HIRING DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTORS IS HURTING YOUR PHYSICAL BRAND EXPERIENCE

Posted on 08/08/2022 | 5 minutes read

"Design-build firms are often producers with little or no understanding of branding or the role branding plays in growing your company. Since they lack branding knowledge and information, these firms leave you to figure it out by yourself. They won't offer any helpful advice or direction about the crucial touchpoints and user engagement activities that can help you improve your brand's physical experience."

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Design-built is a project delivery system that allows service providers to manage an entire project. Now, you'll find construction firms handling both the architecture and construction phases. And printing firms that offer do-it-all packages from design to manufacturing. Traditionally, such roles were split between different firms, but now the specialties are found under one roof.


Product packaging design is increasingly becoming a marketing requirement, leading to a sharp increase in the number of design-build firms on the market. More than 80% of the customers base their buying decision on a product's packaging design. In comparison, 76% of shoppers are inclined to trust brands that use quality packaging materials designed to keep them and their families safe. Another 74% of shoppers are loyal and trust brands using labels to communicate the product's ingredients.



HOW DOES DESIGN-BUILD COMPANIES HURT A BRAND?


While the design-build approach is convenient, the level of success boils down to the firm's capability. Since the concept is relatively novel, teething problems are common. Naturally, skills, experience, and expertise influence the results you get from hiring a design-build firm.


Design-build companies are likely to hurt your brand because:



1. THEY IGNORE THE PHYSICAL BRANDING EXPERIENCE


Physical Branding Experience (PBX) refers to the physical aspect of your product or brand that a customer will experience. It encompasses a broad range of features, including the product design, packaging, a store's layout, or trade show booth design.


Catering to such needs calls for deep consumer insights, something we're sure design-build firms lack and aren't too concerned about. They'll be more focused on delivering the project on time, on budget, and to specifications.


They're likely to ignore some subtle but crucial exhibit designs such as shape, color, or patterns when making trade show booths. Failing to incorporate consumer feedback during production will doom your product to failure. It'll amount to imposing the product on your target market, effectively driving them to choose the competition.



2. THEY LACK CREATIVITY


The surging demand for one-stop-shop solutions forced printers, builders, and manufacturers of consumer goods to incorporate a design aspect into their services. They merely offer design as a gateway to their primary business – production. All other roles, including design, play a supporting role. They're likely to associate design and creativity with graphic design instead of product design.


Printers and manufacturers are likely to have skilled graphic designers on the payroll. As a result, they're likely to offer free design services with your order to sweeten the deal. However, that could mean that you're working with a low-caliber designer who lacks crucial insights about your product and the target market.



3. THEY CAN'T COMPLEMENT YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS


Since design-build firms are more focused on product delivery, they deny your marketing department a creative and strategic partner. A marketing team is likely to develop a unique marketing strategy if they can bounce ideas of the designers.


With the help of the designers, the marketing team can get deep insights into the design process, features, and benefits to come up with the product's USP. They can highlight and play up the physical brand experience to create a resonance with the target audience. Instead of latching onto a trendy, short-lived brand experience, you get to create an authentic experience that will serve you for years.



4. THEY HAVE POOR UNDERSTANDING OF BRANDING


Design-build firms are often producers with little or no understanding of branding or the role branding plays in growing your company. They're likely to drill down branding to getting your logo and company colors right.


Since they lack branding knowledge and information, these firms leave you to figure it out by yourself. They won't offer any helpful advice or direction about the crucial touchpoints and user engagement activities that can help you improve your brand's physical experience.



5. THEY ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY


Money is a primary consideration for design-build companies. They'll often focus on getting the cheapest packaging or branding activation design. Despite the allure, such an approach ends up shortchanging your clients. These firms are likely to steer you toward solutions that allow them to maximize their profit margins. For instance, they might persuade you to use structural packaging designs that are off-the-shelf solutions that they are offering to your competitors as well. That could hurt your brand by imposing limitations on your product sizes and range.


HIRE THE RIGHT PHYSICAL BRAND EXPERIENCE DESIGN PARTNER


Hiring a design agency instead of a design-build firm eliminates all drawbacks mentioned above. However, not all design agencies are created equal when it comes to physical brand experience. Some of them lack the knowledge and expertise to pull it off successfully.


