Analyze – Distil – Report – Implement
In all forms of design and design consultancy it helps, perhaps it is essential, to be a lateral thinker.
Unless it is for my own indulgence, all projects begin with consultation: extracting my client’s dilemma or desired outcome; assessing the existing situation and then melding the two into an actionable forward plan or design.
This can be as simple as assessing whether signs, brochures etc are in the right place and the font is appropriate for the location – to a multi-year strategy for an entire city.
Case Study 1 - City of Perth: Christmas Decoration Strategy
In 1995 the City of Perth commissioned my company – BOO Creative – to undertake a wide-ranging review of the city’s existing Christmas decoration programme. To my knowledge it was the most comprehensive review of its kind ever undertaken in Australia.
We examined the physical aspects: from sourcing of the decorations themselves to the required infrastructure & storage techniques.
We were also charged with consulting with the relevant stakeholders in the project to ascertain:
a. What they thought of the existing decorations/programmes and
b. What they desired for future schemes.
Of course ‘relevant stakeholders’ in this case meant just about everyone!
We developed a detailed, impartial questionnaire and set about surveying just over one thousand people in the streets and malls of the C.B.D.
In addition, we conducted 9 Stakeholder Focus Groups – convened by an independent chairperson - from outside of Western Australia - to gain a deeper understanding of the views of groups and individuals as diverse as:
Religious organizations; Property owners and managers; Multicultural organizations; Arts groups; Local and State governments; Industry Representatives and many more.
In survey terms, it was a large survey.
This was all then distilled down into a staged, three-document report and presented to the ‘City. After being put out for public comment – and being widely lauded – it was formally adopted in 1996.
Regrettably, what has been implemented in the years since has been entirely contrary to the recommendations of the ‘Report.
For my part I am now, 20 years later, calling on the City of Perth and its stakeholders to revisit and renew this ‘Strategy.
Much has changed in the intervening years. The city itself is being completely reshaped. The ‘Strategy will need to be updated and improved. But the core elements of that ‘Report remain valid today.
More on this later ......
CASE STUDY 2 - Challenge Bank: Merchandising Strategy
We were commissioned by the Executive Board of the Challenge Bank to conduct a review of the internal merchandising schemes and to report with recommendations as to future requirements and advice on the implementation of the new scheme.
This was to cover all branches in Western Australia and Victoria.
We interviewed bank patrons outside branches; reviewed the structure of existing schemes, of how they were being produced & by who.
We analysed floor plans, fixtures and existing merchandising infrastructure.
All of this was distilled into a report that we presented to the ‘Board.
We were then asked to begin implementing the new scheme across the board.
Working with the ‘Bank’s internal Marketing Department, we continued this work for almost 5 years, until the Challenge branding was replaced by Westpac.
Challenge also recognised the need to apply equally professional standards to decorating their branches for Christmas. So again, for almost 5 years, we were responsible for the design, supply, installation and storage of all of their Christmas decorations.
CASE STUDY 3 - Retail Centre Merchandising and Entertainment Infrastructure
More to come..