Arguing for intelligent design

While it was music to my ears to hear clients talking about their design agencies taking a more strategic role (“Brands get to grips with the art of design”, MW 20 May), it was interesting to see the variety of views regarding what strategy is and at what stage to involve design agencies.

I have found that clients typically want strategic involvement, but all too often bring in their agency to brief them on a design strategy when they have already agreed their product and/or brand strategy.

We have always done our best work when clients have moved us up the food chain in the strategic planning process to the area often occupied by advertising agencies.

Design faces one of the hardest tasks demonstrating what a brand stands for – often with two seconds in a tiny space compared to 30 all-singing, all-dancing seconds on TV.

It makes sense for us to be part of the team defining what a brand means to the target audience either working as lead brand guardians or with strategic partners from other disciplines. We need to get involved before the design brief is written.

Helen Atkinson, Client services director, Anthem Worldwide

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