The evolution of Veriteer: from CX consultancy to change agency
From the first dedicated customer experience consultancy, to all-encompassing agents of change: how did we get here?
In case you missed it, Veriteer is now a change agency. As a title, it’s simple, straightforward, and sums up what we do. Change is our new currency, and it is about much more than just changing the customer experience. We help our partner brands to go beyond ‘dealing with change as it happens’, to instead drive intentional changes in their business to deliver future success.
So far so simple, but this change in our identity didn’t just happen overnight. To help everyone understand our evolution from CX consultancy to change agency, we wanted to share the genesis of the change and how have we changed our practices in order to evolve.
Our origin story.
As a big brand in the middle of the last decade, it was complicated to get the help that you needed. Business strategy was provided by expensive MBB boutiques but brand advisory was exclusive a marketing agency specialism, any subsequent implementation was done by the Big Four consultancies, and tech delivery was the domain of systems integrators.
These siloes in the provider market meant that brands were left responsible for putting together their own cross-functional change programmes, and were often dealing with functional specialists in multiple providers (e.g. business strategy experts or project managers) who were not all experts in the context of the change (e.g. customer experience).
This was the problem that we set out to solve, and we designed Veriteer to provide integrated, cross-functional services to the market for a single business context: customer experience. At the time (at least to our knowledge) we were the world’s first ‘end-to-end’ customer experience consultancy.
Since then, we have been privileged to work with some of the world’s largest and most iconic brands, and deliver some incredible customer experience transformations.
The middle stretch.
In the years following our launch, the scale and scope of our customer experience projects grew. And to make sure that we did things right, our service offerings had to follow suit. We began to build relationships that complemented our own skills – but only where there was a complete focus on customer experience.
Our first sister agency, MadeFor, allowed us to drive more capability development in our partner brands. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you give him a greater understanding of customer experience for a lifetime. Engineered gave us access to digital product development, and helped us go further in our integrated approach. Working with Yokatta enhanced our existing analytics capabilities and pulled us into a new area of strategic modelling and planning.
And at the same time as we were stretching our own capabilities, we found that our customers were asking us to help in other areas. It turns out that customer experience was not enough by itself.
Being a good organisation.
Our experience of transforming the customer experience, and customer functions, of many of the world’s biggest brands tells us that there are a few adjacent challenges that need to be solved at the same time: figuring out what digital means, curating a positive culture, defining core competences, and addressing sustainability challenges.
On project after project, we were unable to disentangle these topics and ended up getting drawn into solving various combinations of customer experience-related problem. After much reflection and discussion, we acknowledged that this wasn’t going to change, and that if we wanted to solve ‘the real problem’ then we would have to tackle the full problem.
We summarise this combination of necessary changes as the Good Organisation problem: how do big, iconic brands update their business model to make sure that they can be in control of their future in an increasingly disrupted market?
Original approach, new mission.
If our new mission is to help today’s most iconic brands change into tomorrow’s most successful brands (which it is!), then it is important that we adapt and change to make sure that we can do it right. Particularly, with this increased scope how can we retain an integrated cross-functional approach, a total focus on customer value, and industry-leading expertise?
The answer is that we needed a new identity and a new structure:
- We acquired and integrated our sister brands to provide a simpler and more flexible operating model.
- We made a series of senior hires to provide more leadership and expertise in all service areas.
- We updated our solution and service portfolio to address the Good Organisation problem as an integrated whole, rather than a collection of individual topics.
- We recognised this shift with a new identity, evolving from a CX Consultancy into a Change Agency.
‘Change’ represents our new focus, and the collection of fundamental changes required to become a good organisation. ‘Agency’ references our belief that brands have the power to determine their own future, and also alludes to a more creative and flexible way of working than more traditional consultancy models.
But underneath it all, we’re still all Veriteers. Do-ers of Truth with a penchant for craft and graft, going beyond transformation to help brands take control of their future through change, by design.
We’re sure that our own changes won’t stop here, but our current iteration feels like the right thing for our partner brands and for ourselves.