Reflecting on milestones – the client that changed it all

Reflecting on milestones – the client that changed it all

It was 2016. We landed Air New Zealand as a client. We were ready for take-off!!  

By 2016 COMUNiTI [known as MARSDEN Collective back then] was three years into our business journey and we had established a head office, built a team, and created a host of workplace designs that we were super proud of including multiple stages of a project with Plantation Homes — one of Queensland’s most awarded builders, Buildsafe, and the West Coast Eagles. Yep, the AFL team!

And then, Air New Zealand invited us to fly to Auckland to pitch our vision for converting an old baggage area, in Melbourne, into an airport lounge.

I knew we’d be up against some of the biggest competitors in the industry. We were a relatively small and unknown brand, but we were a mighty and highly experienced team, and we threw everything at this opportunity.

We won the contract.
I distinctly remember this moment.
I felt like we’d really made it.
On reflection, it was about more than just landing an impressive brand like Air New Zealand as our client. It was a milestone moment because we just ‘clicked’. Our values aligned. Our vision and beliefs about what’s possible were in sync. When it came to designing and delivering experiences, we were speaking the same language —  and this was at a time when the concept of ‘experience design’ was still in its infancy.

When you start to push industry norms and pitch elevated concepts like experience strategy and experiential spaces, and not just interior design — and when a company like Air New Zealand hears you, sees you, and says ‘we get you’ by awarding you a contract — well, it’s a significant marker in our history.

It was this milestone that added fuel to my fire to reposition us as a team of commercial workplace strategists, a team focused on bringing lifestyle to every project we touched, and ultimately, to rebrand as COMUNiTI a few years later. It was also the catalyst for what would become one of COMUNiTI’s values: It’s all about the chemistry. When we make meaningful connections and there’s chemistry between COMUNiTI and our clients, we can really demonstrate value, make a mark, and inspire.

I’m so pleased that COMUNiTI has developed these kinds of relationships with many clients over the years and I know we’ll develop many more to come.


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