“What were we thinking?” – Key takeaways from the boxxe panel at the Women in Defence Annual Conference 2020

“What were we thinking?” – Key takeaways from the boxxe panel at the Women in Defence Annual Conference 2020


On the 12th October boxxe were headline sponsors and panelists at the Women in Defence Annual Conference. 

The panel – including boxxe CEO Phil Doye, Head of Defence, National Security and Healthcare Sales Rob Hennessy, Head of People Sarah Hetherington, and Senior Account Manager Alexandra Taylor – talked to member of the Women in Defence leadership team Rachael Clamp about the struggles of rebranding during a pandemic, adapting to change and disruption, and the huge positive impact the rebrand has had on relationships and team culture in the past six months. 

Here are the lessons learned from a year of transformation:

Change is difficult – but doable

Why attempt a gigantic rebrand in the middle of a pandemic? Why do something disruptive in the middle of so much disruption? 

“A lot of our people have worked with us for a long time and had a strong connection to the old name, so we had to communicate the change in a way that meant something, “ said Sarah. “Just a name and a logo wasn’t enough. The real difference came from communicating our new mission and values, encapsulated in our new tagline, ‘making technology human’. This showed that we were more than just a name, a brand, but something everyone could get behind, and it unified us as a team and a business.”

Change is hard for everybody, especially when old ways of doing things are entrenched in our habits, but instilling a powerful and rewarding value system can help transform something that was ‘good enough’ into ‘exceptional’. 

“You can’t just ask people to change without giving them the tools they need to change,” said Phil.

Embracing adversity can be transformative

The pandemic and lockdown was, and still is, extremely tough. A high cost has been paid by everybody. But that doesn’t mean we can’t turn external events to our benefit. By embracing the huge changes and challenges that came with the ‘new normal’, and by utilising the right technology at the right time, boxxe has not only emerged from the disruption but laid the foundation to thrive in the near-future. 

“We’ve stopped what we were doing before and re-evaluated how we do business,” said Phil. “How can our people interact with customers in a new and improved way? By tackling pressing issues head on we have become responsive and adaptive to change in a way that wasn’t even possible before.”

There never is a ‘right time’ 

Rebranding during a pandemic probably looked crazy to people on the outside. But the truth is there is never a ‘right time’ to do anything. The success of the boxxe launch just shows what can be achieved when talented individuals come together in pursuit of a mutual goal. By leveraging technology, and trusting in your team, obstacles can be overcome and great things can happen. “But you can’t just talk about it,” Rob says. “You have to do it, too.”

The future is about making technology human 

One thing that Covid-19 has highlighted is how everybody is different. How everyone, no matter who they are, has their own life situation to deal with. Suddenly, after lockdown was announced, boxxers with young children were homeschooling, or looking after family members. Others started to see the benefits of a more flexible, remote working environment. Senior Account Manager Alexandra Taylor said: “It was strange to see how we were all going through the same thing but experiencing it so differently.”

Technology should enable us to get the best out of each other. We should have more time to build relationships, work collaboratively, and have more opportunities to work with talented and diverse individuals from across the globe. So far we have virtually onboarded over 20 people during the lockdown, with seven more to follow in the coming weeks, and the feedback from our teams is that they never felt closer together. “Everyone has a voice,” said Alexandra. “Everyone has an opinion. At boxxe, we are valued as individuals as well as part of the community.”

Watch the full panel below.

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