Learning Activity – Acquainting yourself with the work process

23. October 2017 Uncategorised 0
Acquainting yourself with the work process            4 hrs
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?)
  • 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?)
  • 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?)
  • 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.
  • 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.)

Due dates

All assignments must be uploaded onto WordPress by week 11 of Strategic Design 2. (The final deadline is Sunday at midnight.) 

Resources and equipment (for this week’s learning activities)

Conduct research

It is very important to do thorough research before you start doing any designing for the customer. The research step is very important, and it is very important that you do not skip this step. Your research will depend on the product of your customer, and your customer’s budget. When you do good research you will know and figure out what the company exact needs, and how you can make this happen, how this is feasible according to the strategy. All the research you do have to be relevant and focused for the task. Sometimes you have to do some research before you give your company a name or your product, and when you have to come up with a full strategy of the brand, it is very important that you do this extra research. You have to focus your research, if your company is a small barber in your hometown, you don’t need to do a global research, so you as a designer have to do proper research, and not come up with ideas that you haven’t done any research behind. All you’re designing should be a result of proper research.

Here are some examples on how you can do proper research.

  • You have to talk to your customer, set up a client meeting. You have to ask questions, and you have to know and figure out what exactly what your client does. You have to figure out who they are, what they do, and how long they have been in the market. You can interview your client by phone or email, but it is best to have a face to face customer meeting.
  • You have to figure out what your client wants. Have they done any researching their selves?
  • You can do a survey or a questionnaire, all of this can be done online.
  • You can make small or big focus groups of potential clients or already customers and by doing so you can get direct feedback when you collect your data.
  • You can collect data for researching either quantitative or qualitative.
  • You have to do some demographic research; you can research the area around where your client wants to have their company, or if they already have a place. You can find out how the lifestyle is, patterns etc. in the area where your client wants to establish their company.
  • You have to find out and ask about your customer’s budget.
  • You can ask your client “what problem is your business solving?”
  • What is the customer’s ideal buyer or client?
  • Who are they targeting?
  • What do they want to do? Or what is their mission?
  • What questions are they trying to answer?
  • Maybe you have to educate your client, if they have unrealistic expectations, or are looking at the whole picture the wrong way.
  • You have to find out the target audience and you can do that by doing the research above.

 

Clarify the strategy

When you have got enough information after your research, you then have to analyze your collected data. After you have finished analyzing, you may have different view of the task, and you have learnt new insight that changes the overall first view of the task. You may have new information and insight, and you should now listen to what your customer wants, after you have finished analyzing, and given the results. The data has to be relevant, and it is important that all the involved parties agree before starting designing, and what direction it should take. It is very important that you write down and put down all of your finding in every step of the process, along with the decisions, and do this all in writing. This can help you along the way and back up your decisions either you work in a team, or if you work alone. This will be your reference, and help you back up your thoughts when you are in dialog with your client. Now that you have finished your research you have to make a brief of your finding.

Here are some examples of what to have in your brief, so that you have a clear strategy.

  • You have to analyze your collected data and write down your findings.
  • You should now have a new meeting with your customer, talking about your findings.

You should have made a brief including important aspects of the company, according to your research, this brief should include:

– What is the company’s competitors – at least mention 3 companies

– What is the company’s budget and deadline? It is important to clarify this early on, so you can set a timeline for this project. If their budget is to low, or they have a too short deadline, you can then decline, and not take on that project. After your research and analyzing your data, you will then, based on your client’s wishes, see clearly if you want to make an offer to the company, or if this is something that will take too long time and be underpaid.

– What do the company want to achieve
– What is the target audience
– What does the company do
– What is the company’s goals and long term goals
– What does the company want to communicate?
– What is the company communicating today?
– What is the company’s strength and weaknesses
– What is the unique story about their business that makes them special
– What does the company want to solve for customers?
– What does the company’s product or business do?
– What difference you from other competitors
– What do they really need, and will this meet the customers’ expectations.

– Is there any change the client needs to do before making the new brand identity? Maybe the client has to update information to match their new identity, it is important that you have access to all new material.

– Who are responsible? Who makes the decisions about this project? You have to be sure you are talking to the correct person, so you don’t have to repeat the process over and over again, finding out you were only talking to the assistant.

– What is going to be delivered in this project? It is important that this is clarified early on, so you can estimate how long the project will take, and what you want to deliver, and according to your clients wishes, this have to be written down, and being agreed on.

– What is the companies ideal customer
– What do the company want to convey with their product/company or message?
– What is not working today with your company?
– What are the doe’s and don’ts in your company? Do you have an existing brand manual?

 

Design the identity

When you have done all of this research you have to write down your findings so you can move on to visualization your project. After you have done all of the above points, you can now decide if you are going further with this project. And if so, you can now begin using your feedback as a guide. You can now begin developing the companies brand identity, and you can develop a brand architecture, this means that you make a hierarchy of what elements is important, and how the elements is connected together. You now can present your client with a brand strategy, and it is important that you and your client agree of the ideas before doing more at this stage.

 

Create touchpoints

A company’s toucpoints is whenever a consumer comes in direct contact with the service or the product of the company. It is how the consumer interacts with the brand. You have internal touchpoints also, and this is the employees. A company’s touchpoints can be:

– Direct email
– Product
– Blog
– Employees
– Purchase
– Webinar
– Downloads
– Login in
– Social media
– Feedback and data analyzes
– Brochures and marketing material
– Contact form
– Trial
– Demo or a video
– Website
– In-store-Cashiers
– Call center
– Billboards

So, in this step it is maybe needed to develop more touchpoints, this may be needed when the company grows. It is important that the company that you are working on knows exactly what you have in mind, it is not given that your client agrees with you, so it is always a good idea, that you and your client have an agreement about the toucpoints, and that your client knows exactly what you have in mind. Touchpoints is what connects the customers to your brand.

 

Manage the assets

How I would nurture and grow my brand, that I created, well let me see..
Well, I would be sure that there was a lot of communication, it is very important to make the brand identity stay alive, and be up to date. You have to have a process that everyone is involved, and make them all work towards the same goal. You have to stay true to the brand, maybe have some internal courses if you have a lot of employees. Make sure that your employees are triggered and find joy about working towards the same goal; make your employees feel important in this process. I think this is very important, if you have a big company with many employees, that have direct contact with customers, they are so important, so it is critical that the employees with direct contact with customers, in every form, that they know about the companies values, and that they all are working towards the same goal, building a bigger and a better company.
So I would have a lot of courses throughout the year, always making sure that all of my employees, either if they worked in the administration, or the ones in the direct sales marked, that they always where feeded with the latest information, that we all followed the same flow. The integrity, goal and purpose with the brand, I would make sure that everyone in my company always was constantly reminded of this. You can arrange seminars, tours, contest internal and external, to make this a fun experience, to make a drive that makes all of your employees happy and feeling satisfied with the new changes.