Opinion

The Method In Our Madness

Some people who don’t understand the power of design seem to think I draw pretty pictures for a living. Of course, sometimes I am required to draw a pretty picture as the illustrative content of a design, but there’s always far more to what I do than that.

For a business that understands the value of effective design, investment will bring massive returns.

Good design isn’t just about making things look pretty, there’s a deep psychology involved in what we do. It’s not easy for a brand to effectively engage and communicate with a consumer, especially in a sincere way, that appears honest rather than contrived.

At Robot Food we see consumers as people. People are all individual, with different passions, reactions and ambitions. We unlock the science behind behaviour and what makes the individual tick. Everything that surrounds us influences what we buy, so we learn to understand and utilise relevant cultural codes as brand communication tools. We use semiotics and discourse analysis as tools to help do this and by layering common trends as maps, we find gaps. Gaps are where the real opportunities lie!

There are two ends of the spectrum to explore when it comes to these codes – familiar and unfamiliar. Familiar is the safer end, choosing to use only signs, codes and language that we know the consumer will recognise and be comfortable with. Unfamiliar is where disruptive innovation breeds category breakers. It’s often a case of the more a brand risks, the more it is rewarded.

Luckily, by following our trademarked RAD™ process, we minimise risk. The outcome is often bold or breakthrough, however the process is painstakingly considered and calculated to ensure success. Brave are the clients who want to improve their brand communication and trust in our process.

With FRANK* as an example, we chose to challenge the category norm of the natural, allergen free and vegan friendly market. Too many brands had gone down the worthy, apologetic route and not only did the results look unappetising, they were also alienating to the mass-market. By calculating the correct narrative, tone, look and feel we created a brand that was accessible to everyone. We utilised some familiar cultural codes, using colour to signify indulgence, food photography to signify natural ingredients, and a straight talking tone of voice on front of pack to describe the product benefits.

Analysis offers great insight into brand development and promotes innovation. So we don’t just draw pretty pictures, but we gather, dissect, analyse and probe. The finding of these stages of a project turn a hypothesis into a considered design brief. We’re scientists as well as artists and yes, we like to break the rules, but in order to break them, we must understand them and the process is all that counts.

 

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