Brand – the ultimate arbiter

I went to the ‘Fourth Revolution Organisational Learning and Knowledge Management’ conference last week which was organised by Partners in Management and was about sharing knowledge in an organisation and how this might be achieved. Not such an easy task as we apparently are bombarded with more knowledge all the time at a rate of knots.


But, to me as a designer, this statement, which was buried amongst the many bullet points on as many Powerpoint slides was interesting:

“Brand is the the ultimate arbiter in organisational survival and success.”


Arbiter is: someone who makes a judgment, solves an argument, 
or decides what will be done:


The conference was more about learning, actually, but I reckon sharing knowledge must mean that somebody is learning something too, so, same thing sort of.


My interest in this particular ‘discussion’ was that as designers we are part of the knowledge sharing process, right? Isn’t that what we do – make sure that whatever knowledge (message) our clients want to share is presented in the best possible way? We use visual tools (pictures, graphics etc.) and organise the copy so it is easy to follow. And, as the above statement says, this links back to the brand. This means the brand is a powerful tool to share knowledge and educate employees and customers alike about the brand and all it stands for.


I am not going to claim to be a high flying designer who has turned organisations around. I just know that I understand how to communicate and get a message across clearly. I also think that I play an important part in the process necessary to achieve the knowledge sharing a brand wants to achieve. How?


You have to have a process in place to first be able to curate the knowledge.


They way I can help in that process is by applying my experience as a designer, understanding the message and start creating the ‘identity’ to carry that message. That covers your tone of voice, the visual look and the communications channels you apply to reach your audience. I can then start to organise the content and give it a common structure. Once a structure is in place on how the content is to be presented, one can start basic layout work, maybe at a level we back in the day called ‘galleys’ and get all the nitty gritty detail and spellchecks and so on out of the way before we are having to go through a highly finished layout every time there is an alteration, which is very time consuming and therefore  expensive.


I would therefore suggest to any business or organisation who is communicating within their own organisation or to the outside world that to engage the designer from the outset is the best way to make sure the message is clear, you have as smooth a process as possible and it saves you time and money. The extra bonus is that the outcome will also be a better piece of work than it otherwise would be.