HiiiAwards 专访 / 2022
如何建立品牌思维?


Hiiibrand:您如何理解“品牌思维”?

段智华:单就“品牌思维(Brand Thinking)”这个的名词而言,我觉得其在商业和市场营销的语境中作为“热词”的属性可能远大于其实际的意义,就像大家曾经热衷于讨论“设计思维(Design Thinking)”一样。

作为一种影响行为的思考方式,从古代在牲畜上烫上烙印,到20世纪50年代联合利华等快消品企业开始发展品牌管理,再到20世纪60年代从荷兰席卷全球的现代主义品牌识别的实践,在从百年前至今的那些需要区分财产和区别身份的行为中它其实一直都或多或少的存在。

而在当下成为被大家热衷讨论的名词,我认为其中一个原因是由于当前社会再一次进入技术发展的瓶颈与饱和的时期,产品趋向饱和且相互之间鲜少存在巨大的优劣差异,产品的功能等客观条件对消费行为的影响变得不再那么重要。

这个时候,品牌所代表或者彰显的品味、价值、社群关系等再一次成为消费者评价产品好坏以及是否值得被消费的重要一环。

“品牌”作为这一切较为抽象的问题的“代言人”的需求,继而被大家开始新一轮的放大。在逻辑上,“品牌思维”更像是一种“以愿景作为理想结果”导向的思考方式,即将“品牌”作为考量一切问题的唯一视⻆(或滤镜),仅观察那些与品牌行事有关的问题,以品牌叙事作为目标提出可能的解决方案、开展行动、实现价值与愿景;同 时它也要求参与者从依靠数据等一系列可以量化的因素的“技术型思考”,转变为混杂感性 与愿景等抽象要素的“关系型思考”。

Hiiibrand:在设计开始之前,您是如何做品牌调研的?

段智华:我们一般会抛开先入为主的想法,先收集和研究能够帮助我们了解全貌的客观资讯,并在这个过程中发掘和记录具有可能性的概念。在研究和发掘概念交替进展到一个我们认为合适的程度后,我们会开始对已经得到的所有资讯和想法进行编辑,并在我们的直觉、品味、感受的介入中进行调和,最终开始进入具体设计的生成。

Hiiibrand:是否可以分享您和合作品牌的沟通策略?

段智华:诚实的说,在与委托方沟通和推进设计方案方面,我们也依然在探索和成⻓的过程中。从工作室实践至今的经验里,我们遇到过沟通顺利一稿过的项目,遇到过意⻅反复而花费远超预期的时间进行决策的项目,也遇到过因意⻅不合而中断的项目。

我们一直认为在当下品牌繁多且设计团队也选择丰富的环境下,品牌方和设计师在开始合作之前都应该先认真思考彼此是否适合,无论是项目类型、内容、价格、品味和⻛格,还是项目参与人员相互 间是否交谈舒服等等都会成为考虑因素。这部分预沟通和预判断,通常也会在很大程度上 决定了合作是否能够顺利。

Hiiibrand:设计师应该如何建立“品牌思维”?

段智华:如同在第一个问题的回答中提到的,“品牌思维”就是通过品牌作为视⻆来观察问题、筛选 问题、解决问题的方式,那些本来虽然也是矛盾的问题和有意义的行动,如果与实现品牌愿景无关或关系甚微,也就不需要纳入进来讨论。

就好比一个人的成⻓可以是随心所欲的,遇到问题就要去解决,遇到有趣的时期就会去做,慢慢变成最终会变成的模样;也可以是先确定一个人设,与为了实现这个人设无关的矛盾不一定需要去花时间与精力关注和解决,与为了实现这个人设相关的问题与行动就应该去尽心解决和执行,“品牌思维”就像后者。又像是你喜欢日常写作,你可以在本子上记录所有你想记录的文字;也可以在开始新一本写作之前决定“我想要写一本让读者无论什么时间从任何一⻚开始看都可以看得轻松 且开心的文字”,那么接下来你就会为了实现这个结果去考虑遣词造句、段落安排,以及那 些不开心的片段可能就需要写到另一本册子中去了。在这里的后者可能也像是“品牌思维” 的一种比喻了。

总结来说,“品牌思维”更在乎真实性、持续性,以及有目的性的关系建立与维护中,需要去思考“关系”与“感觉”。就像 Marty Neumeier 所说,“品牌并不是你怎么说,而是你的品牌的客户怎么说”,而需要去这么系统的思考品牌与设计更是因为“在一个 信息丰富且时间匮乏的社会中,相比信息,人们更注重感觉”。

Hiiibrand:您认为在成为一名优秀设计师的道路上,我们需要不断精进哪些综合能力?

