Armin is the co-founder of the graphic design firm Under Consideration and a driving force behind Brand New, a leading brand identity blog.


Armin, what are the most common mistakes of setting and managing expectations of potential customers made while building and designing brands?

The main mistake would be lack of communication, especially around redesigns. Some brands just wake up one day and say "Surprise, we changed! Now deal with it" and that's when things go bad. Tropicana and Gap are perfect examples of mismanaged communication and no setting of expectations.

Some brands give a heads-up to their audience and that's a nice way of softening the blow. The key to doing it right is to doing things as genuinely as possible and as organically as possible between brand and audience.

"Surprise, we changed! Now deal with it."

So, if say, the brand is a sports team, you do a fan appreciation night and give everyone a free t-shirt with the new logo; that's maybe a $20,000 expense, which is nothing for a professional team, but the engagement and acknowledgment that the team is for the fans is killer ROI. It's about brands seeing their audience as more than money but as an integral part of what makes the brand work in the first place.

And nowadays there is no excuse to not communicate, since all brands have access to their audience via social media, newsletters, and their website so it's really only the hard-headed clients that can botch communications when they think the audience will accept whatever they do.

It’s about brands seeing their audienceas more than money.