Left Behind / / by Jeni Herberger / /

“Any consumer brand today--whether Starbucks or a product like Tide--it is incumbent upon the company to create relevancy in all aspects of your customers’ lives,” he says. “The price of admission is not good enough if your relevancy and market position is only where the product is sold. We said to ourselves that we have to be as relevant socially and digitally as we are when the customer is inside our four walls as when they’re outside--and we want to thread the equity of the brand and the Starbucks experience to multiple platforms--digital, social, mobile--that encompass all aspects of customers’ lives. This is a big thing we’ve learned for 2012, and I think companies that don’t understand it are going to left behind.”

- Howard Schultz , Starbucks CEO

As market position becomes harder to obtain, the focus on relevancy becomes more important. Who is better poised to create a communication platform that is relevant and authentic, other than the creative teams residing within the corporate walls?

Creative Services is a thing of the past (or so it should be). Although the members of these teams indeed serve the brand just as the brand is required to serve the consumer, “serving” is simply a necessary component of expressing the core mission and value of the company. Creative departments are evolving to become strategic partners within their organization. This requires team members to embrace extrinsic ideas and trends that can only be discovered by looking outside of their walls yet commit to the intrinsic brand attributes and corporate beliefs.

The opportunity to influence from within is greater than ever before. Consumers want to believe in what they buy and they now demand to know more about the companies behind the products they consume. When we boil this down, we discover that consumers just want to understand “why” companies are doing what they are doing (beyond the obvious of “making a profit”.) And here lies our opportunity as creatives.

Design strategy is a critical component to obtaining a strong market position and innovative processes. Corporate Design teams willing to demand a place at the table and deliver a higher level of strategy will be key players in ensuring that their companies are not left behind. They have the opportunity to be on the forefront of an emerging method that is redefining how business gets done.

Will you be left behind?


Join us Tuesday, March 26 at 5:45pm at the Seattle Arts Museum to hear Jeni Herberger lead a conversation with top corporate creative leaders. Click here for tickets to the INsights panel discussion and to learn more.

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