Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Design and Marketing

Slowly, slowly, design is being integrated into corporate marketing.
Companies are starting to accept that design can be a powerful tool to create impact.
No matter what the product or service is that a company sells, it all has to do with the perception of its customers or clients.
Marketing strategies must therefore be aimed at the target audience’s perceptions, thoughts, emotions, feelings, and attitudes.
Design must be an integral part of a company’s brand, product design and packaging.

What should a company or professional do?
  1. Start with an in-depth market research. Find out what appeals to the potential customers or clients.
    Don’t forget, each purchase decision is an emotional one that must be rationalized.
  2. Develop the overall corporate communication strategy.
    If in doubt if the strategy would work - test market.
  3. Make sure the company’s collateral, packaging of products and services, the website, sales and promotion materials are in sync.
    Never start with the product/packaging design.
  4. Make sure that all offers to customers or clients, including call center interactions, comply with the corporate communications strategy.
    Don't forget, marketing and sales are Siamese Twins.
  5. Formulate strict guidelines for all advertising and promotions activities.
    Don't forget to include subsidiaries, agents and representatives.

Nowadays, customers and clients are well informed and critical.
They want more than a sheer purchase, they want a “shopping experience.”
This applies to companies, professionals (doctors, lawyers) and consultants.
Design not only builds the brand of the company, but also creates brand loyalty, which results in brand equity. Companies that successfully applied design are Apple, BMW and Disney.

In short, marketing and PR professionals must integrate the analytical with the creative part of their work and create integrated design solutions.
The pay-off is not only drumming up new business but also creating and maintaining customer/client loyalty built on trust.

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