See the video of our merger here.
We are very very happy and proud to announce that from the first of july 2016 Zilver innovation bv will become part of the Livework group. This is the story of why we decided to make this bold move:
10 years young!
In april of this year Zilver celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 10 years we grew to a team of 10 amazingly talented and wonderful people and developed a portfolio of great clients in the Netherlands and abroad. We spoke at conferences all over the world, contributed to the discourse in service design through the community and academia, learned more than we ever could have hoped for, and met some of the nicest people in the business. We proudly look back on 10 amazing years of relentlessly pursuing top quality in service design, brand driven innovation and customer experience. But as innovators and design thinkers we prefer to look ahead. What we see is a future with so many business opportunities and so many international service design challenges, that it would be a shame to go at it by ourselves.
How we met
Throughout these adventures we’ve always been partnering with likeminded spirits. Because we’ve never thought of Zilver as a goal in itself but rather as an open platform to enable talent to do great work for clients. We have had our doors open to freelancers, associates, fellow agencies, academia and consultants from other disciplines.
This open and collaborative spirit has taught us one thing: when you focus on your client’s outcomes the boundary of your agency is the least of your concerns.
In this spirit I sent Ben Reason, one of the founders of Livework, a message when I learned he was in Rotterdam for business. Ben and his company Livework have always been respected colleagues and good friends for Zilver, for their track record in service design, their professionalism and leadership, their view on the business and their great people.
So I texted: “are u up for a beer mate?” And the rest, as they say, is history.
The evening was spent talking shop with Ben and the two other Livework partners, Melvin and Lavrans. I had met Ben and Melvin before on several occasions. Usually at late night conference after-parties. And we always clicked. Lavrans I hadn’t met before but right from the start I felt he was a kindred spirit. We talked about the state of service design. The market in western Europe. The huge demand from clients looking for a professional, reliable and strategic service design partner. The internationalization of the business.
The ideal service design agency
After a few beers we started talking about what we thought the ideal service design agency should look like from a client’s perspective. We all agreed it should be solid as a rock, reliable, and international. But at the same time it should inspire and challenge through amazing creativity and unconventional thinking. It should put true human centered design at the heart of projects. But it should do so with a very firm eye on business outcomes.
Soon enough we were looking each other in the eye and saying, what the heck, why don’t we join forces and make our dreams come true? Rather than sticking to our own turf, let’s give our clients the agency they deserve. And let’s give our staff the opportunity to work internationally, with the best creative minds in the business, on the most challenging projects in service design!
The road ahead
We shared our plans and ambitions with our teams and got a lot of good feedback and ideas. From then on we’ve been co-creating the merging of our two companies into one. So as of july 1st 2016 we will let go of the Zilver brand and embrace the great Livework brand. Zilver will from now on be Livework Netherlands. Our teams are already working together and we’ve moved to Spaces Hofplein in Rotterdam to accommodate the group of 20 we will soon be.
Of course we are planning a grand opening party after the summer to celebrate our coming of age. But please drop by before that to join us for a very well deserved cappuccino. And please share your tips with us: what do you think the ideal service design agency should look like?
With love from the Zilverlings, henceforth to be known as Liveworkers, and a very big thank you to all our clients, partners, staff, students, suppliers and everyone who believed in us the past 10 years.
Erik, Fred, Sanne, Marit, Mark, Caroline, Linda, Anu, Merel, Alex and Ruddy.
Our new address is
Hofplein 20 – unit 7
3032 AC Rotterdam
Just to keep you updated on what’s going on at Zilver these days. Two new Zilver-forces joined our team: the bright Pieter van Prooijen and the fabulous Linda Buné. We’d also like to welcome a bunch of new clients, including Océ, Rabobank, NRC, Sourcy and Stichting Leergeld. Looking forward to some very fruitful collaborations!
Will you help us grow our team?
Zilver innovation is looking for a service design consultant:
5+ years experience | design thinker | people’s person | commercial instinct | guide in transition
We’re looking forward to welcome a new, full time (32hrs minimum) team member to our Rotterdam based consulting practice, where we combine service design, customer insight research, brand development and innovation strategy. Join us in our relentless efforts to deliver value to international clients like: Océ, Virgin, Ebay, Europcar, Rabobank, Schiphol and DeltaLloyd.
- have a relevant track record of around 5+ years in service design or customer experience innovation, combine design thinking skills with a clear analytical mind, combine some business sensitivity with love for people,
- have an Industrial Design Engineering Delft Background or comparable academic education, speak Dutch and English fluently,
- and have a bit of corporate experience
…then we are really looking forward to meet you.
