First Insight – Emotions are key to successful branding
Design aesthetics carry an unique pathway to our emotions. It’s no longer a secret that affective design goes hand in hand with function and determines our behavior as well as our decision making. As opposed to function that communicates to our rational self, form communicates directly to our emotional being. In the light of recent studies that show that ”Eight out of ten buying decisions we make are based on emotion”
, it is clear that the impact of design in our lives is profound. Hence the importance for brands to invest in good design becomes crucial for business prosperity and even survival. When you master emotions, you master the output.
”Emotions, we now know, change the way the human mind solves problems – the emotional system changes how the cognitive system operates.” (Donald Norman, Emotional Design
Second Insight – Innovative design leads to distinctive brands
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.” Steve Jobs
It’s the elements of a brand that make it recognizable and different. Innovative design is exactly what gives rise to a brand’s fundamentals. This curious and intuitive form of design lets go of the past and everything connected to rational thinking. It helps you find new trails that lead to new discoveries – the very heartbeat of building distinctive and successful brands.
“So the point for companies is, do they want to lead the change, or do they want to suffer the change?” Roberto Verganti.
It is de facto rather expensive and ineffective to be a follower whilst being a trailblazer provides opportunities for innovation, creates new markets, increases competitiveness and ultimately pays off in longterm brand profitability.
Third Insight – Narrative is equally important as design
Narrative can be said to link imagination and creativity. In design, the term narrative may be used in a broad to include the entire setting of a brand and visual identity – such as the ‘feel’ of the brand, its qualities, provenance, personality and profile. Narrative also gives the designer the opportunity to move closer to the user within stories, and therefore to develop a product or system with greater user appeal.
Successful branding is achieved only when design and narrative – in other words described as concrete and abstract elements – go hand in hand seamlessly.
Visual recognition is built upon distinct and creative design elements through the description of a form, font, colour and logotype. This is called “concrete level”.
Public awareness of what a brand’s symbol stands for is achieved through a perfectly communicated brand platform. This is called “abstract level”.
Fourth insight – Design still equals Economy (Olle Eksell, 1964)
Swedish designer Olle Eksell wrote about it in his book Design=Ekonomi already in 1964. Almost sixty years later this perspective on design as an essential tool for business development is still present, indeed vitalized by in particular Robert Bau
, global leader in service innovation & design.
Some data from Design Factfinder Report
illustrating the importance of design thinking and how it can expand businesses:
Rapidly growing businesses are nearly six times as likely as static ones to see design as integral.
Shares in design-led businesses have outperformed the FTSE 100 by more than 200% over the past decade.
For every £100 a design alert business spends on design, turnover increases by £225.
Businesses that add value through design see a greater impact on business performance than the rest.
Fitfh insight – Function follows form
Form follows function. In reality the opposite is true. Function follows form. Studies show that when two elements with identical functionality but with different visual characteristics are presented, the element that is seen as more beautiful will not only be selected by the vast majority but also be regarded as to have better functionality.
“…attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively. How does that make something easier to use? Simple, by making it easier for people to find solutions to the problems they encounter.” (Donald Norman, Emotional Design
“Evolution passes on genetic traits to subsequent generations without any rationale for their purpose. Each generation of a species then finds a use for the form it has inherited. Function follows form in nature” (Alistapart