Archive for the ‘Design Research’ Category

Is what you don’t know about your customers driving your decisions?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

There is a big difference between branding and strategic branding. That’s why you can buy a logo for $99 on line. It’s a logo, not a strategic brand identity. A brand is not a logo. It’s everything that represents your organization, whether you control it or not. The objective is to control as much of it as you can, know exactly what it is, and live it every day like it’s what keeps you alive. Because it does.

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A serious business will always treat their branding seriously. It costs more, but it’s worth vastly more. You need to know what will resonate with your customers and potential customers and that can’t be left up to an educated guess. You need get to know your customers on a personal level — to get out of your own (and your company’s) head and get into your customers’. You need to go where they use your product or service and see what they do. 
Ethnography, used in design research, allows researchers to test theories about how brands — and in fact, whole product or service segments — are perceived. In traditional qualitative research, questions are often asked so directly that the answers aren’t what you need to hear, they’re what you want to hear.

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Field research techniques used by design teams like Herrainco can uncover not only brand weaknesses, but most importantly, brand opportunities. What starts out as a “branding” exercise can become a discovery of ways that your company innovate to serve customers better or speak to them in ways that they find compelling — and more worthy of a purchase. It may be as little as a change in “voice” to as much as a change in systems, or adding products or services. The more open the research is left, the greater the value and opportunity for you and your company.

Think of a strategic branding consultancy as a resource for seeing a bigger picture, then shaping that picture into a story people understand, love and will follow.