Branding the Design Process? Come on, now.

Branding the Design Process? Come on, Now.

My house was a mess. I had a professional organization service identify my problem as having lost my “Type-A Designer” personality to the crazies of a wife, kids and a dog. We’re not hoarders or anything but the STUFF is everywhere where it shouldn’t be.

So the organizing gurus got busy. They provided me with some preliminary concepts on how to organize our life again. They also gave me advice about the 5 Macintosh boxes I have all around the house: “Toss’em to the curb. What are you saving’em for!” They scrutinized how to make order out of the mess. They did their ideation, decisions were made and finally implementation began.

Sound familiar?

They followed a natural process, much as we designers do when accessing, planning, cleaning up and reorganizing a client’s messy brand.

This company didn’t proclaim a proprietary “Type-A Process™” which they gushed about.  So what’s with design firms that “name it, brand it and promote it” as something proprietary? Oh, you know: “4D Process®, CreativeLogic™, Guide®, DeepView™, DesignEdge®.”

Come on, now. There’s nothing terribly unique about the design process. There’s nothing gained by branding it.

I made that mistake once. Branding a ‘process’ for my firm. I didn’t go as far as “™ing or ®ing it, but I did come up with a silly name, created a presentation and announced it on a website thinking my firm is special and should be hired over the other firm! “Aren’t you impressed—we have a proprietary process. Nah. Nah. Boo. Boo! We’re better! “

Come on, now. Who did I think I was fooling?

Branding the “design process?” We’re doing a disservice not only to potential clients but to the design field, too.

Do you see ‘the process’ as liner, circular, branching or whatever? Do you do some ridiculous facilitation session with post-it-notes? Or, how about my favorite of gathering clients in group circles with a word taped to each of their foreheads hoping the person sitting across the table will come up something insightful to solve the problem.

Come on, now. You know better. It’s more valuable just to ask questions and learn.

Certainly, a potential client needs to understand how we do what we do. Years ago, I started to explain the design process by asking a potential client about their own process. Then I’d say, “It’s the same thing but a different subject.” That’s it. They got it. That’s all they needed to know!

‘Accessing, planning, cleaning up and organizing’ . . . call this natural design process what you will, but in the end, what really matters, is how well you do it.

Come on, now. You agree, right?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: