Boardroom Insight

Consulting Sector News and Trends

Interview: A deep dive into marketing design with Idea Lab Digital chief creative officer Jay Winkler

This interview is part of a Boardroom Insight article series exploring the marketing consulting landscape from the perspective of industry executives. Jay Winkler is the Chief Creative Officer at Idea Lab Digital, a full-service marketing agency specializing in brand development.

Boardroom Insight: Many B2B firms complement their standard client case studies with video case studies. These usually take the form of an interview with an executive from the client company. When should a B2B firm like a consultancy consider investing in video case studies, given that there is often a higher price tag involved, and what are the benefits?

Jay Winkler: The video case study, or video testimonial is one of the most compelling ways to convey your brand story. Capturing a positive review from your client or customer on video adds instant credibility, because the viewer can hear and see exactly what it’s like to work with you. While video production may be a bit more of an investment compared to a professionally designed case study in PDF or webpage format, a video testimonial provides substantially more exposure when shared through social video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. Especially YouTube since it is part of Google and becomes searchable content. This is multiplied greatly when embedded on your website and shared across social channels.

Boardroom Insight: From a marketing agency’s standpoint, what are some of the workflow differences between designing visual assets for digital marketing and creating physical brand assets like product packaging?

Jay Winkler: A few of the biggest workflow differences between designing visual assets for digital marketing and creating physical brand assets like product packaging and collateral are as follows: 1) Time, because typically digital assets are smaller from a file size standpoint and are easier to edit and revise. Whereas designing materials for print usually entails more revisions to ensure the final output is perfect and file sizes can be substantially larger. 2) Digital assets usually contain less imagery and type (excluding animation and video), so our designers can work quickly to develop a campaign at a variety of dimensions and formats.

Boardroom Insight: There are different kinds of logo redesign projects. Some involve replacing a company’s logo with something brand new. Other projects involve a refresh rather than a full redesign: the new logo retains some elements of the old one but adds a modernized look. Please talk a bit about the factors that determine which is the right approach for a company.

Jay Winkler: Logo redesign projects can either be extremely simple or quite complex. Let’s use a law firm as an example. If the firm simply has a type treatment and they’re adding a new partner, this may be as simple as adding the partner’s last name to the logotype. However, if they have an icon with a monogram style treatment with the partners’ initials, then it can be a complex project for a designer to come up with a new iconic monogram to include the additional letter. In this scenario the design inherently will become “busier” and may lose minimalistic appeal. This may result in taking a new approach altogether if the client wants to maintain a sleek modern look, but this is of course subject and to be determined in a collaborative fashion between the agency and client.

Boardroom Insight: What are some of the ways a logo redesign, or a broader company rebrand for that matter, provide a return on investment?  

Jay Winkler: Logo redesign or a corporate rebrand can often become inevitable. Designs can become dated, because visual trends change over time. Other scenarios are mergers and acquisitions. When this happens enterprises are often forced to decide which entity has more brand equity, and whether or not a logo design should be kept or merged into a new mark that incorporates both visual identities. Alternatively, a new brand identity can be developed altogether. It’s hard to quantify return on investment when it comes to branding and more specifically, logo design, because every business and scenario is different. With all this said, logo design is primarily your first and longest standing marketing investment, so high value and time should be assigned to it.

Boardroom Insight: Competitor analysis plays a big role in how companies plan go-to-market activities like sales and  marketing. How does competitor analysis factor into design-centric marketing projects like website refreshes and rebrands?

Jay Winkler: Here at Idea Lab Digital, we use tools such as Semrush to help us determine how our client’s competitors are advertising and marketing. For larger clients, we may opt to conduct market research to better understand the competition, brand reputation, web usability studies, and more. Competitor analysis is one piece of the puzzle when determining the best strategies, but it’s not the only thing. Oftentimes we’ll focus on our client’s differentiation from their competitors to help set them apart in the marketplace.