Over the years I have learnt that no matter how great you think a creative outcome may be, there is a fundamental element, which often gets overlooked and when embraced creates something really special. It’s the ingredient I feel ultimately influences the appeal, acceptance and adoption of a creative outcome.
It’s the power of ‘purpose’ and ‘people’, and it happens from the inside out. To make a difference in anything people need to have a reason to believe. If they believe they will not only follow the cause, they will also stand for it and act on it.
This reason to believe is what we at Moon define as the ‘purpose’ of a business or service. It’s reason for being. When we begin a project, particularly within the brand and identity space we begin by working with the client to crack and create the brand’s DNA. We go deep, understanding and defining who they are, their role in the world, what they value and what their distinguishing characteristics are.
This is not about design, this is about creating an intelligent and intuitive framework, which will influence and inform the creative outcome. By cracking this code we create a distinctive and, more importantly, authentic foundation from which the creative can stem from. This sows the seed in making brands with genuine difference.
The ‘people’ power is about the rallying of the troops, and it too starts from the inside and makes it way out. At a business level the inside is about engaging the internal audience of a brand; its employees and its suppliers. If they understand who the brand is, what the brand is about and where the brand is going and are engaged in the process of defining and building it, they become united in their purpose, belief system and vision. They begin to collectively and convincingly ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’ and this is where difference is made.
I learnt very early on in my career the significance of internal engagement programs in making a difference when re-positioning and/or re-branding a brand. By cultivating the internal cultures of brands such as Westfield, NRMA and BIS we have seen companies share a purpose and unite in action. Purpose and people have re-invigorated their products, services and experiences, this in turn has propelled the meaning and power of the brand externally, and ultimately influenced their audience’s belief and engagement with the brand.
And no one has done this better then Apple. Two days after I wrote this section I watched a documentary on Apple in which they actually tapped into this exact sentiment. Apple clearly defined who they were from the beginning and ensured that their employees were and are, always on the same page. By engaging their employees, Apple has created an internal culture which thrives on collective beliefs and vision which has translated externally into compelling and charismatic products and services. Apple knew to make a difference in the big wide world they needed to start from the inside.
This article was first published on Moon’s blog on 4 July 2012.
Image and video copyright Linda Jukic.