Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Love and design, design and love

Putting the words 'love' and 'design' together on the cover of a book is sure to grab my attention. That’s exactly what Robert Brunner did with his compelling title Do You Matter?, and less compelling sub-title, How great design will make people love your company. As a huge advocate of the connections between design and Lovemarks I was keen to hear what someone else had to say on the subject. You probably best know Brunner for his work as Director of Industrial Design at Apple Computer in the late eighties and nineties. He was the guy who designed the original PowerBook and was followed in the job by design genius Jonathan Ive.

But when you write a book about design, you have to expect people to leap onto your own design. This book seems to me rather severe with its big type inserts and seventies style orange cover. In fact, it looks as if it leapt out of the Attention Economy - ready for action - rather than being part of the Attraction Economy where listening and observation can bring writers and designers closer to readers. Despite the assertive look of his book, Brunner totally gets the importance of design to the Lovemarks effect and uses many of the Lovemarks I talk about in my own books. Harley Davidson, Whole Foods and Jones Soda all get a mention. The connection between great design and the future beyond brands has always been central to the story of Lovemarks, so it’s great to see the story filled out by someone who helped write it.

Many of the examples come from Apple and that’s ok. Apple is a Lovemarks company – check out for proof. They’re an important model but sometimes I think we should take on the challenge of discussing design, institutionalized innovation and committed customers without using a single Apple example. Is that the impossible challenge of our era? Can we think outside those glamorous white and black boxes?

1 comment:


Hi Kevin, nothing is impossible and I am one of those that use the apple's example as a lovemark example quite often. First of all Apple is a designing company, Apple does computers and all sorts of stuff, but they are great in design, they stand out in design. Apple comes to my mind because they seem to know How design is applied to make things more attractive, more functional and better working through design. The single button on the Ipod Iphone is a software genius thing right? but it is how that software is "designed" in order to make our life simpler that is magic. That's why apple is a design firm to me.

Having said that, There are many other companies that have been successful through design. I often mention Coke as a simple example in regards to the shape of the bottle, so sexy to me.... I can say the same for motorola when they designed the first micro tac ( the flip phone) so small and handy, Leonardo Da Vinci was the greatest designer of all with all his inventions, from the bike to the helicopter. And then there are the less glamourous one.... - I remember when I was 7 or 8 that my mum used a lot of her imagination and fantasy to design dishes which I would not be interested to eat otherwise. To make these dishes more attractive ( specially that lentil soup which I hate), she knew how to use colors and decorate the plate in a funny, interesting way. Without her "designing" touch, without her making the dish more attractive to my eyes, I would not know what lentil's taste was. I guess. My mum is a great designer.... She stands out in the kitchen.