“Should the logo be red or blue?”
This question and others like it will arise in the creative process. Answering is difficult until we understand how our creative decisions impact our objectives. This worksheet helps us understand and explore how we want people to perceive our organization and how this is tied to our organization’s goals.
Cause & Effect
How Your Creative Decisions Impact Your Organization's Goals
YOUR visual identity IMPACTS HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE YOU
Because our minds are built to draw conclusions and predict outcomes, people will make assumptions about your company based on the information they have. For example, if you use pink in your materials, some people will percieve you as feminine. Your visual identity won't be the only thing shaping their opinion of you, but it's still important to support your desired perceptions.
THEIR PERCEPTIONS SHAPE THEIR ACTIONS TOWARDS YOU
The advice you follow never comes from friends, family, and certainly not from any company. It comes from you – when you tell yourself something, you believe it. So the best way to influence someone's actions to intentionally shape their perceptions. For example, if people perceive you as 'wise' they'll be more likely to let you give them advice.
PEOPLE'S ACTIONS IMPACT YOUR GOALS FOR BETTER OR WORSE
Whether your organization's goals are to break into new markets, hire an awesome staff, or simply to increase sales, you will need people to take some sort of action.
Fill in the Blanks
Sit down with your key team members and fill in the blanks below. Hint – start at the end.
Here's an example of a complete statement - We want people perceive us as stylish, modern, and unique so they buy our clothing which supports our goal of increasing sales. Voila! You've determined your desired perceptions.
Validate Your Desired Perceptions
Take each of your desired perceptions and explore their value to your customer.
Let's pretend one of your desired perceptions is 'stylish'.
- Why would someone be attracted to you for being stylish?
- Why does it matter to them?
- What's the emotional value of being stylish?
- Is 'stylish' the only desired perception that satisfied your target audience?
- Is there a narrower idea that could be used (ex: trendy)? Or a broader one (ex: design-focused)?
- Beyond your visual identity, how do you imagine getting people to perceive you as stylish?
- What are some examples of other organizations you perceive as stylish?
If you can answer these questions for each of your desired perceptions, then you’ve picked the right ones. If you’re struggling to come up with answers, you might need to try a different desired perception.
Understand Your Peers and Competition
Let's explore your peers and competition and how they are perceived in the market right now.
List all of your competitors and answer the following for each of them.
- Why would someone choose your organization over them?
- How are they trying to be perceived?
- How well is it working for them?
- Are they the big guys or the little guys?
- What sets you apart?
Profile Your Target Audience
If you ask a 25-year-old lawyer from New York and a 75-year-old-musician from Texas what 'stylish, modern, and unique' looks like to them, you'll get two very different answers. It's important to understand your target audience and how they see the world.
Let's look at who 'they' are and consider the following details:
- Familiarity with your industry
- Market size
- Purchase habits
Hot or Cold?
Here's a personality chart to help us further define your desired perceptions beyond the ones list above.
Here are some final questions to prompt internal discussion.
That's it, you're done!
Next steps – let's discuss your answers to the questions above.