Every time I meet an entrepreneur or a manager to discuss a branding project, one of the first statements I make is the following: “design means dialogue." In general, we get involved to resolve a problem – a problem of communication, of representation, or, sometimes, the defining of company identity.
In these cases, we don’t have pre-packaged answers, nor do we have a secret formula to resolve all problems. What we do is work closely with the client to help them find the most effective strategic response and then express it through the brand.
To create a constructive relationship between the agency and the client, the fundamental factor is openness to welcoming other people. From my experience, I’ve learned that the most successful projects are those based on open and sincere interpersonal relationships. The people involved in the project must be willing to make this dialogue lively and constructive.
To ensure that dialogue can bring about a result, one must keep an open mind, let go of any prejudices and know how to listen. Putting yourself in a position to listen means being open to being on the same page as your interlocutor, creating empathy, and making the other party’s needs your own. By listening attentively, you can discern the real needs that lie at the heart of every request.
After a first meeting, one often goes away with an immediate first impression of the client, the brand and the problem. Just as often, the client already has a clear idea of the kind of response they’re expecting. The continued dialogue that comes out of the dynamic of the project gives us the opportunity to change our minds and arrive at unexpected solutions that arise from the use of lateral thinking, from another point of view.
Authored by CBA Italy Partner & CEO, Gianfranco Siano
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