Main Content

The Reinvention

Dave channel deerBack in 2007 the marketplace for small digital TV channels was becoming increasingly complex. The explosion of channel choice (over 470!), along with the arrival of on-demand services, was making channel growth intensely difficult to achieve. uktvG2 was a minor player comprised almost entirely of repeats, with no resources to buy new shows and in danger of being passed over and never watched.

uktv’s core objective was to increase the number of 16-44 year old men watching the network. Following a strategic review of the business, the company identified an opportunity for growth by reaching out to this lucrative target audience through Freeview, replacing uktv History’s Freeview slot with uktvG2. A straight swap would have naturally grown their audience, but the review identified some significant issues such as virtual invisibility and a confusing name, that would stop the opportunity being maximised and probably lead only to a short term ‘hit’.

It was clear from research that the programmes featured on the channel were strong – with viewers loving their content and the ‘intelligent and irreverent humour’ they shared – but the channel was weak. If they wanted to make a splash, they were going to have to work extremely hard. In a brave move, uktv and their appointed agency Red Bee Media identified how a strong design could play a powerful role in helping viewers navigate the congested TV landscape by signalling what they stood for. They were clear that they needed to think longer-term; that they needed to create a distinct, personality viewers could instantly recognise. They needed a brand.

Overturning conventions for traditional network branding, they set out a strategy to be more than just a channel – it was a ‘place’ to spend time with very funny men like Stephen Fry and Paul Merton – a surrogate, if you like, for being down the pub with their amusing mates. It would be the ‘home of witty banter’.

First, the decision was made that the uktv name needed to go, and, furthermore, letters and numerals were to be avoided when choosing a new one. For real stand out and personality a name that engendered passion was required. And ‘Dave’ was just that. It treated the channel as a friend and it gave that friend personality. What’s more, no other channels had called themselves a Christian name, ever. The creative invention came straight out of the insight – rather than present ‘Dave’ the person, they would present him as a ‘location’, with tone playing a critical role in communicating and reflecting the nature of their content – more ‘Stephen Fry’, less ‘Bernard Manning’.

And so the world of Dave was born. Engaging viewers with unusual situations and stories. Oil paintings, gilt frames, stuffed giraffes and zebras all helped to create a highly peculiar sense of place and introduced to the public an utterly compelling, adventurous, unique and ever-evolving brand. A brand that people became such passionate advocates of, that when surveyed, 53% of adults claimed to watch the channel weekly – a 100% overstatement of the actual weekly reach of 25%.

The brand was embedded at the very heart of the business and permeated throughout. With a brand refresh in 2014 (again by Red Bee Media), enabling Dave to extend the brand off-screen, the channel continues to thrive. As Simon Michaelides concludes of today’s ‘Dave’, “by constantly galvanising around a shared understanding of the brand identity, we collaborate to draw together the various parts, from the programming and the on-air look and feel, to the marketing communications, and wider activities such as Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival and our award winning podcasts. Dave’s business performance is not only a sign of its strength as a brand, but is also a measure of how hard our external partners, and the various functions within our business, work together to build that brand.”

This article is an updated extract from Back in Time: Dave the Goliath from the first issue of the Design in Business magazine (Published 2015).

Dave – DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix winner 2008Dave channel lion

Rip Roaring facts

Joint number 1 non-terrestrial channel amongst their target audience within 5 months.

35% increase in audience share in just one month.
8 million additional viewers were added in only 3 months.
£4.5 million profit delivered in 6 months (growing from the 5th to 2nd most profitable channel in uktv portfolio).

People have become such passionate advocates of Dave that when surveyed:

53% of adults claimed to watch the channel weekly.
The actual weekly reach is 25% – a 100% overstatement.

Images supplied by: uktv

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Main Content

MS cafe kiwi&pomThe resulting design represented a strategic shift from ‘coffee to cake’, from snaking queues to logical layout and greater efficiency, and from separatism and concealment to reconnection and unity. The design results were both immediate and long-lasting. Sales soared, customer satisfaction levels rocketed and staff satisfaction reached an all-time high.

The first new look café launched in Westfield Shopping Centre, White City in October 2008. The striking interiors theme, based on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, created an appealing narrative throughout the café and provided a welcoming environment, with a strong identity and efficient operational flow. Inviting booth seats replaced the high dividing wall between the café and the rest of the store, reconnecting the two areas and making the café easier to locate and more enticing to visit.

To further encourage customers to stay and enjoy, the focus was moved from providing a quick coffee to offering indulgent treats with M&S’s cakes and patisserie centre-stage. The previous long, linear queuing problems were solved by a new logical layout, speeding and simplifying the customer journey, thus making ones progress from counter to table more enjoyable. A designated tray clearing pass vastly improved staff clearing efficiency, helping both staff and shoppers alike.

