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How teamwork builds the best brand identity programs

Michael Dula

Whether it’s designing an identity for a multinational Fortune 100 company, or a start up in Silicon Valley, I’m a big believer in the team approach. And when I use the word “team” it includes clients. In my view, the best results are achieved when clients are involved.

Sure, there’s the designer’s burning desire to create groundbreaking brand identity that has the “wow” factor and delivers the visual goods, so to speak. But in reality, designing identity is significantly more rounded than the act of creating shapes, forms and visual systems. 

The design team’s role is always to lead, guide and ensure that a new brand identity program is successful on every single level within a client organization. In the world of brand identity, the road to accomplishing this is always about the “we” factor.

Incredible things are created when there’s engagement, exchange and interaction between the design team and the client team. Creativity is sparked.  The energy is palpable and, without fail, it motivates people to do their very best work.

The designer’s job is to lead and engage the client in conversations about the reality of their world and what is achievable in our world. In this way internal corporate teams become “believers” and steadfast brand champions. They take pride in participation.

Communication is always a two-way street between design team and client team. It’s about moving through the design creation process together as one cohesive team.

All too often, I hear disappointing stories about how designers or clients are dissatisfied with the outcome of an identity program. More than likely, it was failure to engage that contributed to a disappointing conclusion.    

Designing brand identity is part art and part science. Yet, it is the human connection and the personal collaboration side of the business that, more likely than not, produces great, enduring creative results.

That’s how you create results by design, and why I believe the greatest talent a designer can possess is the ability to listen, communicate, interpret and synthesize.

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