Design and branding, how organisations can adapt

Design, visually-aided branding and marketing all have a major impact on the long-term success of an organization. By influencing their customers experience through visual mediums: organisations are able to effect the stories, ideas and thoughts of their customers, and as a result, this can lead to further organic growth of the organisation regardless of industry. Quality of design directly impacts the user’s experience, and to ignore design or to disregard it as nothing more than a necessity is to disregard the potential of increased profit and growth.

Designers can be found in all industries, in many forms, including but not exclusive to: graphic designers, user experience (UX) designers, photographers, interior designers, multimedia artists, animators, art directors and fashion designers, the list goes on. In this article we take a look at what determines a company’s success and the factors involved.

Execution of proper branding and marketing:

Rebranding a company’s goals, message, and culture is hard; many have tried and most fail. And with industries and markets constantly changing, adjusting and evolving, there is almost no room for an error or slip up. To site Landor: “ A category-transforming idea could arrive from outside the industry or across the globe — at any minute”.

Changing a customer’s perspective of your company to increase the potential of long-term success can be a daunting task. However, if executed properly. A shift in a company’s marketing and branding can reap enormous benefits.

In February 2010, Wieden+Kennedy launched a new Old Spice advertising campaign targeting young men: “Smell Like a Man, Man.” During the first three months after launch, Old Spice was able to achieve an increase in sales by 107%.

Utilizing social media to its full potential, Old Spice was able to expand its consumer-base and net profit by not only utilizing timeless marketing techniques, but also through the use of modern tools available in a technology-based environment.

Even with the internet currently impacting the very foundations for which the majority of individuals live their life, some organisations are still ignoring and neglecting the opportunities available. And as a prime example, you need only examine the downfall of a once industry giant: BlockBuster.

Sacred assets:

In their simplest form, sacred assets constitute the most important expressions and aspects that form a brand. They are the elements — visual, behavioral, experiential, and verbal — that truly define a brand. In the ever-accelerating plethora of global choice, developing a strong brand is the most effective way of blocking out the noise and allowing your customer to notice and engage in more meaningful dialogues. Sacred assets can propel a brand’s emotional connectivity with an audience while simultaneously delegating the competition to a position of decreased-relevance and authority.

How you can tackle and master today’s industries:

Determining what you need to do to ensure that your company/startup is successful is a complicated and long process; it must be noted that there is no set universal formula. However, planning is your friend, dedicating as much time as possible to ensure that the changes and developments introduced are viable-solutions will allow for accurate advancements and natural growth to occur; this will take time and energy. Focus groups, customer reviews, feedback and all other forms of communication and connection available to you and your customers will allow for an increase in: not only data sets, but also a comprehensive understanding of what is really going on.

Spending time researching, communicating, collaborating, brainstorming and immersing one’s self in real activities will assist individuals in making the right decisions. Keep this is mind.


Keep in mind that a great idea can come from anyone, at any level of an organization, at any time. Collaboration at this level will be a new and possibly uncomfortable adjustment (or concept) for many organisations. However, with the determination to expand the available resources and ideas stemming from inside the company, this can be a brilliant tool.

During the course of marketing over the last 50 years, branding shifted from a statement, to a relationship. A simple message wasn’t enough, building a deeper connection and conversing with consumers became the first goal for many organisations. The goal: tap into your customers emotions, ideas and beliefs in order to ‘convert’ them into a lifelong customer.

With the rise of the digital industry, and the increasing importance of customer service and real connections; brand management became focused on building consistency across every point of access. Be it online, in-store, or anywhere else, brands sought to build and manage a single, consistent (and pleasing), experience.

But that brand-model is no longer compatible with the current market and customer mindset. During the last decade, consumer-experiences went from being under the control of management, to eventually morphing into entire communities and belief-systems (yes) completely separate from their control. Customers’ experiences were once a center-point of focus for brands; but that’s no longer true — we’ve arrived at a new era of branding. Today’s marketplace is too fast paced for brands to adapt, too big, too diverse, and too complex to simplify into a simple touch-point based model.

So we enter the age of the brand community, by engaging and empowering the very audiences brands seek to manage, new naturally-occurring experiences and belief systems may occur. When harnessed effectively, sustaining communities will be the decisive force in brand management moving forward.

Challenges facing brand governance today:

  1. The focus is still on what, instead of why — Reasoning holds far more weight in the success of a brand than sporadic decisions.
  2. No real understanding — A lack of a real understanding regarding the function of brands, and how to utilize them, can be found throughout most organisations.
  3. Most brands are not agile, they lack the ability to quickly adjust and adapt — Brands are almost always slow to adapt to the changes in the environment around them.
Industries are constantly changing, real competitors are emerging, and organisations must stay ahead.

Rylan Ziesing

Founder and Director, Rhino Design.