e-Types is a brand agency that moves companies and organizations forward through identity. Brand leadership is characterized by the clear signals of an organization permeated by a strong sense of identity and purpose. e-Types illuminates corporate ideas. Through brand strategy and graphic design embedded in big ideas, we nurture enthusiasm, increase sales and enhance leadership.
Harvard Business School Case
Innovation, leadership and strategy are areas that quite often are hard to fit into a coherent whole. In 2006 Professor Rob Austin of the renowned Harvard Business School, studied e-Types' strategy and work methods in day-to-day business during 2006.
The resulting case study that was co-authored with Shannon O'Donell and Silje Kamille Friis has since been used as part of the curriculum for Harvard Business School's aspiring new managers and and a number of other business school around the world to whom HBS deliver educational content. The case study has alson been used as a debate item at the Seattle Innovation Symposium in September 2006.
The case study describes a dilemma in a real-life decision, where e-Types was faced with a dilemma of strategic importance as part of participating in a design competition. The basic dilemma was: should the company present an ambitious design proposal that stretched far wider than what the brief from the client asked for? Or should e-Types present a design proposal that was more conventional and true to the expectations of the client?
This challenge could not be solved without weighing in the overall strategy and direction of the company. The students and other readers who use the case are asked to put themselves in the position of e-Types' management: what would you do, if you were in the room, charged with making the decision? As part of the case, the reader is briefed on e-Types' history, company philosophy and strategic challenges in order to be able to understand the company fully. This material is supplemented with video interviews with e-Types partners. What actually happened is not revealed in the case but is revealed in a video with e-Types managing director Søren Skafte Overgaard when he participated in the first teaching of the case at Harvard Business school in March 2007.
Rob Austin comments on his reasons for studying e-Types:
"e-Types has in relatively few years gone from being seven idealists with very little capital but a lot of heart and determination, to becoming an enormously successful design bureau. That process is about making choices and keeping your priorities straight: Should you go for the big money, or should you design something that fits in with your visions and dreams to begin with? e-Types' results and experiences, are things our students at Harvard Business School can benefit directly from."
The case study as academic method has been central to Harvard Business School's teaching since the 1920's and offers insight into real-life challenges and decisions. Decisions, that their students themselves may face in their future careers. Buy the case study here
Rob Austin is now a guest professor at the Copenhagen Business School