Cognizant acquires Idea Couture, boosts digital design capabilities

03 August 2016 3 min. read
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Cognizant has acquired Idea Couture, a creative design and consultancy agency, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition further boosts its Cognizant Digital Works practice, as more and more clients seek to leverage innovative design within new customer and employee user experiences for digital applications.

Idea Couture was founded in 2007 in San Francisco. The company is a new breed of creative consulting firm, which merges creative design with business acumen. The agency markets itself as a place where ‘D-School + B-School’ meet. The agency, which seeks to improve its clients’ user experience, has additional offices in Toronto, London, Mexico, Shanghai and São Paulo. It employs around 170 specialists, including social scientists, strategists, anthropologists, user experience experts, designers, and connected product developers.

In recent years the differentiation between management consulting and marketing and design has been closing. The process of digitalisation within a wide array of industries is increasing the need to create involved customer service experiences as well as internal applications to improve staff engagement and productivity. Consultancy firms, particularly the large players, have been founding standalone entities, such as Deloitte Digital, or acquiring new capabilities within the creative space, including Accenture’s acquisition of Fjord and KPMG’s acquisition of Cynergy Systems.

Cognizant acquires Idea Couture, boosts digital design capabilities

Cognizant too has sought to expand its capabilities within the digital experience and design space, last year launching Cognizant Digital Works. The new business line is aimed at “bringing together human insight, strategy, design, technology, and industry expertise to create innovative solutions at enterprise scale”, to improve its services to clients seeking to leverage new technological capabilities, business models and ways of working.

Cognizant’s acquisition of Idea Couture sees the firm acquire a broad set of additional capabilities which the firm aims to leverage to supports its clients globally deal with current challenges within the digital space. Gajen Kandiah, Executive Vice President, Cognizant Digital Works, remarks “Idea Couture has a track record of success in managed innovation – including rapidly envisioning, designing and prototyping digital solutions – to help companies create connected products, engage customers, and deploy new business models for growth and competitive advantage.”

The addition, builds on the firm’s recent acquisition of Denmark based ReD Associates. Kandiah adds “this acquisition further advances our strategy to bring together world-class capabilities in behavioural insight, strategy, design, and technology to deliver innovative and impactful solutions for our clients in banking, insurance, life sciences, and our other key industries.”

Idris Mootee, CEO at Idea Couture says that the firm is “excited to build on our vision of a new kind of company that can conceive and build new products and experiences and bring transformation to our clients”. He adds, “As part of Cognizant Digital Works, we will be able to do even more exciting things with design and technology. By connecting with Cognizant’s proven technical abilities, global scale, and domain expertise, we can help our clients realise the value of their innovation efforts.”