Designing Tuscan Luxury
What is the defining factor that makes a brand "luxury"? Service. While this work began with the objective to enhance client presentations with rendered design concepts, closer examination of the business revealed the need for the consideration and re-design of multiple touch points along the path of the client experience. The project quickly expanded into a yearlong contract to revamp the company’s visual brand, client presentations, internal communications and online presence with the goal of realigning company's service image with the elaborate, upscale floral designs they had been providing for years.
Business Review, Journey Mapping, Stakeholder Interviews, Pain point Identification, Internal Process Evaluation and Design, Redesign of Digital and Face-to-Face Interactions, Visual Branding.
Visual branding and Interactions re-designed to align with the industry standards and business goals; New modern, responsive website; Better processes and tools for improved efficiency and flexibility of services.
Upon arrival to the company, I was tasked with identifying design elements and operations that could use improvement. Over the course of the first week, I began to observe, and talk with internal stakeholders, employees that had spent years inside the company to begin to identify the potential scope of work and challenges faced in their workplace. By the end of week one, I determined that there were multiple pieces of their brand image and internal processes that could be better aligned with the goals of their business and service standards of their industry. The objective was defined: Evaluate and re-design service interactions and design operations to better align with the Luxury Event service industry.
During the discovery phase I built a picture of the current state of the business, marketing plans and design processes by employing a series of research tactics:
- Business Review of goals and targets
- Marketing plan and tools review & evaluation
- Mapping the current workflow from the client and stakeholder points of view
- Stakeholder interviews
- Affinity mapping to identify common themes and primary pain points
- Benchmarking for comparison and parity with competitive and compatible businesses
Once pain points were established and agreed upon among stakeholders, I held a meeting with business leadership to establish a prioritized list of challenges to tackle, identify constraints such as time and resources, and put together a plan of action for the coming months.
Client touchpoint evaluation & redesign
A client journey map was drawn up to reflect the client experience observed during observation and discussions with clients. As a primary partner in bringing clients through the service experience, wedding planners played an important role is collecting and providing feedback. Projects were prioritized according to impact on client experience and business objectives. Many of the projects affected multiple touch points in the client journey.
Business process EVALUATION & REDESIGN
Another goal was to uncover any major redundancies or inefficiencies within the internal operations of the Design Department that were hindering the quality of service. Photo finding/ selection and the need to repeatedly re-format the current proposal document throughout the design workflow were two primary pain points identified.
DAM SYSTEM – With over 135,000 digital assets on file, it took designers an average of 8 minutes to find images needed for a proposal. By implementing Extensis Portfolio, search time was reduced to an average of 2 minutes per image. Considering an average of 50 images per proposal, the improved search functionality resulted in a time savings of approximately 5.5 hours per proposal.
The viewing functionality gave clients the opportunity to explore the images more quickly during meetings. Allowing greater flexibility and quicker results when making selections for their event.
As Portfolio also identifies duplicates, the image bank was reduced from 135,000 to 18,000 in redundant images.
CLIENT PROPOSALS – were not only an important piece of the visual rebranding project, but addressed a major problem in the design process as well. Working in Word was causing the need to reformat the entire proposal with every small change. As there were several phases and often multiple rounds of revisions, this task was time consuming for the design team. By creating an InDesign file, I was able to create templates that allowed designers to drag and drop images into pre-formatted presentations directly from the DAM system. Layers made the document adaptable as the project moved through design phases and into production; reducing designer time by an average of 4 hours per project.
Implementation of the entire project took place over a one-year period, beginning with pieces that were identified as priorities. Co-creation of solutions with the designers and other staff was a key factor in gaining team support. The process updates required time and commitment to change as well as some staff education. For example, both Indesign and Extensis Portfolio were new to the team and required software training. By the end of the year all changes had been adopted with significant business rewards in efficiency and target audience reach.