Deluxe Entertainment

For over 100 years, Deluxe had evolved to become a collection of related but disconnected entertainment services and entities. As competition among full-service end-to-end video solutions grew, Deluxe needed a new way to holistically articulate who it was and what it did. To solve this perception issue, Combo developed a new corporate organizational strategy that brought disparate companies together under one brand purpose while maintaining brand equity where valuable, and then created and rolled out a new design system that conveyed the cohesion of one brand but enough flexibility to speak to the diversity of capabilities.

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Organizing a Constellation of Companies

A Dramatically Changing Marketplace

Today’s entertainment industry, once controlled by a handful of large studios, was suddenly crowded with over-the-top media services like Netflix and Hulu. Outlets like these rapidly went from having none of their own content to being some of the biggest new content creators. This signaled a dramatic shift in the marketplace and challenged long-standing industry players like Deluxe, one of the oldest companies in the business ©. After steadily innovating over the decades to encompass the full range of services from set to screen, Deluxe needed to evolve to keep pace in a changing landscape.

© The drop in cable and satellite subscribers highlights the changing landscape of connectivity and media in an era of “cord cutting,” particularly as internet streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have grown in popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The below chart reflects where/how respondents consume TV.

Arranging a Cohesive End-to-End Solution

Few could match what Deluxe offered—production, distribution, technology, design and graphic effects—but Deluxe itself was not effectively structured to streamline these offerings in a way that appealed to its consumers. Of more immediate concern, neither were its 10,000+ employees clear on the breadth of services offered outside their own division. Combo’s role was to help Deluxe shift from its current iteration as a constellation of disparate companies to become a cohesive end-to-end solution. To that end, Combo initiated an internal restructuring and embarked on the strategic repositioning as the holding company Deluxe One.

Clarifying Company Architecture for Streamlined Strategy and Operations

Combo strategists began with an immersion in existing company structure to understand the sprawling diversity of offerings. Strategists also convened leadership councils as a primary research tool and conducted interviews with clients as part of a competitive analysis. As the strategy team built out a new organizational architecture, the goal was to create greater clarity around the relationships between divisions and to streamline business operations according to the new brand logic. Anchored in this realignment, strategists developed a positioning and rollout that unified the full slate of companies under the umbrella of Deluxe One.

Cross-Functional Co-Design

Working in close partnership with Deluxe leadership, Combo designers generated a new design system aligned with the brand strategy work. Collaborative efforts pooled various areas of expertise to achieve a full understanding of the company’s core value proposition: a tried and true one-stop shop within a marketplace saturated with less hefty competitors.

Allows us to strengthen our breadth of technology and workflows.
Cyril Drabinsky, CEO of Deluxe

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