arcDESIGN is a successful architectural firm based in Indianapolis. They employ a young team of talented and creative designers and thinkers, but were struggling to accurately identify and document what makes them unique, both within the industry and as a workplace. In their business, recruiting and retaining top young talent is key, which means employee culture is paramount. arcDESIGN had been working on cultivating an appealing culture to attract young professionals but had not created an opportunity to tell that story. They were seeking a way to promote themselves to future prospects, as well as bolster current employees and unite them behind a strong brand of which they could be proud.
More than a simple branding campaign, this became a passion project to give arcDESIGN its voice, and the ability to shout its mission loudly from the rooftops. arcDESIGN didn’t need some fancy, meaningless words to say; they needed to construct a creed that embodied their business, and a megaphone to get those words out to employees as well as current and potential clients.
We began by constructing a cultural identification process, customized to arcDESIGN’s needs. We utilized ADVISA’s DIALOGIC assessment to conduct an internal survey, which helped us identify the key drivers of employee engagement at arcDESIGN. This helped us to see synergies as well as gaps within the organization. Armed with this knowledge, we designed a strategy to fill those gaps and build on the company’s strengths by crafting a manifesto, representing everything arcDESIGN stands for and believes in. It speaks to the company’s high standards of excellence, but it also speaks to the culture that makes it stand out. arcDESIGN, above all, values people over profits. The language used in the manifesto was carefully designed to give arcDESIGN a tone that is bold, straightforward and refreshing, careful not to come off as brash or arrogant. In fact, the manifesto displays the firm’s humility and its dedication to the clients it serves and the employees it hires. The manifesto, once completed, was turned into a fast-paced, energizing video that explains very clearly each of the values and promises arcDESIGN holds dear. The video was distributed to arcDESIGN employees and is now used as part of the onboarding process, so every employee knows exactly how arcDESIGN’s values align with their own… right from the start. To reinforce these values and remind employees of their big why for doing what they do, custom graphic decals featuring lines from the manifesto were printed and installed around the office, to serve as a visual cue for employees. Together, this project gave arcDESIGN a confident, strong voice it can continue to use in internal and external branding and marketing pursuits. It also gave the firm a way to connect with employees and foster a sense of community, pride and a greater purpose.