Putting yourself in others' shoes and genuinely seeing things through their eyes, is harder than neuron physics. We believe in throwing off industry shackles, and focusing purely on what it takes to captivate a consumer.
CX Lavender is somewhere between an agency and a consultancy. We’re incredibly strategic and focus hard on achieving the best outcome for the Client.
Design is our figurative back bone, it connects our digital capability and forms the axis of our creation.
We help our Clients leverage their data to improve their customer experience. Our mission is to make customers feel that their information is used intelligently - for their own benefit. This's not a flashy company mission statement, it's a mission that requires a methodical and respectful attitude. We regard data-centricity as a natural evolution of a customer-centric mindset.
We've built a strong technical engineering culture, this enhances our ability to problem solve and it helps us to deliver what we say. With this engineering heritage, we have built our own powerful technologies.
The first draft of our values was written at our foundation in 1997. Back then, "putting consumer self-interest first" was our focus - as it is today. At the time however, the industry was more interested in awards than it was in listening to an evolved consumer. Thankfully, things have changed - you'd be hard pressed to find a client, agency or consultancy that doesn't acknowledge the primacy of the customer today. The art though is meaning it and translating it into useful customer interaction.
The customer is our true north
Putting yourself in others' shoes and genuinely seeing things through their eyes, is harder than neuron physics. We urge our teams to release themselves from industry shackles, and become free to captivate a consumer to delight in our experiences or to fall in love with what we offer.
Marketing as a service
We look beyond communication - to create more meaningful experiences and to make marketing feel like service. Today, nothing is truer, 'marketing as a service' remains a constant in the experiences we create; it's a whole-picture view where data is at the heart of the entire customer journey.
A true collaborative culture
Some companies rely on rock stars. We rely on the brilliance of our teams.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, we believe it takes a village of creative, strategic and technical minds to build meaningful experiences.
And that involves experts collaborating together. To make this possible, our firm is one large open floor with no offices - simply a creative workshop. Everyone has a wooden table, a quality chair and a great computer. It's egalitarian, with equal opportunity to succeed. There are no departmental barriers, just the strength and unity of a passionate team.
This is the essence of the collaborative culture that has enabled CX Lavender to create more meaningful 'ways' for consumers to experience our clients' services throughout the history of the business. Brilliant customer experiences never come from just one person or one field; they're the result of a progression of inputs leveraging left and right brain thinking.
A collaborative culture requires you to leave your ego at the door. If you have a great idea, you need to be prepared to let it go and let other experts help shape it - for its own good. It doesn't mean you let go of what you believe in, you just need to remain open to the opinions of others. We say "strong opinions, lightly held".
A collaborative culture calls on us, individually and collectively, to be Smart Brave Kind.
Smart in problem analysis; Brave in decision making; Kind in our treatment of each other.
Everyone is creative
It's true that everyone is creative. At CX Lavender, we believe that ideas become richer and more meaningful with the input of others and that is the essence of our collaborative culture.
By recognising that everyone has ideas and creating an environment where people build on each other's ideas, collaboration becomes meaningful. No one person can be the solution. When a diversity of people come together, they create atypical, multi-dimensional and rounded solutions to the problems we need to solve. An idea that's had input from technical minds, strategic minds and creative minds will inevitably be stronger and more robust due to richness of thinking involved.
We have guilds instead of departments. The guilds represent areas of skills, it doesn't dictate that you work within departmental barriers. Teams are formed for projects and work together to see them through to completion. Our people will also work in integrated teams on our clients' premises. We have a fluid, flexible and agile attitude that grows quality and efficiency.
In the work environment, we often choose not to say what we really think. This can create a dilemma because to collaborate effectively you have to communicate fully and openly. To free ourselves we use candour. By definition, candour means forthright, straightforward, plain-speaking, outspoken and blunt. Candid people are informal and tell it like it is.
With candour, you can be completely candid or partly so. It enables you to say what you think yet still be polite and considerate. Our firm is a safe environment where people of any level can say what they think. It's not frowned on to challenge senior people, in fact it's encouraged. The egalitarian nature of our environment gives people permission to say what they feel and share their ideas.
We openly encourage candour and hopefully, people feel freer to speak openly with less restraint. They can trust that their words will be heard and they won't be berated for their opinions and ideas.
Creative environments possess healthy egos, passion, generosity, competition, laughter - but the essential element is candour. With candour trust develops between teams. Effective creative collaboration is not possible without trust.
For our teams of designers, writers, technologists, strategists, analysts and engineers to develop ideas together there has to be a spirit of candour. They must feel unreservedly free to share ideas, opinions and criticisms - and together create something great.
Of course, there are times to be less candid, where words need to be chosen carefully - no one wants to embarrass or offend.
The Braintrust meetings are not a top-down, do-this-or-else affair. It's a meeting of experienced people who have deep understanding of CX and who have been through the process of multi-layered CX creation. Its purpose is to review a project and provide candid input. There may be three Braintrust meetings throughout a large project, at the start, at the strategy phase and at the creation stage.
No matter how talented, teams inevitably get lost in some way. The Braintrust is there to question and ensure that the project is kept on track and an excellent result is achieved. We believe that ideas only become great when they are challenged and tested.
Typically, the most senior project leader will present the work and the Braintrust will provide comments and inputs. The Braintrust may diagnose problems or make suggestions - yet it should not prescribe a solution. The solution should always come from the director and the project team.
It's important to recognise that the Braintrust has no authority. The project leader does not have to follow any of the inputs given in the Braintrust meeting. Their only obligation is consider the input carefully.
It can be a disarming process because it's easy to take the comments personally. This is where the rules of the Braintrust are so important. Everyone involved is working to add value to the problem, never to criticise an individual, 'be tough on the problem, and kind on the individual'.
You don't have to be a senior to create a Braintrust. Anyone, no matter what their field of expertise is, can create a Braintrust. All you need to do is to choose a team with the right mix of intelligence, insight and grace. The two qualities that make up good Braintrusts are people who (a) make you think smarter and (b) put lots of solutions on the table in a short amount of time.
Ultimately, at CX Lavender, we're true believers in the power of ideation, candid feedback and an iterative process.
From our leadership team, right through the firm, we encourage clear communication. Our projects carry great responsibility with them and if someone doesn't deliver then the project can be put at risk. Great communication amongst the team can help ensure the problems that inevitably occur can be easily solved by the team. 'When you're carrying the bag, you're carrying the bag' is a saying from the security industry, it means you are responsible for delivering your part. Also, it is your obligation to communicate: progress, completion or if you're not going to deliver.