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Designworks adds Union

Designworks is delighted to welcome the twenty-plus strong Auckland-based interactive agency Union Digital to the Group.

The acquisition is an important part of our continued regional growth strategy and is focused on satisfying clients' increasing need for next generation insight-led interactive experience design, data-driven digital marketing and reliable backend development.

The move is part of an ongoing process of evolving and reshaping Designworks business model to stay relevant in the radically and rapidly changing operating environment we’re in.

We understand the changing needs and expectations of our clients in response to this change. We know they are searching for more authentic, relevant and personalised engagement with their customers, supported by practical, real-time measurability that will enable them to be far more proactive and adaptive in their brand experience and marketing activities. Union will be a key part of helping Designworks fulfilling the digital dimension of this market opportunity.

The deal supports our on-going focus on building the region’s leading strategic, design and customer experience practice. A focus which has seen us invest significantly in a range or new and adjacent offerings over the past five years. Our own interactive offering, along with spatial, research, content generation and product and service innovation are now all key facets of our future. Union’s added horsepower will enable us to fast-track our digitally centric CX, mobile and retail engagement offering across the Asia Pacific region. 

Matt Townsend and his senior team, including Richard Wright and Todd Wackrow, have built a fantastic business – with tremendous client relationships, great work, a highly skilled team and brilliant culture that really complements the Designworks culture and offering.

The acquisition will see Matt  – current Union Strategy Director – take up the role of Designworks Group Head of Interactive. Matt’s remit will be to continue to oversee the growth of Union as well as lead the strategic development of Designworks interactive offering across its six offices in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. Matt will be the critical bridge across the businesses and client base, connecting people, providing strategic council and driving opportunities.

The two companies already share a number of key clients and have already enjoyed the synergies for collaboration on end-to-end design thinking and execution. Our collaboration to date has included the successfully launch of the new NZME brand late last year along with a number of successful new business pitches. The acquisition was just a natural extension of this relationship. 

Union will remain operating as a stand-alone branded business within the Designworks Group and the whole team will shortly relocate to a new home on level 2 of Designworks Auckland campus at 36 Lorne Street.

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