Zeus Jones is one of my favorite marketing groups because they realize that advertising by itself is annoying, but that design, social content, and tools are useful — and the best way to reach an audience. In their own work they use tools as well, to help structure creative efforts. It’s really interesting how this chart below, which has a bunch of different brand image attributes, built into a identity design:
The idea of this is that a great identity is a visual story about the brand. That it brings together essential and important ideas about the brand into a holistic and visually appealing way. That it tells a story. In the above example, this was the model he used for one of our early clients ImmunoViva. On each axis are the ideas that we had decided were important parts of the brand. The idea is to work through the various iterations and combinations of ideas, drop + shield, drop + seed, human + IV, etc. The important part of this is that this isn’t just a tool that’s used to develop the identity, it’s also a tool that’s used to explain the identity to clients. So rather than telling clients we want their identity to tell a story we simply work through this exercise with them and avoid the philosophical discussion and focus, instead, on the work.
Design Personas are of course a classic example of a tool that can help drive the creative process. And while they’ve traditionally been used for interactive and digital work, as well as software development, they can add a lot of value to marketing and advertising teams as a clear, human representation of a target audience. Here’s a rough draft of one I created last year for a financial services client: