Designworks buys Union Digital

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Designworks NZ has further strengthened its interactive design and digital marketing offering with the acquisition of Auckland based agency Union Digital. 

The deal sees Designworks, which itself is owned by Australia-based STW, take a majority stake in the 20+ strong agency, which will remain operating as a stand-alone branded agency within the Designworks Group.

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

Designworks chairman Sven Baker said the acquisition forms an important part of Designworks’ regional growth strategy. “This is about Designworks remaining focused on satisfying clients’ increasing demand for next generation insight led digital experience design and data driven automated marketing,” he said.

“We know our clients are searching for more authentic, relevant and personalised engagement with 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 central to fulfilling the digital dimension of this market opportunity for us.

“Our continued focus on customer experience design has seen us invest significantly in a range or new and adjacent offerings over the recent years; spatial, content generation, product and service innovation and interactive experience design are all now key facets of Designworks future.

“The Union acquisition will enable us to fast track our digitally centric CX, mobile and digital engagement offering across the Asia Pacific region.”

As part of the deal Matt Townsend –Union’s current strategy director – will take up the role of Designworks Group head of interactive. In the role Townsend will continue to oversee the growth of Union while leading the strategic development of Designworks’ interactive offering across its six offices in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

“Matt and his senior team including Richard Wright and Todd Wackow have built a fantastic business, with tremendous client relationships, great work and a highly skilled team that really complements the Designworks culture and offering,” Sven Baker said.

Matt Townsend said: “From the very first meetings with Sven and his team, it was clear we had alignment in our values and in the belief in the power of design to transform customer experience and business performance.

“A number of our key clients are also clients of Designworks so the synergies for collaboration and end to end design thinking and execution were obvious. We collaborated successfully with Designworks on a number of joint projects including the launch of the new NZME brand late last year and a number of new business pitches. The capability fit has been great.”

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