Bridging The Brand Gap


There’s plenty of non-creative marketers these days, thanks to the ever widening scope of general marketing and analytical specialisms. But marketers without creativity isn’t good for brand marketing. We need differentiation and innovation more than ever. It’s a gap that needs to be bridged.

Especially in an age which is less about traditional channels and more about innovating. The sheer quantity of channels available cries out for more creative collaboration. Meanwhile, the results are there for all to see, with brand identities more geared to working cross-platform than making an emotional connection. Utilitarian instead of creative.

Marketers are becoming more detached from creativity at a time when it should be more relevant. I’m not saying that marketers should be creative – many are famously terrible at it. The trick to the ’T-shape’ is knowing which skills you need to understand and how far to take them. There’s just not enough time to squeeze in years of day in, day out specialist experience.

But a creative voice is key to brand marketing, so why not use an expert? People often talk about designers knowing code, and it’s good to have a passing knowledge, but marketing is a far more complementary skill.

Creativity Can’t Work Without Brand Marketing

The brand strategy dictates creative work – why wouldn’t a designer be interested in it?! It’s in their interest that the premise on which their creativity is based should be as compelling as possible. Creatives need the big answers to resolve the small details such as typography, instead of just aesthetics.

Designers can offer creativity with a healthy dose of reality. They’re at the sharp end and understand how things can unfold in reality, having bought many brand strategies to life.

Creatives Can Add Valuable Insight Into The Business And Customer Perspective

Design and marketing can be a great match if you have a business and consumer aware designer. Not the type of designer who prefers sitting in front of their Mac with headphones in – living in their own world and only interested in aesthetics.

One valuable insight can be worth more than a thousand opinions taken from a narrow set of questions. And with the right mindset and background knowledge, creatives can add a different dimension with fresh insight, making collaboration helpful for the marketer and designer.

My Conversion

I was a senior designer who unexpectedly ended up running a marketing campaign for the main income stream of a medium size business. I always enjoyed being involved in the marketing process but hadn’t realised how much I had picked up along the way. It was enjoyable and the campaign ran smoothly.

It gave me the motivation to get even more involved in what occurs behind the design process – the strategies that mold it.

The Importance Of Design In Marketing

Collaboration can enrich the brand process.

When you boil it down, brand marketing exists to facilitate the sales process. It does it by communicating value – understanding what entices people to a brand. This dictates the creative process, allowing design to win attention and create interest.

My level of involvement allowed me to better understand the value pillars of brands and the emotional connection people had with them. Just like sales has a crossover with the final stage of Marketing (4 P’s), there is also a large crossover with design, specifically at the most crucial stage when everything is being formed. Why should it be so siloed?

Times are changing, and skills are overlapping like never before. Advertising, PR and Marketing are seeing a convergence. But you need to know what is best suited to collaboration and when. And designers can make for good collaborators when it comes to brand marketing.

You can be a brand marketer who ticks boxes. Or you can ask questions, and get answers from people who offer value that you don’t have.

Bridge the gap – the right gap, with the right people.