Tuesday 9 January 2018

Getting to the bottom of BRAND CULTURE

BRAND CULTURE is, of course, one of today’s hot topics, and is a subject about which, I’m sure, most people reading this will be aware. But what exactly is brand culture? And why is it so important?

Well, to put it simply, BRAND CULTURE is something that’s created by a fusion of two components: your company’s purpose and its values. Or to look at it another way, its a fusion of your company’s HR, Learning and Development and Communications functions.

So how do you bring those two ingredients together? - how do you integrate your company’s CULTURE and BRAND so it can help your organisation differentiate itself from others.

In the symbiotic relationship between brand and culture, brand is the outward manifestation of a company’s DNA and culture is the inward demonstration. The corporate world has been talking about organisational culture for years, but the emergence of brand as a discussion point in a senior executive space is relatively new for many organisations.

The workplace is a frequently overlooked but critical lever in supporting a BRAND and CULTURE CHANGE. This was validated by a recent survey. The results show that 77% believe that brand is a critical driver for their business; yet only 54% said the workplace plays a critical role in supporting it and only 15% said their facilities reflect their brand “very well.”

Once defined, your company’s purpose articulates why it actually exists. It describes what your business stands for, what makes it distinctive, and how your employees and your customers alike can expect it to behave. And when that purpose is aligned with the values your brand embodies, it can be used to influence how your people think and act, which in turn will influence how your customers perceive and interact with your brand. In other words, it makes your people your most effective marketing tool.

Yet this is just one of the reasons why a clearly thought-through, well co-ordinated amalgamation of your brand and culture can prove so invaluable. A well-defined brand culture also makes it easier for you to attract and retain the best people, it engages with your employees - and that’s really important, not least because employee engagement drives innovation and creativity, as well as enhances customer experiences. In fact Gallup research shows that only 13 percent of employees are highly engaged globally, while 88 percent of millennials say they would stay in their jobs for more than five years if they were satisfied with their company’s sense of purpose.

So it perhaps isn’t hard to see why a carefully considered BRAND CULTURE can prove not just useful to your business, but essential if wants to stay ahead of the field.

If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to hear some more about our views on BRAND CULTURE and other topics of the day.

We’re good people solving wicked problems and we’d love to hear from you… We’ll provide the tea and biscuits.

Call Design Force on 01772 643973 or email me simon@designforce.co.uk

2018 the year of Brand, Culture and Communication.

2017 was the year of change at Design Force, we worked with fantastic clients, collaborating together to solve Wicked Problems that they faced throughout the year.

From playing an interactive board game with 650 colleagues that has inspired a digital transformation journey to helping an organisation increase its membership via a unique and innovative campaign through to helping schools develop their own unique Brand.

If 2017 was the year of change, we have christened 2018 the year of Brand, Culture and Communication.

We believe everyone and every organisation has a story to tell, that’s why we love to help create stories, that stand out from the crowd.

At Design Force we create experiences that help organisations tell their own unique story, we do this by making change simple, We use the power of Brand, Culture and Communication to drive positive change, for your people, for your customers and for your business.

So why is 2018 the year of Brand,Culture and Communication?

We believe Brand, Culture and People are the engine of change. They are the driving force behind the organisation you are looking to build or strengthen. They can help make the decisions you need for your organisation to shine and inspire the culture you want to create.

So why not be a part of our journey and get in touch. Connect with us on LinkedIn and share the stories you want to tell to your colleagues, customers and stakeholders, why not share one or more of your Wicked Problems, we would love to help you solve them.

We all love Social Media so end you post with the hashtag #DaretoDREAM, we all have dreams that inspire what we do so why not share some of your dreams with us.

#DAREtoDREAM #BrandDrivenChange #CultureDrivenChange #Storytelling

You can contact us via the following

Simon – simon@designforce.co.uk
Robin – robin@designforce.co.uk

Tel 01772 643973


Monday 8 January 2018

The GRID - Internal Communication Shortlist Success for Stonewater and Design Force.

Design Force were thrilled to hear that one of its favourite client Stonewater had been shortlisted for 2 awards in the Central & North region by the Institute of Internal Communications for their fantastic campaign - THE GRID – bringing digital transformation to life through organisational game-play 

The awards celebrate the best in internal communication. Nominated in 2 categories – Best Campaign and Employee Event of the Year. The organisation is up against some of the biggest organisations in the UK such as Mercedes Benz, Vodaphone and Volkswagen to name a few,,,

Stonewater’s brief to Design Force Associates, THE GRID’S creators, was to devise an interactive ‘snakes and ladders/dungeons and dragons-style’ table game which in bringing the organisation’s digital journey to life, would inform, engage and inspire colleagues.

Design Force Associates responded with THE GRID, an imaginative and interactive game based on film TRON where players are transported into a digital universe to play on the game grid.

“Our aim was to create a change from the usual format of sitting and looking at a screen,” explains Simon Brindle, Managing Director at Design Force. “THE GRID encouraged staff to engage and collaborate with one another.”

“The enthusiasm colleagues demonstrated playing THE GRID was inspiring,” says Jenny Sawyer, Stonewater’s Director of People and Organisational Development. “Over 2000 individual responses were captured on the day. These have been collated and analysed and a digital communications and engagement strategy has been developed.”

The strategy will reinforce the overall vision for digital within Stonewater and will support a new digital culture across the organisation.

