I have a recent client who will remain nameless. Their new packaging is horrible and generally will not suit the market for which they are aiming it for. Compared to similar brands there is no way that I can foresee the product standing out on the shelf. I put this to the client politely and courteously. They understood my concerns but have decided that it will be fine to market this product as it is. If it doesn’t take off they will consider changing the packaging and perhaps branding. In the mean time I am having to design for a ‘brand’ which is completely footloose. It is very difficult to be diplomatic whilst trying to forcefully make your point that the ultimate success of the product will be impacted if the whole design-side of things is conflicting and confusing. I was wondering if any of you have had similar issues and could advise me on the best way to articulate my point to the client. Far from a client from hell (they are very nice - partly why I wish they would see my point - I don’t want them to fail), this is more like a client from limbo land
This is a difficult one.
All you can do is make your case. I would include in that examples of products that have failed where the branding, packaging, and product were not aligned, as well as examples of products that have succeeded that had aligned design strategies.
I’m in a similar situation with a client at present. I presented my case as well as a proposal that would have us get everything aligned. The client understands and is willing, but the sequencing is a bit off (IE we will be doing the branding after the product is finished) because the client is a start up and can only focus on one thing at a time. We will make the best of it. similarly they are super nice people, the work is fun, and the product actually has the potential to help people and not just be another object in the thingaverse.
When I was at frog I was in a similar situation and I actually stopped work on the program at the end of the research phase (which showed the need to do the branding work) until the client would agree to let us take a more holistic approach. It was a bigger company that could afford to do things the right way. In that case I thought it would be best to get them to see things a bit differently and I also felt our reputation at frog was on the line. It ended up going well and the client 6 months later recruited me to be CDO
It is a tough situation to be in. As a consultant you have a limited amount of levers you can pull. You can stop working with them (which you already said you don’t want to do), or you can present your case and let them make the decision and keep following up.