At Duffy & Partners we are designers first. We practice our craft principally in the world of marketing. Design as a means of communication. Design as a differentiator. Design as a brand builder. Design as a business driver. Design as a means of being.
What does that mean?
We believe that the best brands—those that are most successful—are in many ways like people. They have a personality. A consistent manner of speaking and behaving. Unique qualities and characteristics.
Like people, great brands have both rational and emotional appeals.
Highly evolved brands utilize multiple senses. Not only do they look and sound a particular way; but they feel unique; they speak to taste; they may even smell a certain way.
“Relationships in the context of commerce share attributes of interpersonal relationships, but are nonetheless distinct. It denotes a considerably more practical construct: namely the ability of the exchange between retailer and customer to prosper.”
Carlson Relationship Builder 2007
Ultimately being a brand requires activity, dialogue and constant attention to the ever-changing world around you and the people living in that world.
As we look at the world of business, we believe the time for design is here. Because design is about helping businesses define their brands in tangible and multi-sensory ways. Design is about being.
Design is not about telling stories about why something is different or why a person should want a particular kind of tennis shoe or mp3 player. Design is about being different, better, more relevant, simpler, smarter. Those are the things that make people stand up and take notice. Those are the things that make people tell friends and family about a particular product, service or place and why they should try it. At the end of the day great design and great branding are inextricably linked.
“Designing a product is designing a relationship.”
Steve Rogers, Designer
Being a brand can mean many things.
1. Being a brand is about making an impact.
2. Being a brand is finding a way to be helpful. Make life a little better. Helping people to be more productive. Being sensitive to our environment. In essence—being smart.
3. It means being appropriately artful.
4. Successful brands aren’t just different. They find real problems to address and real people to appeal to. They find relevance through insightfulness.
A recent study found that 49% of men may choose not to use grooming products only because they do not understand what they do.
Men's Health, November 2003
5. It means stimulating the senses.
“The next best thing to an ocean dip? Thymes Azur Body wash, a foaming gel that smells like water lilies and sea grass…”
InStyle, March 2007
6. Being a brand is about being helpful, even if it's only in a small way.
7. A smart brand finds ways to surprise and delight.