What ever happened to details?
The red sole
of a Louboutin shoe, or the elegant tag on a pair of Tom’s? The sweeping fenders of a Porsche 911 or the needless complications of a fancy watch…
Today, a certain kind of customer is using a Muji notebook, or wearing a plain Everlane t-shirt. Is this what we’ve come to? One might come to the conclusion that consumers have rejected all the effort that designers and marketers have produced in a statement that rejects design. Not so fast.
Design is the new marketing. It is the product itself, not the ads or the slogan. Design is the supply chain of Patagonia, the ethics of Purple Carrot and the customer service at Union Square Cafe. It’s design, not advertising, that turned Apple into the most valuable luxury brand (and the most valuable company) in the world.
But design requires a point of view. The confidence to make an assertion. And the skill to turn that assertion into something that resonates with the person you seek to serve.
But the brands that matter are voices that choose to matter. Voices that make assertions on behalf of their users. Who market with people, and for them, not to them or at them.