Awwwards
Motivating A Global Team Creatively

Client

DDN Storage

Services

Creative Direction & Strategy
Identity Design
Branded Films
Print Design

Challenge

Develop a creative marketing campaign to support internal communications and HR efforts around identity and company brand to kickstart the National Sales Conference

Background

Data Storage For High
Performance Computing

Providing the backbone for 2/3 of the Top100® fastest supercomputers in the world has been standard for DDN Storage for years. Considering their first customer back in 1998 was NASA, this organization was destined for success in its niche market of High Performance Computing Storage.

With offices across 15 countries, DDN is well known as the leader in End-to-End HPC Storage Solutions and as the fastest storage system on the market, delivering storage some of the fastest supercomputers on the planet.

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Brief

Limitless

DDN’s annual sales conference is the most anticipated event of the year for the global team, and a critical component in maintaining solid relationships throughout the company. With a remote employee team, spread across the globe in many offices and sites, the National Sales Conference is the one time in the year when nearly the entire company is in the same room.

An all-new product roadmap coupled with a major company rebrand drove DDN management to consider internal messaging to ensure the team felt highly motivated to collaborate, solve problems and exceed goals and expectations for the year. Management agreed they wanted employees to feel that working with DDN they had limitless potential. The notion of “Limitless” became a company mantra, and an apt message to convey to all employees through a creative theme, branding, décor/design and consistent messaging in efforts to create a unique experience.

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Discovery & Strategy

What Does It Mean To Be Limitless?

We started by asking the DDN team and its customers a simple question so as to develop a believable message and appropriately target it. Our aim was to create an identity that would speak to this, followed by a series of materials to support the message.

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Customers

Achieving a competitive advantage by unlocking the secrets of limitless quantities of data by leveraging technology in the smartest, most efficient way.

Team

The continuous development of innovative technology that delivers on our promise of solutions to address the world’s largest data and cloud storage challenges.

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Design

A Boundless Design

We crafted a visual identity featuring a boundless mark for the team to own and relate to. As one of the more common symbols for the immeasurable, the infinity symbol would not only help unite marketing efforts with the conference experience, but encourage the team to express their optimism for the bright future ahead.

Experience

An Experience That Inspires

We decided on a two-step approach to ensure the experience truly felt inspiring. Branded films and team oriented signage would also reinforce the message, with additional branded materials to demonstrate the look and feel:

Branded Motivational Films

We produced films that were intended to be the core of the theme, designed to communicate the vision of Limitless. These stories recapped some of the success of the prior year, along with testimonials from new and existing employees ranging from the CEO to various engineers, operations managers, and various leaders. Challenges included a tight budget and even tighter timeline which prevented the team from shooting completely new footage.

Day One (Teaser Film)
Spark the feeling of an amazing upcoming year, including recent customer wins which led into CEO walking out with new logo on a flag and planting it in the ground to symbolize the “staking what’s ours”

Day Two (Extended Film)
Following the first clip, continue to reinforce the positivity of the upcoming year with an amazing team, and also reinforcing what makes DDN different.

Team Oriented Signage

With a curated set of team-oriented signage, the message and experience felt both real and
authentic. Showcasing individuals as well as the products created by them was designed
to not only build camaraderie, but better connect with each team member.

Products
Dominate – SFA® had been DDN’s flagship and most successful product
Lead – Scaler Appliances helped put DDN on the map early on
Succeed – WOS® was DDN’s last successful product
Innovate – IME® would be DDN’s future product innovation

People
To maximize social engagement amongst the team, we designed
signage that would place the amazing people and their pledge to
the limitless vision on display, further reinforcing company-wide unity.

Branded Materials

Materials would connect the feel of the experience, using the infinity symbol from the logo in unique and interesting ways. Dark backgrounds for materials that required long viewing times; white backgrounds for printed items; and oversized elements for style.

Conference Name Badges

Custom Presentation Template

Utility Signage

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Results

Exceeding Expectations

The conference experience was met with near universal acclaim from the team, customers and partners. Though it is difficult to prove its full impact on the year, we received full support from the DDN leadership team, claiming it was “the best we’ve ever seen the team feel going into the year”. While ‘limitless’ is what drives DDN to the innovations that enable their customers to deliver actionable results, the feel of boundless success starts from within.

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The best we’ve ever seen the team
feel going into the year.

– Alex Bouzari, CEO and Co-Founder, DDN Storage

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