“When corporate marketing departments dream of brand design, they only dream as far as they need.
The expensive and time consuming process of extending the brand into an interactive concept is usually pushed off until it becomes absolutely necessary.
Unfortunately, by the time some serious rethinking is required, a lot of people have gotten stuck in the mud of static branding. It’s completely natural for companies to resist straying from the handful of predefined styles that were never meant to address web forms, widgets, calendars and menuing systems.
Of all the arguments for modifying brand attributes to better suit a digital experience, the most compelling is this:
The way users feel about their experience is inseparable from the way they feel about your brand.
This maxim holds true for brick-and-mortar experiences as well as for digital interactions. A restaurant with great food but incredibly long lines and a bad wait staff will experience brand damage. The user experience is bad, and people will look elsewhere. The same thing will happen if your users get baffled by confusing menus, hard-to-navigate websites and perplexing layouts. If the user experience is bad, people will look elsewhere.
The way a user feels when they come in contact with a brand interaction point will implicitly shape their image of the brand itself.
This realization is a powerful tool for user experience professionals and can help snap clients and peers out of static thinking.”
It is helpful to remember that even the most accomplished companies have become experts at modifying brand attributes to suit interactive experiences. This is done without sacrificing brands, but rather by extending them.
The same thinking applies to your customer service and social media touch-points (which, in some cases, may overlap). When crafting new programs and campaigns, be sure to do so not only with the organization’s framework in mind, but with the customer’s experience in mind. THAT is where the effectiveness of that campaign or program will be decided and where you brand ultimately lives. Don’t let rigid trade dress and 10-year old design “thinking” (I use the term loosely) dictate how your newest project will work, look and feel. If your branding is starting to feel dated, look at your project as an opportunity to refresh it a bit. Be smart. Don’t be a prisoner of the past.
Evolve. Adapt. Extend.
Have a great Monday, everyone.