Colleagues will also have the opportunity to embed themselves further through the introduction of a Discover Digital Passport. The passport has been designed so that they can manage their own personal digital journey, understand the key elements of the programme and enable them to ‘Think Digital, Act Digital, Be Digital’.

The countdown clock is set for the awards to blast off from the National Space Centre, Leicester on Thursday 1st of March 2018.

To find out more about the awards https://www.ioic.org.uk/industry-news/central-north-awards-2018-shortlist-announced

To find out more about Stonewater https://www.stonewater.org/

To find out more about THE GRID and Design Force http://www.digitalgameplay.co.uk/casestudy/casestudy.pdf

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Welcome to THE GRID

At Design Force we work with some amazing clients.  

Stonewater one of the UK's leading housing associations asked us to help them as they started out on their digital transformation journey.    

The brief was to create an interactive game to be played with over 650 colleagues at their colleague conference.    

This is the story of the journey to THE GRID collaborating with the amazing team at Stonewater to create a unique and innovative way of engaging a whole organisation through organisational gameplay. 

To view a short overview of the project https://lnkd.in/e5P6giU 

To view the full case study   https://lnkd.in/eQd5gms 

Are you transforming? Do you want to engage your people? 

If so, let’s engage, it would be great to speak to you, and help bring your digital vision to life. 

Call Design Force on 01772 643973 or email me simon@designforce.co.uk

Recognising the value of great people Stonewater Values Awards Video Book

The Brief

Design Force were asked by Stonewater to help provide an innovative way to recognise colleagues who had been nominated for one the organisations Value Awards.
The awards celebrate the amazing things colleagues do every day across the organisation.
200 nominations were received and the winners were announced at the organisations colleague conference.
Stonewater wanted to present an extra surprise gift to the winners at a special GOLDEN TICKET evening they attended following the conference.
The brief was to design and develop a video book that would feature both the awards ceremony video and also a special animated video of each of the winners that they could take away as a unique memento of their achievement.

The Result

A beautifully designed video book featuring 2 special videos. The awards ceremony video automatically played when the book was opened.
The team at Design Force created a second animated “Lowdown” video that featured content supplied by each of the winners.
Simon Brindle, Managing Director at Design Force said “Stonewater are a fantastic organisation to work with. It was brilliant to be able to support them celebrate the achievements of this years value awards winners."
Creating the video book gave us the opportunity to take an innovative approach and we hope that the winners had fantastic evening and enjoyed taking the book home to share with their family and fiends.
Thanks for reading,

Call Design Force on 01772 643973 or email me simon@designforce.co.uk

Can playing games make a difference to workplace culture?

Here is a quick question 

Have you ever played games at work?

No, I am not talking about playing a sneaky game of candy crush on your phone whilst no one is looking.
I am talking about playing a game that has a purpose and meaning for both colleagues and your organisation.

Could organisational gameplay be the key to a more engaged workforce, more effective team, and higher productivity?

Research has shown how playing games impacts the brain positively by increasing motivation, improving memory, driving efficiency, and even enhancing feelings of empathy among your team.
There is nothing more invigorating to the human spirit than working towards a common goal with like-minded friends who are equally dogged and passionate. It doesn’t just give us meaning and fulfillment; it inspires us to create those same feelings for others.
When we were asked to help Stonewater to develop a organisational wide game for their recent staff conference, we understood that part of our role was to also build something worthy of ownership, that inspired meaningful contributions and ideas.


From the original brief to project implementation, we worked closely with Stonewater’s communications, digital and people teams which was an amazing collaborative experience that helped bring The GRID to life.

Collaborative team-based game was a highly effective way of communicating the organisations strategy and vision.

Providing a place for organisational gameplay can provide a sense of freedom, motivation, and meaningful work once completed and what greater honor is there than to help others live and work  well and to inspire them to actualise their potential?

I can’t think of any.

Thanks for Reading,

To view a short overview of The GRID

To view the full case study

Are you transforming? Do you want to engage your people?

If so, let’s engage, it would be great to speak to you, and help bring your vision to life.

Call Design Force on 01772 643973 or email me simon@designforce.co.uk

Friday 24 July 2015

The creative brief – 5 simple steps

A creative brief is one of the key things we like to get to right here at Design Force. Personally, we like to scope this process out with you...getting a feel for your role, your organisation whilst asking questions that really get under the skin of what it is you’re trying to achieve.

Often we see communications that isn’t considered or fit for purpose. That’s a real shame in our eyes as marketing budgets need to work harder than ever these days. We get that!

We’d always approach the creative brief together but just in case you wanted a little guideance, here are 5 steps to help.

Step 1 – What are you aiming for?
In its simplest terms what is it that needs be done? 

Step 2  - Project Introduction
No one can immediately understand what’s in your head, only you know that. You need to help the agency build up a picture of you/your organisation and then the project in hand.

Step 3 – Who are you talking to?
Can you paint a picture of the types of people you want to receive and resonate with your brand/product / message? Don’t worry there can be lots of different types of people you are aiming your marketing at.

Step 4 – Project specifics
What do you already have in place? Do you talk to your audience in a particular way,
does your organization already have brand values or a mission statement?

Step 5 - The Single Minded Proposition (SMP)
Last but certainly not least! What is the single most important message you want to communicate?  This should be the one thing you want your reader to remember once they have seen your marketing.

Whilst the above outlined steps provide a great start, it may be that even the first steps needs a little work.
Don’t feel stuck…Talk to us about the great work we’ve been doing in our brand workshops!