Charting a Course for 2015
2015 is a big year for us at Infestation. We’re busy with new projects, have new clients that we’re honoured to work with, are welcoming new additions to our Infestation family and are offering extra services, including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). We’re excited to be pushing the disciplines of design and digital even further – and with this in mind, we’d like to share our predictions for 2015, from harnessing human emotions to re-examining the role of branding in big business.
1. Tapping into human emotion
It’s nothing new that we are in the age of information overload, constantly exposed to a stream of stories and facts. According to Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, ”we’ve created more information in the last 10 years than in all human history before that.”
To push through this cognitive flood, Infestation’s Web Developer, Simon Dowdles, predicts a shift from targeting consumer needs, wants and desires to human emotions: “To grab the user’s attention for a particular product or service, we will have to put them in the emotional state to want that service, because the competition within information alone is simply too rife.”
In 2015, we should focus on “ultimately selling a core feeling or a personal relation that resonates deeply with the person or audience,” Simon explains. “This shift is evident in the app-centric age where an app literally has to integrate into a person’s lifestyle, or service a particular emotion to be desirable. Information for information’s sake is no longer sufficient.”
2 Creating consumer-facing narratives
In the Information Age, we are all bombarded with facts and figures , but this information is not necessarily understood. Due to the sheer volume of information that we’re exposed to, what’s really important is often missed: “Information is raw. It’s worthless, unless we understand and gain insights into the underlying narrative,” says Nix Harwood, Brand Design Consultant.
“My prediction for 2015 is that we’ll increasingly be required to distill vast amounts of information to its core essence. We’ll be creating consumer-facing narratives of what the information is telling us and interpret it in a way that will empower our audiences to understand the exact power of it’s content.”
3 Pushing your value
Last year saw a lot of people questioning the norm in every area from work culture to film-making. “People are realising that they don’t have to accept the status quo if the status quo makes you unhappy,” says Mea Jordaan, Graphic Designer and Illustrator.
She poses some questions to ponder:
• How can we adapt the global work culture to make people happier, more productive, and not feel like they are spending their lives in front of a computer?
• How do you make a film that challenges the conventions of storytelling and perception to actually affect people?
• How do I create a real experience, worthy of someone else’s precious time?
• How do you take ownership of your future, on your own terms?
“The inherent value of what we produce as designers needs to be more than punting a product or service, and I think globally the industry is moving towards this, albeit slower than I believe appropriate,” says Mea.
4. Not confining brands to the marketing department
“Big business is always looking for ways to improve operations, to innovate and get products to the markets that want them,” says Christo Maritz, Owner and Creative Director.
There is definite move towards bringing business strategy and brand position closer together, he believes. “Brands are no longer confined to marketing departments. Executive committees are playing a much bigger role in branding and growing their understanding of brand positioning.”
He adds: “Successful companies realise that their brand intangibles closely align with their business values. And while a defined culture improves innovation and productivity, a defined value proposition directs products and markets.”
This year, we envision an interdepartmental approach to branding; a shift from selling a product or service to a core feeling; a way of empowering our audiences through smart storytelling and a quest towards worthy consumer experiences. What are your predictions for the creative realm? We’d love to hear your thoughts as we continue this conversation in 2015.
By Kate Bryant