Why design is a licence for thieves

I was glad to see the flag being flown for effective design in your Industry Attitudes article (MW 1 March), but what left me slightly saddened – albeit with a wry grin – were the responses to the question: Where do you seek design inspiration?

Clients call for stand-out, but your survey says that everyone is looking in the same places, which clearly isn’t the way to make design different, or to help brands stand out.

In five years’ time, I would like to see this piece explore the idea of how great design and remarkable brands are directly related to how good at theft, yes theft, brands and agencies are.

My soapbox plea is for more curiosity in design, for a nosier industry that is hell-bent on taking inspiration and principles from new and unusual sources rather than the same old places.

Imagine an industry where stealing is not only a prerequisite for a successful bottom line but is actually celebrated and the word thief has even crept into job titles. After all, nothing is original, everything is a combination and amalgamation of everything else.

Ben Branson
Senior planner
Holmes & Marchant

It’s heartening to see more brands appreciating the impact that design has on their bottom line (MW 1 March).

However, the widely held view of consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers that the role of design is limited to the pack being the only point of influence in the retail environment is quite telling.

For many CPG marketers, it seems that retail marketing is still a dark art and the point at which the store environment assumes all control.

By turning their attentions to inspiring consumers, branded manufacturers can add retail experience to their armoury, and avoid becoming bit-players in the store’s branded environment reliant on packaging alone.

I look forward to seeing a survey and a mindset that assesses design’s full impact on retail across all consumer touchpoints.

Lucy Unger
Managing director
Europe and Russia, Fitch


Brands must behave like online friends

Webops Temp

Mark Ritson reports that Facebook vice-president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson wants social media users to “think of brands as people” (MW 8 March). Although this idea may stretch the imagination at first, it is not beyond belief. We want to spend time with our human friends because they add to our social experience, […]

On-pack codes are generating in-store data

Webops Temp

The work being done by MySupermarket.co.uk to capture data from consumers at the time of their online purchase (www.mwlinks.co.uk/ShopperData) is a great example of how brands can derive insight and as such fills a real need in the grocery space. However, brands still struggle to derive similar behavioural data for in-store purchases because the majority […]

Inconveniences are engagement tools

Webops Temp

What they actually are is brands and businesses implementing well thought through approaches to engage with exactly the type of people who will benefit most from their offerings. It’s a means of user “self-selection”, with the strategic balance carefully weighted towards quality versus quantity and it is an approach any user experience marketer will tell […]


    Leave a comment