Businesses need creativity like humans need oxygen.
team scope are â€˜Design Leadersâ€™, smart, creative consultants using design-minded disciplines to solve business problems and create market opportunities for our clients. On the following pages is a collection of our brand beliefs and examples of the projects we have had fun developing for our clients.
Contents Intelligent Design Method 04 Your brand is your compass 06 What does your brand say? 11 Is your brand different? 17 Seven steps for increasing revenue 20 Your brand leadership 29 Bend your brand like bamboo 34 Skills of great designers 39 Contact 44
We believe successful design needs to be founded on business intelligence â€“ in fact we named our core process after it. Intelligent Design, our consulting method, incorporates design sensibility and problem solving skills to develop solutions that meet your needs in a creative and commercially viable way. To find out how our Intelligent Design Method can increase your revenue visit us at www.teamscope.com.au/id
3. Implement 4. Measure
Needs What do you need to do? — Develop and launch a brand — Refresh your brand — Increase sales — Improve investor communications — Find new market opportunities
Ideas Once we have a clear understanding of your goals we develop workable and creative solutions for reaching them, without being inhibited by traditional restrictions, such as medium or location.
Implement Once concepts have been created, and a direction has been agreed upon, our designers start production in the relevant medium, assessing and crafting concepts and ideas as the design takes Our aim is to become shape, ensuring your domain leader, that the end result is developing an in-depth dynamic and effective. understanding of your business and industry. This implementation involves creating a consistent brand experience for your customers as ideas become reality and solutions create results.
Measure We hold ourselves accountable for our solutions, measuring the project ROI and providing lasting improvement for your business through our partnership.
Never before have customers been so diverse, wise, fickle and demanding. Customers want brands that are relevant and appropriate – not just at one point in time, but on an ongoing basis, with offerings customised to their liking. Using brand as a decision filter will allow your company to act decisively and deliver exactly what your customers want, in a way that simply weighing business decisions against external factors and an ever-changing economy never can. And in today’s market, this distinction is vital. Businesses don’t have the luxury of being one or two-dimensional anymore – consumers have less time, are more knowledgeable, and have the ability to access information almost instantly. In what has essentially become a global marketplace, businesses need to be interactive and brands need to be engaging if they are going to succeed in grasping – and keeping – consumer attention. The need for businesses to expand responsibility for their brand management beyond the marketing department and use it to guide decision making across all business functions and geographies is increasing in importance. Rather than just being a driver for communications, a multidimensional, well-considered brand strategy is integral to the execution of your business strategy. A strong brand does more than merely guide what you say as a company – it lets people know what you do, and how you do it; it is your business’s internal compass.
Your brand is the platform that drives everything else, and numerous businesses are ‘cashing in’ on the success that comes with using brand as their core decision-making tool: Apple, Google, Dell, Virgin, and Vodafone are all fantastic examples of how a clear brand strategy can make a business plan engaging and create a practical platform for action, enabling people and businesses to do more. There are many studies that have shown that brand guided companies significantly outperform their competitors, and I’m certainly not the first person to write on the topic. Brand-driven success is common knowledge, which begs the question, ‘Why isn’t everyone doing it?’ Because it’s hard – it often requires businesses to change years of traditional thinking, programming and processes. But, it’s not impossible and the rewards are well and truly worth the effort. What does a brand-guided company look like? A brand-guided company can exist in any industry – it will have clearly defined brand values, which are understood throughout the entire organisation and a firmly established, welldefined ownership, with the entire organisation taking responsibility for management of the brand, from ‘front line’ employees right through to top management level. This enables the brand to become the cohesive force that guides 07
key activities – such as product development, customer service, sales and operations – and supports the strategic management process. What makes a brand-guided company different? A brand-guided company gains its edge over the competition through the attitude of its employees. For them, ‘living the brand’ is more than just a cliché, it is a reality that makes a measurable difference to the company’s financial performance. The importance of the role that the brand, and sound brand management, plays in business success will be clearly understood in a brand-guided company. It will have an established, common understanding of what the company stands for, and will therefore have assigned clear brand ownership at top management level. Finally, the brand-guided company listens to its customers and leverages the consumer insights it gains from doing so. A fulfilling customer experience adds value to a brand, and unless businesses learn to think like their customers they will simply fade away. Tips for building a brand-guided business Recognise that your brand is a key asset in delivering your strategic goals. Integrate your business and brand strategy; they need to be completely aligned. Prioritise opportunities based on their impact to your business and implement those ideas. 08
The investigation and application of design thinking is a global phenomenon. Design strategy is taught at the most influential business schools, and itâ€™s applied in some of the best boardrooms.
