Marketers v Designers: Who is responsible for bland designs?

Marketers v Designers: Who is responsible for bland designs?
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The speed with which the consumer goods sector pushes products into market is a real barrier to good design, according to Heinz Australia’s Katie Saunders.

Saunders, Heinz Australia’s general manager of the Golden Circle business unit, said integrating design early in the product development process is “critical” for success.

“I wish we could run our business like that,” Saunders told B&T after the agIdeas Business Advantage Breakfast Seminar panel last week.

But in reality, designers are often not brought into the fold until phase two or three.

“We are well on the path to what the concept should be before we integrate a designer.

“I think it is too late.”

One exception to this is the recent relaunch of the Golden Circle brand when Saunders said designers were included from the very outset to help re-shape the brand.

 “The quality of what we have brought to the market is so much higher than what it was before.

“Our share now is probably the highest it has been since we have been tracking share.”

Saunders said the Golden Circle brand has been relaunched about five times in the past 15 years and that the current look and feel is “absolutely” more permanent than its previous iterations.

“We are talking at a far greater emotional level this time around than ever before,” Saunders added.

In addition to working with designers early on Saunders said marketers need to ensure they hand their design partners a “true, succinct, inspiring brief”.

However, if a lacklustre design is created Saunders believes the responsibility falls equally between the marketing and design team.

“I have been exposed to many designers who will just give me 20 designs and say ‘one of those has got to work for you’.

“If the brief is not right and the design team aren’t challenging it, well, that is where it will fail.”

For FMCG brands the importance of standout design is most evident at the point of purchase.

“To have a brand that tells you ‘I am beetroot’ and ‘I am pineapple’ is nowhere near enough. It needs to connect emotionally, it needs to grab your consumer’s attention.

“All of the wonderful integrated communication that we have before the consumer hits the market…they all come alive at the point of purchase and that is where design is critical.”

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