And critically for a business with such a wide range of store sizes, iconic design elements such as cake pedestals and 3D icons, enabled the café concept to be scaled up and down without losing its design identity. The agency provided M&S with four layout formats – from small to extra-large – that were successfully and cost-effectively rolled out across the estate. All on a design budget of £100,000.

MS cafe kiwi&pomIn the first 18 months after launch, sales in newly fitted out cafés increased 26 per cent versus a 10 per cent uplift across the existing estate, with an additional £10 million sales delivered over plan. What’s more, there were happier customers and staff, with mystery shopper scores jumping from 65 per cent to 85 per cent and staff satisfaction measures topping 95 per cent for the first time, a leap of nearly 20 per cent on store average.

When you factor in that the average build cost per site dropped 50 per cent – from £1million to £500,000 – it’s no wonder M&S took notice of the potential for design to turn around the performance of its café environments, to widen their demographic appeal and to encourage customers to shop longer.

Here’s what M&S’s then head of hospitality Jason Danciger had to say about the success of their foodservice in 2013: “We’ve had five years of solid growth in the grimmest recession. Why? Because we’ve kept driving innovation in that time.”

Now it is easy to see why the once ignored in-store café takes such pride of place in prime retail.

The M&S Cafe Concept, for Marks & Spencer Plc by KIWI&POM won a Gold Award at the 2011 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. View full case study.

The M&S café in Brussels was also designed by Kiwi & Pom.

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards: Be a winner dea trophies dba 2016

Irrefutably prove the value of your design work to business.

Judged by business leaders and entered jointly by client and designer, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are both rigorous and authoritative. They celebrate the power of design to drive business success and provide compelling proof of why design is a sound commercial investment.

More information on the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards
www.effectivedesign.org.uk

Images supplied by: Kiwi & Pom

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Main Content

dea trophies dba 2016DBA Design Effectiveness Awards: Be a winner

Irrefutably prove the value of your design work to business.

Judged by business leaders and entered jointly by client and designer, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are both rigorous and authoritative. They celebrate the power of design to drive business success and provide compelling proof of why design is a sound commercial investment.

More information on the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards:
www.effectivedesign.org.uk

Join us at the next Design Effectiveness 365 event on Tuesday 16 May to hear from design agencies and design commissioners who live and breathe design effectiveness. You’ll discover how they get the outstanding outcomes they strive for, as they demonstrate what it takes to produce an award-winning design effectiveness project. Read more and book now

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Main Content

Can you tell us something about the role of design leadership in envisioning the future of Philips?

“As we become more respected business partners, and bring our customer-centricity into the product life cycles, we are being seen as adding to the value propositions that the business can create.

My predecessor, Stefano Marzano, developed the idea of Design Probes. These looked ten to twenty years ahead to see how technology and society would change the world of Philips. This work resulted in many publications and presentations about the future and were excellent external PR for Philips design. Internally, however, the relevance of this work was not recognised by the businesses. They could not see how these visions would fit into today’s business reality.

Since then things have changed. We are now using this idea of envisioning in a different way – as a constructive business tool. A good example of this working in practice is the development of a new neonatal intensive care unit. We re-envisioned how this might look in 10 years time. This extended timeframe meant we were uninhibited in how we would think about technology and products. We were not constrained by the process of incremental development – we could take big leaps ahead.

To do this we pulled in key opinion leaders, medical experts, doctors, clinicians and neonatal intensive care specialists from the world’s leading hospitals. We sketched out future scenarios, made prototype environments and then sought their contribution. We then started to build a more robust concept based on the insights from those leading specialists. As we did that we also had our partners from the different businesses join us in the dialogue so they could hear the voice of that future customer first hand.

As a result of this intensive and comprehensive collaboration we built, what we called, an ‘experience lab’ for the intensive care unit which brought the ideas to life and could be critiqued and developed further. This gave us the basis for a very constructive dialogue about what we could do today based on that vision of the future. This has begun to inform the product road maps that are being developed today.”

 
How have you brought the Board and Executive along with you?

“I joined Philips at the same time as Frans van Houten, our new CEO. He is a real visionary. He wanted to understand the potential for Philips if it could connect to the Cloud and leverage all the data collected from the 350 million patients connected to and using our products every day. A lot of the business did not understand the future potential of harnessing this data so we created a digital deep-dive. We looked at the emerging trends in technology, in society and business to create a digital road map showing how these trends were evolving. We then developed scenarios showing how these trends might impact on Philips at a sector and individual business level.

