BoyDog Design
Design and more…

While checking out some of the people I follow on Twitter I came across a link to a post about the misconceptions about graphic designers. It started me thinking about why I love what I do.

At the core of a designer’s job description is the necessity to be able to develop solutions to a specific problem within set parameters. The very circumstances that may stump some and cause them to reject a career in design fuel the passion in a designer to find the perfect solution. It is that passion for design that has fueled me through the good times and the bad. I don’t know why it happens but each time I’m faced with a creative project I lose all sense of time and immerse myself in the process.

Design for me is a universal language. It breaks all barriers and allows the designer to communicate on a conscious and unconscious level with the viewer. Over time as you hone your skills design becomes more a part of who you are than a skill set you apply during a workday. It becomes a passion that never leaves your mind. There is no turning it on or off. You seem to notice everything.

One of the most amazing things to me is that now, many years after attending SVA (School of Visual Arts) I am still in awe of design. I crave it. I have to know as much as I can about it. I need to experience it in as many forms as possible. The design world is a fluid entity. It evolves into many forms and flows from so many resources. There are classic styles passed down historically and studied to this day. There are new trends and discoveries announced which utilize new tools and concepts developed by designers who don’t allow themselves to be constrained by any preconceived rules of engagement. Some develop into a new movement and others are left as a channel of discovery.

For as long as I feel so entranced and empowered by design I will continue to delve into its many forms. I will continue for as long as I’m offered the opportunity to face a challenge and solve the problem with a design solution. You never know what the future holds. For my design self, I hope it’s years of successful design and engagement with the design community.

 

 

Whether you’re a small business owner or responsible for the marketing program in a large corporation you will undoubtedly be confronted with the need to track the attitudes of your customer base. Depending on your particular product or service, the way you collect this data and the effectiveness of the information you receive will vary in detail and degree of relevance. Marketing metrics are used to help improve your return on investment and offer insights into new avenues of profitability.

Awareness and Knowledge:

We presume that customers progress through stages of knowledge about a product or service. The progression starts at being totally unaware to an initial introduction, then on to a purchase, and finally total awareness and loyalty to the brand.

You can measure a potential customer’s level of awareness by asking questions such as, “Have you heard of Dell?” or “When you think of computers, which come to mind?” The first question would be considered an aided question as you are planting the brand within the question. The second question is considered unprompted because it is totally generic and doesn’t offer any brand as a jumpstart to answering.

Once you’ve established that a consumer is aware of your brand you can delve deeper into their feelings. You might ask them if that particular brand is for them? Have them rate the brand on a scale of 1 – 5. Ask them to verbalize any strengths or weaknesses they attach to the brand?

If you’ve established that a person has actually purchased your brand you can then inquire about their purchasing habits. How many times have you purchased this brand? What was the last brand of this product type that you purchased? The answers you receive should help you discover the level or awareness of your brand, where your brand ranks when your customer thinks of that category of product, and what specific knowledge and beliefs they may have about your brand.

Attitudes:

Based on their experience with your product or service your customer will develop their perception of your brand. In order to collect and decipher these attitudes you will have to explore their degree of liking your brand and the image your brand has made for them.

Questions to consider:

  • Is this a brand for people like you?
  • Is this a brand for people younger than you?
  • Is this a brand for people older than you?

The responses should be measured on a scale of 1 – 5. One being the lowest and five the highest rating. The data received will show how relevant your brand is to that consumer.

  • Is this brand a good value for the price?
  • Would you be more likely to purchase this brand for a reduced price?
  • Would you stop purchasing this brand if the price were to increase?

Measure the responses on a scale of 1 – 5. The data received will reflect the consumer’s perceived value of you product for the money.

  • List other products in your brand’s category and have the consumer rate them on a scale of 1 – 5.

This rating will allow you to see how your brand is perceived against your competition. Your ranking demonstrates the quality/esteem associated with your brand.

  • Would you switch to another brand if this brand were not available at the time you intended to make a purchase?

Rate their response from 1 – 5. The results should give you an indication of their intentions.

  • Is it very likely that you will purchase this product?

A 1 – 5 rating for this type of question will measure their intentions to actually purchase your brand.

Usage:

Measuring usage is to quantify the frequency and number of units purchased. The information gathered will let you know:

  • what was purchased
  • when and where it was purchased
  • how many have rejected the product
  • how many have added the product as their preferred brand

The answers you receive are self-reported behavior of your customer. An array of questioning will give you insight into their overall view of your product or service.

Questions to consider:

  • What brand in your category did they purchase before your brand?
  • How many times in the past year have they purchased your brand?
  • How many items of your brand do they currently own?

All of the above questions are usually part of an ongoing survey of potential and current customers. This request for information can take the form of warranty cards and registrations, offering prizes in return for information, random drawings that encourage participation in a survey, or regularly administered surveys conducted by phone, e-mail, mail, web, social media, etc.

There are many ways to approach the collection of this type of data. Any attempt to do so will be influenced by your particular product or service. What works for one category may not be efficient or provide usable information for another. Tracking customer trends for brand awareness will require a focused approach to the information you want to gather and then developing the right set of questions and conditions to administer your survey. Once your data is collected you will need to review it keeping in mind the set up for each question (aided or unaided) and the goal of the response you seek. The results should give you better insight into the personal relationship your customer has with your brand.