Marketing|Demand Creation Blog: Thoughts on strategy, lead optimization, social media and the digital space

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Beyond the Right Brain: Success through Graphic Design Analysis,

A brand’s ‘identity’ is analogous to a person’s identity: it consists largely of their values, personality and beliefs. The public-facing aspect of a brand reflects its core essence in a tangible and graphic way to audiences. While Marketing seeks to define the vision, strategy and structure of a brand, Graphic Designers are the visual professionals who have the responsibility of translating and marrying the positioning concepts of the brand with its identity into visual media. The more designers are involved in developing the strategy of the brand in synergy with marketing and senior leadership, the more successful the visual identity will be in enhancing customer recognition, acceptance and adoption of the brand.

It is ironic that the skilled activities of graphic designers to join brand positioning, identity and marketing strategy into a cohesive visual representation is exactly what has led to the misperception among the general public that a brand is a logo or advertising or packaging. Advertising and logos are soon forgotten, but the true essence of a brand is what stays with the customer after the visual reminder is no longer present.

Where graphic design (and to a lesser extent, marketing) has been criticized in the past is the lack of business discipline with which it seems to be practiced — it’s always been a “right-brained thing” — I believe differently. I believe there is a need to blend creativity with structure in a whole-brain approach. Going further, the most effective design is created through graphic design analysis based on attributes such as color theory, customer profiling and current trends. This takes the form of a developed research and design methodology to ensure that the necessary reference foundation is established for visual development including:
Far from restricting creativity, it is within a properly constructed scientific and business-oriented framework that breakthrough creativity and innovation can flourish.
Joseph Mann Wednesday, May 18, 2005 Permalink | 0 comments |

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Practicing Audience-driven Marketing Program Design

In a world crowded with brands all vying for the ever shrinking attention span of the consumer (and on the B2B side, the business buyer), it only makes sense that the way brands rise above the noise is by 1) exuding the attributes that matter to the customer and continuing to delight them with each interaction and 2) leveraging technology to reach the buyer wherever they may be. While tighter budgets have meant more marketing resources have been pushed into lead-generation initiatives (a short-term focus) over brand-building activities (a long-term focus), marketing program design that is truly driven by audience needs can serve both ends. A well-engineered, process-driven marketing strategy connected with the company’s brand values, consistent visual execution with innovative graphic design and an almost maniacal focus on delighting the customer means the building blocks of future reputation will be set while near-term financial goals are achieved.

In fact, in companies where brand reputation is valued, the company’s leadership strives to maintain that reputation through practices that help create a unique identity and project a consistent and cohesive set of images and values to their audiences and customers. These practices include:

These practices are essential to long-term reputation building as well as reflecting short-term self-interest and create economic value for the corporate brand by reinforcing the company’s position and differentiation versus the competition.
Joseph Mann Sunday, May 08, 2005 Permalink | 0 comments |