Language is a vital element of your brand identity, but it’s also the one that is most often neglected because most of us believe we can write! Constructing a clear and engaging written message for your brand takes experience and skill, and to do your brand justice you really need to bring in the professionals. A strong brand has many elements, and having a great design is only half of the picture. Your brand’s written identity needs to reinforce its visual image – if your brand looks good, feels good and speaks your target market’s language your chances of winning the trust of potential and existing customers increases dramatically. In business, words can open the door to additional opportunities, but the key to unlocking that door is clarity. Although today’s global marketplace provides consumers with almost limitless choice, the downside of this abundance is confusion – there are too many alternatives, too many decisions, too many comparisons to make. Consumers are crying out for clarity and if your brand can accommodate their needs, clearly defining your proposition in good old black and white without hiding behind ambiguously grey areas, then this is an easily leveraged competitive advantage. Gain consumer confidence through clarity, maintain it through quality, and watch as customers become loyal advocates of your brand.
But as with all seemingly simple things, clarity is not easy. It requires discipline, commitment, investment and a proposition that genuinely motivates your audience. I invest in a writer to help me bring my thoughts to life on a page in the way I intended – more often than not, the results are better than I intended and my investment adds enormous value to my proposition. Language is a key element in your brand identity, which has the ability to reinforce your brand message and allows you to truly connect with your audience. Creating a powerful written message is an integral part of designing your brand and it can’t be left to chance – making an investment in having your written communications professionally crafted will ensure that your message is conveyed with clarity and purpose, delivering a clear competitive advantage for your business. team scope employs a number of amazing writers to help our clients maximise their competitive advantage through language by communicating their proposition and brand identity clearly, and we’d be happy to talk to you about doing the same for your business.
A little team scope insight. > team scope was started by Katie Young in 2003 in her lounge room. > Katie is a licenced rallycar navigator. > Mark is 6’2” tall. > Lee first shaved his head in 1998. > Christine’s best pick up is a moon boot. > Claire wants a pet teacup pig.
– Average time a bottle of wine lasts in the studio 4.2 hours.
1Year Longest single running project and counting.
2090 Projects since January 2006.
17 Minutes Shortest project.
We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been asked to create something ‘groundbreaking’, ‘fresh’ or ‘funky’ in a project briefing, only to be told that the solid concepts we created in response were to ‘far out’ and ‘risky’. We see it all the time – people want to be different and then something stops them when they’re right on the edge of being truly innovative, and they get too scared to take the plunge. Which begs the question: Where has our corporate courage gone? There are a countless number of articles, books and people extolling the virtues of being different. The great strategist Michael Porter said, ‘A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value’. This is an easy concept to understand, even if it is a little more challenging to implement and maintain. But with the right skills, the desire to be different and a little bit of courage, it is possible! What does it mean to be different? It starts with your strategy – have you created a value proposition with a meaningful difference? In other words, have you made it easy for prospective customers to understand the differences between your competitors’ offering and yours? 18
Remember: if you do the same thing as everyone else, then you are the same as everyone else. The essence of being different is conceived in your strategy, but it comes to life through your activities. Assess your competition – if you want to be different you need to do different things, or do the things they’re doing differently. Take a strategic approach toward deciding how you’re going to be different, remembering that you need to maintain these differences consistently in order to create a unique point of difference that will build trust in the marketplace. Once you’ve determined which activities you’re going to target, incorporate them into your marketing plan and use them to convey your message to your customers, making sure that you appeal to their hearts and minds. Is your brand identity different? The next point of difference is created with your brand’s visual identity, and again, this all starts with the basics. You need to ‘own’ a number of key aspects of your brand’s visual identity, and you need to let the whole world know that they’re yours! You need to own: – A colour – A shape – A font – A design system
Do your homework – take a look at the rest of the brands in your industry and dare to be different. There’s nothing quite as eyecatching as a hot pink logo, especially when it’s surrounded by a sea of ‘beige’ competitors! This is the exact strategy we used to great effect when Minc – a new player in the financial services industry – wanted to send a very clear message to the market. Minc’s strong pink logo teams beautifully with the cool, confident typeface used for its ‘Think Minc’ tagline, and tells the world ‘We’re bold, we’re modern and we speak your language’. In this instance, the tagline was a key player in the successful positioning of the business, so it was a logical progression to keep it ‘front and centre’ by making it part of the logo. The entire ‘Think Minc’ brand theme is the perfect combination of a formidable logo and a compelling call to action, which translates easily across all marketing communications. ‘Think Minc’ owns every element of its brand identity: a colour (pink), a shape (circle), a font (Baskerville) and a design system (one rounded corner). This is a brand that dared to be different and the results are impressive.