Next, we ran four hour sessions with the Executive Committee, taking them through, for example, what start-ups in California were doing and what big industry was doing, in areas that you might not expect, like John Deere – a digitally integrated business where tractors take soil samples, beam the data to satellites and then back to seed and horticultural suppliers for analysis and subsequent development.”

“We argued that if a tractor company can do this and find it worthwhile then so could we. It meant we could completely rethink what a company in healthcare and consumer care would be like.”
– Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer for Royal Philips

The Executive Committee became fully supportive of the potential for exploring the future in this way.

We have now created a digital health suite in the Cloud where all our devices are streaming data in real time from across the complete continuum of users – patients, surgeons in theatre, cancer diagnostics, psychologists and remote diagnostics for patients living at home. Design is helping envision the future through a deep understanding of what the ‘best in class’ patient, user and clinician experience should be like to deliver the best clinical outcomes, whilst equally making sure there is a sound business case and return on investment for the hospital’s Chief Financial Officer.”

 
What do you see as your future challenges?

“Training more people in the co-creation processes (our own version of Design Thinking). We have recently introduced an education programme for 120,000 people called our co-create programme. We train them in the fundamental principles of design thinking, discovering, framing, ideating, building around solutions.

This has been successful across the business for dealing with a multitude of issues from supply chain to product development. The more people within Philips that we can engage in this programme the better business we will have, delivering improved experiences and outcomes for our customers and other stakeholders.

Engaging with potential customers.

The CEO now sees our co-create programme as being an ideal way of engaging top-level executives from potential customers in doing business with Philips. Together we can explore a customer’s potential in ways that will help give us a competitive edge.

Turning ‘design-thinking’ into ‘design-doing’.

By this I mean by being proactive in testing potential solutions with stakeholders, mixing design thinking with Lean and Agile principles to build concepts, testing those concepts first with 10 people, learn from that and take it to 100 people, then scale to 1000 and then 20,000 people before a big release. These are some of the most exciting challenges for the future.”

What do you want to be remembered for from your time with Philips?

“A few things. Creating long lasting connections between design and business and a deep understanding of the value it can bring. Ensuring that we always drive best-in-class design solutions and never compromise the integrity of our designs.

Becoming completely people-centric and using design to deliver better solutions as a result. Thinking all the time about every interaction with those who are touched by what we do. For example, in healthcare it is always our objective to create better outcomes for patients: faster healing, more people cured quickly with less problems, the rapid development of excellent products at lower cost.”

“Helping our customers use design as an integral part of the way they deliver their services, particularly by getting them to engage in the co-creation process and turning ‘design-thinking’ into ‘design-doing’.”
– Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer for Royal Philips

This article was first published in the Design in Business magazine (01/2015).

About: Sean Carney

Sean Carney is Chief Design Officer for Royal Philips and on the DBA Board of Directors. As head of the design competence across the company, he is leading global teams delivering insight-driven, meaningful innovations that bring value to people and business.

Sean joined Philips in March 2011. He has more than 25 years of experience as an international creative thought leader in design and management, focused on brand and user insight. He has a proven track record in building, leading and inspiring multi-disciplinary, award winning design teams across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Sean pioneered a user-centered approach to brand design while working with Electrolux and subsequently applied his approach consulting with brands such as Iittala, Assa Abloy and more recently Hewlett Packard. He has a Masters in Industrial Design (Engineering) from Birmingham City University.

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Main Content

DBA workshop: PR and Profile Raising

At this half-day workshop you’ll explore how you can raise your agency’s profile successfully through PR, even without a large budget.

The DBA Experts Register is here to help you

If you need advice or professional guidance on issues such as succession planning, restructuring, new business development, financial planning and more, we can connect you with the right people.

Letter to a drowning agency principal

Your situation looks complicated and maybe hopeless from the inside, but from where I sit, unencumbered by the baggage of history, emotions and relationships, it’s clear what needs to be done. These 12 steps are the map, says Blair Enns.

Adam Fennelow is Head of Services at the DBA.

For more information on DBA membership click here.
E: adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk

Image credits: © Rawpixelimages Dreamstime.com

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About: David C. Baker

David is Principal of ReCourses, a management consulting firm he founded in 1994, focused on helping the advertising, design, interactive, and public relations industries.

David has done in-depth consulting with 800+ marketing firms, written four well-received books, speaks at approx. 30-35 conferences per year, and has had his work discussed in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company. Inc. Magazine, Forbes, MarketingProfs, BusinessWeek, and CBS.

More on ReCourses and David C. Baker

Image credits: © Jozef Micic Dreamstime.com

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