BRAND IS PRODUCT IS MARKETING IS OPERATIONS mynameisjoshsilverman.com/sdaf @jhsilverman
A presentation at South Dakota Advertising Federation Monthly Luncheon in March 2019 in Sioux Falls, SD, USA by Josh Silverman
BRAND IS PRODUCT IS MARKETING IS OPERATIONS mynameisjoshsilverman.com/sdaf @jhsilverman
HELLO, I’M JOSH i’m honored to be here and to share this with you. thanks to jackie & the team at midco & SDAF, to cale and sawyer
i’m a designer and entrepreneur. over 25 years… i’ve moved from designing aesthetics -> teams.
[POLL] – designers? sales? engineers? marketing? content?
today… integrated teams and tenets of togetherness
there’ll be 15–20 mins at the end for Q&A.
this is the first time… so i’m testing a few hypotheses with you.
When a company starts Immense concentration on building the product or service lots of concentrated energy The idea phase = a big bang So much power & possibility You can go anywhere from here
Not all companies start this way.
Fascinated with origin stories & first meetings
for example… 1939 in this garage in Palo Alto, in the heart of silicon valley… William Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett Packard with $538.
Airbnb’s first apartment. $40/night. who knows their origin story?
as one of the co-founders of Airbnb, and now Chief Product Officer, joe gebbia states that having design at the beginning of the business has made all the difference.
having a design mind – a design thinker and design do-er – at the outset of a company has impacted everything.
this is integration from the beginning, and is one of the reasons they’re a multi-billion dollar company that’s about to go public.
define: smaller teams of 1–15 people, co-located or distributed. business-building fundamentals for any company.
advantages: – decision making is likely easier merely because of numbers: fewer people influencing, share of ownership is bigger – move swiftly, respond to changes in market conditions, or customer fb – direct conversation with the customer – easier to take risks – integration and internal alignment is natural when you start
brand: expressions or impressions product: could be digital or physical marketing: directed or targeted operations: how we get it done
put another way… once you figure out the core value, your purpose, what makes you distinct, what you stand for – you can apply it to everything else.
it’s the total experience – the customer experience, user experience – AND the employee experience.
Both brand and UX are interested in the customer Bad UX creates brand resentment. Great UX creates brand loyalty
embedded in product is the UI, and engineering.
once you have brand & product alignment, your value proposition will be clear.
operations is the means to execute.
but… let’s just say we look at this from another angle. let’s say product was the center of everything.
embedded is product marketing, product management, and engineering or manufacturing.
we’d still have a lot of other teams and functions to locate within a product-centric model. although with the HP example – they started working on their product first. [london startup story]
but products change. features of products change. there’s more iteration at the product level than the brand level. so hierarchically, brands must be the biggest ring out.
a brand may have multiple products. but a product cannot have multiple brands. a product can, however, be whitelabeled to multiple brands – serve multiple brands.
reminds me of these competing theories
the phase of a business following startup. some businesses are stuck in never-never land – i mean startup phase. they don’t wish to evolve their practices. some think the ideas that brought them to growth will still apply even as the working conditions have changed.
startup vs standup
here are some signs of the separation that may occur between startup & growth, or once a company begins its growth phase
designers in growth stage companies are faced with an either-or situation. they may need to move from being a generalist – i think about design holistically – to a specialist – i will design one screen in a flow.
while some of the execution may be on a different surface – say a billboard vs a wireframe – this false dichotomy has undermined our ability to be systems thinkers, to collaborate effectively, and bring cogent impactful experiences to life.
can you figure out which titles fall into which category – brand vs product? which is digital vs physical? why is the purview of both – of integration – limited to leadership?
splintering of titles. titles are hard. naming is hard.
bloated departments take companies down means of survival to continue to be lean
Cashflow is the 2nd most common reason for startups to fizzle out during growth.
Conflict – esp between founders – is the most common reason for failure.
Competition can be a healthy thing. When your business is successful, others may try to copy it. If your value proposition remains distinct & unique, you can continue to focus on what you do best.
Your company’s culture is co-determined by everyone you hire. As your business grows, stay true to your core values and let those guide decisions.
Change can be internal (innovation) or external (market forces). Depending on your industry, constant change can be the new normal.
There are more challenges but these are top of mind for me.
ZOOMING OUT quick glimpse of a broader context
in the last 10 years, so many products have revolutionized how we communicate. the iPad, uber, lyft, instagram, facebook, pinterest, square, venmo, whatsapp, slack – to name just a few! this always-on, instant availability has spawned a series of counter-move apps for mental health… apple has integrated Screen Time to monitor use… and i’ll touch upon this later, but there are so many more coaches now to foster self-care.
there are signals that the design industry is shifting, that the way we’ve been operating is unsustainable.
even in the last 24 hours, responding to pressure from civil rights groups, facebook has agreed to overhaul its ad targeting policy for housing, jobs, and credit.
so everyone who has an internet connection or a smart phone can have a voice – everyone can express their opinion.
one of the recent and powerful examples of this is a social change design intervention, created in response to the US election of 2016
pussy hats have become a symbol of human rights, and a sign of what debbie’s quote suggests: it’s very visible for people to organize and connect, using social media and hashtags, and in this case, open source patterns for knitting!
the pussy hat project stems from the actual words spoken by trump, and turns them around. three women were inspired to make and share the design for pink hats in advance of the marches in january of 2017. the name was also chosen to de-stigmatize the word “pussy” and transform it, highlighting the cat ears in the hat design.
