- by Thomas Walker & Luís Medeiros
"We've grown bigger, now its time for smaller projects."
To explain how Double-W came to exist, we have to start by talking about our parent company; With Company is a transformative design company that has been creating brands, products and services for the last 4 years. A company striving to tackle increasingly bigger challenges in order to help build better, more desirable futures.
Throughout this journey, there has been one element present in every With Company project: restless people. Those who are willing to stir things up, either inside of their own companies or in the systems behind public services. From small businesses to huge enterprises with thousands of employees. These changemakers have always been the spark that propelled With Company to reach further and higher. And so it did, moving to a larger space, welcoming even more amazing people and developing new skills. With Company was growing, and it still is.
There was, however, a feeling that something was missing. During this journey, as the scope of the projects expanded, so did the budgets. With Company eventually outgrew these changemakers who - to put it simply - didn’t have the resources to work with them anymore. But With Company wasn’t ready to part with these inspiring people and their exciting businesses. So, they did what they do best: they designed a way of getting closer to them again. They created Double-W, a branding service for Starting Companies.
More than just a With Company service
We were born out of the accumulated experience, tools and know-how that With Company has been generating over the last 4 years, but we have been designed as a fully independent and sustainable venture. A new business with a dedicated team and a distinct vision: a new category of branding service, allowing for true collaboration at scale; connecting talented professionals with Starting Companies to create strategically strong brands together, anywhere in the world.
To achieve this, we invested almost one year in research and product development, harnessing the best characteristics of With Company’s collaborative, methodical, significantly different approach and fitting them into a remote, flexible process, ready to be used by professionals with different skill sets and levels of seniority, together with any client, branding knowledge notwithstanding. We designed new tools and frameworks that, with the help of some already existing platforms, would streamline the branding process (where possible), creating space for what really sets our service apart: moments of informed creativity and collaboration. Allowing for both our professionals and clients to add more value to projects, while spending less time.
Everything sounded pretty good on paper, but we still needed to put our process to the test. We knew that there would be rough corners, and some aspects to improve, and the best way to fully understand what we should iterate and enhance was to engage in a beta run of our process. And for that, we needed a Starting Company.
Putting the test in contest
We started a contest, offering a full branding process to one Starting Company, at no cost. In return, we would be testing all aspects of our process: a specially assembled product strategy team was to document and evaluate all stages of the process, interviewing both the branding and the client team at specially selected moments. In the end, this team were to create a report, detailing what had to be improved upon in the next iteration of the process.
The contest was promoted internationally (as testing the remote dimension of the process was of paramount importance to us), and many different businesses from various countries and in different stages of development applied. Some interesting and challenging businesses were shortlisted, but we wanted to start off Double-W by collaborating with someone that embodied the reasons why we created this venture: a company in its early stages, with driven individuals and the potential to create meaningful impact.
We were drawn into the story of a group of young women from Scotland, who had just started a female hygiene brand determined to end period poverty through the empowerment of women. Lilypads would go on to be our first client and partners in testing and solidifying the first functional version of our branding process.
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- by Thomas Walker & Luís Medeiros