Evolving the Avanade brand from the inside out
- Posted on December 10, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
A year ago, Elizabeth Schroeder, Avanade’s global brand lead, had an idea: instead of hiring outside consultants to work on several brand-related design projects, why not take advantage of Avanade’s own Design Studio?
Turns out that idea was an inspired one.
A benefit of working for a global organization is the opportunity to grow your skills on a variety of projects, but since the focus is on client projects, designers don’t often get the chance to use their expertise to help shape their own company’s brand.
Now they would.
In the last year, when they have some time between projects, Avanade’s Studios team members have been deployed to the brand team for a few months to help evolve the Avanade brand. While the original idea was to use the creative expertise in Avanade’s own ranks, Liz and her team soon found that the designers offered original takes and innovative ideas that they wouldn’t otherwise have heard.
“We started out thinking that working with our own in-house design experts made practical sense,” Liz says. “Today we realize that it opens our brand’s evolution to fresh and innovative thinking from designers who know us best.”
At the same time, the designers found themselves rolling off the project with a keen appreciation for the depth of nuance behind the design elements within the Avanade brand.
- During his deployment to the brand team, Chicago-based Wais Hossain created a whole range of design assets, everything from email banners and PowerPoint presentations to icons, templates and email signatures. “I learned how in-depth the thinking behind our brand is,” he says of his experience.
- Designer Rachel Jeffs, based in Atlanta, worked with the brand team to help expand Avanade’s signature “waves” from a single color to a palette of 40 variations in six colors for even more visual impact.
“I thought it would be fun to get to contribute to the next evolution of our brand,” she says. “I definitely have a deeper understanding now and I’ve become the go-to person in my office for brand questions.”
- Kyle Nurko, based in Avanade’s New York office, helped design the special 20th anniversary icon that you’ll see on Avanade branded materials around the world this year.
“Coming onto the team, my colleague Amanda Farrington and I put our voice into our work, put our own creativity into it, too,” he says. “Anything we came up with, Liz and the team were interested to hear about it. It’s great to know that we are one team.”
- In addition to helping expand Avanade’s library of brand assets, Amanda Farrington’s time on the brand team got her out of the office and onto the streets of the Flatiron District as one of the moving forces behind Avanade’s #WorkFromHere guerilla marketing initiative.
For one day this summer, Amanda and her crew set up in a public space popular both with locals and tourists to raise awareness of Avanade. Against a backdrop of orange, members of the brand team hosted a day of contests, games, prizes and technology demos to whomever wanted to stop by. While the emphasis was on awareness, it turned into an impromptu job candidate recruiting event.
- Jackson Tibbett, based in Chicago, was part of the team that created a new internal SharePoint site that Avanade’s 38,000 employees now use to access brand guidelines and brand-approved templates and images.
“I saw it wasn’t always easy on the original site to find things,” he says. “So, we started brainstorming how we could reorganize everything to make it all easily discoverable. I’m really happy with how it turned out. It was cool to flex those design muscles for our brand, which is something we don’t always get to do with our clients.”
The program was a success, Liz Schroeder says. “Our team was continually inspired by the new ideas these designers bring, and we’ve been able to give them a chance to use their expertise to help Avanade show the world who we are. They have become our informal brand ambassadors in their own offices around the U.S., a benefit even I hadn’t anticipated.”