How does a brand go about telling a story effectively? Especially in today’s world, where consumers are being assaulted on all sides by noise and attention spans have decreased significantly, what is the most effective way to tell a story?
The answer we’ve come up with is pretty simple: design.
Before we get any further, let me define what I mean by design. Design encompasses any intentionally created space that people can interact with or in. It could be anything from a building, to a video, to a well crafted logo. When you think about it, everything needs to be designed, but good design is intentional and stimulates some form of interaction or contemplation.
Now, there is a huge difference between design and effective design. Anybody can produce something that creates interaction. Simply google ‘worst designs’ and you’ll see plenty of examples of this. The real skill lies in being able to use design to tell the specific story you want.
Effective design does this in three stages: engagement, captivation and attachment.
Engagement is the unveiling, the grand entry, the “aha” moment. Perhaps, after picking up a brochure, you are compelled to stop for a moment and notice how the texture of the paper makes you feel. Engagement is that initial moment that begins the dialogue. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an ad, a building, or packaging, the first step of effective design is always engagement.
However, that engagement needs to lead somewhere. In particular, engagement should segue into captivation. When you become engaged by something around you and desire to continue that dialogue, you’re experiencing captivation. You interact with hundreds of designs each day, but only a handful of them truly grab your attention and captivate you. It doesn’t matter how big your reach is or how much you spend on advertising, if the message doesn’t resonate with the intended audience, the effort is lost.
Finally, let’s talk about attachment. Attachment occurs after a design has proven to be both engaging and captivating. An exceptionally well crafted design leaves an impression on you, creating a lasting attachment. Attachment evokes a response. It calls you to an action of some kind. Whether that action is making a purchase, asking a follow-up question, or simply remembering a slogan ,effective design creates an attachment between you and the design.
We have found that design is the most effective and efficient way to tell a story. When you can engage, captivate and create attachment your brand story truly comes alive.