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Ed. note: This case study is a selection from the
2011 “Making the Case”
competition, in which an esteemed jury
identified submissions that demonstrate the value of design in a clear,
compelling and accessible way. It serves as an example of how to explain design
thinking to clients, students, peers and the public in general, based on
After more than 80 years of operating as a single company, Motorola,
Inc., decided to separate into two independent companies. One of these
was “Motorola Solutions,” the B2B entity that serves government and
Siegel+Gale was tasked with redefining and launching the new
Motorola Solutions brand and organization, developing its purpose and
creating a visual identity system. We had to tell a clear, compelling
story that would reinforce the brand’s commitment to innovation, while
motivating its global team of employees. This was an opportunity to give
“Motorolans” a renewed sense of pride in the contributions they make.
We used qualitative
research to both inform the development of the purpose and strategic
foundation, as well as to evaluate its global
appropriateness with Motorola employees. Through a series of interviews
with Motorola leadership and focus groups with employees around the
world, we were able to ensure that the work we developed felt
uniquely suitable and meaningful for Motorola Solutions employees,
regardless of where they were based. Specifically, we conducted 15–20
leadership interviews and 20+ employee focus groups in the U.S., Europe,
Latin America and Asia.
Siegel+Gale embarked on a process that would help define what the “new”
Motorola would be and unite previously disparate messaging. We had to
create a look and voice for a new B2B company that had been part of a
blended consumer and enterprise brand for more than 80 years. Among the
challenges we faced were:
Furthermore, while we knew that Motorola had an incredible story to
tell, we had to engage an uncertain and skeptical global employee
audience. Fear of job loss, relocation and future direction were factors
that impacted employee morale. Employees wondered how, and if, they fit
in with the new Motorola. Despite the setbacks and uncertainty,
Siegel+Gale learned that employees remained proud of Motorola and the
immense contributions the company has made. On behalf of Motorola, we
needed to tap into this pride, seize the moment and rally employees
around the story of where the new organization was headed and what it
meant for them.
Siegel+Gale recognized the opportunity to connect
employees more directly with the people and organizations that use
Motorola’s products and solutions, and the profound impact that these
products and solutions have. What employees needed was a sense of purpose—a clear articulation of the difference they were making in the
world—to help guide and inspire them, and to reignite their commitment
Working in partnership with the Motorola Solutions team, we
reconnected the organization with the impact they have on the
individuals and organizations they serve. For first responders in
emergency situations, for doctors and nurses caring for their patients
or for retail associates during crazed holiday sales, Motorola Solutions
plays a key role in moments that are life enhancing, and even
mission critical. This core insight helped us uncover and articulate a
clear purpose: “Motorola helps people be their best in the moments that
From this purpose stemmed the elements of the strategic foundation—a
new brand promise, values and brand voice, as well as an invigorating
new visual identity that introduced “Motorola Solutions” to the world.
Now the employees of Motorola Solutions, energized by a clear sense of purpose and enabled by our training and guidelines, have the tools and
focus they need to feel connected to and inspired by their remarkable
impact on the world.
Siegel+Gale’s work helped reshape how Motorola Solutions thought and
talked about itself. The organization now has a clear purpose, a clear
voice, and speaks more authentically, which allows its impact to shine
through elegantly simple communications.
We provided Motorola Solutions with a simplified system and
easy-to-use guidelines for everything from purpose storytelling to
collateral to video production that allowed the organization to digest
major change in a period of nine months, a short amount of time for a
company of Motorola’s size and global reach. Despite the clear departure
from the status quo, Motorola’s leadership quickly adopted and embraced
the new Motorola Solutions purpose, voice and direction. The level of
support from senior leadership encouraged more than 17,000 global employees
to accept the new organization’s voice and direction as well.
The Siegel+Gale team produced eight “purpose posters” (see
Illustrations) that covered the facilities across the globe at launch.
Within three months this number grew to more than 250 posters translated into
20 languages. The purpose posters—and the storytelling framework we
developed for them—became the device that allowed Motorola Solutions
employees to share their own moments that mattered. From employees in
the procurement offices to engineers, the purpose posters became the
domain of the entire organization rather than just a marketing tool. The
posters became the core elements of Motorola Solutions’ facility
rebranding in 40 worldwide locations. By seeing the end-consumer
benefits that Motorola delivers each day, every employee could realize
the role they play in a much bigger picture; for example “I engineer
component parts, but ultimately I help keep cities safe.”
The success and effectiveness of this project was tangible from day
one; from employees excited to share Motorola Solutions’ new story with
customers to saving production dollars by producing high-impact video
content. Simplifying and clarifying the visuals and voice of Motorola
Solutions has already lead to smarter design choices, cohesive
communications and higher employee morale, only three months into
launch. A “My Moment” contest let employees submit their own stories of
customer impact. More than 50 vignettes were submitted, most by engineers who
had never thought about brand messaging prior to this engagement.
Coincidentally, the Chilean miner incident occurred shortly after
launch, and Motorola Solutions communications equipment were
instrumental in the rescue efforts. The night of the rescue, Motorola
Solutions CEO Greg Brown drafted an email to all employees using the new
visual style, voice and purpose that was released globally the
following day. Our work allowed Motorola to illustrate the impact they
have on the world in a timely and meaningful way. We can’t wait to see
the Motorola Solutions moments to come in the future.
This year's judging for the AIGA national design competitions had its share of nail-biting moments, as jurors assessed aesthetics as well as proof of effectiveness.
Section: Inspiration -
Competition, metrics of effectiveness
AIGA’s “Making the Case” competition awarded
honors to design case studies that demonstrated the value of design in a clear,
compelling and accessible way.
Section: Events and Competitions -
Each year a discerning group of jurors meets to review entries for “Making the Case,” identifying submissions that will serve as an effective tool to explain design thinking to clients, students, peers and the public in general.
Learn more about the jurors’ thoughts on this 2013 “Justified” selection.
Section: Why Design -
This has been one of the most popular questions I’ve received so far,
and goes to show the how high the demand for UX designers and UX design
Section: Tools and Resources -
data visualization, interface design, user experience, digital media, professional development, advice
In 2010, VML provided art direction, copy and logo design for Kansas City-based charity Happy Bottoms.
Section: Why Design -
communication design, identity design, marketing, nonprofit, web design, Design for Good, pro bono, social responsibility
In late July, National Public Radio launched a new and improved website. Senior interaction designer Neylan describes the massive task.
Section: Why Design -
experience design, web design
John Lennon: The New York City Years
Ralph Appelbaum Associates Inc
External Resources (cont.)
BSR Collateral System
Museum of Modern Art Identity