dxw rebrand: the research and discovery phase

What differentiates us in this space, our unique dxw offer, and our values

I blogged a few weeks ago about the kick-off of our rebrand. We’ve finished phase 1 which was a research and discovery phase, and are just starting phase 2. So it’s a good time to share an update on what we’ve done so far.


We started with an introductory meeting with the design agency we’re working with, Manchester based Fieldwork. They were chosen because their values are very similar to ours, they work in an agile way, and we LOVE the design work they’ve done.

We talked about our aspirations for the rebrand and how we would work together. And Fieldwork explained the 3 different phases of the project which are research and discovery, brand development and application.

We agreed this would be a partnership, with regular discussion and iterative development of our new brand identity. There’d be no ‘big bang’ reveal which would risk us ending up with something that wasn’t right, and wasting time and effort on both sides.

Perceptions of dxw

Fieldwork then did some research. They talked to a few of our clients and other people who know us, to find out what their perceptions of dxw are. What services do they think we offer? Are we any good at what we do? Are we expensive? What about our values? What did they like, and not like, about their experience of us? They were able to draw on some earlier research we’d done ourselves too.

They also looked at what some of the other digital agencies working with the public sector were saying about their work and how they presented it on their websites, blogs, and social media. This would help us think about how to communicate what differentiates us in this space, our unique dxw offer, and our values.

Discovery day

Fieldwork brought along what they’d found out to a discovery day. This was a full day’s workshop with a small number of people from dxw, where we explored what we think dxw is really about in lots of detail.

We talked about:

Fieldwork then went away and summarised the main things coming out of the day, and their research, in a report.

Visual discovery

The next and final part of the discovery, was a visual one. We started to get pretty excited at this point.

Fieldwork sent us a selection of existing designs to react to. Some well known, others less so. They asked us to share our initial gut reaction to what we saw. To tell them what we liked and didn’t like, with one or two sentences explaining why.

The things they sent us to react to included:

Our feedback provided Fieldwork with some hints on the way forward as we moved onto the next phase, thinking about some initial visual concepts for the new dxw brand.

What happens next

This week we got the first concepts through. So we’re now starting phase 2 and an ongoing process of feedback and iteration as we develop our new brand identity.

We’ll let you know how that goes.