For more information contact Fred Montijn, email@example.com
Or send him your resume, portfolio and motivation directly, before 2nd November 2015.
From 15-17 October, 9 speakers and 6 UX workshops will be hosted at the UX Conference in Bucharest, Romania. Check out the conference website!
Is my organization keeping an eye on the big picture while building a product? Have we identified a problem worth solving and are we actually delivering on that? Is there a right balance between the rate at which new features are developed and the focus on the best user experience?
These are all questions that should be on our mind when trying to create products that people will love. This workshop can help uncover great insights about how customers use your product and how you can address their needs. Building customer journeys is a great method to bring the team on the same page about what problems you are trying to solve for your customers and how to build a great user experience.
IN THIS WORKSHOP YOU WILL:
- Understand what customer journey maps
- Understand how to create a customer journey map and what information is needed for building it
- Find out how to use the output as a guiding tool for building the small pits and pieces without losing the big picture
- Learn how to prioritise user experience over adding more features into the product
WHO IS IT FOR?
This workshop is ideal for product managers, researchers, designers, marketers and developers alike, as you’ll learn how to build a common reference point for the entire team, to prioritise, communicate and build the right thing for the customer.Read more
More and more we are asked by our clients to teach them what we do. There seems to be a growing need for the internalization of capabilities related to design thinking, service design, insight research and customer experience innovation. At Zilver we applaud this development: as more companies embrace these approaches, business becomes a bit more human, creative, relevant and sustainable.
We’ve always tried to take our clients along in what we do and how we do it: in all our projects we involve them in our work and open up our factory to them, in order to help them apply our methods, also when we’ve moved on to different projects. But now we feel it’s time to actively start working on a Zilver training proposition that will specifically focus on capability development for our clients. With the right mix of theory and cases, cutting edge methodologies and hands on tools, innovative paradigm shifts as well as short term actionability.
For this purpose we’ve asked help from someone who is equally at home in the world of strategic design thinking and the world of education and didactics. Meet our new intern Merel Verwaal, who will be working on our training proposition the coming months. Stay tuned for more news, we hope to go live in October.
Translating customer insights into relevant new value propositions: it’s the core of our business. Erik and Marit get the chance to host two workshops on exactly this, at the Productized Conference in Lissabon. We looking forward to sharing our experience with other industry professionals on the 8th of October!
Session 1: 8th October, 2:30 – 4:15
Session 2: 8th October, 5:00 – 6:30Read more
Curiosity is in Zilver’s genes. Deep contextual user research forms the foundation of many of our innovation and design projects. We’ve been told we are able to unlock customer insights that actually drive strategy and lead to meaningful innovations. But, curious as we are, that made us wonder: how do we do it exactly? What kind of insights fuel customer experience innovation? What makes our clients jump up and get to work to serve their customers better? Feeling the need for some self-reflection, we decided to get some help. From a psychology student no less.
Curious too? Meet our new team member Johanna.Read more
The Brand as driver for good things, like great experiences for people. We like where this is going, and to be part of it in Belgium. Insightful stories will also be shared by Nespresso, Studio 100 and Sharingbox. For more details, check out their website.Read more
Will you help us grow our team?
We are looking for a senior service design consultant with 8-10 years experience.
We’re looking for a new, full time (32hrs minimum) team member for our Rotterdam based customer
experience consultancy, where we combine expertise in customer insight research, brand development,
innovation strategy and service design.
Check out our full job opening here!
For more information contact Fred Montijn, firstname.lastname@example.org or send him your resume, portfolio
and motivation directly, before 15th may 2015.
The European Institute for Brand Management (EURIB) will host the symposium SHIFT Happens! on 19th May. Topic is the rapidly changing society and how this is fundamentally going to affect businesses and organizations. Erik will be speaking on behalf of Zilver on the value of Design Thinking in Business. For our foreign friends: this one is in Dutch, but do join us in Berlin!Read more
INTERSECTION is one of Europe’s most interesting conferences exploring the crossroads of Strategic Enterprise Design, Design Thinking, and Design Management and we are humbled to take part in it. If you are around please be welcome at the masterclasses Zilver will be hosting on Branded Enterprise Experiences. Or join the discussion on Design Management that Erik is hosting as panel member. The three-day conference is held from 28-30 April in Berlin.Read more
Volkswagen asked us to show them what the current state of Business Model Prototyping is and to help organise a summit about it in their head quarter. We took the invitation and cooked up a plan of theory but mostly action. With a small army of TUDelft students to help us out we travelled to Wolfsburg and submerged employees from all over VW in the world of business models, prototyping, iterations and creativity. Great stuff to see these two worlds work together so well. There is definitely more coming, we’ll keep you posted.
