Where brands once paid lip-service to good digital strategy, it has now become the focal point of their business. By many estimates, the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in some areas by up to seven years or more.
When Redbox Digital joined SQLI in March 2020, it was part of an ambitious growth strategy that would offer clients more services, greater support and wider reach.
Today, the partnership moves forward as one brand: SQLI Digital Experience.
For a company that has been at the forefront of digital experiences for nearly two decades, timing has always been crucial.
And as the UK and the world begin to readjust from the difficulties of the past two years, the timing of the next chapter in the Redbox story couldn’t have been better.
Here, in the first of a two-part series, we speak to SQLI’s UK CEO Jonty Sutton and SQLI’s Creative Partner Paul Lewis, about what today’s announcement means to them personally, and also to customers, partners and clients.
Today is a significant chapter in the Redbox story. What does today’s rebranding to SQLI mean to you both, personally?
Jonty: Since the acquisition it’s been business as usual for Redbox in many respects. However, with today’s consolidation of the brands across the group, we are moving towards a new chapter and the next phase of the process.
It’s exciting for us as it will ignite many of the benefits we envisioned when we became part of the group.
It’s a significant change, but this final step isn’t just about Redbox being rebranded. It’s about all the entities in the group now going to market and presenting ourselves as a single brand, as opposed to a collection of brands.
The most exciting part of the rebrand is the acceleration of this collaboration and being able to take the wider capabilities of the group to market sooner.
Paul: Having run my own creative agency – which was acquired by Redbox three years ago - and now having been bought by SQLI, I know what a positive step it is to have greater technical resources and additional skills at hand, across a broader geographical reach.
For me, there’s a fascinating opportunity to work with a wider range of brand creatives across the group and across our larger client base – there’s the chance to learn and to share experiences to create even better and more exciting work.
You’ve been part of the SQLI Group for two years. What do you consider the major benefits to have been?
Jonty: Thesingle biggest benefit so far is the greater collaboration with our peers in Europe. It’s what this brings in terms of new business and exposure, the breadth and depth of clients and an extensive network of talented people, vastly experienced across business sectors, B2B, B2C and D2C.
We have also collaborated with other companies in the group, providing them with services and support from our UK and Middle East teams. It has been great working with our European colleagues so closely.
Nespresso has been a group client for many years and pre-acquisition was a client of Redbox. Bringing these teams together has provided a much stronger and more cohesive service for Nespresso globally and will continue to do so in the future.
Paul: Over the past few months, we’ve started working jointly together on projects. For instance, all the creative directors in the wider group worked on the internal re-branding together. Everyone had very different, but complementary skill sets that have culminated in a new, fresh, vibrant brand ID and website.
Working within a wider group of peers is always stimulating, and because of this collaboration we have developed close working ties with the group’s creative teams which will definitely benefit our clients moving forward. Internationally we have a broad range of design skills. For the internal re-brand project I contributed specifically at a conceptual level working on brand storytelling. In a larger group you can focus on the areas where you can make the most positive difference.
What does the rebranding mean for partners and clients?
Jonty: For our clients, it’s a far greater reach and in terms of digital experience, the ability to bring those skills, services and capabilities to the fore in a more seamless way. It’s a step up in terms of both positioning and go-to-market capability, but also the reality of services we can provide to market.
The SQLI acquisition was very complementary both geographically and from a skillset perspective. For brands looking to scale up and grow in Europe and the Middle East, we have a much more compelling offering and even more experience of different markets.
And how about for Redbox employees?
Paul: There are ample opportunities across the group to travel, learn and experience something different – whether that be a new skill or another city.
There’s a bigger playground to play in and a greater opportunity to create interesting and game-changing experiences for our clients.
Jonty: We have been busy behind the scenes to reach this stage. We have already started working with some of the European offices, but as we settle into the new group dynamics, the team will see there are a lot more opportunities and so much more to learn and share and be part of some interesting projects.