Kevin Farnham heads Method, a San Francisco-based design company that helps marketers cultivate interface-design innovation, a critical part of brand building. An interface is any time the consumer is experiencing the brand-specifically, screen-based interactions via smart phones, mobile phones, hand-held devices, TV set-top boxes and DVRs.
Define interface-design innovation.
What we're really looking at are the new ways in which companies can speak to consumers. What we're seeing is an incredible opportunity at the interface level. What comes along with that is the ability to tell stories, be emotive, be transparent.
Why should CMOs care about this?
It's an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell, an opportunity to provide great experiences for customers. There are financial implications and brand implications.
In what way is it a component of brand-building?
Like any other touch point, these interfaces are an opportunity for someone to have a brand impression. If you look at this in comparison to a brochure, these touch points have so much more potential to be more entertaining, visual, engaging.
Should all marketers create new interfaces to use to reach consumers?
They need to utilize design thinking even if they're not using outside consultancies. Bring the engineers, bring the marketers, bring the CEO, think about scenarios for your customers, think about who they are and what they need.
Do all interfaces lend themselves to good design? Cellphones? ATMs? Web sites?
Good design can be [implemented in] a lot of different ways. If you're FedEx, you want things that are incredibly catered to your workflow. There are other interfaces where the point is you want to let customers get the information they want ASAP.