Marketing director: “We need to redesign our packaging.”
Finance director: “We did that. It didn’t change anything.”
Design gets blamed for not doing. Not selling, not attracting, not alluring. And for ageing. God forbid that anything should get older.
Do designers and agencies treat brand design as an indulgent exercise? Let’s be honest, sometimes creating is a rush that takes the designer’s heart and soul on a pretty wild ride.
Good design thrills everyone - designer, owner, buyer. (advertising agency, retailer, financial controller, bank...)
Great design thrills everyone for a very long time.
“Branding and packaging design should change something, or rather two things - sales on shelf (the smile on the financial director’s face) and longevity in the consumer’s mind,” Nir Wegrzyn, managing partner, BrandOpus, wanted to clarify.
Here are the rest of her thoughts on the subject, Design that stands the test of time.
Come from the heart of the brand
What makes your brand different? What is the core visual that makes your brand stand out from the crowd. When you’ve found this, you have the essence of what it is in your brand that captures the minds and hearts of your consumers. There is no need to constantly invent new equities and concepts. Just focus your efforts on getting back to the heart of the brand.
Show off why you're a one-off
The brand’s identity needs distinctiveness and meaning - visual differentiation that is unique and ownable. Don’t be afraid to be different, be unique. Do not succumb to the commonplace or category conventions, or even common sense. The brand needs to be bold to be differentiated.
Do not let your your ad campaign fraternise with your brand design
Advertising positions and communicates to your consumers about your brand. To underpin this, the brand needs to exist visually. The brand identity does not need to communicate, it needs to define what the brand is, and be securely in place before the marketing team embarks on an advertising campaign.
Grow old gracefully
Well designed brands that don’t need overhauling every two years are a lot more effective. Design your brands, not the packaging. Well designed brands, those whose identities achieve an iconic element, sustain themselves over time with very little need to alter. Case in point - Coca Cola, Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Chanel No. 5.
Bat for the same team
Sure, a design agency is a supplier, but to maximize the financial effectiveness of what yours does, treat it as a partner. The right conversations ignite the right questions, which the right answers solve. Those right answers get inserted into design that sells your brand, not the design agency - which after all, is the goal.
Yes, it really is all, and always, about the big idea
What’s the idea behind the execution? Ask this at the beginning of a project. Make sure it is clearly shown in the design at the end. Great ideas fail when an execution is disliked by a single decision maker for subjective reasons. If the concept isn’t immediately clear, find out why. Make it clearer.
Be too safe, be sorry
Use research, but remember what Ogilvy said, “Marketers use research like drunks use lamp posts - for support not illumination”. Harsh but true. Never underestimate a gut feeling. This is what your consumer uses.
Listen to your inner out there
Don’t accept the category norms. If it worked yesterday, it does not follow that it will work today. Look at every problem that presents itself as a new problem that needs new points of view and a new solution.
Don’t give them what they tell you
Consumers do not make decisions cognitively at the point of purchase. But they do in research. The two responses may be quite different. Design based on what research asked a consumer to answer may be quite wrong.
Nothing in life is perfect
Every idea can be justified, every execution may be different. There is always another idea around the corner, but you need to make decisions at some point. Right is not ever going to be perfectly right, no matter how much you fiddle with it.
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