“A design mindset leads a powerful way of thinking. It facilitates change and helps give clarity to complex problems”.
– Robert Tiller of Tiller Design
Design is a nuanced concept applicable to just about every aspect of human experience. Although it’s completely accurate to describe a boutique dining set or an architectural masterpiece as examples of design, the power of design also falls outside the tangible, becoming embedded in the strategic processes that bring ideas, projects, products and brands to life.
It can frame the way we think, act and approach everyday and complex problems. It can alter our understanding, direct research and unearth new ways of business. To design is to do – to dig deep, discover, learn, listen, think, iterate, adapt and disrupt.
So, what happens when you intertwine that design mindset with brand strategy? You unlock opportunities that are powerful, resonant and innovate beyond the status quo. It empowers a nuanced roadmap for more defined and creative business outcomes, all while solidifying brand identities that embolden true, authentic visions.
Deconstructing the brand strategy
Brand strategists like those at INFIX design comprehensive plans that pave the path towards distinct, vibrant brands. Leaning on in-depth market research, comparisons and insights, potential audience engagement and outside-the-box creativity, they guide brand positioning, messaging and identity, oftentimes into the visual sphere as they shoot for consistency.
The main attributes of a brand strategy include:
- Competitive and market analysis
- Target audience identification
- Brand positioning
- Brand identity
- Unique selling propositions
- Brand story
- Brand messaging
- Voice and tone guidelines
- Communication plans
A powerful brand strategy can achieve brand recognition, differentiation and loyalty within dynamic and competitive markets, and provides guidance for internal stakeholders to ensure a consistent and compelling brand identity is maintained.
Approaching brand strategy with a design mindset
The design thinking approach emphasises understanding, creativity and user-centric problem solving. Naturally, an array of valuable takeaways, challenges and opportunities are exposed when this mindset is applied to brand strategy, but what does that look like? Well, strategies uplifted by design usually:
- Recognise and empathise with the audience
The first step in designing a powerful brand strategy is to define and dig deep into the needs, desires and pain points of the brand’s target audience. This involves conducting thorough market research, exploring the client’s initial visions and sometimes organising interviews and surveys. This process builds empathy and understanding, informing a strategy that speaks to the right people in the right way.
- Define the problem
Clear audience and market understanding helps identify the issues, dilemmas or problems the brand strives to solve. It could be related to unmet customer needs, market gaps, industry challenges or even lack of choice within the market. This definition solidifies a clear strategic and creative direction.
- Ideate creative, user-centric and adaptable solutions
Collaboration between strategic and design minds help generate an array of creative solutions that address the defined problem and the values of the target audience. This ensures that a brand strategy doesn’t just follow the thinking of the client, but considers what the audience wants to experience. It’s how brand positioning, messaging, storytelling, narrative design and visual identity evolves to tackle changing market dynamics, consumer preferences and emerging trends.
- Uplift storytelling and narrative design
The stories that underpin a brand’s vision, mission and creation compel audiences to engage. They build emotional connection, and design thinking principles can help define an authentic narrative backing that speaks to the audience as well as the brand.
- Prioritise consistent visual design
Brand strategies encompass core visual elements such as logos, colour palettes, typography and imagery. It’s where the traditional definitions of “design” come into play to develop appealing, aesthetic and consistent visuals that embody the brand’s character and what the audience is looking for.
- Iterate based on prototyping, testing and feedback
Design thinking is an iterative process, meaning there’s always room to move, innovate and try different things. Feedback can be gained from client or sample audiences and is used to refine the journey towards a committed strategy.
Designing unwavering brand direction
With design thinking comes user-centricity. It looks beyond the confines of what sounds or looks good to explore the nuances of target audiences, brand visions and the market itself. The mindset sees strategists unafraid to explore, discover and solve complex issues, and innovate to enduringly stay ahead of the curve.
The result is brand experiences that resonate, inspiring brands to embody their mission and audiences to engage with confidence.
Reaching for a brand strategy uplifted by the power of design? Get in touch with INFIX Creative Studio today to organise a free consultation and set your sights on future achievement.