A brand is a living entity—and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.
We believe that bringing a business’s Brand to life through the products, services, and experiences customers have with the business is an important component of experience design and actually differentiates it from other user-centered design methodologies. One of the biggest challenges that both business and design face, however, is that a Brand is seldom defined with a real eye toward the actual experiences customers will have related to value. Brands have traditionally been developed with the goal of expression and have focused on developing a distinctive identity and communicating meaning through visuals and words. Another challenge is that Brand tends to be managed within a marketing function of a business and the emphasis is on visual consistency applied to tactical messaging based on specific business goals (building awareness, driving lead generation and demand, fueling sales, etc.).
There are two very common circumstances that we have seen when business and design come together at a strategic level around Brand. The first is when a start-up has an executive who tasks his or her design agency to help develop a world-class Brand before there is any substantive product, service, or customer base. We understand that executives want a high-quality Brand identity system, but it begins to position the ...