Articulating Brand Essence using Design Sprint

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In the previous piece ( ), I argued that digital tools have now empowered all brands to broadcast their messages to the entire planet with little costs. There is urgency for brands to aspire to a higher purpose, articulate what this is, and get on with broadcasting. But how do we as marketeers actually go about capturing the magic and putting it in a bottle?

We can look to the process that good digital-app designers use, when they are commissioned to bring an app to market for their clients: Design Thinking. Invented by the Design Industry decades ago, this technique, and a fast-forward version called Design Sprint, is now being popularised by the digital community. To simplify, the five steps of a sprint are: Understand, Diverge, Decide, Prototype and Validate.

A very interesting result of this technique is that “Understand, Diverge and Decide” forces the client to revisit, clarify, distil and articulate what exactly is the core benefit that they are trying to bring to their consumers.

For example, a prominent bank’s marketing manager came to an app design agency and said: “We are not connecting with the younger consumers. Market-research says that they are on their mobile devices all the time. We want you to build us an app and make us relevant to the younger generation.”

The app design agency in question, that happens to also be a very competent User-Experience (UX) design agency, answered: “We first need to work with your marketing teams to find out what, in a very practical and meaningful manner, your particular bank can be relevant, and bring value to the younger consumers.”

The ensuing design sprint generated an articulation of a brand essence that was relevant to the targeted consumer segment: “We are here to accompany you as you navigate the joys and challenges of growing into financial freedom and responsibilities.”

This bigger-social picture marketing statement has since become the bank’s mission statement for not just the marketing campaigns for this particular target market, it has become the guiding principle for the bank to build and measure services that they bring to market.

And by the way, they did get a killer app.

This story is a true story, re-told here without the actual details. You may tap into the expertise of the team from Le Laptop; I’m sure they will be happy to give you a more detailed account of what they did for the bank. Ask for Samuel ROUSSELIER.

Next chapter: Perpetual tweaking and testing (A/B testing), a standard digital operating procedure that marketeers can learn from.