Design, Strategy and Culture at North Collective

The Magnetic Pull of North Brings ‘Big Win Business’ to the Northern Beaches of Manly

Apr 10, 2020 2 min read

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The innovative services of ‘North’ are proving that you don’t have to be a huge company to bring in huge clients. Since the birth of this modest-sized Manly based business in 2018, North has steadily grown a reputation for providing complete digital optimization packages in far less time than usually possible.

This streamlined approach to the entire digital process is the premise of North’s USP and with recent big win clients such as ASX, Virgin Money, Pepper Money, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Uno Home Loans and Torrens University amongst others, it’s safe to say their leaner method is definitely working.

The North team may be small, but their expertise has grown in stature over the last couple of years through a business merger and coming together of two leaders in the space. New joint partners of North: Ian Howarth (Creative Director) and Chris Abbott (UX Director) – were already well aware of the other’s capabilities having worked together closely at Deloitte Digital for many years.

Chris officially merged his successful brand and design sprint company (Lean Design Labs) with Ian’s North Collective back in May 2019 and both partners are delighted with the results of ‘doing things differently’ so far.

Merging the traditional consulting approach with our ‘lean design’ methodologies, enables us to offer our clients a unique service. By providing the best possible results in such a short timeframe, and putting the tools in their hands to measure after we leave, they gain an ROI that can easily be measured and value for money that leaves them actually happy when we’re done. We both get a real buzz out of that.
Chris Abbott, Managing Partner, Founder, North

North has a specialist core team of eight creative and strategic minds in operation (with an overall collective of just twenty), who consistently deliver highly successful brand and design projects on the same scale as the well-known ‘big four’ agencies.

Chris and I always laughed at the number of people we often saw crawling over projects. It’s simply not necessary. Even counterproductive. With small teams of the right people, everyone stays on the same page and has one clear vision of the end goal. I’m in no doubt that it’s a major part of our success.
Ian Howarth, Managing Partner, Founder, North

The North ‘lean delivery’ approach is made possible by having the perfect mix of creative and strategic expertise in place – and enables them to produce fully optimised, user-friendly design results in a far shorter timeframe than usually viable.

This ‘speed of results’ production is now set to benefit many startup businesses too, with North now leading the Consulting and Strategy arm of major Venture Capitalist firm Saltwater Ventures (recently featured in Top Gear, Forbes and Autocar Magazines).

We partnered with North because of its reputation. The strategic fundamentals are the same, but the IP in delivery and approach mean partnering our combined offerings gives our investors a point of difference, and more importantly, a higher rate of conversion for their portfolio.
Len Findlay, Founder, Saltwater Ventures

North is now offering lean sprint packages aimed at putting new ventures on the best possible road to success. These Design and Brand Sprint strategies have enabled some of Australia’s leading businesses to innovate in their field – and achieve fully optimised solutions in record time.

This exciting partnership with Saltwater Ventures comes appropriately on only the 2nd anniversary of the founding of North Collective. Just like their innovative services, they’ve certainly sprinted a long way down the field in an amazingly short time.

Who’d have thought that a company set to be a world ‘go-to’ in digital transformation, would be running the whole operation from the picturesque northern beaches of Manly?

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