Your premium brand had better be
delivering something special, or
it's not going to get the business.
I've been talking about "voice" a lot to my clients these days. Seems that tactics is where everyone goes and with that very directed tactics to start work with a designer. So it takes a bit of deep breathing and thinking about the "nice" way to broach the subject of "trust me" and micro-management. Honestly, I do try to manage some tact here...but it can be tough--and with the "tell them seven times and then you might be heard" philosophy we eschew here....seven might not be enough. II guess so many of the people I work with are used to working with contractors who need to be told when to stand up, and when to sit down that the idea of boosting design and brand thinking to the level beyond "we need a brochure" or better, "we need a logo and here is the font" to a conversation about voice, tone, approach, audience, and those things that begin to flesh out who we are as entities, and not necessarily who we are as individuals.
You have to understand your own personal DNA.
Don't do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it.
You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.
e x a c t a m u n d o!
A business is a business...with clients/customers who may or may not be the person doing the marketing or making the decision or may not even be buying the product. Case in point, look at the layers of male management at many of the big Beauty concerns out there...or even companies that make female exclusive products but may not even have a female manager as part of the roster. A business tailors a product to a customer (or chooses through tactics to miss the customer for the sake of talking to one's self (which isn't a bad thing to do, but kind of misses the purpose of sales... but believe me, many oh so many brands and brand changes are a reflection of top management needing a mirror or a hook, or just something to point to to say "see, we haven't burned all the money, we have changed the brand"). And so it goes.
It's hard to get all airy fairy and abstract to talk about ideas and essences===religion beyond the Bible (what is religion? with the Bible being the legends, the fables and the guidelines for that religion. Where is that topmost layer of "what is" for a product or service....Really? What is it we do? Do we, in the case of a vacuum cleaner just clean? or is it more? Is it that we buy time for the cleaner? Do we improve the quality of life? do we make things easier to then allow the consumer more time? Or is it the most fun you will ever have, and intent is to have a reason to stop using that vacuum? Or does vacuuming link you (the customer) to the ONE? How high can you go...and how what the task or product is, may represent something larger. No, they do not really teach this in school...but they should. Its real live thinking and blue sky thinking at that.