From industry-leader to empowering leader: Shifting for positive impact
Fifteen years after Diffa’s inception, Ingrid Dahdah founder of this company, decided it was time to pivot.
In 2001, Ingrid Dahdah, a young unstoppable full-time banker sensed an opportunity: with the growing number of events in Lebanon, there was a clear need for a new type of service; a professional staffing service. Linking this need to young spirited people looking to expand professionally, became the edge behind Diffa: a staffing agency bridging the gap between offer – demand for both clients and students. Ingrid was 21 years old when she founded Diffa: the first of its category in the Lebanese market. Over the years, several other staffing agencies emerged, but Diffa always remained the market leader.
After having serviced over 15 years, and some 3 , 0 0 7 , 7 0 0 G U E ST S, it was time for Diffa to take a step back, look at what it had accomplished, and define how to pivot and have a better impact.
Our mission, as MFB, was to transform Diffa into a better version of itself: one that aligns with the ambition of Ingrid and adapts to the changing world.
DIGGING INTO THE DIFFA WORLD
To understand how Diffa works, who it deals with, and how it bridges the youth with the corporate world, we had to immerse ourselves into the Diffa world, and assess both parties : the clients and the youth.
To dissect the client’s interactions, we had to confront that hospitality world from different perspectives; we, as MFB, had to put our acting hats on, and did some role playing, by being “mystery clients”.
To understand the youth, we held focus groups with the Diffa’s team leaders + hosts and hostesses, which allowed us to see aspects of the firm that had gone unnoticed.
We can easily say that the process behind assessing the Diffa brand was extremely eventful.
Our action research combined with more traditional desk research led us to the conclusion that there was a clear untapped potential for Diffa. They were indeed empowering youth to become reliable and professional hosts & hostesses for events, but they were doing so much more than that without realising.
EMPOWERING THE YOUTH TO BUILD A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Through its incredible network build over the years, Diffa was in a very special position: on one hand, it dealt with all dynamic companies in various industries, and on the other hand, had around 500 young students who were keen on discovering active life through all angles. When we defined one of the Diffa pillars as “empowering the youth to build a brighter future”, there was a clear set of actions that would follow in which Diffa would actually take the role as a platform, a key entity that can use its professional network and knowledge to help the youth in reaching their professional goals. The brand communication turned into a two-way communication, where the audience of Diffa was not anymore about the clients, but about building a parallel dialog: the youth and the clients. This shift in perspective opened up a whole dimension of Diffa, with actions targeted directly to the youth. This change proved how resilient Diffa was, especially when the event industry was hit hard with the pandemic and economic crisis in lebanon. A whole new aspect of Diffa got uncovered, and allowed this incredible company to keep its activities alive when most others had to face dead and difficult periods.
BEING ADAPTIVE, INNOVATIVE AND PROACTIVE
Diffa is agile: it knows how to adapt to all situations. More than that, Diffa, through its resourcefulness, managed to always stay ahead of the game and constantly seek ways to improve.
Visually, we have expressed this endless adaptability by an identity that can extend, infinitely. The Diffa logo has been designed in a way to adapt to medium, scales, contexts. We came up with the #diffaEverywhere as a translation of that expansion.
On a copy front, we also worked on a tone of voice that would tackle “formality” in a smart and genuine way, adapting to the audience.
AN EXPERTISE THAT RELIES ON PERFECTING DETAILS
Expressing the intangible, emotion, values, interest, togetherness into a tangible representation, we created the Diffa Circles: groups of people with a shared profession, values & interests.
The circle _ a shape that encompasses the human with the professional, an expression of the Diffa values felt like a natural choice for the uplift of the brand.
We created 3 main circles as a representation of Diffa’s 3 key pillars: the team, clients and the community. As an embodiment of Diffa’s high standards, consistency and quest for excellency, we have juxtaposed those circles with a series of lines throughout the identity.
The new Diffa identity is exciting, vibrant and connects both languages: the corporate conversing with the young.
AN EMPOWERING SHIFT
Diffa had, since its inception, always been one step ahead, but what they had not realised was that they were making a much bigger impact than they knew.
We redefined Diffa to empower and grow meaningful relationships with its network of passionate people, creating a positive impact on the hospitality industry and to a greater extent, the Lebanese society & economy.