How the Right Tools Make Change a Little Easier

Change is hard for us human beings. Yet, here we all are, living through far-reaching changes that are reshaping our world. We are thriving because we have the ability to bend, shift and adapt to changes, no matter how big or unexpected or how many are happening all at once.

As a marketer, you know that the changes taking place in our society are impacting how your consumers see the world, your category and your brand. As brand builders, we know that consumers are desperately looking for a sense of control and reassurance, and sometimes that comes in the form of recognizable and familiar brands.

At the same time, it is more important than ever for your brand to stay relevant and contemporary — and that might mean making a change. But before you go making any dramatic moves, take a moment to get informed about what your consumers find most recognizable and familiar about your brand. You might be surprised.

At Deskey, we start that process with ToolBox™, a practice we designed to understand the visual equities your brand owns. We know that all purchase decisions are made in the subconscious (emotional and visual) part of the brain and then are rationalized in the verbal, conscious brain. ToolBox allows consumers to share insights from both sides of their brain so we can design solutions that speak to the entire decision-making process. We use a mixture of aided and unaided visual exercises to understand what you own, where you have whitespace, and how much change your loyal consumers can tolerate.

It started with a burst of sunshine

When we did ToolBox as part of our redesign for Glucerna, we were seeking to understand the visual vocabulary for diabetics, a target audience that lives with constant heightened awareness. For them, control is a key driver because it’s part of what keeps them alive. Controlling diet, exercise and medication are essential for living with this chronic disease.

We learned a few surprising truths.

First, there is a yellow sunburst behind the logo on the front panel. It’s the kind of graphic element that you might say doesn’t mean much. Academically, one could say it is creating visual clutter because it has nothing to do with appetite appeal or the medicinal benefits of the drink. But it turns out, it means something to users. They included it in both aided and unaided exercises and told us that the sunburst is something they look for because it’s “a bright spot in their day.” We knew we needed to keep their moment of delight highly visible as we refreshed the brand.

The second surprise came during the aided exercise, where we provided graphic elements so participants could visualize the current packaging. We included an image of a malt glass with a straw even though it was not on the package. Nevertheless, loyal consumers chose the image not because they remembered it from the package (it wasn’t there), but because it symbolized how they felt drinking Glucerna (it’s there now). In their world of restricted desserts, Glucerna reminded them of childhood, of drinking chocolate milk through a straw in a simpler time.

Note that medicinal claims on the package were not what brought comfort or joy to loyal users. They know they can buy low-sugar chocolate drinks anywhere. They want their chocolate drink, the one that brightens their day.

But don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying claims don’t matter. They are important for new users in order to close the initial sale and reassure them that the thing they’re buying is “right for me.” But the loyalty and connection felt by Glucerna consumers went much deeper than facts and figures — and that was an unexpected insight ToolBox turned up.

Making changes in the best of circumstances is scary and uncomfortable, but it’s especially so in turbulent times. We can help you identify the changes that are right for your brand to stay contemporary and in demand. Our ToolBox exercises will illuminate which visual equities you’ll want to keep to comfort and reassure your loyal consumers and which to refresh to attract future loyalists. Combining these insights with brilliant design lights a clear path forward for making smart changes that help grow your brand and give your consumers a choice they can trust.

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