Who heads the client’s chain of command?

Congratulations to Vicky Sargent for her article on the changing nature of client/designer relationships – Chains of command (DW 27 January).

But only towards the end did the true cause of that change emerge – the need for design to be accountable.

“Evolutionary” design and more devolved identity management systems are trends in the industry, not panaceas for success. They are simply a means to an end: of ensuring that all client communications are driven by one thing – the needs of their audience groups (and, yes, that does include staff as a target group).

It’s the fundamental nature of all business; and how successful product brand management has been defined for years.

Effective corporate brand management requires a greater emphasis on strategy formulation, in order to set criteria against which work can be measured; in turn, this must reflect a detailed understanding of who the corporate brand is targeted at, and of audience perceptions and needs.

lt also requires a different approach to that of the tradiitional identity programme, with emphasis on the provision of broader communications advice. Inevitably, this requires greater flexibility and “breadth and depth” in the client/consultant relationship).

Do that, and we’ll not only solve our clients’ communications problems, but perhaps some of our industry’s, too. Might the article have been sub-headed “Someone else in command”?

David Rowson

Managing Director

Luxon Carrá Limited

Corporate Brand Management

London SWl

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