Industry design consultants Transformator made it into Dagens Media yesterday with a statement that they’re better than the advertising agencies.
I’m sure they ARE better. At product design, design of the user experience, the brand in it’s physical product appearance. But that is not what advertising agencies do.
What Daniel Ewerman (CEO of Tranformator) is saying is that the product is a superior carrier of the brand, and I think that can be true a lot of times (though not always). Apple is a good example of what he’s talking about, what I usually refer to as communicative design. Other products are examples of the opposite. I guess Coke Zero vs Coke Light is a good example. Same product, completely different brand experience (unless you count the packaging as the product).
I don’t think Daniel is wrong, but matching up industrial design and advertising as mutually exclusive opponents is strange (I’m not sure that he meant it so drastically, but it sounded that way in the article). There are several expressions of brands. You have the product, you have the packaging, you have the advertising, you have the storytelling, you have the brand alignments with other brands, you have brand aligning services, CSR, etc etc. Is Transformator aiming at doing all of these? Of course not. Are they trying to get more focus on their particular area of expertise? Of course. And they did got an article for their efforts.
So in conclusion – kudos do Daniel for bringing focus to the issue och product development and product design. I think it deserves more focus. But at the same time, I think it’s way oversimplified in the DM-article. And I don’t think you can learn to make EFFECTIVE advertising in 6 months as Daniel suggests in the article. Try 6 years. Or 60. Or 600. We’re not even there yet.