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@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 1
© 2014© 2014
Establishing a brand-driven
message architecture
Margot Bloomstein
HOW Design Live ...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 2
© 2014
Oh HEY
effective content & design!
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 3
© 2014
Content and design—
and processes to create them—
best complement each other through
cont...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 4
What is content strategy?
Planning for the creation, aggregation,
delivery, and governance of us...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 5
You need this.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 6
© 2014
© narniafans.com
Get a seat at the table.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 7
© 2014
Content demands attention
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 8
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Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the way.
Content require...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 9
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Content dredges up politics
This is your job now.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 11
© 2014
©Skillset.org
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 12
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Titles < Roles < Skills
©Skillset.org
© The Creative Group
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 15
© 2014
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content m...
Deliverables are merely
punctuation in the
conversation.
They can’t replace the
conversation.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 17
Why content strategy?
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 18
Why content strategy?
Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the way.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 19
Why content strategy?
Launch on time
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 20
Why content strategy?
Stay within budget
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 21
Why content strategy?
Maintain a consistent user experience
visually and verbally, across chann...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 22
Why content strategy?
Without the team killing each other
over differences in opinion and
chang...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 23
© 2014
This can be yours.
More
like
Apple.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 27
© 2014
More like Apple’s “message
architecture”
Confident but approachable; accessible
Simple
M...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 28
© 2014
Message architecture
Cheeky
• Witty and fun
• Young without being childish
Customer orie...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 29
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 30
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 31
© 2014
From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com>
Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confi...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 32
© 2014
Message architecture…
Cheeky
Customer oriented and responsive
Helpful
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 33
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Versus brand values?
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 34
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Versus a mission or vision?
“Great design for everyone”
Vision and direction are differe...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 35
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 36
© 2014
Gracious
• Welcoming, anticipatory service
Elite and premium
• Selective membership
• “C...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 37
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 38
© 2014
First things first.
What do you need to communicate?
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 39
© 2014
First things first.
start blogging, audit the content,
consolidate site architecture, ad...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 40
If you don’t know what
you need to communicate,
how will you know if you
succeed?
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 41
© 2014
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 42
© 2014
A little thing with big impact.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 43
© 2014
A little thing with big impact.
How could we prove this is a car not like
anything else ...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 44
© 2014
A little thing with big impact.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 45
© 2014
Message architecture
Premium technology
• Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car
...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 46
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 47
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 48
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 49
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 50
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If these emails are boring you
and you don’t mind missing out
on all the lip-smackin’ st...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 51
© 2014
Message architecture drives
the user experience
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 52
© 2014
Nomenclature
Calls to action
Instructional content
Sentence structure
Diction
…in content
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 53
© 2014
Photographic angles
Dark backgrounds
Bold headlines
Thick stroke weights
…and in design
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 54
© 2014
Premium technology
Classic design
Cheekiness
• Smart, “punny,” hip
• Fun, gleeful
…in th...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 55
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 56
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 57
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Not all channels are appropriate
for every brand or audience.
• Annual reports
• Article...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 58
© 2014
Not all channels are appropriate
for every brand or audience.
• Annual reports
• Article...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 59
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 60
© 2014
Premium
• Lindt embodies quality, in product, marketing, & company interactions
• Approa...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 61
© 2014
Message architecture drives
a consistent user experience,
visually and verbally.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 62
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 63
© 2014
Elegant layout and typography
• Spread-to-spread sightlines and flow
• Wider borders
• L...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 64
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 65
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Imagery of individual impact
• People engaged with product and offsite
community service...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 66
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 67
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Accessible, informative copy
• First-person plural
• Frequent rhetorical asides
• Shorte...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 68
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 69
© 2014
Message
architecture
Content
audit
Content
types
Content model
& matrix
Editorial style
...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 70
© 2014
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 71
© 2014
What’s a message architecture?
Concrete, shared terminology,
not abstract concepts.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 72
© 2014
Welcoming,
but elite.
Selective?
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 73
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Accessible,
open, and
premiere.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 74
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Traditional,
but edgy.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 75
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@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 76
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Words are valuable,
but meaningless without
context and priority.
(In a few minutes, we’...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 77
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How?
• Engage in a tangible, hands-on way
• Encourage debate and conversation
• Identify...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 78
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@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 79
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Cardsorting
• Groups of 7 – 10
• Pick 4 people to represent the brand
• Everyone else: p...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 80
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@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 81
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• Who we are
• Who we’re not
• Who we’d like to be
Go with your gut!
Step 1
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 82
© 2014
Who we are  Who we’d like to be
Be aspirational. What needs to change?
Step 2
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 83
© 2014
• Form groups: what goes together?
• Prioritize the goals or groups
• Tell the story of ...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 84
Why do this?
Words are cheaper than comps.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 85
Why do this?
Refine the concept, rather than
confirm the purpose.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 86
Why do this?
Choose content types to manifest
the message architecture—
not just because they’r...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 87
But first things first:
Understand what you need to
communicate—and why.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 88
© 2014
But wait there’s MORE!
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 89
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 90
© 2014
#contentstrategy & meetup.com
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 91
© 2014
Thank you!
Margot Bloomstein
@mbloomstein
margot@appropriateinc.com
slideshare.net/mbloo...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 30 ©
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 30 ©
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 30 ©
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