The design of strategies to manage a brand, the universe of values that must distinguish it, its competitive advantage and value added, the communication and marketing tools which will equip it, repeats – as far as I’m concerned – slavishly the steps foreseen by Bruno Munari for the design of “objects” in his book “Da cosa nasce cosa” [unfortunately never translated into English], steps that can be easily adapted to any sector.
“The design method is nothing more than a series of operations necessary, arranged in a logical order dictated by experience. Its purpose is to achieve maximum results with minimum effort. “ Bruno Munari
The “Munari” method in the transition between Problem and Solution provides:
Step 1. Definition of the Problem
Assuming that “The problem itself will contain all the elements that make the solution possible” [Munari] a branding plan, as any kind of design, starts from problem definition to which you want to find a solution or , to be less frightening, from the identification of needs to be met which makes it essential to act on the brand. It may be the launch of a new product, the revival of an activity, the creation of a new business … no matter what the goal is, the first step is to understand it thoroughly and to delineate its boundaries.
For me the “problem definition” phase begins when I meet the clients for the first time: it starts with listening to their needs, but being sure never to consider the picture that they will give of the situation as the complete and final one, because their framework could be distorted. The information shared with the client has to be considered as input to explore carefully and use to balance the most appropriate choices among alternatives, considering the greatest possible number of factors.
Step 2. Problem Components
The need thus identified must then be “broken up” into micro-problems, or the essential elements of which it is made up, so that the analysis can be more easily manageable. Eventually one will be able to reconstruct the overall picture, by selecting the micro-solutions that are more consistent and functional for the project: not the best ever, but the ones that better integrate with others in the context to which they belong because “the general solution is in the creative coordination of sub-problem solutions” [Munari].
Step 3. Data collection and Step 4. Data Analysis
These steps are those that provide for the collection and analysis of data for each subproblem identified. In the case of designing brand strategies, certainly one will investigate:
- the material concerning the pre-existence of the brand [competitive advantage, value added, brand values, history, services / products, visual identity, previously implemented strategies …]
- the different kinds of targets it aims to involve
- the market scenario in which it is called to act [positioning, sector characteristics, stakeholders, competitors …]
- the brand perception of its creators as its consumers
It is at this point, having the results of the accurate analysis of each element, that the step of “problem definition” could be considered complete adapting the boundaries and the objectives in relation to what is observed. And it is here that will begin the most rewarding step for any professional of the brand: the creative identification of possible strategies to be implemented in order to achieve their goals, taking into account the specific needs related to the project.
Read next Wednesday’s post to discover more about Munari’s method [and mine] 😉