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Brands in the age of reduction - UX Camp Brighton 2014

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Brands in the age of reduction - UX Camp Brighton 2014

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Brand space has never been more accessible.
Consumers’ time has never been more scarce.
What does this mean for the way we work?

The elements we use to create attention have shrunk exponentially. The spaces we use have become cheaper and, at the same time, more precious.

Brand space has never been more accessible.
Consumers’ time has never been more scarce.
What does this mean for the way we work?

The elements we use to create attention have shrunk exponentially. The spaces we use have become cheaper and, at the same time, more precious.

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Brands in the age of reduction - UX Camp Brighton 2014

  1. 1. Ash Gibson Creative director @ash_gibson_ ashgibson.com ideasformsfunctions.com
  2. 2. Brand space has never been more accessible. Consumers’ time has never been more scarce. What does this mean for the way we work?
  3. 3. Ash Gibson Creative director What is a Creative Director? @ash_gibson_ ashgibson.com ideasformsfunctions.com
  4. 4. Ash Gibson Creative director My job is to pull together all the significant factors and elements that make up the experience of the brand and make that brand coherent and relevant. @ash_gibson_ ashgibson.com ideasformsfunctions.com
  5. 5. I might do that in order to create: Brands Ads Apps M agazines Websites Content
  6. 6. I make those things by combining these visual elements and experts Type, pictures and graphics Facts, opinions and brand expertise Technologists, image makers and writers
  7. 7. The way we combine these common elements to create things that communicate brings me to the subject matter of this talk:
  8. 8. Brands in the age of reduction12:55
  9. 9. 1. Brands in the age of reduction t00:55 The spaces where we work to create brand messages are smaller than they have ever been: Units of space, units of time, word counts, picture sizes, screen sizes, colour palettes and graphics options. The elements we use to create attention have shrunk considerably. The space we use has become cheaper yet, at the same time, more precious.
  10. 10. 1. Brands in the age of reduction a Ownership In the past the ownership of the look, feel, experience and understanding of a brand was almost entirely owned by the brand itself.
  11. 11. 1. Brands in the age of reduction b The ownership of that footprint by brands has been unlocked.
  12. 12. 1. Brands in the age of reduction 00:55t That is the age of reduction
  13. 13. What are the key factors of this environment? 2. As designers and makers what do we have to account for? How much can we say about our brand with how little? Can we still generate character and uniqueness?
  14. 14. 2. What are the key factors of this environment? Simplicity Brands must present a simple and honest image of what they stand for.
  15. 15. 2. What are the key factors of this environment? Technological and cultural relevance Products won’t survive by fixing one thing alone. If you aren’t technologically appropriate for your business and clients you will fail. Equally you must be, and prove that you are, culturally relevant. That is your message: the shared public representations of you and the appropriateness of your technology.
  16. 16. 2. What are the key factors of this environment? Tone and credibility Be charming and of the moment. People don’t buy things from people they don’t like or places that are outdated. They never have.
  17. 17. 2. What are the key factors of this environment? Context The situations in which people consume and make decisions about things has changed immeasurably.
  18. 18. 2. What are the key factors of this environment? Image space For certain kinds of brands the percentage of their image created and managed by other parties has become extraordinary. What can brands do to regain control?
  19. 19. What can we do with these factors? 3. These are not necessarily new ideas or situations for brands but there has been a shift in their relative importance. I don’t believe there is a set of catch-all answers but if we look at individual cases certain answers seem to repeat themselves.
  20. 20. 3. What can we do with these factors? 1. Make as many things as you can your own Library shots and free typefaces do not say as much as items chosen for a very specific message. You can say a lot with a little if you plan and commission your assets well.
  21. 21. 3. What can we do with these factors? “British Airways trying to convince you that you should pay a premium with advertising that uses cheap stock photography. Land Rover trying to convince you that they’re the pinnacle of automotive engineering with a sh*tty website that doesn’t work. This stuff matters. The expectations and associations people have of a brand, its products and its services are set and met everywhere. Or else they’re not.” Pavlos Themistocleous, Creative director of digital, Publicis
  22. 22. 3. What can we do with these factors? 2. Tell stories - good ones What makes a good story? “Truth of intent. Not ‘is what it is saying true?’ or not - ‘fish can swim, figs are sweet’ - but ‘does it believe what it is telling you?’. If so it will be compelling and it will avoid cliche. In that way purpose shapes aesthetic.” Michael Hodges, Journalist
  23. 23. 3. What can we do with these factors? 3. Ensure your message is honest The age of sharing means what you say must be both true and believable. “Nothing works unless you have a great product. Successful marketing come from the product being great. When customers are interacting with either marketing materiel or the product they should feel like they are engaging with the brand. Everything else should be invisible” Kerin O’Connor, CEO, The Week
  24. 24. 3. What can we do with these factors? 4. Ensure your message is relevant Relevance is so many things at the same time: your message is contained in everything from the functionality of your interface to the timeliness of your typefaces.
  25. 25. 3. What can we do with these factors? 5. Make your technology and channels appropriate A large amount of third party digital solutions are fantastic. Populate them with brilliantly executed images and compelling copy and your product will be just that. Users’ priority isn’t necessarily the innovation within your product. Users are more interested in if it solves their problems effectively. Did it work and how did I feel using it?
  26. 26. 3. What can we do with these factors? 1. Make as many things as you can your own. 2. Tell stories 3. Ensure your message is honest. 4. Ensure your message is relevant 5. Make your technology and channels appropriate
  27. 27. Conclusion Large and small brands have seen incredible gains from both bespoke technologies and from using third party platforms to represent their digital fronts. The goal is to prove that you are unique and relevant when so many products have a shared technology, shared purpose and shared functions.
  28. 28. Ash Gibson Creative director This presentation was made using: - 5 colours (not including black and white) - 1 typeface (in three weights and five sizes) Thanks! @ash_gibson_ ashgibson.com ideasformsfunctions.com

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