Seven steps to being different Step 1 Have a clear and integrated brand and business strategy that sets you apart from your competitors. Step 2 Be brave enough to action your strategy! Step 3 Make sure that your value proposition is understandable and meaningful. Step 4 Have a program of activities that’s different from your competition; do things differently, or do different things. Step 5 Action these activities consistently. Step 6 Listen to your customers – and then listen some more. Step 7 Use what you learn. It’s time to make a choice. Look at what you’re currently doing and ask yourself this question: if you do things the same way as everyone else in your field, how can you possibly expect to do any better than they do? When it comes to standing out from the crowd, being different is what makes all the difference.
We believe that a strong brand strategy and intelligent design are two important elements in creating a successful business and growing your revenue. If you want to see how much impact brand and design can have on your bottom line, follow our Seven Steps for Increasing Revenue: Step 1 – have a clear brand strategy Create a clear brand strategy document that defines the essence of your brand (its core meaning or values), the hierarchy of your business and the use of its brands, your brand language (the words you use to reinforce your brand identity and positioning), and your brand’s visual direction. Step 2 – get a well-designed brand ‘identity’ Your brand identity includes everything from your logo, colours and fonts to your business cards, signage and marketing materials, and it’s important to ensure that all of your business’s touch points provide a consistent brand message to your customers. The gap between strategy and creativity can create a divide between a business and its customers that prevents any significant communication from passing between them. Step 3 – get your whole business to embrace your brand Everyone in your business – from front-line staff through to senior management – needs to understand what your brand stands for, and why it’s important to your customers.
Step 4 – be consistent in your marketing activities Market consistently – every day, every week or every month. Work out what’s right for your business and just keep doing it! And remember, if you want to grow your business, are repositioning your brand or just want to get a new message out there, you need to double your efforts! Step 5 – create a consistent brand experience (inside and out) Your brand strategy should spell out the experience that your customers will have and how you’re going to bring that experience to life and deliver it consistently. Remember, your staff are your first customers – if they have a great brand experience they’ll become your most loyal advocates! Step 6 – build the foundation of your brand on trust If you’ve completed steps 1 to 5 then you should be building trust with your market. Trust comes when customers’ expectations are consistently met or exceeded. If this isn’t happening, head back to basics and fix it fast. Step 7 – review and innovate Once you’ve got the engine of your brand ‘machine’ running, you need to fine-tune it for better performance. Be daring! Devise new ways to increase your brand’s performance, prototype them, test and measure, and roll out what works. Then repeat the process! 21
The One That Got Away saw a 15% increase in revenue on 2009 (after new marketing investment).
The One That Got Away is Bondiâ€™s best seafood monger (by our standards anyway), successfully serving their customers for the past 13 years. They invested in refreshing their brand, with outstanding results.
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Ink Communications stationery The Fountain poster The Ortho Practice bag RT coasters City Property Group business cards RT greeting card Essero stationery The Ortho Practice invite LagardĂ¨re book catalogue RT website banners Galileo Kaleidoscope business cards Satsuma seminar invites Young Valentine logo The Ortho Practice water bottle RT annual report The Ortho Practice website RT logo team scope posters Galileo Kaleidoscope CD mailer Claireâ€™s sketch book Millennium3 marketing folder Laing+Simmons newsprint ad Swell e-brochure Hill Rogers schools promo The Fountain promo bag The Residence newsprint ad Minc business card
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Ask Alice business card Design Afloat business cards RT notice of meeting Daleys Point brochure Platinum Homes website Luminary mailers Galileo Kaleidoscope invitation team scope breakfast seminar book Green & Gold xmas card APS Growth invitation RT magazine RT chatterbox Climate Communities logo Minc newsprint ads The Ortho Practice brochure Swell signage
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Today’s businesses need to get their stories straight so they can use their brand to build a competitive edge. They need to better understand, use and communicate their reason for existing, and they need to do it in a way that makes their customers take notice. Profit without purpose A leader’s failure to define an organisation’s unique essential value to the world (or even just to one customer), beyond the usual mission statement mumbo jumbo is a warning sign your brand will quickly become irrelevant to its audience. Take a look at the following mission statement: ‘It is our mission to appropriately increase shareholder value through the sale of our technology and proactively develop team building innovation to stay competitive in tomorrow’s world’. Quick, check your website. Is that your company’s pitch? It isn’t, but it could be. I created it with the ‘Mission Statement Generator’. The problem with this jargon-laden description is that it only expresses the ‘me-too’ technical elements of what your brand does. These expressions of value fail because they use bland, cliché words like ‘innovation’, ‘proactively’ and ‘competitive’ – generic terms that are easily matched by the competition. A description like this does nothing to describe what’s special 30
