For the most successful brands, design is the message.

reWORD   •   SEPTEMBER 25, 2012

In today’s new world of social networking, anyone can share virtually anything from anywhere and at anytime. In such a buzzing climate—where people have decisional power—brands and their products need to work much harder to attract, convince and engage consumers.

The iPhone economy we now live in is not only transforming how brands create and interact, it now forces them to transform their surrounding environment. Today’s commercial, personal and public spaces are designed spaces. Transformations in our physical appearance, home environments and social contexts happen by design.

For the most successful brands, design is a competitive advantage. In fact, not only is design considered an aesthetic element, it has become the message itself. Design is research, it is a witness to our progress, an expression of changing cultural phenomena and life values.

We all too often hear that a brand’s message must be clear and concise to be effective and that design is only part of the solution. The truth is, if your message doesn’t connect emotionally with your audience, you will lose their attention. Great designers intuitively understand that their role, ultimately, is to create emotional experiences—creating an emotional connection between consumers and brands.

People are the focus!

The focus is on users’ experiences, the product’s sustainability values, and their impact on the environment and society. Working from an emotional and intuitive standpoint, designers are better able to create innovative designs that actually help solve human challenges, and can more easily shift consumer expectations and beliefs.

Design is the visual language of innovation and progress, of pleasure and fun for consumers, profit and success for corporations. Design permeates all aspects of our lives. It has become a metaphor for individuality and freedom as it jazzes up our favourite brands. We design and transform our lives to feel better, live better. Design is the visual language that translates our aspirations.

As visual anthropologists, designers understand visual communications better than anyone. Because of design’s increasing impact on society, designers have become the mirror image of consumers; reflecting their values and aspirations.

The power of collaborative thinking

To succeed in today’s ever-changing world, brands need to integrate the imaginative power of design into a true partnership between consumers, creative professionals and innovative marketers. The power of collaborative thinking between designers, marketers and consumers helps build a new language for innovation, addresses consumer insight, enlivens corporate cultures, and fosters new product opportunities and visual identities.

Crafting the subtleties of the emotional relationship consumers have with your brand, and humanizing your brand through visual narratives in a collaborative way are vital to your success in today’s world. For the most successful brands, design is their message. Expressing your message through design is vital if you hope to stay in tune with your fans.