And the winner is…

A little birdy’s told me that a project I consulted on for SAS has won a Red Dot Design Award, and I’m really chuffed about it.

Not because I can claim the core insight that unlocked the whole solution (it’s not an ego thing, honest!); what really makes me smile is that the client in question couldn’t be more deserving.

They weren’t the biggest or most prestigious client in the world (certainly not a household name), nor was the project exactly rocket science (the creation of a brand book); yet it’s hands-down the most enjoyable project I’ve ever worked on.

That’s in very large part due to their willingness to give us our heads, so to speak, and engage whole-heartedly and enthusiastically in a process that a more belligerent client might have dismissed as out-of-scope (the kind of “whole systems” analysis that Kevin Keohane and I have been banging on about for ages – examples here and here).

Their modesty to know what they didn’t know – basically to sit back and enjoy the ride in the first instance – was incredibly refreshing. Equally energising was how, when we came back with our insights, they jumped in and really got involved in fine tuning the proposed brand positioning and message framework.

It was proper co-creation, with the result that everyone in the company has really embraced the outcome and made it their own. Indeed, they’re so proud of what we achieved together that a brand book initially intended strictly for an internal audience is regularly dished out to clients (now there’s an authentic brand for you!).

Amy, Mark, Chris (you know who you are): many congratulations. It was an absolute pleasure working with you and I only wish more clients were like you!

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