This is the second of three short articles on the thoughts that went into the process and meaning behind our new brand.
Working with a global brand and developing a unified identity across different cultures, languages, and needs was an intensive process. From differences in company values and culture, typesetting from Japanese and Chinese to English, and the level of information needed on the website, to differences in graphic design norms, we needed to be on our A-game to bring everything together. And so, we put together our A-team.
The honest look inward
When creating and fine-tuning a brand, it is important to start by aligning the internal components, or as we call it, our “house”. These include the company’s overarching vision, mission, value proposition, values, and products & services.
The first team we created consisted of a steering committee of CxOs and Executive Vice Presidents as well as a working group with important stakeholders from across the organisation. This project team was tasked with aligning and adjusting core components of our house, namely ensure, that our vision, “North Star” or mission, and the building blocks enabling us to reach our goal were aligned.
Then we commenced the tough work on defining our new global value proposition.
Starting with our most important external stakeholder, we turned to our clients. Through a number of interviews we identified our existing clients’ key pain points, allowing us to understand our own role in their world better.
Then we turned to the more general marketplace where we analysed the environments in which we operate, including more than 100 global competitors and their key offerings, which helped us understand the value we create – and how to differentiate ourselves.
Finally, we turned the look inward and started looking at our own DNA. What do we excel at? What do we need to improve to be able to offer the products and services our clients need? How do the DNAs play together? And are they aligned with the direction we want to go? What do we need to do, to be, in order to establish and strengthen our position as expert consultants from an engineering perspective?
From “special sauce” to clear value proposition
Tying together the clients’ pain points and needs, the existing offerings and our global DNA, we developed a number of relevant business value propositions. We evaluated the drafted value propositions on several parameters, tested the best ones with our global team and advisory board and finally created a clear statement that answered the question why our clients should choose to partner up with us.
Translating the value we add into shapes and colours
Having established “the house”, we were ready to turn it into a visual representation, the corporate visual identity (CVI). For this task, we gathered a strong mix of internal design experts and stakeholders from across our organisation and all four corners of the world, respecting our increasing diversity. We furthermore chose to work with an experienced CVI developer agency, Uncle Grey.
Cultural acceptance being a main success criteria of the new CVI, we created an advisory team consisting of colleagues from each region. This advisory team was tasked with providing feedback and addressing issues early on – from user research conduction to ratifying the final visual direction.
Finally, to breathe life into this new undertaking, an internal group of designers from all regions (US, EMEA, APAC) took Uncle Grey’s work and started exploring the Monstarlab way of using it. And this is where we truly took ownership of the brand. Ultimately, this resulted in the new CVI.
And then we took our own medicine
The process we followed was similar to the process we use for many client projects in that it was based on a combination of waterfall and agile. We discovered that the combination of the two helped us stay flexible and integrate the critical feedback loops, when required. This went well hand in hand with the many stakeholders involved and in that we wanted people to be able to provide feedback that we had time to incorporate into the CVI. The efficiency this provided us, was crucial in meeting the tight deadline we had.
We are proud to say that after all the hard work, we came out with the best version of the Monstarlab brand yet.
Our new identity reflects our transformation into a unique, bold, best-in-class and truly borderless digital consulting firm. While keeping the values that have been important to us since our founding and at the same time create new unifying ones across the organisation, our new brand helps us further contribute to our clients’ successes and societies across the world.
In the next chapter, we go into detail with the translation of our DNA to visual identity and what the components mean for our clients. Stay tuned!