The Secret Formula
The VIBE Process
Creating visionary, innovative brand experiences is not easy. Over the past twenty years, I have learned a great deal about the best and worst ways to attempt these types of projects. After experiencing many triumphs and more than a few “learning opportunities”, I have developed an excellent collection of tools and methods that give your brand the best chance for wild, unmitigated success.
Note that this process is not dogmatic, fixed or rigid, but rather open-minded and flexible enough to tailor the process to the needs of each specific project, client and target audience. In fact, the process requires courageous, risk-taking, unbiased and collaborative behavior from everyone involved. Are you “open” for business? If so, here is the secret formula for positive change through VIBE:
ONE : Let’s have a conversation.
Our discussion will cover what Min Basadur calls your “fuzzy situation” and delve lightly into the history, facts, influences, motivations, objectives and players involved. You’ll get an inside peek at my way of thinking and we’ll end up with an idea of how to move forward.
TWO : Let’s get all the facts.
After our initial conversation, we’ll have a good general idea about what information we’ll need when we start asking questions and who needs to be in the room when we start asking them. To prepare for that Q&A session, we’ll need to start assembling data.
THREE : Let’s ask the right questions.
If we know the facts and the players involved, we can easily get everyone together and sit down for some structured brainstorming, mind mapping, lateral thinking and other amazing techniques. Alex Osborn called it Creative Problem Solving (CPS) and we love it.
TWO / THREE : Lather, rinse, repeat.
Often we’ll discover during a CPS session that we still need more information. This may require customer research, market analysis, competitor data or other facts that we need to answer the right questions. If necessary, we will cycle between steps 2 + 3 to fill in the gaps.
FOUR : Let’s build some solutions.
Creating prototypes of the various solutions we come up with in our CPS sessions will allow us to test our hypotheses with actual customers. Far less expensive than building finished solutions in the wrong direction, this will also get us to the right one faster.
FIVE : Let’s try it out with some customers.
The best way to know if actual customers will respond positively to our new brand experiences is to try them out in the field. We can choose from a wide variety of techniques to perform thorough testing of concepts, products, environments, websites and other experiences.
FOUR / FIVE : Lather, rinse, repeat, part 2.
Rapid prototyping and testing is a great way to discover what works and what doesn’t.
By testing with customers, analyzing results, tweaking prototypes and re-testing, we can learn continuously, save money and end up with the best possible solution.
SIX : Let’s build the full solution.
Working from a proven prototype is one of the most comfortable positions you can start from when building a full solution. With ongoing oversight and guidance from the initial project team, success is virtually guaranteed and customers will be thrilled.
ONE : Let’s do it all over again.
After you’ve launched your new brand experience, you’ll soon have a wealth of new customer behavior to collect and analyze. Because the experience was designed intelligently, it will be easy to measure, track and discover what is working and what’s not. And if the world has changed in the meantime (and you know it will), you’ll be wonderfully positioned to change with it by restarting the VIBE process and running through the same steps with your new information. This is not intended to be a “one night stand,” but rather a long-term relationship with your customers. Keep the VIBE alive!
Want to see the secret formula create VIBE for your brand? Give me a call and let’s get started.