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Digitale Wolven

Digitale Wolven is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to prepare children and youngsters for tomorrow’s Digital Age. They aim to make IT more comprehensible to them but also make sure that underprivileged children can access the digital world as well.

The challenge here was twofold: as a non-profit they needed to be able to attract new/more sponsorships on a personal level. Secondly, they wanted to expand their branding and make it more attractive to kids, so they’d be easier to reach and feel more connected to the cause. Enter Unmute You to switch things up!

The Challenge

Digitale Wolven already had a branding in place. However, they wanted to reach out more to youngsters and captivate them or get them excited about the mission. In addition, as a non-profit and since IT is an expensive sector, they needed to attract more sponsors(hips) to contribute to their cause. We sat down with them and conducted a few thorough brainstorms to figure out their exact wishes. Together with Defiant, we envisioned certain concepts and talked them through with Digitale Wolven to be absolutely certain we understood their vision. We knew we couldn’t go overboard (non-profit, you know) but we wanted to provide them with a personified branding and set up an entire, cool habitat that would appeal to both sponsors and youngsters.

Our Idea

Once we were certain that we understood who Digitale Wolven are and what they’re all about, we set out to ensure they’d get more brand awareness and a clear brand language. To do this, we’d design two illustrated brand ambassadors for the kids to connect with, Amelie and Wolfje, and create the environment in which they’d live and go on adventures. For the sponsors, we’d bring the robots that Digitale Wolven work with to life, so they’d feel more engaged with something tangible. In other words, we wouldn’t only go about things designwise but also storywise.

"The way we could count on Unmute You was better than we could have hoped for. From strategizing to creating funky designs and writing attractive copy; they did it all. We get compliments on our branding more than once and we are reaching our target audience better than ever before."

What we did

First of all, we had a couple of intense brainstorm and workshops sessions with Digitale Wolven. It was in those moments that they told us about the robots that they work with. That gave us the idea to make animated versions of those robots. People (both individuals and companies) could then pick a robot of their choosing from the website and be its godparent. A nicer and more personal way to sponsor, in our opinion. We made some thirty samples so there was enough to choose from. That was how we tackled goal number one.

Goal number two then. How could we appeal more to children and especially (but not only) girls. Let’s call a spade a spade: there are far too few women in IT. To turn that around, it all begins with appealing to young girls in school and showing them how cool and fun it could be for them to be and possibly work in this world. However. We ourselves are allergic to gender division, so we made sure that Amelie didn’t become a Barbie kind of girl. She’s edgy, adventurous and looks a bit tomboyish without stretching it too far.

This way, the line between her and Wolfje’s gender is barely noticeable and we’re reaching out to all kids, no exceptions. The only difference between Wolfje and Amelie is that Wolfje represents the technological part and Amelie is the (human) friend to guide you through all their expeditions.

Following our philosophy, we also made illustrations of every team member of Digitale Wolven. That way, their look and feel are streamlined, and they have a unified brand language throughout all their channels and marketing. It’s all part of the same branding package that we provided for them. To sum up: we offered the tools and handles they could use to carry out on their website, on their social media channels, …

Phase 000010

To everyone’s happy relief, they started to engage more youngsters and even attracted so much buzz that they were nominated for several awards. Digitale Wolven kept coming back to us to expand the collaboration and ask us to design more and more. Not an obvious thing for a non-profit. In addition, we got to do more than ‘just’ create cute robots. Gradually, we started to talk and think about merchandise as Digitale Wolven noticed that kids loved the sweaters that volunteers were wearing with Digitale Wolven branding on it. That’s where things got particularly interesting for Gauvain, our Art Director. In his spare time, he designs clothing (and so much more), so this assignment was right up his alley.

We didn’t just make sweaters but also patches, calendars, posters, Christmas cards etcetera. Moreover, we stayed on top of things and picked out the textiles, printed some of the products ourselves, photographed them so Digitale Wolven could put them on their webshop and made sure that we were delivering qualitative and sustainable merch. Those items provide Digitale Wolven with more visibility but also enables them to offer their audience more tangible things so as to connect with them. Their presence used to be an almost exclusively online happening but now they’re gaining offline attention as well which is exactly what they wanted and needed.

Next steps

We continuously get to expand the package and provide Digitale Wolven with more and more fascinating products. The collaboration went from branding and ‘mere’ illustrations to complete Art Direction. We are now the (proud) go-to firm for Digitale Wolven, and they trust us with every brand-related question they have. For instance, we’re even looking into designing their office now. As usual, we consider the fact that Digitale Wolven doesn’t have the same funds as a regular company. Therefore, we’re creating sustainable, long-lasting things – like window stickers – that won’t fade or be wasted after a short time. Basically, we always make sure that we’re giving them maximum value for a minimal budget. We also keep on adding more robots to the website as more and more people and KMOs are interested in becoming godparents and in sponsoring. By the way, have you seen the last robot we made yet? It’s actually a Nintendo Switch! How cool is that? Finally, the living environment of Amelie and Wolfje offers endless opportunities to explore still so we’re not done getting creative!

Did you know that Digitoop, an initiative from Digitale Wolven, has been nominated for ‘De Warmste Week’? We supported them by making posters, thinking about and carrying out the look and feel of it, and so on, so we were stoked to hear the news! Furthermore, Digitale Wolven has won the Social Innovation Award of Computable and Cindy Smits – founder of Digitale Wolven – was nominated for ICT Woman of the Year. We’d secretly like to think that the extended branding had something to do with it but most of all we’re incredibly proud of them and grateful for being part of such a wonderful, worthwhile cause. Being invested in making IT more comprehensible ourselves, this customer has become near and dear to our hearts. Here’s to many more years of Digitale Wolven!

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