Two more prestigious awards from the DBA

by Nick Ramshaw

Recognising the value of our design

This year, our Halloween has not just been about tricks, treats, and scary monsters. We also received some wonderful news from the Design Business Association (DBA). Each year the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise the design that delivers most against its objectives.

To win is no mean feat. The awards are internationally recognised for the quality and strength of evidence the winners must provide to support their case for design effectiveness. With a uniquely rigorous judging process, the awards set the standard for quantifying the value of design.

Winning entries have succeeded against demanding criteria. Judged by leading figures from businesses including Phillips, Lego, Airbus, PepsiCo and Google, they demonstrate the value of investing in design to drive business success.

  • 100% hit rate

    Having won 7 DBA awards in the last five years, our work is regularly recognised in this way. But that doesn’t make winning any easier!

    Competition has increased significantly as more and more big name brands (and their agencies) look to benefit from the tangible advantages that come with winning the awards.

    Entering takes considerable time and effort from both agency and client, working together to build a compelling business case. This year, we completed two entries and were delighted to hear that both have won awards. We find out if these are gold, silver or bronze awards at the swanky do in February next year.

  • Helping young people when they need it most

    For the last two years, we have been working with NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group and a host of partners, who are determined to bring the city together and create a safe place for young people with mental health issues. The place we created is called Mindmate.

    Through agile, user-centric design, we have created a website that makes sense of the help available. But Mindmate is much more than just a website. It has quickly become the trusted friend that young people turn to – designed with them for them. We used design to make services more accessible and helped to transform support for young people with complex issues. We ran workshops, created forums and tested everything with the people who mattered most – the young people themselves.

    Since launch, Mindmate has exceeded expectations. As well as smashing targets, it has inspired the sector, created an ambassador programme and become a template for other CCGs.

    We continually look for ways to improve the site and the service it provides; and in terms of the numbers, there has been an increase of 101% in page views, 71% more young people are being helped and session times have increased by 68%. 1,495 young people were helped in the month of May 2016 alone.

    What is most rewarding for us is that MindMate is a service that Leeds is truly proud of. It has given young people a place they can trust. A place that welcomes them when they need it most.

  • A clear positioning helps grow market share

    The water market had been growing steadily for several years, not least because the Sugar Tax debate and greater health awareness have impacted on the soft drinks market overall. This has created more space for water. At the end of 2013, though, it looked like the growth was starting to plateau.

    Our client, Harrogate Spring Water, recognised an opportunity to seize extra market share and offer a genuine challenge to the big players for the first time. They needed a brand identity and packaging that would support their growth and give them, for the first time, a clear positioning to help them to stand apart.

    Working closely with the owners of the business we did just that. It allowed them to drive outstanding sales growth – far outstripping the market. EAT and Caffe Nero, who Harrogate previously supplied with water for own-brand, now take the branded Harrogate product, because it’s far stronger in the market. This has delivered a higher retail price for the product, yielding greater profits and increasing monthly shipments substantially.

  • Sustainable relationships

    What is fantastic about both DBA award wins is that each proves, in very different ways, the tangible benefits that we have delivered for our clients. We work very hard to understand the key issues in all projects, and to see measurable proof of the impact our work has is truly rewarding.

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