Week 11 – Strategic Design (Part 2)

Learning Activity – Acquainting yourself with the work process (4 hours)

Consider the different steps in the work process and answer the following questions in writing:

Conduct research
Write down different means of conducting research. (What do you think can be done to collect information and get consumers’ perspective on a proposed idea?)

means (tavat, välineet, apukeinot)
conducting research (johtava tutkimus)

After identifying the question, an internet research and literature searches are a good way to start to gather some information. To get consumers’ ideas and their few to the ideas, talking with people, focus groups, personal interviews are good methods to gather information. If the budget is bigger even the telephone surveys, mail surveys, email surveys and internet surveys can be done. Also the research should be focused and relevant. Keep in mind when you need a bigger global research and when a smaller research is ok for smaller local businesses.
The process also includes analyzing the information, drawing conclusions and sharing the knowledge you gained.
Clarify the strategy
What do you think should be included in a creative brief? (As a designer, what would you consider vital information in such a brief?)

After the research the gathered information should be INTERPRET. I think, as a designer, that these things should be included to the brief:
1. Description of the company:
Explain the context and background information of the company to give a better understanding of your business. Who are you and what services and/or products do you offer? A website and any other background material that might be helpful. As a designer I should understand the history and the specific approach of the company already has. Usually I would add to this existing background.
2. Summarize the project:
What is the project and why do you need it? Describe what are your needs, what you want to be done or refreshed and why you’re doing it.
3. Explain your objectives: 
What are your goals? Why do you need this project and what are you hoping to achieve with it? These things helps to solve the right problems. Will it be measured with something?
4. What is the target audience:
Who is your customer? Who do you try to reach with this project or campaign?
5.What are the touchpoints you need?
Would you need a webpage, logo or a brochure? What kind of outcomes or products would you expect to be delivered?

And this is good to be written to the paper.


Design the identity
How would you approach the findings from the research and the clarified strategy? (What would your first steps be once you’ve received feedback and a brief?)

I would pull everything to the mindmap and do a visual idea boards to clarify my thoughts, get the boundaries and to get the way to the ideas. It was suggested to develop a brand architecture (the hierarchy of importance and how the different elements are combined). Then you can present your visual strategy to the client and get some feedback and agreement before you enter the next step.

Create touchpoints
What do you think is meant by touchpoints? (What, do you think, should be included in the term “touchpoints”? how would you define this term?) Hint: Keep in mind that touchpoints are those things that connect customers to your brand.

I think touchpoint is meant to describe the incidence when the customer is in touch with the brand. The point is the interaction between the customer and the point created for the brand.

Touchpoints are the ways (areas and moments) the consumer can interact with a business (service, product or company). It’s always when consumers interact with the brand such as the business’ advertising material, twitter campaign and even employees. It’s everytime the brand is in present and represents the brand.

Manage the assets
How would you nurture and grow the brand that you’ve created? (You may choose an existing brand or product and describe this according to your chosen item, if that will make it easier for you to explain your ideas.)

It’s important to check that the brand manual is followed in every step and in every action. All the employees should be involved to follow it and together build the brand stronger. If there’s issues that doesn’t work, it need to be discussed and corrected or added to the manual by the graphic designer.
The brand should be build and nurtured being active in the market. The marketing budget should be done for each year and determine beforehand where to aim and what to do. Is it a email newsletters telling about your business or product, twitter campaign or trade fair to participate in. What ever the action is, it has to be planned, carry out according to the brand manual and returned to evaluate how it went and what was the success. An email campaign is easy to start with. Plan time to your calender when you do it every week, start with simple, create your email lists (remember to ask permission to add you to the list or/and add an easy access out of it), follow the cliks and openings and analyze what works and what doesn’t.

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