about your business – its people, products or philosophy – or to process the elements of the brand that customers flock to embrace. When a leader can’t define a unique point of view of how his or her organisation fits into the landscape, a brand will become inherently weak, and the experiences that define that brand will suffer accordingly. But when a leader takes the bold step of creating an actual statement rather than pandering to generic mission statement conventions, the strength of a brand can become almost indestructible. Take Google’s purpose: ‘To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. This language clearly and compellingly tells the world why it needs Google, what value Google brings to the world, and how Google is different from every other organisation on the planet. With a complete understanding of its purpose, consumers can anticipate what their relationship with Google will be, both now and in the future. As long as it sticks to its mission and doesn’t do anything ‘off brand’, Google will always be relevant, whether we interact with it online or offline in the future. Make brave decisions This is where you must become a leader who takes the reins and creates a clear and compelling purpose for your business. Including too many opinions in the decision-making process around your marketing effort can create
a political battlefield. To maintain your relevance and respond with speed and relevant action in a market that changes not by the week, but by the second, requires decisive decisions that come from the top. When everyone’s opinion matters equally, and the leader’s goal is to create harmony and not excellence, opportunities pass by. I have sat in too many boardrooms watching leadership soliciting feedback from an entire executive team only to hear later that they felt paralysed by the number of conflicting ideas or opinions to consider. When no one can make a decision, valuable time passes and revenue diminishes rapidly.
So, what can you take away from this diatribe on the importance of strong brand leadership? Define your brand story and consistently tell it – make decisions. Avoid missing the boat by pursuing safe, ‘same same’ design solutions – make decisions. Take creative risks, be prepared to go with your gut instinct and oh, yes – make decisions!
A good leader must accept the mantle of brand leadership, with both its responsibilities and its risks, listen to all counsel offered, weigh alternative scenarios, then make an unambiguous decision and stand by it. Remember: strong brands deliver strong revenue. When leaders are fearful of being creative with their brand image, they fail to provoke emotional reactions. Sure, really provocative creativity is risky, but it’s the kind of risk that only a gutsy leader can take. Without these moments of risk, your brand can never reap the rewards of making deeper connections with your target audience.
A brand essence is the heart and soul of a brand.
A successful brand needs to be like bamboo – strong, flexible and resilient. But many brands are like broken branches – weak, inflexible and certain to wither and die. A strong brand is an evolving story, not an unchanging visual stamp, and it’s certainly more than just a logo. Your logo helps people identify your brand, but it’s not the whole story. In our ever-changing world, a logo is just one of the many elements a brand needs to be able to connect and interact with people. We’re much more excited about how a brand inspires people to think about – and contribute to – its story. There are many different ways of doing this; you could use a sound, shape, gesture, image, material or phrase – or virtually anything else that grabs people’s interest and attention (think about Apple’s ‘pinch’ or ‘swipe’; think about Intel’s sonic mnemonic). A brand’s lifeline is how its different elements combine over time, and logos only die when they become so fixed that they can’t respond to our changing world. The enormous array of media now available to us – from film to social media, music, environments, graphics an more – brings a huge opportunity for designers to create and express a great brand story and give businesses living, breathing identities, not just flat, lifeless logos. How do you keep your brand alive? It all begins with a good strategy that defines the value and personality of your business, product or service. Your strategy will ultimately create
the essence of your brand, defining its look, feel and sound, but this is only part of the process. Your brand won’t come to life just because you have it outlined in a style manual or brand charter – you need to bring it to life, you need to tell its story, you need to let the world know that it’s yours. Branding is usually the result of a collaborative process undertaken by strategists, graphic designers and writers. Each discipline – digital, advertising, public relations, identity design – combines to position the aspirations, values and benefits of your offering. Successful branding creates positive associations and establishes consistent expectations for you to fulfil for your consumers. And yes, successful branding also generates revenue. Do you have ingredients you can own? For your brand to be memorable and engaging it needs visual ingredients that it can own. If your brand has a specific colour, you need to own it and tell your customers that it’s yours. Do you have a specific shape? Then you need to own that too – and for your fonts, graphic systems, language and image style. Your goal is to produce a visual system that makes your product, service or business easily identifiable. You need to create visual clues that work in conjunction with your logo, because this unison will strengthen your brand and make it memorable.
