Let’s face facts; it is all too easy to become overwhelmed by the daily demands of running a business. This makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to focus on executing their underlying vision, as they look to direct all strategic tasks such as sales, marketing and branding.
While the ability to delegate helps with this, it is also crucial to prioritise the most important elements of business growth. Take branding, for example, which is an evolutionary concept that can help you to win, retain and build relationships with customers.
What is communication design and why is it key to branding?
One of the prevalent trends in contemporary branding is communication design, which is categorised as a mixed discipline that has two key benefits to businesses. Firstly, it enables brands to create product ranges which are streamlined and reflective of their core values, which is central to building trust with customers. Beyond this, communication design also helps to develop new marketing channels and ground-breaking techniques.
It is still important to consider how communication design benefits your brand in greater detail, however, while also understanding best practice for bringing this principle to life. Consider the following: –
UNDERSTAND AND EMBODY BRAND VALUES THROUGH YOUR PRODUCTS
It is impossible to create products that embody your brand’s values without first determining what these are, so the best practice is to create a succinct mission statement that captures the philosophy of your business.
You can then break this philosophy down into individual values, which must underpin everything that you do and manufacture in the name of the brand. These values should be listed as single adjectives where possible, as this creates a detailed and easy to understand profile which affords your brand an identifiable persona. It is then your duty to share these values and educate your design team, as you strive to ensure that every single product or innovation reflects one, several or all of these.
Luxury brands should focus on the use of quality materials and glossy finishes, for example, while affordable products must incorporate a simple and uncluttered design which reinforces ease of use.
MAKE CONSISTENCY YOUR WATCHWORD
If there are two things that successful branding relies upon, it is a consistent approach and a ruthless eye for detail. This is particularly important when investing in communication design, as the consistency and reliability of your products and the way in which they are presented remain central to the cultivation of trust with customers.
It also helps to sell a particular brand narrative, engaging customers in a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship. Established brands such as Ford offer the best embodiment of this principle, as they continue to manufacture iconic and instantly recognisable vehicles which customers trust and have a keen sense of familiarity with. It also helps that Ford apply a strong communication design strategy throughout its business, aligning everything from individual products to the delivery of customer service with its core values.
This also underlines the importance of extending the principles of communication design to the delivery of services too, from customer response to product shipment.
TAP INTO EMOTIONAL VALUES
For years’, advertisers and marketers have used emotional hooks to engage customers and trigger impulse purchases. Emotional values should also be considered when implementing a communication design strategy for specific products, as these help you to leverage the appeal of your stock within a specific market or among a chosen demographic.
If you take mobile phone and technology brand Samsung, for example, you will see a company that constantly uses emotional hooks and triggers that are based on product design features. By marketing it’s products’ high resolution cameras and their capacity to take real-time family snapshots and videos, Samsung has created an emotive selling point that heavily influences targeted consumers. The Galaxy S4 advert built on this by using emotional pictures and audio too, reinforcing its message through design and presentation.
The ability to optimise the design of individual products to make these features easy to use is also crucial, so it is important that you determine the emotional value of your innovations prior to marketing them.
With these points in mind, it is easy to see how communication design can help your brand to win consumer trust, build loyalty and tap into the emotional value of individual products. The rest is up to you, but the key thing to remember is that communication design must form part of a wider strategy that is built on a number of core (and relevant) values.