When hiring the right design partner for your physical brand experience initiatives, you must look for:



1. THE DESIGN PROCESS MUST PRIORITIZE PHYSICAL BRAND EXPERIENCE STRATEGY


A design agency should help you see the bigger picture and refine your physical branding experience goals. We understand that valuable design processes often require several iterations.


Our proprietary FOUR Dimensions Framework™ methodology speeds up this process. In the end, we'll help you come up with a product that amplifies your brand messages. We'll help you build a physical brand experience strategy that complements your business and marketing goals.



2. THEIR DESIGN CREATIVITY IS LIMITLESS


Unlike design-builders, design agencies have profound respect and value for the design process. After all, they're primarily thinkers with boundless creative energies. Designers promote solutions that address your product and audience needs as well as your branding requirements.


When you partner with us, we'll let you tap into our wealth of knowledge and experience. You can learn from us and use the knowledge to boost your brand's creativity and create brand messages that will resonate with your target audience.



3. THEY MUST BE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE PRODUCTION AND MANUFACTURING PROCESSES


Some design agencies might have boundless creative knowledge, but they often drop the ball during the production process. They often lack the knowledge necessary to actualize their packaging and brand activation design.


Our superior production process knowledge puts us head and shoulder above such agencies. You can count on us to help you with the printing process, trade show booth design, structural exhibit design, knowledge of the Canadian packaging labeling regulations and more. We do all the heavy lifting to let you build your brand quickly and painlessly. We're here to help you create and build products that meet customer expectations.



4. THEY MUST PROTECT YOU FROM FABRICATORS / MANUFACTURERS


A design agency must act as your arbiter and protector during the production process. We ensure that fabricators and manufacturers don't gouge your brand by saddling you with high production costs and unreliable scheduling. We also ensure that the fabricators and manufacturers don't veer off and compromise your physical brand experience.



CONCLUSION


Design-build contractors promise excellent turnaround time and hassle-free design process with their one-stop-shop solutions. However, most of these printers, contractors, and manufacturers overpromise and deliver. They're likely to deliver products that fall short of customer expectations to end up hurting your brand and costing your pretty penny.


Since most of these contractors are producers, they lack the necessary knowledge and skills to create a physical brand experience strategy. They often deliver products that don't align with your Physical Brand Experience (PBX), brand image, and brand message.


In summary, keep these in mind about design-build fabricators:


  • Design-build contractors compromise your Physical Brand Experience (PBX).


  • Design-build contractors will hurt your brand and waste your resources.


  • Design-build contractors does not develop, employ or design to have your Physical Brand Experience (PBX) strategy shine.


  • Design-build contractors does not look at your long-term marketing strategy resulting in wasted investments. 



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ABOUT ARC & CO. DESIGN COLLECTIVE


Arc & Co. Design Collective transforms your brand messages into engaging physical brand experiences that increase your brand's perceived value and loyalty with your customers. By utilizing our proprietary FOUR Dimensions Framework™, we strategize, conceptualize, innovate and design experiential packaging and brand activation spaces that will complement your business and keep you ahead of the competition.


Get in touch with us to discover how we can assist in integrating a physical brand experience into your marketing strategy.

TL ; DR NOTES

Design-build contractors promise excellent turnaround time and hassle-free design process with their one-stop-shop solutions. However, most of these printers, contractors, and manufacturers overpromise and deliver. They're likely to deliver products that fall short of customer expectations to end up hurting your brand and costing your pretty penny.

Since most of these contractors are producers, they lack the necessary knowledge and skills to create a physical brand experience strategy. They often deliver products that don't align with your Physical Brand Experience (PBX), brand image, and brand message.

In summary, keep these in mind about design-build fabricators:


Design-build contractors compromise your Physical Brand Experience (PBX).



Design-build contractors will hurt your brand and waste your resources.



Design-build contractors does not develop, employ or design to have your Physical Brand Experience (PBX) strategy shine.



Design-build contractors does not look at your long-term marketing strategy resulting in wasted investments.

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