Content, branding, advertising. For too long these were the domain and understanding of a select few. A few who operated much like the guys on Mad Men – big chiefs making decisions that were broadcasted down a hierachy to consumers whether they like it or not. And given enough brainwashing, they liked it.
Everything has changed.
The consumer is better educated, and less gullible. Technological advancements (digital, online, social) are killing traditional television – TV as a dictator – and simultaneously enabling new media channels that prioritise engagement and relevance (what Seth Godin refers to as “permission marketing”) over one-way broadcasts. This new media is usually cheaper, and what’s more, it’s success is measurable.
The constantly shifting marketplace is finally democratic (Viva la Revolución!) It’s a very exciting time to be a design studio, and we embrace the flux by adhering to some enduring principles in our design approach:
This is an approach that ignores the antiquated division of advertising work (above the line, below the line, what line is it anyway?) and cuts straight through the core issue – defining the objectives, challenges and personality of a brand. Starting here, we devise a mix of relevant marketing methods and channels to achieve results.
In contrast to some other marketing speak, this concept means exactly what it says. While setting marketing goals is an obvious place to start when strategising design, current media channels allow us to take goals one step further – to actual results. Results which are insant, measurable and adjustable. We drop what doesn’t work, grow what does, seeking to improve the functioning of your business, and not just add a shiny veneer.
A results-driven design approach necessitates an iterative process – meaning that design success is measured and improved upon constantly. This is what software developers have been doing since Microsoft first developed an OS for IBM (developers love acronyms) – delivering better and better design versions as time passes, technology improves, and feedback is received. Iterative design also means that budgets don’t get depleted in a few huge sums, but are rather spent in a considered manner over the long term. Really, it makes enormous sense.
Iterative design in turn depends on solid relationships. Good content hinges on engagement with customers, listening to their needs and designing accordingly; and also on strong, trusting relationships with you. We see clients as partners, and building a brand as a holistic process that should benefit everyone involved.
Ultimately, we believe our approach allows more focused creativity, better quality design and a happier people – you, us, and the consumer. We think it’s what design has been waiting for – the ability to add significant value from the inside out.