Fuse 2018: A Deep Dive into Design and Consumer Brand Experience

April 16, 2018 — Ali Arduini

Gaining new insight on design and brand strategy is essential for us to continue to be experts and innovators in our field. That’s why we sent our Engagement Director, Damien Moore-Evans, to the Fuse 2018 conference to observe the latest tools and knowledge leveraged by some of the top performers in the industry.

A spotlight on pioneers and scene-stealers from both well-known brands and design startups, Fuse set to “celebrate disruptors and game changers within iconic and startup companies. Those who are changing the face of design and the way consumers experience and interact with the brand.”

With the fairly unpredictable nature of this industry, we understand the need for brands to cater to the ever-changing consumer. Even the most well-recognized brands have to be open to modifications, and we’ve seen it firsthand with recent redesigns including our work for Cheerios, Land O’Lakes, and Pillsbury. Many speakers at the conference stressed this importance for change, and the conference also included a multitude of other tips on how brands can stay at the top of their game.

Here are some of our favorite takeaways:

  • Data-driven content is the only way to avoid failing behind
  • Pantone: Color is the first thing you communicate. Make it the most important part of your design strategy. It is a way to connect and reflects what is happening in a particular culture and time
  • Microsoft: Human-centered Design thinking (HCD) Is more important than user-centered design (UCD)
  • “We’re fortunate to be in the business of wanting and having not needing. We do what we do for the connoisseur – not the consumer.” –Nike
  • L’Oreal’s tips for today’s design leaders:
    • Think of design not as a discipline, but as experience
    • Understand the business and be curious
    • Challenge the status quote by reframing
    • Be a Design Nomad!
  • Chobani: design is meaningful and inspires brand stories. It also speaks to the beliefs, wants, and means of customers
  • Charity Water: choose to focus on hope rather than guilt. Photos should be rooted in hope, joy, and dignity.
  • Hello Fresh: Do what’s right for your customers and don’t try to follow trends. They will pass.
  • “We wanted to build a brand. Brands build relationships.” –Warby Parker
  • User experience (UX) will be at the center of all activity driving marketing, technology operations and retail. One mustn’t forget that brand is likely to define UX, which means brands need to deliver a cohesive and coherent UX across all touch points.
  • People remember stories, not ideas
  • Two simple tips for great branding – Evolve and Surprise
  • “If the story is compelling, people will build the road toward it.” – Robert Wong, VP Google Creative Labs
  • Instagram’s approach to design thinking:
    • Consistency (across the product and UX)
    • Clarity (use universally recognized functions and be clear)
    • Constraint (limited and logically grouped functions)
    • Design is the creation of desirable change
  • Purpose brings focus to a business, rallies leadership around a strong sense of direction, and helps staff to feel involved and motivated.

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