Art and Design are subjective. Something favoured by one person will not appeal to others. That’s just the way it goes. But it’s not our ambition to please everyone, and that’s why it’s so important to know who your audience are before spending a penny on marketing.
To understand the basic needs, desires and tastes of your customer is the real secret behind building a solid brand strategy. Without these insights, it’s easy to get lost in the noise.
What do Designers and Strategists really do?
Ever wondered why strategy is important in the context of branding? Yes, me too. Let’ get into it.
What to do and what not to do. That is the question. The word ‘strategy’ really means ‘to plan’. So, by aligning your communications and brand with the future state of your business, your chances of reaching the right people increases, and the more success you’re able to harvest from your efforts. The goal of a successful brand strategy is to align business objectives with creative solutions, giving brands a personality with real values and unique aesthetics. By looking at your customers’ ‘user journey’ as an end-to-end experience, the execution of your design strategy should be approached by someone who can bridge the gap between the business of design and the design of business. It takes strategic thinking and an armoury of design skills to unite the two.
Designers solve problems. That’s what we love doing. Strategists just work a little further up-stream, directing people down different paths whilst maintaining sight of the overall objectives. Their direction feeds down into your business solutions, and then the designer pulls this all together into something that’s simple and enjoyable to understand. Understand?
So, what car is your brand?
Every brand is different. Brands like Aston Martin appeal to the more distinguished drivers, whilst Lambos, Hummers and G Wagons attract a different kind of customer.
If you can name the car that your business would drive to work in, then you already have a very good idea of what your business stands for, who it appeals to, and why that specific car of choice is the one.
Let me know, I would love to hear from you. I’ve left some examples below.
Brand: Oakley Sunglasses Car: Porche Boxter Why: The brand appeals to the masses but isn’t a dream for everyone. Oakley is a well known high street name with many products. It’s affordable, but still a high value treat. The brand image is rounded, sporty, playful and built to last. Porsche – with it’s infamous rounded lights – share some aesthetic qualities with the sunglasses brand, and appeal to those who enjoy quality design with a playful side. The fact that Oakley are from California and Porsche are from Stuttgart is by the by.
Brand: IKEA Car: Volvo XC90 (the older model) Why: The brand celebrates the practicality of scandinavian furniture and design. Their products are widely available, safe and well priced. The quality is great for the intended use, and the experience is usually enjoyable for the whole family. As a home furnishings brand, IKEA lends itself to a larger vehicle, but must maintain its Swedish heritage. If Volvo made a Ford Galaxy, then that would be my number one choice.
Already gone Electric?
If you’re already running an established business, cruising around in a fleet of Teslas, or just beginning an exciting new venture, let’s talk about what that means to your customers.