Brave New Year 2014

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The new year is still young. We are extremely busy already. No time for a forecast so far… but: What will 2014 bring? Three trends/ideas/wishes by Pia, Robert, and Steven:

Uglyness doesn’t sell
Pia Betton

Service design will gain even more relevance. Companies and brand owners world-wide recognize it as an effective tool in the fight for uniqueness. As strategists, design thinkers and designers we must take this into account. Customers more and more demand and get used to (!) excellent services, which means: excellently designed services.

Actually, frustration tolerance – when facing waiting time, barriers and unnecessary complexity – will be lower than ever. Beauty and aesthetics in the design of a brand’s touchpoints, and I mean: all of its touchpoints, are crucial. Sounds stressful? No. We look forward to exciting new challenges. We will face a new era of smooth and friendly interfaces, beautiful key visuals and seamless interaction. Quite a bright look-out!

Be open, get real
Robert Stulle

In 2014 we will tear down even more walls to get real and end illusions. We need to be open. And yes, we like to be open. We will continue to work with our clients in a mindset of creating something new together – even when we do not know the end result. We accept the vulnerability that comes with being open and embrace the fact that we are all in the midst of a process. In the midst of change.

Let’s just face the fact that you only can create something good if what you offer matters to your audience. Products and services don’t fail because they malfunction, they fail because no one needs them. Offer something of value. Offer good content. Your product has to be relevant. Yes, you have heard this before, but in 2014, more than ever before, it really, really matters – because now your customers are more informed and more open than ever and they will just change services and brands if they don’t find their needs satisfied.

If you work with us this year let us take you along on a journey where we are open with each other and where we get real. We will continue to challenge your assumptions, we will continue to ask “why?”. Not to bug you but to help you shape your product to fit the market of 2014. If you don’t understand your customers well, they will leave. Take them seriously.

And again, yes, we like that! It makes our work not only more relevant, but also more fun.

No attention spam, please
Steven Cook

Many are still uncertain about the economy (although a few say we will see normal growth). Also the division between product, sales and marketing and services will continue to dissolve – due to feedback and data from the customers that will not stop coming in. These combinations will put pressure on companies.

The consequences? The way a story is told will become critical. Your brand needs to be cared for, even if direct results aren’t seen. Slimming down your development processes, testing your ideas, not only telling your story, but living it will be important. Regardless, of course, if this is in the digital or physical world. It all comes down to managing and adapting one of your most valuable assets – your brand.

This will be an investment that pays off over time. Brands need – we need! – to be more flexible than years past. Neglecting the idea of an adaptive brand shows both immaturity and shortsightedness for any company. We need to find the right way to grab peoples’ attention. Don’t spam them.