A Design Strategy Does A Business Good

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Big or small, all businesses can reap rewards from good design.

Those who live and breathe design already understand the power that it can have for a company. From enticing customers to creating products, design plays a bigger role in business than it gets credit for. More and more major corporations are starting to realize this fact, creating chief design officer positions as a result. Here’s some thoughts on how design can improve your business.

Making better products

Most businesses understand the role that design plays in creating products that are not only easier to use, but that consumers also find more appealing. But problems occur when those design influences aren’t allowed room to innovate. It may seem counterintuitive, but new products can be scary for businesses, even though they know they need them to grow. New means change and that can clash with the way things have been done in the past.

Improving the customer experience

When it comes to creating a better experience for a customer, you don’t have to be a designer to have an impact. Any person connected to a product can provide insight leading to improvements via design thinking.

 But what is design thinking? Simply put, it’s a process where we try to move beyond the expected, challenging the usual ideas, resulting in new ways of addressing old problems. It’s the modern-day take on brainstorming.

 There are five stages to design thinking:

  • Empathize—put yourself in your customer’s shoes

  • Define—specify what your customer’s problem is and what they need

  • Ideate—create innovative ideas by challenging the old ways

  • Prototype—build new solutions

  • Test—experiment with the new solutions to determine what works best

Since design thinking is all about being out-of-the-box, you don’t even have to go through the stages in order. Play with them and see what works for your given problem or project. What matters the most is not losing sight of the actual customer in the process.

 In the end, the time and resources you put toward the use of design can actually improve your entire business. Adobe did a study on creativity in business and found companies who fostered creativity had a 1.5 times greater market share than their competitors. So, opening your people up to design thinking can do more than you realize.

 

 

Ideas to Inspire Your Next Hotel Branding Campaign

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From podcasts to social media, how your brand can garner attention from customers.

When kindergarteners have a “brand” (We’re looking at you Blue Ivy.) then of course hotels must be super savvy about their branding campaign to ensure they attract guests. The answer appears to be a multi-pronged approach that incorporates layers of branding, from podcasts to social media contests to VR tours. But beyond the approaches, what matters is the tone and intent that each effort creates. Let us explain.

Keep it natural

When it comes to promoting your brand, hotel or otherwise, there’s a fine line between good promotion and over the top promotion. Creating high-quality content, that features a natural narrative versus blatant brand promotion, is essential. It also establishes your brand as an authority with the confidence to not be constantly bragging (or even humble bragging). For instance, Levi’s Circles commercial focuses on different cultures coming together and expressing themselves through dance. Sure, they are wearing Levi’s products, but the focus is on the joy and movement the people are expressing. That is the feeling that you are trying to capture. For a hotel, this can translate to stories that share the emotions we have when we travel, interjecting—in understated ways—how your properties can enhance these feelings.

Invite further action

Successful hotel branding campaigns don’t start and stop with one particular ad or piece of content. To achieve a real interaction, your marketing efforts must prompt the user to do something else. And often these efforts build on each other and the overarching vision and core values you have created surrounding your hotel. Again, subtleness matters. Stella Artois’s Joie de Bière leaves viewers not only craving a sip of their beer, but also rediscovering the necessity of a good pocket. An effective post or podcast will inspire guests to visit your main website, click on different locations or even make a reservation.

Be bold

Sometimes the most successful branding campaigns are the ones that take a bit of a risk. One way to do that in the hospitality industry is to embrace virtual reality (VR) technology. This may still seem like a faddish way to garner attention, but according to a survey conducted by Greenlight VR, people are very interested in exploring travel and tourism destinations via VR. Their survey found that the category of travel, tourism and adventure was the number one category of interest, with more than 70 percent of respondents citing it. This ad for Toms shoes, entitled A Walk in Their Shoes, is a powerful example of VR’s emotional potential in advertising.

 Give customers a voice

Social media has truly shifted the landscape in terms of how brands and their customers interact. Allowing guests to promote your property in their own words can be far more powerful than any efforts you create on your own. Not only are social media campaigns that solicit pictures and feedback from actual guests extremely powerful and authentic, they also are a great way to make guests feel recognized and valued. For instance, Starbucks Red Cup Contest has become a highly anticipated seasonal event, inviting people to showcase their Starbucks holiday cup throughout their daily lives.

 

Boost your brand

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7 ways to show off your fresh new branding.

Congrats! You’ve refreshed/redesigned/reimagined your logo. (And hopefully you checked out our Loco for Logo’s post before you did!) Now that you have that snazzy new emblem of your business, you want to show it off, right? Here’s some ideas for how to do just that—online and off.

  1. Social media

    Your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram—these should be the first places you display your new and improved logo to the masses. Anywhere your business is represented (so don’t forget about LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg or Reddit either), you want to put your new logo out there. Each social media site has rules about the size of your image file, so be sure you follow those parameters.

  2. Your website

    Another important space to be putting your new logo front and center is going to be your company’s website. If you aren’t already doing so, your new logo can be used instead of the typical home button on your site.

  3. Emails

    Include your logo at the top of the body copy of any emails sent by your company. Another idea is to have it as part of your signature at the end of your emails.

  4. Presentations

    Doing a PowerPoint for a client or even for your own employees? Every slide is an opportunity to reinforce your branding by including your new logo.

  5. Other tech tidbits

    Ever notice the tiny logo’s that show up to the left of the browser’s address field? Those are called favicons, and it’s another place you can display your new fancy logo. Or use it as your gravatar (aka globally recognized avatars) when you comment on blogs.

  6. Business cards, etc.

    Perhaps the most obvious offline use of your logo is on your company’s business cards, as well as any stationary, mailing labels and other business-related paper forms.

  7. Swag

    An excellent way to promote your business, and utilize your updated logo, is through company-branded swag. From water bottles, to T-shirts, tote bags to coffee cups, put your business out there with your logo prominently displayed.