Anthony Miles, managing director of brand and design agency BOND, writes that for business and marketing leaders, the greatest test of our time is not how fast you can run, but how well you can run. of your dance.
In conversations with business leaders across the Middle East, we hear the same challenges over and over. That their brands are too rigid and don’t work in all the places and with all the people they need. Let them expend all their energy and political capital on crossing roadblocks or filling holes instead of advancing their businesses.
Despite this, we’re still making marks the way we always have – the nine-month transformation project, ending with a revised strategy and some sort of guideline that’s launched with a big bang, faithfully and unenthusiastically followed by everyone, then repeated five to seven years later when everything seems sufficiently outdated. He is Mark transform like a an event.
Branding projects managed this way are stressful and often fall short of their goals. Or don’t pitch at all. Change scares us, as individuals and as organizations, and attempting radical change never works as intended.
And, other than perhaps the first few months after launch, brands designed this way are still catching up with the world around them. So we try to compensate for that with quick tactical execution and tapping into the latest tech trend, which gets forgotten as quickly as it’s created.
It’s a bit crazy. In a world that is changing little by little, day by day, we find ourselves moving too slowly and too fast, a bad dancer always out of step with the rhythm.
There is a better way. A way to get and keep perfectly in tune with the world around us. A four-step path to master:
- Strategies that move, learn and grow. Brand and customer experience strategies that, like the world around us, evolve day by day and are open to this world, listening, learning and responding. Always measure. Always moving.
This approach has the advantage of being able to start small, avoid large and difficult changes, make an impact, prove a concept, get the steering wheel moving. Small successes lead to bigger successes over time, all without causing too much stress.
- Adopt a progressive design. As we define it, progressive design means a design that propels us forward. Design with Obligate.
To continue to produce this force, it takes a powerful and simple idea at the heart. One who constantly inspires and opens up new opportunities. As such, progressive design is never finished; there is always something more to explore, something more to say.
And so it’s generative, fluid and flexible. Able to thrive in all the weird and wonderful places he will have to live, now and in the future, we have yet to create.
- Create living brand systems. A brand only works if it is an interconnected system. So now we need to create the single source of truth for everything a company does, all the time. From UI component libraries and technical film guides to creative campaigns and communication templates and everywhere in between. A frame but with space inside to play, always stress-proof, always evolving.
- Build businesses that are perfectly in sync. If we want to have a chance to stay in tune with everything that’s going on outside the companywe have to work in sync inside the company.
It means fostering a culture guided by strong, simple, shared values, where everyone knows what is expected of them and feels empowered to act.
And that means moving with the business, without fighting it – seeing the organization as it really isn’t the way you want it to be, weighing the needs of different teams, and navigating complex decision-making processes.
We see the results of this approach paying off with our own clients, like KAUST and Dubai Holding, who trust us to evolve their brands and day-to-day experiences, helping them overcome the challenges they have faced. in the past and move towards a more productive future.
Framed in this way, we see the point of the game not to be stronger or faster than the competition.
Instead, as customers and employees change, as cultures change, as new technologies emerge, as economies develop, we move like them, to their the rapidity. Always perfectly synchronized.
As we see, it is not a race or a journey.
It’s a Dance.
So, as the great David Bowie said, Let’s Dance.