We were asked by Kerry Bodine (author of Outside-In) and Lisa Lindström (CEO of Doberman) to contribute to The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook. We decided to focus our contribution on designing customer experiences with employees, because that’s what we’re heavily engaged in at the moment with several clients.
Other contributors include Joseph Pine & James Gilmore, Brandon Schauer, Fred Leichter, Tenny Pinheiro and Many others.
You can download the free e-book right here:Read more
We’re more than happy to welcome yet another member to our growing Zilver-team: Marit Coehoorn. With a background in user research and customer-centered innovation, she’ll be helping us dive even deeper into the needs and motivations of users. We can’t wait to get started!
After working in the field of brand activation and innovation strategy, Sanne has decided to join our Zilver-team. His passion is designing meaningful customer experiences, which he’ll get to do here at Zilver at full force. We’re very excited to have him here!Read more
Together with DMN, Ralf Beuker, and the Dutch consulate in Düsseldorf we are the initiators and organizers of the DesignXchange business club. The first DesignXchange event was held in Essen and focussed on the topic of how designers initiate and sustain change. Later this year edition II wil be held at SAP in Heidelberg. The events are invitation only. Stay tuned for more!Read more
Most of the time we find ourselves being very busy with various customer experience, customer insight and strategic innovation projects. These projects are great, and we want to share what we do but found that our current website wasn’t up to the task. It screamed for a redesign and we managed, although it took us a bit longer than planned: clients are always more important to us! So behold: our new website: you are looking at it right now! Please let us know what you think and point out those typo’s to us!Read more
In the run up to our Europcar Strategic Session in Paris we flew in our friend and associate, Damian Kernahan from Proto partners, Sydney, to support us in the day and the preparations. It was great working with him again, a true asset to our team and project, just a great guy to have around! We are looking forward to working together more often in the future!Read more
Currently Turkey plans, designs, and works on increasing exports from $162 (2012) to $500 billion in 2023. And design is to be considered key in transforming Turkish SME’s from suppliers to OEM’s. We agree and see that Turkish design leadership has to be developed so we were proud to attend the Turkish Netherlands business forum as keynote speaker. Together with Maarten Jurriaanse (Ping Pong Design) we provided the audience with the latest insights on brand-driven innovation and got them pretty excited!Read more
There are many reasons for companies to innovate, to improve or change the products and services they bring to the market. Branding can inspire innovation in products and services, creating value for organizations and consumers alike. This in turn can lead to a durable relationship between brands and customers. Brand-driven Innovation explores branding as a foundation for innovation, in order to provide participants with a solid understanding of how to use branding in their innovation tasks.
This Master Class trains professional designers and other innovation professionals in our design and innovation method “Brand Driven Innovation” (BDI). In BDI, the brand is considered to a solid foundation for innovation, that combines internal drivers for innovation, like an organization’s vision and mission, with external drivers, like customer insights. In BDI, the brand is constructed as the point where inside out thinking meets outside in thinking.
Thinking about joining one of our master classes in the future? You can find the report of the day here.Read more
Next to pioneering with his own company Sparckl, Fred Montijn managed to find the time to join the Zilver team! And we are very pleased he did! Fred will join us as a senior design researcher and customer experience consultant, specialized in e-learning and customer experience design. Welcome tot the team Fred!Read more
In service innovation projects complexities abound, both within the boundaries of the organization and outside of them: value chains have become value networks, target customers have contextual and situational preferences in their complex experience journeys, and interactions with the organization involve many channels and touch points. Customer centricity is a prerequisite but it requires various cross sections through the organization to cooperate smoothly.Read more
Australia’s number two Telco, asked our partner Damian Kernahan (Proto partners) to develop their customer experience of tomorrow. We were more than glad to be a part of this project, working on customer pathways, personas and channel roles! Australia here we come!Read more
Marktplaats, owned by Ebay, has been one of our most loyal clients the past year. After laying a solid foundation with customer insights, personas, customer journeys and design principles for Marktplaats Core, we are very pleased to now welcome Ebay’s Marktplaats Services, Admarkt and Automotive to our clientele!Read more
After successfully completing his Master’s degree in Strategic Product Design from the TU Delft in 2013, Floris joined the Zilver team as a junior design researcher. He will be focusing on customer experience and service design projects and he will be responsible for building campfire’s whenever necessary. Floris, welcome to the team!Read more