Blog: October 7th, 2014

This is going to be a weird blog. My class has been separate for the 7 weeks of this project and have been keeping everyone up to date via google plus so I’m going to post the updates from my group here. So if there is anything a bit confusing…that’s why.

“My group has been working with Albinsson & Sjöberg for the past two weeks. A&S is a motor magazine publisher, actually one of the biggest in Scandinavia. They have 16 magazines and host a ton of motor events in Sweden and Norway as well as own a race track outside of Linköping. After we were introduced to the head management, we went on a tour and were introduced to the rest of the members of the company. The first week we only researched and interviewed the employees. We gained a lot of insight just being able to talk to the ones open enough to share their viewpoints. The company is really old school, in pretty much every sense. They are in a market that is slowly dying and they don’t seem to want to accept that. They also have an older customer group, and they also seem to focus a lot on just them. They also are very stiff and old school internally. To communicate they phone, email, or walk to the person; they also are very top-down and that creates a hard environment for innovation to flourish. After having a few meetings with our industry leader and a manager at HI about how much of a fossil company A&S is we found that this is such a great opportunity and really dove into thinking of something amazing for them. (Since really anything would be an improvement for the company)”

We are, I think, on the right track. We wrote a  brief for them to review and are going to have a meeting with them next week to discuss and finalize the perimeters of the project. We got advise from employees that everything is very top-down and they tend to not see the bigger picture when it comes to digital so we have to break everything down, over-explain everything and take it all step by step with them. We have talked a little about giving them options, like you would a child, options that we think of that we think would work for them but this way gives them more of a feeling that they are more involved and have the final decisions.
Dunno if that all made sense but yeah.”

“We moved on to interviewing the target audience and current customers. It was really great to find that they have moved online because that was something that our client is really scared of, they don’t see the value of it. We also found other sites and companies that really inspired us to come up with some sort of younger, more tailored sub-brand. Something that would be more geared toward the digitally savy.”

“We held an update/ideation workshop today, only half the people came but it was still pretty good. We checked-in and then updated them about what we have been doing thing these past few weeks, going through research and interview insights. Then talked about our idea of a sub-brand which is only digital and aimed towards a younger user and focused on network/community.  After we explained that a bit we did a short ideation with them. We set up 6 ‘stations’ with different potential industries they could look into (like education, travel, etc).
They started of a bit stiff in the beginning and then after ideation they loosened up a lot and were really engaged and positive. We were able to loosen them up and gain their trust. In the check out one woman said that she was a bit stressed and nervous about what was going on but now feels really good about what we are doing. We also got the feedback that ideation was great and something they never do but want to take it forward to generate more ideas. It was fun to see them smile and change over the hour workshop.
We reflected afterward and realized its a lot easier to have one person talking/presenting with text rather than two because it doesn’t pull the eye too much. Its nice to get their ideas and see there their heads are at and how we can co-create something that pushes them even further. We want to take this OS1 company and move it to OS2 but even maybe even pushing forward to create some kind of OS3 agency.
We understand that this is really intense learning experience and we may not have all the right answers but we are really happy with everything we’ve done so far. We’ve progressed a lot in a short amount of time and this can only get better.”

“So we have been prototyping for the past week or so and going through the strategy outline so we know what we want to deliver and finalizing the concept. We just started really producing some stuff and I think we are all feeling really good to have moved on into this phase. We have a racing event to go to next weekend in Linköping to test the concept on current A&S fans (although we are aimed at a different tribe now). Today we converted our paper wire-frames to digital ones, worked on how we implement a sub-brand seamlessly in a company, as well as style and moodboards.”

Now it is October 7th and we have all of our deliverables ready and are trying to wrap them into a nice easy to understand package for the company and our exhibition in Stockholm. We created several mock-ups for the platform, branding, brand guidelines + timeline, the ecosystem, user journey, and the financial aspects. It’s a lot. We have a company presentation next Monday for an hour. And in Stockholm we have 15 mins to present to 200+ industry people, companies and fellow Hyper students.

I’m stressed out to say the least. My group as a whole has been very productive but I’m still concerned we might be too wrapped up in our idea to look at it with a fresh perspective, and thus miss something vital. Not to mention I STILL don’t have an internship yet. Johanna and I have messaged AT LEAST 40 agencies…most don’t even get back to us. It’s so frustrating. I feel like we should have sent candy or something to bribe them. Maybe we still can… I just want things to get better.