22 years in the business and counting. TeamAsia has had an amazing journey for the past two decades, seeing different industries rise and grow, learning and re-learning a variety of tools and technology meant to drive innovation in the marketplace and experiencing change in how people want to communicate, connect and engage. With constant change, experience agencies like us need to also dance to new beats, quickly adapting to not only what the market “needs and wants,” but also looking into what will make it even better – an always evolving vision.
2014 ushered in bright possibilities, so we decided to refresh our brand to dance along with the beat of our own mission to bring brands to the next level experience. We wanted to rejuvenate our processes, our business strategies and our agency culture to sally forth in this new and exciting era. So we named this awesome new adventure Project Refresh, and wow, what an adventure it really has been!
It started easy – of course! When a big idea strikes (or a ton of them), you get extremely excited and pumped up to start the work. This project was led by the uber-talented marketing and creative ladies and gents of TeamAsia. We put together our very own creative brief – a funny thing, when usually the briefs come from clients – to map out what we wanted to happen. D’Brief outlined the challenge, the solution and the deliverables our creative wonders were tasked to come up with. While everyone was pumped up and ready to start the refresh, we also had to balance our internal project with the events and campaigns we were also organizing for our clients. Yes, our timelines morphed from a three-month adventure to a year-long pilgrimage!
While our creative wonders traveled into their own idea factory, the marketing team was busy drawing up plans to roll out Project Refresh. Again, the brief wasn’t just to give TeamAsia a facelift, it was really about going deeper into our agency’s soul. The drawn up plans looked into our corporate identity (and the marketing collateral that needed the new look and style), a concrete plan to turn the office into a safe and creative environment, and effective processes that would inspire and solidify teamwork among all TeamAsians. The roll out was planned not to happen all at once, but in phases, highlighting certain areas at specific times to usher in smoother transition and a more effective internal campaign.
Now back to the journey of our creative wonders. Our awesome five took the brief to heart, sending out tiny surveys and questionnaires to gather our team’s insights and to tap into everyone’s creative juices. They were like massive sponges, soaking in every bit of information that we would throw at them. I am particularly amazed at how they handled me and my endless surprise trips to their areas just because I had “another idea.” Seriously – how many “another idea” could there possibly be? But they listened to each one, and let it seep into the palette they were already creating. Come presentation day, they invited us into their creative process – starting with a team dinner at Project Pie and getting the inspiration of customizing delicious pizza with that of customizing our services into a menu of awesomeness. Thus, the TeamAsia red circle gave birth to five philosophies, five secondary colors and five expressive icons designed by five extremely talented artists. I was completely wowed when they presented designs and collateral that I only dreamt of, and here they were, even better than how I imagined them to be!
Now that the designs were in place, it was up to our bubbly marketing team to get things going. This was the tough process. Ideas are magic, but bringing them to life requires a whole lot of patience and determination. It was also a “scary” process because we were dealing with TeamAsia DNA – our brand. You wouldn’t want to make a mistake with what identifies you in this marketplace. There were several trips back to the “drawing room,” endless revisions, second, third, fourth….tenth thoughts on what we were developing; but, at the end of the day, we stuck to what we knew. Refreshing TeamAsia was not about completely overhauling the brand, it was meant to refresh how we looked, how we feel and how we do things. It was based on what we experienced, what we learned and what we wanted to continuously offer our clients and partners. And, it all came from the heart! It was like writing a sequence to a bestselling novel – the plot, characters and scenery evolving, yet still telling the same story.Needless to say, Project Refresh was 2014’s biggest and most important internal project. There are actually still phases in the works – office makeovers, cool team merchandise, social media gimmicks and a whole more Pop Up Wednesday ideas (we’ll tell you more about Pop Up Wednesdays in another blog!). The main goal was really to create and hone a happy and solid team that loves the work and the amazing things we do. We’re happy to say that while a brand refresh is a long drawn out process – and at times extremely frustrating – this exercise proves that big ideas bring people and magic together.
Again, this project did not seek to overhaul what we’ve already done – the 20++ years of hard and fun work. It is meant to make it grander and stronger for decades to come.