Rough notes from Seymour Powell presentation, Singapore

Saw Seymour Powell speak this afternoon. Basically, they gave a great presentation of ideas that aren’t that foreign to anyone practising interaction or product design, but as such still depressingly exotic to marketing, advertising and brand people… And let’s face it – you kind of automatically win if you end with “and here’s the spaceship we designed”…

in a very grand ballroom…
let?s just say that advertising people do their conferences very differently…

masterclass – from seymourpowell

intro by chris thomas -theme of conference is ?ideas with consequence?

design effectiveness
design council study – basket of companies that privilege design outperforms FTSE
effective design – is there any other kind?
it?s not art
david sainsbury – innovation = successful exploitation of new ideas.
brand – a series of promises that do not change over time (bernstein)

Voyage of the dawntreader – what is a star – – what it is, not what it?s made of.

Aston Martin example – ?power, beauty, soul?
?they?ve made a dreadful mistake but putting it on the dashboard.. I don’t want to be told!? (show, don’t tell)
?you don?t own it, it lives in the heart of the consumer?
brands taken and refracted and distorted by forces outside the brand
communications are become more and more fragmented
the product is where the brand keeps it?s promises – where the rubber hits the road.
?audi tt doesn’t need an ad – it is the ad? -john hegarty
the product is an ad that runs every time you pick it up.
even at the end of it?s life – when you discard it.
the brand can be redefined by the product (for good or for ill)
skoda – 10 years refining the product to redefine the brand.
is land-rover a brand or a product?
the dna of the brand is the vehicle, the product
design as a job of reasserting authority for a brand.

brands are far to important to entrust to brand managers
1.7 years is the average tenure of a brand manager
product cycles are typically 2-8years…

emotional ergonomics – you love to use it.
3d dimensional brands

phases of creativity: idea >belief > embodiment

old saw: ?a brief is a collection of the client?s prejudices? is true.

we don?t listen – we watch.
if you listen to focus groups you get post-rationlisation, not insight.
emergent behaviour comes from watching, and if you watch that you find the future.

if 72% of consumer decisions are made at point of sales then how come 72% of the budget isn’t spent there?


?unless we build a receiver into the client, they can?t be read for the violence of the new?

push/pull activity – push from tech, pull from marketing.
poor comms between both usually.

over-ambition can be the death of innovation – the search for the big idea, the category killer
usually great innovation is more about a series of small ideas brought together in a new and orginal way

often innovation theory triumphs over practice – management goobledegook and voodoo. buzzword bingo.

embodying it doesn’t usually fall to the innovation consultants…

innovation sheep-dip – flawed but p.c. idea that everyone can be creative. some people are just more creative than others…. training isn?t always the answer.

good design is cheap, brilliant design is free.

process: gets you the unexpected but relevant solution

?crucible? events – melting point for alloying the points of view of marketing and technical.
embodying an idea is so important – sketching and drawing is crucial.

redesigning the steam iron for tefal
two small headaches from user observation – why do I have to fill it through a tiny hole, why is it always falling off

c.f. shelf-demonstrable

stand somewhere else to solve the problem from where you are used to – to get to the unexpected but relevant solution

new paradigms of product – how do you create them?

when we see something we don?t quite understand – your brain rifles through all the categories it knows and tries to find a match

businesses need to be a zoom lens to see the very small things that might disrupt the vision.

occupy yourself with the parts without losing sight of the whole.

businesses should ask ?why not? more than ?why?

– george bernard shaw quote

?how far do you want to dream?

shows virgin galactic video

they give extremely good talk – the confidence and passion is something to behold…

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