We helped Orange to streamline their existing international device guide production process as their device range swelled, significantly reducing their overheads in the process.
Discipline Internal comms, Marketing communication
Our work with Orange began in 2000, designing, writing and artworking guides and boxes for their handset range. Orange is an innovative brand that prioritises customer service and information, and their guides and boxes provide a key part of maintaining the relationship in the immediate post purchase period.
Over the next 5 years the range of devices grew at almost the same incredible rate as the device functions and capability. By 2006 Orange were ranging over 80 devices across 14 countries, including some of the most advanced handsets available. The scale of output meant that the production costs of our bespoke approach were becoming impractical.
Orange presented us with a business challenge: would it be possible to produce more guides, in more languages, for 50% of the previous year’s cost?
The central purpose of the guides was to ensure that Orange customers were made aware of the full functionality of their handsets and the range of services that are on offer. We did a full analysis of the guides that were being produced. This analysis allowed us to identify different types of information within the guides so we could filter out information that was of no value to customers, or had become unnecessary, as customers were more familiar with mobile devices.
We then assessed the remaining information, identifying where it was most useful to customers within the journey to redesign the flow of an Orange guide. A final review was then conducted to understand which information was standard across all guides and which was device specific.
At the end of that process we had significantly reduced the amount of information that was in the guides and defined a more engaging guide. But we hadn’t yet solved the production efficiency problem. The relationship between the information provided by Orange and the information provided by manufacturers is completely symbiotic.
The services provided by Orange are only accessible through interaction with the hardware provided by the manufacturers, so completely separate guides would create more work for users. The manufacturers were not in a position to offer the full production process that was being undertaken by Make it Clear and the current solution, which while meeting the output requirement, failed to meet the cost reduction benchmark.
The search for efficiency was further complicated by the fact that the content types – while interrelated – had different sign-off requirements, refresh cycles and production pressures.
In the end the complication created by the different owners of the information contributed to the solution. Rather than act as the middleman – drawing in the content in order to act as sole producer, our solution was to retain responsibility for the overall content structure and design but to delegate responsibility for the input and accuracy of the different content types to the authoring organisation. So Orange would be responsible for services information, copy and presentation, and the manufacturers would be responsible for providing the information on the hardware.
To maintain brand control this was done within a framework of defined pages, with full access to source files given to manufacturers who could then add in their device specific information. Flexibility was maintained by the creation of an entire library of pages. Each page in that library is designed, written and initially artworked by Make it Clear with direction and final sign-off from Orange.
This allows us to separate the cycles of content creation with page review, design and creation happening on a quarterly basis with Orange and device guide creation occurring as required, often on a weekly basis by manufacturers and Make it Clear.
Orange has successfully maintained an essential brand communication channel, one that is flexible, fit for purpose and regularly refreshed to meet current organisational objectives. Part responsibility for production has been passed to manufacturers of the devices themselves that has served to cement the accuracy of device descriptions. The ongoing involvement of Make it Clear means no reduction in design quality, output quality or brand fidelity has been experienced.
The 50% cost reduction target was met in the first year, with subsequent reductions each year since even as the range and complexity of devices has continued to expand. Now in its 10th year of implementation the Motivator project costs less than a quarter of the 2006 annual total, with more manufacturers, more devices and more services than ever before.