Case study

Unlocking $27b for Social and Environmental Impact

fwd: the supply chain for change


The Ākina Foundation


Naming, Brand and Website Design

Imagine the power of $650 billion annual procurement spend if it were redirected to enterprises that prioritised social and environmental impact alongside profit.

That’s the idea behind ‘Social Procurement’. We worked with the Ākina Foundation and the New Zealand Post to launch New Zealand’s first social procurement platform.

fwd: now has over 50 certified social enterprise suppliers and 12 buyer members, with the likes of Air New Zealand, NZ Post, Auckland Council, and a combined annual spend of $27b.

What’s in a name?

We challenged the use of the platform’s existing functional name (Market Connect) and presented competitive research and human decision making rationale to make a case for a stronger, emotionally-charged name. Through our strategic naming process which drew competitive research across both the global social procurement market and local procurement market, we landed on fwd: to artfully communicate this new social movement relative to this point in our collective technological journey. fwd:’s language aims to inspire. To show what’s possible and to challenge corporate vernacular. We created a brand framework to communicate differently to the platform’s key audience groups: social enterprises, corporate partners and the general public. The ‘Ākina Certified Social Enterprise’ was developed as a submark and asset for social enterprises to utilise as social marketing and assist ‘Ākina to spread the word on the fwd: platform.

Wrapping it up

We completed branding, illustration and animation work that pushed the status quo. Then wrapped up in a simple, yet effective site that linked through to the fwd: platform. The brand is an inclusive and progressive take on the conventional technology startup design style.