Standard Life Financial Services didn’t have a purpose. Or rather, they didn’t have a Purpose – a directional understanding of why they were doing what they were doing and how to think about and structure what they would do in the future.
That’s where Sid Lee came in. We knew, of course, that a statement of purpose could never be imposed on a company by an external party, but we came in prepared to help with a whole host of tools, workshops and brainpower.
Searching for why
We ran workshops in every market around the world, asking employees what they liked about their jobs, what they thought Standard Life excelled at, and where they wanted to see improvement.
Then we analyzed hundreds of pages of free-form answers, searching for common threads and interesting ideas. We found three key themes that ran through all of the answers, which became the three defining themes of the Standard Life mission.
Then we set out to capture the essence of the three key areas of action in one unifying purpose statement. Extensive brainstorming, workshopping, and competitor analysis led us to a few hypotheses, and we tested and refined until we landed on a statement that felt just right. Noble, but relatable. Aspirational yet actionable. And most importantly, directive and forward-looking.
Understanding the why
Of course just finding the answer was just the beginning, as the 9,000+ Standard Life employees around the world needed to not only hear but understand and take to heart the new company purpose.
To that end, we created what we called a ‘change management toolbox’ – both a physical kit consisting of extensive explanation and interactive tools like storycards for implementing the why in everyday decisions, as well as a detailed plan for engaging local market management in disseminating the message in an engaging and interactive manner.
Understanding the why
Finally, we were tasked with organising the Standard Life EMEA Brand Architecture, including a brand-new visual language to help tie everything together.
We also supported Standard Life in bringing on their first corporate sports sponsorship in Andy Murray, including creating a series of tactical ads for Wimbledon 2014.