Creating toolkits for bigger brands to prosper

Geoff Linsell (Managing Director) shares how to streamline the process of getting your product to market quicker.

In an increasingly crowded technology market, brands must be able to respond to the latest consumer trends and demands in order to grow and flourish. Launching a new product or service gives them an advantage over their competitors, though the speed at which they do this is vital. This is often where start-ups have the edge over larger corporations, since they have fewer ingrained processes to slow them down.

With a strong identity key to a successful launch, Geoff Linsell, Managing Director of Moving Brands, Zurich Studio, discusses how established companies can streamline the process and get their product to market quicker. He also explains how telecommunications giant Swisscom has incorporated this approach into its marketing strategy to maintain competitor advantage.

You only have to look at the disruptive power of start-ups like Spotify or Airbnb to see how easily a marketplace can be shaken to its foundations. In a relatively short space of time, these newcomers have completely changed the way we listen to music and book holidays, challenging the more established companies to overhaul what they offer.

While massive upheaval in any industry is challenging, it also opens up new possibilities for companies that already have a share in the market. Compared to start-ups, they generally have more resources to pour into product development and marketing – so with the right vision, they can be highly innovative and reach out to a wide audience.

Introducing a fresher and more contemporary brand aesthetic is something that the majority of firms do during their lifecycle, although they generally retain the features and traits that make them recognisable to customers. Their style guide may be in need of a radical overhaul to bring it up to modern standards, but simply ripping it up and starting again is sometimes not an option for global brands that trade on their reputation.


As companies prepare to unveil their latest products, it becomes increasingly important that its branding can keep pace. To streamline the process, and avoid any delays, marketing teams must have the core brand assets such as fonts, logos and colour tones at their fingertips and be able to adapt to change within a framework. Without this, lead times can increase dramatically, putting the business at a commercial disadvantage.

For Swisscom, it was the rapidly growing demand for its digital products that led it to overhaul its style guide and design process. Olaf Geuer, Head of Brand and Strategy at Swisscom, approached Moving Brands to work together on creating an online tool that enabled its developers, designers and agency partners to build new digital products with a distinct Swisscom personality.


Toolkits like SDX create better and more consistent user experiences for the customer

In the modern world, brand guidelines are not limited to static typography or tone of voice though of course these are essential. The building blocks for the SDX repository – or Swisscom Digital Experience – are digital elements like buttons, form fields and toggle switches, all designed to make the process easier for the user. But rather than simply assuming what they might find useful, we worked with the developers on live projects to find out exactly what elements would add value.

A strong collaborative approach was needed to ensure the success of this project, so we worked closely with Swisscom developers throughout the development of SDX . As new products were launched, we continually tested the toolkit and regularly brought the teams together to share any feedback and new ideas that could develop it further.

Unlike traditional style guides, our aim was to make the digital design and code repository more agile, so that it can be modified and updated where needed. At the same time, it still works within a framework of pre-defined principles, foundational styles and product styles. Swisscom’s designers, developers and agencies now have access to the design and code for every digital component of their web presence and marketing collateral, enabling them to share information and simplify their communications.

The end result is that everyone has a deep understanding of the Swisscom digital brand guidelines and can apply them to any piece of work. With consistent standards already in place, projects can be created and approved and then delivered to market at greater speed.

The benefits of toolkits like SDX are felt far beyond the people behind the scenes, as they create better and more consistent user experiences for the customer, helping them to engage with the company and fostering long-term loyalty. It goes without saying that this is the real goal for business strategists. Streamlining the process for marketing teams is simply a way to achieve this.

In years to come, firms of all sizes will continue to innovate and disrupt the market in ways we cannot yet imagine. As they roll out the next new product, they must be equipped with the right tools to ensure the journey from development to launch is as smooth and commercially sound as possible.

To connect and see more content from Geoff, follow him on LinkedIn.

Read more insight and perspectives on the moving world here.