cue for its future growth. They have been able to expertly transform the thoughts, vision and passion of i-Cue’s founders into form. i-Cue could not be more pleased with its new identity. Ruhi and Ashutosh’s involvement, understanding and intuitiveness has brought out i-Cue’s singularity and distinctiveness.

PRAMODINI PRASHANTH
Founder & CEO

We hired C&R at an early stage of the business launch where everything, including the name, was up for grabs. Both Ashutosh and Ruhi, helped align the ethos of the promoters, the vision, and the mission of company with strategic brand positioning. They provided us with an inspiring narrative for the brand and brought our vision alive through the magnetic essence, all the foundational elements and the name. The following aspects make working with C&R special. Market research-backed process and the depth with which the team understood the business before getting into brand development work. Matching the positioning with the ethos of the company and aligning it with business strategy. Bringing the brand alive through an excellent visual identity that will ensure long-term brand recall.

RUCHI AGARWAL
Co-Founder

They are world-class at their craft. The understanding of brand and the sharpness of recognising how to communicate that brand, and what it stands for, to a complex set of stakeholders… Ashutosh brings that in immeasurable degrees and Ruhi brings a complementary set of skills on the design front. And that combination of brand strategy and design is actually unique in the marketplace today.

RAMESH RAMANATHAN
Chairman, Jana Group

Many a times, I say that Ashutosh knows more about Unnati than we probably do. We have had a great journey with them. Whether we give them business or not, they will always be a part of our business. They have done this project largely pro bono and it doesn’t come that easy. We are really grateful to their team for this.

RAMESH SWAMY
Trustee

Bringing a new idea to life is a lot harder than it seems. Simply because ideas keep evolving as we open ourselves to a structured framework of thinking. What Cracker and Rush did remarkably well was help us get from having a general sense to a clarifying vision of our venture that was simple but bold, articulate but concise.  They have given us a solid foundation to think about what we want to do and how we should set ourselves up to accomplish it.

KARAN SINGH
Co-Founder
TrustBridge

The Cracker and Rush team, led by Ashutosh and Ruhi, helped us develop the name and brand identity for our venture. They spent a lot of time understanding our vision, our service offering and our desired positioning in the market. They asked relevant questions and really understood and appreciated what we stand for and what we do. We are extremely happy with the choices and the associated narrative that they presented, which helped us in finalizing the brand identity. Cracker and Rush brings a very talented, creative and engaging team to the discussions. We had to get the exercise completed in some aggressive timelines and the team was very cooperative with that approach and delivered on time. We got very positive feedback on our brand identity and this credit goes to C&R! We would highly recommend Cracker and Rush to any prospective customers, who are looking for differentiated branding and marketing efforts for their organization.

ANAND ARKALGUD
Partner

I found the team really brave and straightforward; they stuck to their position once they helped us find our core strength. Any organisation that wants to serve society well or wants to stand apart from the competition, Cracker & Rush can help them do that, and can help them focus on growth.

DR. G.G. GANGADHARAN
Director

Right from our naming, to the look – everything was a question mark and needed to be redone. That is when Cracker & Rush came in and nailed it exactly. Right from the look and feel of the brand, to how we communicate, what our key words are – they are a class apart. A lot of value was added by Cracker & Rush.

RAJMOHAN KRISHNAN

Principal Founder & Managing Director

One of the things Cracker & Rush does really well is take a very complex idea and simplify it and also bring in a very elegant and clean design language which the user doesn’t realise how complicated it could have been.

ARUNA VENKATACHALAM
Head, Chairman’s Office
Jana Group

The thing that has always struck me is, besides being extremely creative, I think, what Cracker & Rush bring to the table is the amount of patience… but also, the willingness to iterate results, recognising all along that it is not a ‘once and done’ kind of approach, but it is ‘let’s look at it, let’s improve on it, and yet again, improve on it.’ It’s a wonderful relationship, it’s a relationship based a lot on trust.

K S RAMDAS
MD & CEO
Jana Urban Foundation

I was impressed with their approach to the task and their genuine desire to understand what Fernandez was truly all about. In searching for answers, Ashutosh and his incredible team led us on a journey of introspection and challenged us to think anew. 

C&R scored an ace when they convinced us to change our logo- a decision that demanded “letting go” of the past and taking that leap of faith into the unknown!

The results were brilliant- the logo said it all and brought into sharper focus our commitment of 75 years to mother and newborn healthcare. The website brought in much-needed freshness and vibrancy.

I would recommend them to any organisation- big or small that wishes to tell its story, evaluate its focus and who are not afraid to hear the truth/be challenged. 

You guys rock and you are the best!

Dr Evita Fernandez
Chairperson
Fernandez Foundation

The association has been fruitful in so many ways, right from enabling me to understand how a brand is built to the depth of research they conducted into a relatively unknown field like mental health.
Their deep incisive questions into a domain which is not easy to understand and where one needs to be sensitive was both refreshing and enlightening.
Building a brand is a collaborative effort, and they have epitomised this word on every step of our working relationship.

Anna Chandy
Founder and Therapist
Anna Chandy & Associates

“Hundreds, even thousands, of entrepreneurs and businesses  are out there who do not know what they are worth. Who do not know how to take their ventures ahead with sure steps and get to be one among the best. I was one of them. Cracker+Rush has indeed given my company new life. I have personally come across many who offer to chart out an organizational identity for you, to help you develop a futuristic strategy. Perhaps they do a good job. But I didn’t experiment with any of them. I chose to work with C+R and that has been my best decision ever. No tall claims, no half-baked delivery. C+R tells you the truth, takes whatever money they deserve, and helps you make several times more, if you are ready to put in your best efforts. Yes, I have found them to fulfill every one of their promises. They have maintained high standards in all aspects of their work with us and this has completely transformed our identity and enhanced our potential. They are different. And they help you define your difference..”

Dr Kalyani Vallath
Founder & Managing Director
Vallath

“Open Prison System is a radical idea. Prisons need not be shown through bars, locks and wires. I can’t think of a better imagery than a kite to explain the concept of tethered freedom.”

SMITA CHAKRABURTTY
Founder
PAAR

“I started looking for a brand consultant service when I wanted to scale my offerings to the next level. I evaluated half a dozen agencies in my search for the one who could deliver the best results. Cracker and Rush stood out by a mile. What impressed me most was the clarity of thinking and subject matter expertise they brought in in the very first meeting itself. They also seemed completely grounded and willing to work extensively to understand my brand characteristics. After I signed them up for the project, I realised just how right my instincts were. Their research was extensive in understanding the value I provide and that of other competitors. They presented their findings in very lucid and logical terms. And they helped me think through various options that would suit my brand identity, USP, tagline and logo. The design elements were absolutely delightful. The whole work happened seamlessly and was a very invigorating experience. Even after the engagement got over, I approached them many times for additional help and every time I got further help even without paying any additional amount, because they cared for me as a customer.”

Ram G
Founder

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