so this one project: raises awareness, advances human rights, and promotes dialogue and empowerment through art, education, and craft.
and in a broader context, it’s a great result of the current US administration, this increased visibility of resistance movements, including Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.
people are getting up off their couches, making signs, knitting, and taking action. this inspires me very much, to witness the democratization of effective branding.
the ability to take an idea into reality starts with one person
or a small group of people,
which spreads – thinking about that margaret mead quote
until dozens – ultimately hundreds and thousands of people become ambassadors of the idea, movement, and brand
indeed, here’s a shot from a women’s march showing a sea of pussy hats. this is powerful, bottom-up branding… made by people. YOU COULDN’T ASK for a better image of integrated teamwork.
also from 2017 this reality check changing needs: data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing and project management. plus integration with employers.
from january let’s move thoughtfully & fix things
“Th Consumers don’t think about OR EXPERIENCE products in terms of internal teams, so why should we?
humanization of customer experience
Holistic, horizontal thinking is the past, and it is our future. e user experience doesn’t end at the edges of the screen.” Nick Fink, @nickf Lead UXDI instructor, General Assembly Seattle, WA @jhsilverman
so! integration actually starts with i…
here are eight tips on how to reclaim that integration juju and get better at integrated teamwork.
move from personal things you can do to horizontal, cross-company, cross-org activities
You know what it’s like to be in a state of flow, only to be interrupted by a buzz buzz in your pocket.
Email, Slack, DMs, HipChat, GChat, phone calls, texts, Hangouts, Skype, a tap on the shoulder… the list goes on, and the list will grow. Knowing someone’s channel preferences means the message you send will be a message that’s welcomed.
Ask yourself: under which conditions do you perform best. Are you a morning person like me, with peak energy between 6am and 2pm? Or do you prefer strategy meetings at 4pm on Friday? If you need heads-down, uninterrupted time, does it take blocking off chunks of your calendar to get there, or could you indicate it physically (such as working with your headphones on)?
here’s one of my favorite tools by Cassie Robinson. she calls it a User Manual, for herself.
Fill this out for yourself, and your team. How would your collaboration change if you knew this about your coworkers? What if you had this data for your entire company, and it was published on an internal site?
x is greater than t
to be a t-shaped person is to have t-shaped skills. vertical: depth of skills in a single field horizontal: ability to collaborate across with teams other than the one you’re in.
originated by david guest & mckinsey in the 80s & popularized by tim brown in early 90s.
x-shaped: looks more like a person jumping for joy cross-disciplinary multiplier: Design x business Brand x marketing ICs x Execs
and so… we are the intersection brand is product. marketing is operations. y’all do more than one thing, right?
what can you DO with a great CS? EXPRESS THE BRAND IN THE PRODUCT
because design is never done, you must enjoy the process. even trust the process. but be sure to HAVE a process and socialize it.
the point of these: it doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it’s shared and understood. designfuckingthinking.tumblr.com
all of this is made possible by a growth mindset
Source: Carol Dweck
we are certainly are obsessed with failure. fail
FAIL! But here’s a secret:
failure is data! the more we learn from failure, the better off we are. what if there were a system in place to reward failure?
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844 @jhsilverman
A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean Working with people who are different from you may challenge patterns in your brain & help overcome existing ways of thinking and sharpen its performance. cultural and cognitive diversity is a boon to innovativeness
we have more in common with each other than not. 99.9% of everyone’s DNA is the same.
“ Diversity and design share the purpose of creating for someone else. If you’re creating for only one user, you’re not affecting as much change as you could.” Candi Castleberry Singleton, @candi VP of Intersectionality, Culture, and Diversity, Twitter San Francisco, CA @jhsilverman
never going to be able to do this alone. ad fed is your local AIGA members?
When I was 23 I joined a local chapter of the oldest & largest organization for designers. Its network was the key to my getting my first projects, hiring collaborators, and meeting some of my heroes (including debbie millman). When I moved from MA to RI, I cofounded a RI chapter. Volunteering my time to AIGA has had a tenfold return over almost 25 years.
design operations HEALS THE DIVIDE among teams. it’s contextual work – it looks at practices in a design team, and across teams.
workflow and process, design systems, hiring, culture, feedback, tools, critique…
its benefits are: letting the designers do design, efficiency, operationalizing processes.
there’s a lot of deisgnops work to do, as teams have scaled without many of these practices in place.
CLARITY, started in 2016. Design systems are for people! Design systems inclusive of brand content and code
Joint Futures is combining better craft, operations, and strategy towards achieving results that impact the people, the environment, and organizations to do more meaningful business. Together.
from tuesday “public good is the best corporate incentive.”
launched this week by Jon Yablonski covers principles of transparency, respect, process and more
Design & designers – at the beginning of a company, at the table – will continue to be immensely valuable. No more handoffs, no more silos. Strategy kickoffs together, taking little steps together No more dark patterns: taking into greater account the ethical ramifications of their design choices for the people that use their products. B corps. People persist – people skills matter more than ever
We’re in the midst of a reset towards people-centered tech, and societally, now is a terrific time to focus more on what persists.
THANK YOU mynameisjoshsilverman.com/sdaf @jhsilverman
Q&A mynameisjoshsilverman.com/sdaf @jhsilverman