Shaping the future of digital experience (part two)

In part one: the next chapter of the Redbox story, we spoke to SQLI’s UK & ME CEO Jonty Sutton and SQLI’s Creative Partner, Paul Lewis about the rebrand to SQLI Digital Experience and what it means to them personally.  Here, in the second instalment, we ask Jonty and Paul about the future and opportunities for growth as SQLI Digital Experience.

So, what now? How does it feel to be finally one unified team?

Jonty: Redbox has been trading in some form for around 18 years and we have changed and morphed both in terms of technology and other areas, a number of times. 

For the last 10 years we have worked closely with Adobe and focused more on e-Commerce, but our journey has always been about being able to provide international depth and breadth at scale; technological excellence; and overall customer experience excellence, from the point of view of the solution services we deliver. 

The brand has always had a reputation for quality and innovation. The acquisition was the natural next step in being able to accelerate the scale and size and growth of what we were doing and the ability to deliver at the next level of complexity and scale. 

The rebrand to SQLI gives us more ability to go to market in a more powerful and stronger way - in a market that is more competitive every day.

It’s our next step, it’s logical and exciting, but it’s definitely the first step in the next chapter.

Paul: The rebrand is the start of something new.  No point in hanging on to the old. We have put a lot of time and effort into getting this right and it's a great opportunity to start afresh. We’re moving forward.

And as we start this new journey the freshness is exciting and energising. People love to see newness in a market and will boost our profile and engage new interest. 

Paul Lewis, creative partner, SQLI

What are the opportunities for growth?

Jonty: A far broader service offering capability around digital experience as a whole, rather than purely e-Commerce. The ability to deliver a broader digital experience capability from customer acquisition and engagement, to platform, delivery, and digital marketing optimisation services.

Our core services areas as SQLI are technology and transformation, experience platforms, e-Commerce, digital consulting, digital marketing and design, together with data and insights. 

Also, supporting alternative commerce platforms. We are one of the leaders in providing Adobe-based digital experiences in the Middle East and the UK. 

Ideally, in the Middle East, we’d like to be the leader providing digital experience in that region, rather than just Adobe Commerce. If we are successful with this rebrand, we should be recognised at a much broader level of digital experiences.

Paul: The new SQLI brand is international. It’s got scale. It has additional expertise. And resources to make things happen. Those four elements are really appealing to people and cross-border businesses that want an international flavour.

It was needed to compete with other, bigger agencies. The rebrand takes our expertise to a different level and I think we can make a real splash.

Finally, what does the future look like for SQLI Digital Experience?

Paul: The best is yet to come. We are now beginning to implement changes that were halted due to lockdown. 

We are now a much larger business - and with that comes enormous opportunity. A few years from now, we will be up there with a select group of digital service companies and working with the most exciting clients. As a retail creative, I enjoy working with clients who are stimulating, have an open mind and who are prepared to step out of their comfort zones. 

At the moment we are working with a top US outdoor apparel company. We are building the platform, SQLI Germany is doing the marketing and as we move forward, there will be similar projects like this where we can pick the best team, regardless of country, to work on the task at hand. 

There’s also going to be bigger opportunities with our partner, Adobe. As Adobe Commerce grows, our skills and knowledge in this arena will be very valuable. There will be a scope to do more interesting things across the whole Adobe suite, especially from a creativity point of view.

Jonty: The focus on what was called an omnichannel approach will continue to grow in the next few years. The days of implementing large scale, single-system re-platforms are behind us. It’s more about a services-based approach with the componentry being implemented and delivered by a number of providers specialised in those areas and using the technology to bring them all together. We will be delivering the services and experiences and bringing them to customers in a cross-channel way. 

The last 18 months has shown the world that it’s a global marketplace where technical services provision can be a lot more collaborative than before, in terms of using expert partners.

This consolidation enables us to offer more firepower, more credibility, and further market presence than we were able to offer on our own, even with our vast experience, legacy and reputation. 

The future is exciting and we are looking forward to getting started as one brand: SQLI Digital Experience.