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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
© 2014
Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the way.
Content require...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 9
© 2014
Content dredges up politics
This is your job now.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 11
© 2014
©Skillset.org
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 12
© 2014
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
© 2014
Versus brand values?
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 34
© 2014
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
© 2014
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
© 2014
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
© 2014
Imagery of individual impact
• People engaged with product and offsite
community service...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 66
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 67
© 2014
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
© 2014
Accessible,
open, and
premiere.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 74
© 2014
Traditional,
but edgy.
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 75
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 76
© 2014
Words are valuable,
but meaningless without
context and priority.
(In a few minutes, we’...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 77
© 2014
How?
• Engage in a tangible, hands-on way
• Encourage debate and conversation
• Identify...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 78
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 79
© 2014
Cardsorting
• Groups of 7 – 10
• Pick 4 people to represent the brand
• Everyone else: p...
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 80
© 2014
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 81
© 2014
• 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 31 ©
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 31 ©
@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 31 ©
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@mbloomstein | #HOWLive 31
© 2014
From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com>
Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed
Hello
I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with
moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it
for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to
you.
Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding
your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer
services (who are real people!)
Thanks,
Little MOO, Print Robot

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