Engage in strategic flexibility When you develop a flexible identity scheme you need to consider how and why your brand’s identity should change, and even if it needs to change at all. This consideration should be as important as your choice of colour palette and typeface – it’s a design decision in its own right and, like colour and typography, its choice is loaded with meaning. So what’s the key message? Define the core ingredients that make up your brand and use them to tell your brand story. Then get your message out there consistently. But, remember that consistency doesn’t mean not changing – it means changing strategically, while being consistent about getting your message out in the marketplace. You need to be able to ‘bend like the bamboo’ and have the flexibility to keep your brand fresh so that it can evolve as your customers do.
RT Health Fund voted two years in a row (2008, 2009) as the best private hospitals and extras cover health fund in the country by Smart Investor magazine.
â€“ Member retention 94.6% (industry average 90%)
RT Healthfund membership growth 20.08%
RT Health Fund member retention 94.6%
Industry average less than 5%
Industry average 90%
Written by Lee Valentine (team scope’s Brand Strategist) I have led more creative teams than I care to remember and during this time have had lots of heartache and fun. Thankfully, because of the amazing designers I have had the pleasure of working with, there has been more fun than heartache! I recently spoke to a group of young designers and was asked to give them some insights for their design future, which got me thinking about the qualities that I think are vital to being a great designer … here are the seven key skills that I believe designers need if they’re going to stop being ‘good’ and start being ‘great’. 1. Seek to understand business Typically, when we design it is for businesses; businesses need revenue and the work we do should contribute to the process of creating it. Ultimately, a designer’s job is to creatively solve business problems and to be successful you need to be better at it than other designers. Start by asking questions: how does your client make money? What are the challenges they are currently facing? How is the project you are working on going to help these aspects of their business? Are your design solutions going to increase your client’s bottom line or just eat into their profit? 2. Be able to communicate As a designer it is your job to make complex concepts clear and to help your client get their 40
message out in a way that makes sense to the target audience. This means you need to be able to communicate, and you must be able to use language to your advantage. Design is more than just graphical elements, great designers use words just as much as images to bring a design to life. 3. Be able to sell Every designer should be able to sell – it is a vital part of your job. You need to sell your ideas, and you need to be able to sell yourself or your business. You will need to sell these things almost every day and the better you are at it, the more successful you will be. Your job is not just to develop great ideas and create exceptional design concepts; you need to be able to effectively explain why your idea is the right one. 4. Experiment and fail Good designers experiment, but the great ones fail too. Because our job is to understand and then develop ideas, it’s important to push forward with experiments even when you’re not sure that everything will work. It’s okay to get things wrong as long as you’re being brave and trying new things, but you also need to be able to communicate with your client about why the risk is worth taking. Experiment, push your boundaries – the best ideas are often found right at the edge of them.
5. Experience life I believe great designers are well travelled and have life experiences they can use. This is a great excuse to get out there and see the world, your country, your city or even just your suburb. See what is going on: watch, listen, hear, taste and feel the world around you. The more interactive you are (not digital) the more you can bring to life in your designs. Just because you have a Mac in front of you doesn’t mean you need to live your life through it. Get out there, design your next idea in the park, on a plane, or in the library and learn to use a pencil again. 6. Practise your art (your passion) If you work for yourself or a studio it would be safe to say you are a commercial artist, however most of us give up the ‘art’ side very quickly. I believe the art is a major focus of great designers, as they actively pursue their passion. For some it’s illustration or painting, for others it’s photography, letterpress printing or poetry. It doesn’t really matter what your art is, just actively keep doing it. Working with another medium makes you think differently, broadens your skills, and ensures that you keep looking at the world through a filter other than your Mac. And remember, if you are good at your art it can be another revenue source for you or your employer.
7. Be a nerd Stay with me here … I know that it’s not cool to be a nerd at school, but look what happens to most nerds after school (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs … need I say more?). Design nerds are cool; they go beyond what other designers are willing to do to make their work special. Their ‘behind the scenes’ labours are not often obvious, but the results speak for themselves and their designs just feel ‘right’ – all of the elements work in harmony, and they become a beautiful work of art that people can connect with. Being a design nerd will make you stand out from the crowd, for all the right reasons. Becoming a great designer takes more than just technical skill. Design is a very ‘human’ industry, and your success will be determined by how you interact with the people around you, and how your designs impact them. Follow the steps, hone your skills and above everything else have fun, smile lots and be nice to each other.
The principles of design strategy and design process can be applied to companies to help build their bottom line.
t eam scope believe a brand lead strategy will aid your businesses growth. A strong brand is a strong business.
Call +61 2 9231 1844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Strategy | Brand | Design | teamscope.com.au 44
Published on Aug 20, 2010
Published on Aug 20, 2010
team scope are ‘Design Leaders’, smart, creative consultants using design-minded disciplines to solve business problems and create market op...