At evoke we like to think of ourselves as a creative, dynamic and most importantly an innovative company. We provide solutions to problems and help our clients engage with their customers in exciting ways. In order to ensure we keep doing that, we always need new ideas and decided that a great way to do this would be to ask our talented, creative staff what they think.

To do this, we set aside a day for all staff to come together at our HQ and think about ideas that we can develop and take forward to our clients, focussing initially on the retail sector; shaping the future of retail and what we have to offer to retailers. Technical Director and co-founder Dean Ward led the day and posed a range of thought provoking challenges to six teams of eight staff members from across the company. Dean commented that “the day was intended to give staff at all levels the chance to influence our future plans and be involved with the process right from the start. We wanted to use the wide range of knowledge that our staff already have in different areas and were really impressed with the level of input and quality of ideas presented. We’re looking forward to taking some of these forward and shaping the future of retail.”

In the lead up to the innovation day, the whole design team came together to discuss and set the tasks and then all staff were asked to consider “Extraordinary Retail”  in advance and come prepared with plenty of ideas and enthusiasm. In such a fast-paced industry, evoke acknowledge the need to devote time and thinking space to what’s coming next and engaging all staff for a full day helps us to keep one step ahead.

On the day, the whole company, including warehouse, factory, support, admin and sales, were split into mixed teams and posed a series of questions to generate ideas and present to the rest of the company. More than 60 ideas for new innovations were suggested, ranging from improvements to existing retail offers to blue sky ambitions. The ideas will be refined and developed in the coming months and could lead to exciting things. Evoke’s directors were so pleased with the event that we are already planning the next session to invite staff ideas about our new purpose built headquarters, due to be completed in 2017.

What we learnt:

  • Fostering a culture of innovation means encouraging the whole company to think creatively
  • Everyone has experience of retail (as a shopper) but that experience is very different depending on age/gender/lifestyle
  • Repetition of some good ideas looks like we’re already heading in a similar direction
  • You can never have too many post it notes
  • 50 staff can get through an alarming amount of coffee in 5 hours