A New Kind of Company for a Customer-Centric World



Listen to this Article

  • 00:00 | 00:00

For decades, our company took pride in being at the vanguard of the market research industry, helping clients like Coca-Cola, Disney, Amazon, and Google solve some of their toughest insights challenges. Thanks to our innovative thinking and methodologies, we were able to keep a pulse on consumers, culture, and the marketplace better than most. Our work also showed us how relationships between businesses and their customers were changing — and would continue to change.

Cut to 2022. Gone are the days of merely convincing people to buy what you sell. In a consumer-led world, it’s about truly understanding people so you can design products and services they actually care about. Far more than a buzzword, customer centricity is an imperative to rethink your business so you can meaningfully show up for your customers.

The journey to better serving our own clients began a few years ago. We foresaw that the companies we worked with — spanning every imaginable industry and geography — would need a new kind of partner, one who could guide them from insight to action in pursuit of more durable customer relationships. And that meant we needed to walk the talk.

Our transformation

Our transformation is rooted in an essential conclusion: winning in a digitally driven, customer-centric world requires the integration of four critical elements. Namely, the ability to:

  1. Deeply understand and predict the needs and wants of the customer
  2. Translate insights into meaningful experiences in real time
  3. Drive engagement at every moment of these experiences
  4. Deploy systems of learning to ensure continuous improvement

We had 1 and 4 covered. To master the others, we knew we’d need to join forces with industry-leading experts in CX strategy, product and experience design, brand and digital creative, technology, and everything in between. These needs drove an acquisition strategy that led to the merger of a dozen leading consultancies, collectively capable of building truly transformational experiences (and the business processes supporting them).

Of course, It didn’t take long to recognize that in order to best serve our clients, our collective of businesses needed to come together and connect as one company. Operating as a functional whole — shared platforms, unified data, a single identity — would increase efficiency and innovation, empowering us to deliver better outcomes, faster.

The process to get there was messy and challenging — as transformations always are — but it was motivated by the needs of the companies we served. If we couldn’t do the work, how could we expect to help our clients do it?

As individual companies, we made a difference. Together, we make a Material difference.

A bigger purpose

It goes without saying, but a capability-rich services company is nothing without its people. Our team — diverse in talents, experiences, and passions — was, is, and will always be Material’s key to success. And so, as part of our “one company” mission, we set out to identify and define a shared purpose that would help bring our employees together.

This is our rallying cry: “Material champions all that is human to build a better kind of company for a better kind of world.”

And these are the values we lean on — for ourselves and the companies we serve:

  • Massive Ambition: Our reinvention demanded vision, drive, and more than a little daring… That’s our recipe for creating the greatest possible impact.
  • The Joy of Building: We do the work because we love it. We found satisfaction in building a new kind of company, and we find it again and again in the solutions we deliver.
  • Hustle + Heart: Determination, paired with courage and compassion — we expect it of ourselves so our clients can do the same.
  • Radical Collaboration: In all we do, we leverage the diversity of our team’s POVs and expertise. As we’ve learned, sometimes 1 + 1 = 3.
  • Fearless Inclusion: In bringing Material to life, we set out to value the lived experience of all people, even when it challenged our own perspective. As a partner, we’ll help your company do the same.


Looking forward

The beautiful thing about transformation? It’s a process, not an end-state.

Whether we’re creating new products for Google or designing better experiences on behalf of Mercedes Benz, our goal is to help the clients we serve to stop simply hunting transactions and start building companies that play an ever-present role in the lives of their customers.

We’ll keep getting better — and so will you.