Case unlocked by MPG

A.S. Watson: magazine Watsgoingon

Our MPG team has been producing Watsgoingon magazine for many years. The employee magazine contains fascinating stories and brings colleagues from different departments and stores together.

What did we want to unlock? | Unlocking full potential

At A.S. Watson Health & Beauty Benelux, there are almost 30,000 colleagues working across the Netherlands and Belgium. They work in stores, distribution centres and offices. This employee population is very diverse. A.S. Watson asked MPG to develop a magazine format that connects all employees with each other and to the organisation, with engaging content that all employees can relate to. The format aims to motivate, inspire and involve colleagues in the organisation. It’s a magazine that contributes to employee retention, talent and potential employees.

* A.S. Watson Health & Beauty Benelux includes: Kruidvat (Netherlands, Belgium), Trekpleister, Prijsmepper, Logistics (Heteren, Ede, Oosterhout), and offices (Renswoude, Antwerp).

We developed a fresh and optimistic design

What was our typical Matter approach? | Data & tech meets creativity

Firstly, we identified a wide range of colleagues and departments. Using a reader survey, we formulated the wishes and needs of these groups. We developed and researched a new, fresh and optimistic design that was different from the existing corporate identity. Our goal was to make the magazine distinctive and noticeable within the organisation but above all for everyone (not specifically linked to one of the Kruidvat, Trekpleister, Prijsmepper formulas). We also wanted to have less of a corporate image and more of the feeling of providing ‘a gift’.

The A.S. Watson Online Editorial team was established. This team consists of eight colleagues who represent the breadth of the organisation, from the store and distribution centre to the office. They brainstorm at the start of each new edition and are an important voice coming from within the heart of the organisation.

What did we discover? | Data & tech meets creativity

At A.S. Watson, colleagues want to hear and see each other in the magazine. They want engaging, honest stories that may even be a bit provocative. It’s therefore important to create content from the perspective of colleagues and not from the top of the organisation. Inclusivity and relatability are a requirement. Colleagues prefer stories that connect, touch the heart and increase their enjoyment in their work. There are several recurring themes: passion, engagement, teamwork, expertise and innovation. It has an overarching theme of PRIDE – pride in where I work, pride in what I do. With this approach, A.S. Watson can position itself as an attractive employer.

What was our solution? | Content solutions

Thanks to input from the A.S. Watson Online Editorial team, the magazine covers themes and topics that are relevant and impactful to the various workplaces within the organisation. This ensures that the content is always relevant and on point. Colleagues from across the organisation are featured, sharing their stories in line with our goals of connecting, informing, motivating and increasing engagement. The magazine’s tagline (“For you. About us.”) is translated in the format as always close, personal and relevant.

Additionally, we explored how Watsgoingon magazine and the Watsonline social platform could strengthen each other. Both channels cater to different information needs of our colleagues – Watsonline for quick, practical, and current news, and Watsgoingon for in-depth coverage, authenticity, emotion, personal experiences, all connected to the strategic direction of A.S. Watson.

Some spontaneous reactions from A.S. Watson employees regarding Watsgoingon magazine:
– “I wish it was published more than four times a year.”
– “The magazine has a lot of diversity!”

Numbers don’t lie | Unlocking full potential with data 

Watsgoingon has been produced by MPG since 2019. Since then, colleague engagement has increased from 67% in 2019 to 74.1% in 2021. The magazine plays an important role as the hub of internal communication. A.S. Watson strongly believes in the connecting and motivating factor of the magazine and delivers all copies to colleagues’ homes. This strengthens the feeling of receiving a gift and involves other family members who often read along.

Watsgoingon receives a high rating from colleagues: 7.8 (according to a reader survey). As many as 64% even give it an 8 or higher. Watsgoingon now also includes extra specials on topics that are important internally and deserve extra attention, such as “sustainability” and “vitality”. The magazine is also used as a fixed and valuable part of the A.S. Watson onboarding program for new employees.

The popularity of Watsgoingon has led to various other projects in which the typical “Watsgoingon” style (design and copy) is visible. For example, at the request of A.S. Watson, MPG has given face to the internal culture manifest, developed the new house style, and created a series of Kruidvat health videos for the consumer market.