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A Study in Brand Engineering

By: Remyi Fredson-Cole
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The lesson to take away is that no matter how many teams or how many people you have working for your brand, you have to keep track of progress with the most basic tenants of your goal. In Edia’s case, those tenants were that the brand was simple, mobile and clean, and this was the vision we instilled in the teams we had working for us. By keeping it simple, despite the many different groups we were involved with, we were able to not overload the start-up.

Laying a Brand Foundation

What factors will help you establish what resources you need to build your brand’s baseline? One of the first is assembling the right vendor network mix to help you achieve the product line development process you’ve envisioned. Once you establish your core principles and apply them to your decision matrix, you must storyboard the product development process. This allows you to framework your products’ story, and understanding every scene will create questions and require transitions on how to get to the next stage.

If you are working with packaging renderings, for example, you also must employ CAD engineers who can translate those renderings with relative scale into drawings necessary to build a prototype. This means your transition material from the graphic artist to the CAD engineer needs to be in a deliverable format that is acceptable for the CAD engineer.

The understanding of your scene transitions and what deliverables—e.g., file formats—will be needed for vendors is critical to creating a streamlined development process. For the Edia product development process, it was important to us to have either U.S.-based vendors, or if we did have to conduct business with vendors in other countries, for those vendors to have a representative that was stateside. For us, this stateside access allowed for better facilitated communications on project plans and status reports between those vendors and the Edia team.

It is also necessary to develop critical path scenarios in order to realize who must be involved in order to make the product work. This is about understanding the critical path that should materialize when storyboarding your product development process, which, in turn, helps in building your vendor network mix.