段智华:设计藏在细节里,品牌也藏在细节里,其实颇有⻅微知著的意味。能意识到各种细节并去实践这些细节,就需要扩大自己的生活体验以及相对庞杂的知识面,因为很多细节都存在于设计以外的领域和环境之中,以及那些可能被认为是理所应当或被忽视的事物中,这也像很多人会说设计师应该是个杂家。

另一方面,我认为“编辑”和“调和”也是很重要的能力,这里的编辑并不是指编辑和设计书籍,而是如何发现信息、阅读信息、筛选信息、整理信息、关联信息以及调和信息,如何“编辑”与“调和”在很大程度上决定了思考方式、解题⻆度、设计方法、结果的方向与质量。
Exclusive Interview by HiiiAwards / 2022
How to build a brand mindset?


Hiiibrand: How do you understand "brand thinking"?

Duan: In terms of the term "Brand Thinking" alone, I think it's probably more of a "buzzword" in the business and marketing context than a real meaning, just like people used to be keen on Design Thinking".

As a way of thinking that influences behavior, it has been present in more or less all of the behaviors that have been required to distinguish property and identity from a hundred years ago to the present, from the branding of livestock in ancient times, to the development of brand management by FMCG companies such as Unilever in the 1950s, to the modernist brand identity practices that swept the world from the Netherlands in the 1960s.

I think one of the reasons why it has become a hotly discussed term nowadays is that society has once again entered a period of technological bottleneck and saturation, where products tend to be saturated and rarely differ from each other in terms of merit and demerit, and the objective conditions such as the function of products become less important for consumer behavior.

At this time, the taste, value and community relationship represented by the brand once again become an important part of the consumer's evaluation of the product and whether it is worth consuming.

The demand for "brand" as the "spokesperson" for all these more abstract issues is then amplified by everyone. Logically, "brand thinking" is more like a "vision as a desired outcome" approach to thinking, where the "brand" is the only lens (or filter) through which everything is considered. It also requires participants to move from "technical thinking" that relies on a set of quantifiable factors, such as data, to "relational thinking" that mixes abstract elements, such as emotion and vision. It also requires participants to move from "technical thinking" that relies on a set of quantifiable factors such as data to "relational thinking" that mixes abstract elements such as emotion and vision.

Hiiibrand: How do you do brand research before you start designing?

Duan: We generally set aside preconceived ideas and gather and research objective information that can help us get the full picture, and in the process discover and document possible concepts. After researching and exploring concepts alternately to a level that we think is appropriate, we will start to edit all the information and ideas we have gotten and reconcile them with our intuition, taste and feeling, and finally start to generate concrete designs.

Hiiibrand: Can you share your communication strategy with your partner brands?

Duan: Honestly, we are still in the process of exploring and understanding how to communicate with our clients and move forward with the design. From our experience in the studio so far, we have encountered projects that went smoothly in one draft, projects that took much longer than expected to make decisions due to repeated ideas, and projects that were interrupted due to disagreements.

We have always believed that in today's environment where there are so many brands and so many design teams to choose from, brands and designers should think carefully about whether they are a good fit for each other before they start working together, whether it is the type of project, the content, the price, the taste and style, or whether the people involved in the project are comfortable talking to each other, etc. All of these factors will be taken into consideration. This part of pre-communication and pre-judgment usually determines to a large extent whether the cooperation will be successful.

Hiiibrand: How should designers develop a "brand mindset"?

Duan Zhihua: As mentioned in the answer to the first question, "brand thinking" is a way to observe, filter and solve problems through the brand as an object of view.

It is like a person's success can be arbitrary, to solve the problems, to do the interesting period, and to slowly become what it will eventually become; or to determine a persona first, and not necessarily to spend time and energy to focus on and solve the conflicts that are not related to the realization of this persona, but to solve and implement the problems and actions related to the realization of this persona. "Brand thinking" is like the latter. It is also like when you like to write daily, you can record all the words you want to record in a book; you can also decide before you start a new book that "I want to write a book that readers can read easily and happily no matter what time of day they start reading it", and then you will think about the following in order to achieve this result The wording, the paragraphing, and the unhappy bits may need to be written in a different book. The latter may also be a metaphor for "brand thinking" here.

To summarize, "brand thinking" is more about authenticity, continuity, and the need to think about "relationships" and "feelings" in purposeful relationship building and maintenance. As Marty Neumeier says, "Branding is not what you say, it's what your brand's customers say", and the need to think about branding and design so systematically is because "in an information-rich and time-poor society, people pay more attention to feelings than to information. ".

Hiiibrand: What comprehensive skills do you think we need to continuously refine on the way to become a good designer?

Zhihua Duan: Design is hidden in the details, and so is branding, which is actually rather like being aware of the smallest details. Being aware of the details and practicing them requires expanding one's life experience and relatively extensive knowledge, because many details exist in areas and environments other than design, and in things that may be taken for granted or ignored, just as many people would say that designers should be a miscellaneous person.

On the other hand, I think "editing" and "reconciliation" are also very important skills, here editing does not mean editing and designing books, but how to find information, read information, filter information, organize information, relate information and reconcile information, how to How to "edit" and "reconcile" largely determines the way to think, how to solve, how to design, and the direction and quality of the result.


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