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4 Archetypical Design Management Approaches Revealed

Posted By: SGK March 03, 2017

Design strategy and creative leadership are more important than ever. In our recent BrandSquare webinar, Scott Lucas, managing director of Brandimage analyzes four archetypical design management approaches to help clients and agencies understand the benefits and pitfalls of each style. In the constantly evolving world of CPG brand design, knowledge is key.

Watch the entire webinar here: The Inside Scoop on 4 Creative Leadership Models in CPG Companies  

If agencies can see organizations differently and better understand how they act, behave, and what drives them, agencies can better understand the organization’s motivation and recognize their fears. With these learnings, agencies can better communicate and interact with clients to create better work for their brands.

“It’s a way to understand the person across the table,” says Lucas “as more than a client or name, but understand the bigger picture of that person or the team they sit in, the organization they’re a part of, and the culture that drives decisions through the rest of the organization.”

The team at Brandimage uses the archetype wheel (seen below) to craft stories — using the archetypes as a starting point to understand the tone and the style and the behavior of a brand.

Before assigning archetypes, it’s important to understand the different types of leadership models. The team at Brandimage narrowed their research down to four different models for brand design stewardship:

Creative leadership | Sage: The idea that there is a senior leader driving the design process at an organization. This approach elevates design and expands its role in the business and creates the vision for all facets of design — from strategy to execution.

The myth: One leader can change everything.

Design management | Caregiver: The large or small team of design managers that are the go-between for brands and agencies. They are responsible for bringing together the needs of the brands while delivering the needs of the business. This is not just about and driving design and creating meaningful design solutions, but also about helping their partners on the brand and marketing teams to deliver the revenue and margin targets for the brands.

The myth: One design manager per brand drives efficiency.

Agency of record | Creator: Brands pick and trust an agency parter who is the ongoing brand steward for all creative work from strategy to execution, or some part thereof. The work for an AOR relationship can also be project-based, but the idea here is that there is a greater level of trust, as the AOR hold in-depth knowledge of the history of the brand.

The myth: For the agency, being in control doesn’t always mean freedom.

Brand management | Ruler: Led by marketing and brand teams, the roles of the brand management model are not necessarily trained design managers and not necessarily left to the control of the agency. Design agencies in this model work directly with the brand and marketing teams and can be without global creative leadership.

The myth: Life is easier, cheaper, and better without design management.

Key findings show a rise in the creative leadership model while the AOR model continues to decline over time. Brand management is constant and the role brand managers play in managing design seems to be the same. Design management on the other hand, has always been cyclical and we’re starting to see those areas narrow a little bit with the turnover and change within organizations.