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The most important part of creating a marketing, branding or editorial communication tool is understanding the client’s objective. This starts with careful listening. We know the questions that need to be asked. We have the experience to read between the lines of the expressed goals of the client and to propose a smart solution.

 

This is particularly important in building a website or an application. It is equally vital to a new brand. The more we understand about how the tool needs to work for the client, the better we can select from a palette of the latest technology to deliver the experience to the audience.

 

We put ourselves in the place of the end user. What thoughts will this experience evoke? What will it feel like to use this product? Can I find my way into the experience of this communication piece?

 

Imagination is key to the creative process. We place more emphasis on intuition and common sense than market testing. User testing is important, but absorption in technology does not allow us to forget product quality. We rely solidly on our own human experience when we imagine others’ experiences.
 
The time it takes to build a communication tool stretches out well beyond the first steps in the creative process. The implementation of the product needs to be in constant dialogue with the original vision. Does the build out change the way the product was conceived? How do we make it better in light of what we are learning as we proceed.

 

The nuts and bolts of the process look something like this:

• Dialogue about the potential client needs. Whether this is a phone call, a face-to-face meeting, a video conference—the net result needs to be the same. We must understand what our clients want to do.
 
• Ideate, understand and write an intelligent proposal that can be a guide to the client’s process, budget and timeline. Our fees are based on a rate of 90/hour, but our costs are expressed in a lump sum—categorized as design fee, production fee, development fee and expenses.
 
• Create a timeline for work completion. We become very goal oriented and talk deadlines and launch dates. Then we dive in. As often as is convenient for our busy clients, we engage them in participation in the process.
 
• Give birth to a new piece of communication! A website goes live, a brand is launched, a print piece is mailed out. This is the beginning for our clients. This is when our work is measured against the response it makes in the world. The best websites change to meet the received response. A brand is continually interpreted as it finds new expression in the marketplace. A print piece or an ad creates a dialogue between a business and their constituents.

 
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