Stefanie Brandt-Tallqvist // September 08 2018

First impression is everything

”Curiosity is the essence of human existence. ‘Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?’… I don’t know. I don’t have any answers to those questions. I don’t know what’s over there around the corner. But I want to find out.”

– Gene Cernan

My first week at Digitalist has been exciting, thrilling, confusing and fun, all at the same time!

First of all, I want to thank all my colleagues for giving me such a warm welcome. It is fantastic to see how open-minded and inclusive you are as a community! With such a diverse pool of talents, nationalities, academic- and professional background it was so lovely to feel like I was welcome to join just the way I am. The vibe in the office is relaxed and positive, yet hardworking and focused.

I was welcomed to join the Digitalist events throughout the week, which started with a Future Cities workshop at Asuntomessut where I got to see our very talented designers at work, they are so energetic and enthusiastic about their work! The CX and Leadership breakfast was awesome, outstanding speakers and excellent discussions followed. I think the biggest takeaway was that the whole journey of making a truly exceptional customer experience is to start by admitting: “I don’t know, let’s find out!” ie. companies might not know all they need to know to create a better customer experience. By acknowledging that you open yourself to new possibilities, methods, and insight.

The most exciting highlight of the week, however, was a presentation by Grow, the newly acquired big name in brand strategy. Having a marketing and media background myself their philosophy and approach resonated with me a lot. I look forward to working with them, they are genuinely great minds, and they have a set up of high profile clients that they’ve ”Future proofed” over the years.

Coming from a background with very tangible products, motorcycles and other toys for big boys, diving into an organization that sells services and solutions is honestly quite confusing. Just to mention a few things; the industry slang, matrix organizations and larger than life titles, they all sound so cool, but I have no idea what they really mean….yet! Not long ago Digitalist was still called Ixonos, and when I told people where I was going to work a few friends asked me: ”Oh, is that company still alive?”. Ixonos has had a few rough years, but just as I started the company reported the best results in a long time, we’re not quite above the profit line yet, but the direction is set. I think that the Ixonos past gives us a fighting spirit that many of the bigger companies in the field doesn’t have. We are smaller, very agile and more persistent and we will gain momentum, that’s the feeling I have been getting this week! This gives a lot of excitement for the future. After a week, I cannot say precisely in detail all of what Digitalist has to offer, because it truly is a very large array of services. Leading man Ville Tolvanen said it well in a hospital metaphor: We are like a surgery team, we bring in the different skills whenever they are needed, depending on the project phase and nature so that the customer gets the best of the best all the time.

What I feel that we still need to work on is to make the business less abstract so that the customer can really see what we are all about. With the M&A’s that have happened during the past years, I think it is natural that this is still in progress, we just need to be aware of it and work towards a common message. I think the summary of what we do: CX Innovation is good as it works as an umbrella term. I feel that Grow brings in a broader perspective of brand strategy and vision, which gives us the possibility to truly become a one-stop shop for all CX.

I am so excited to be here, and I look forward to being as excited, thrilled (and confused) next week!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

By Stefanie Brandt-Tallqvist, Business Designer at Digitalist Group

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