“Technology should support creativity and design, not dictate it.” – Alexandra Scillieri, Partner and Global Head of Design at leading media agency mediacom sits down with Microsoft MVP and AddIn365 CEO Suzy Dean to explore the importance of staying true to brand in an ever-changing world.
Guest introduction – Alex Scillieri, Partner and Global Head of Design at mediacom
As Global Head of Design for Global New Business and Marketing at mediacom, Alexandra leads a team of global designers to create award and pitch-winning work for many of the world’s largest brands; including Adidas, Groupe PSA, Uber, Bose, Richemont, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Mars and P&G. In addition to new business, Alexandra leads and champions all aspects of the mediacom brand, creating consistency in digital, print, and beyond for mediacom worldwide.
Host introduction – Suzy Dean, Microsoft MVP and AddIn365 CEO
Suzy Dean is a Microsoft MVP and has spent 16 years designing, delivering, and implementing the digital employee experiences of many of the world’s best-known brands. Suzy is CEO of AddIn365, a London based Microsoft Charter Partner, of which she founded in 2016 to deliver personalised employee experiences on Microsoft 365 to enable people to do their best work. Suzy and her team are the global Microsoft 365 employee experience provider of WPP, the world’s largest media group, which includes leading design agency mediacom. Today, Suzy sits down with mediacom’s Global Head of Design Alexandra Scillieri.
The world has changed…
Consumers’ expectations of their favourite brands have evolved, so too has the ways and places they will engage with content.
Employees too expect more value from their workplace environments, which are becoming increasingly, and often permanently, digital.
Digital design needs to excite and engage our audiences, but also remain true and authentic to brand.
Recognising the need to adapt, and excitedly embracing the challenges of 2022 with an agility and creativity fuelled engagement strategy, Alex Scillieri explores how a thoughtful, people-first approach to design and reinforced brand messaging can connect organisations to both their consumers and their employees.
In our 3-part, Power of Brand interview, Alexandra begins with a deep-dive into the changing world around us, and advises where designers should begin when conceptualising or revisiting their brand to connect to a world in motion.
The Power of Brand, Chapter 1 – Recognising evolution
- What’s changed; where do we connect with our audience and how?
- Consumers and employees have evolved, so must organisations.
- Why are the world’s organisations rebranding, and what are the good reasons to do so?
- Exploring the power of design, and capturing your audiences attention digitally.
The world has changed. Consumers expect more from their favourite brands.
Reflecting on the uncharted landscape of 2022, Alexandra Scillieri explores the increasing expectations of value, accessibility and social conscious amongst the consumer. If organisations are going to connect with their audience, they need to align what their audience wants with what their brand stands for.
Alexandra and Microsoft MVP Suzy Dean, agree that if the consumer has changed, then so too has the employee. Employees are engaging with their organisations in all new ways, and expect more from their experience; whilst traditional and physical touch-points may have been lost to a world of hybrid working, connections must be made and strengthened in new areas.
As leaders juggle with hybrid and remote working strategies, their employees are increasingly looking for value in the activities they are committed to. Feelings of inclusion directly affect our employees’ wellbeing, and those employees whom are engaged are more likely to deliver better performance. Recognising a need to be agile an fluid when engaging consumers and employees, Alex tells of the importance of embracing digital, but where to begin when designing an engagement strategy? Watch Chapter 1 of our Power of Brand interview below.
The Power of Brand, Chapter 2 – Connecting with a world in motion
- Designing an engagement strategy fit for 2022.
- Supporting your people, so they can support your clients.
- Owning being a brand guardian.
- Staying true to who you are.
How does a Global Head of Design conceptualise an engagement strategy for an all-new world? Alexandra Scillieri has a strong people-first mantra, in chapter 2 of our Power of Brand interview Alexandra explains to Suzy Dean her agile, but focussed approach to design when looking to connect with mediacom’s internal and external audience.
When explaining mediacom’s own route to recent success, Alexandra is strong in her advice that organisations will have to adapt to remain connected to their consumers, and their employees. Alexandra’s approach has been to support her employees first, whom in turn will look after their clients. Employees need to feel good for who they work for, they need a strong connection to their brand, and their digital workplace should reflect what their organisation stands for.
Alexandra journeys through the exciting projects she and her team are currently heading up. We learn the importance of marrying brand authenticity with the adoption of new and exciting ideas and in what ways does brand design influence Alexandra’s every day decision making.
Watch Chapter 2 of our Power of Brand interview below.
The Power of Brand, Chapter 3 – Delivering an experience where your people can do their best work
- How to align your brand to your employee experience platform.
- Finding a Partner that can bring your design and vision to life.
- Technology should support creativity and design, not dictate it.
- Your brand is your people, and your people are your brand.
When asked what advice to give to brand leaders looking to design a digital employee experience, Alexandra Scillieri stresses the paramount importance of understanding your people. After a comprehensive study by internal survey focus groups at mediacom, and armed with an intimate understanding of what her employees needed to do their best work, Alexandra had a vision of what the digital workplace would look like – functional but beautiful, efficient but inspiring. Rightly proud of her brand, and what it stands for, Alexandra knew that to best engage with, and inspire her employees; to best connect with and make them feel good, the mediacom brand needed to be aligned to their digital environment.
In Chapter 3 of the Alexandra Scillieri interview, Suzy Dean and Alexandra Scillieri revisit the journey of mediacom’s employee experience delivery, from the conception of a from-scratch, completely customised design to the implementation of a visually exhilarating digital hub, tailored to each employee.
Having enjoyed a unique view of seeing Alexandra’s vision come to life, Suzy asks “Which latest digital design trends have you been most excited to incorporate and why are strong visuals so powerful when conveying messaging?” Watch Chapter 3 of our Power of Brand interview here.
As mediacom’s 8,000 employees embrace their new digital workplace, Alexandra looks to the future. “Brand is never complete”, Alexandra explains, “the foundations are set but brand needs to evolve”. Design and storytelling a true labour of love, it seems, for Alexandra, and one we are excited to see evolve.
You can view some of the exciting projects Alexandra has been working on at the medicom UK website MediaCom | Examples of our work for clients | MediaCom Worldwide
If you’d like to discover how to align your brand to your Microsoft 365 employee experience drop us a hello via the contact form below.
Having enjoyed 16 years within the Microsoft eco-system #Suzy has an unrivalled and unequivocal understanding of what solutions organisations need to perform at their best and how to meet those requirements on time and in budget.
Amongst the 1 million Microsoft practitioners, there are only 200 people globally awarded MVP status for their elite expertise in Microsoft Viva, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. AddIn365 is home to three of them.
Suzy Dean has been a Microsoft MVP for four years and has been responsible for the delivery and enhancement of intranets, portals and communications capabilities, into the world’s largest and most structurally complex organisations, since 2004.
Wes leads customer and product strategy at AddIn365. He has been working with Office 365 since its 2007 release and has led the delivery of the world’s largest Office 365 implementations, for some of the most organisationally complex companies that include WPP, ARUP, TSB Bank and Atkins.
Wes has been a Microsoft MVP for 8 years. MVP status is only given to a handful of individuals by Microsoft, globally, for their technical expertise. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions and to solve real world problems.
As a Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services, Wes enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge, speaking at Microsoft events such as TechDays Online, Future Decoded and Ignite conferences.
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Microsoft MVP and AddIn365 CEO Suzy Dean says: “We have created a modern and visually impactful kit for those that want to showcase their brand identity, at the same time as maximising their use of SharePoint Modern.”
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