Jeff Smith

Better discovery research lead to better design

When Tribe begins a client relationship, we usually spend time in discovery before developing a strategy. Account people from Tribe go out to various client locations and interview leadership and employees, hold focus groups, do surveys. The point of that is to understand the culture and to build a strategy that’s meaningful for the company.

But it’s also really important for the creative process. It’s very important in internal communications to get a total understanding of a client before jumping straight into creative work. Design for an internal brand doesn’t ring true if you just skim the surface. It requires depth and understanding, a total immersion, a feeling like you are now a part of that company.

 The bottom line is, the better the discovery process, the better the creative. With this understanding and fresh perspective, you’ll be able to not only get a full grasp on the business. But you will help push the creative process. A thorough discovery process will allow the creative team to understand nuances of the culture that aren’t apparent at first glance. Through that discovery process you’ll get a feel for the culture, business process, the tone of the company, and the type of people who you’re communicating to.

All that is essential to develop creative that truly speaks to your employee audience. With good discovery, the designers and writers have a deeper foundation to build on, so they can create work that will feel authentic, original, and fresh.

Interested in creative work that really speaks to your culture? Tribe can help.  


Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin

Some Ideas Are for the Bottom Drawer

Most creative people have more good ideas than time to follow up on them. It takes discipline and organization and some real drive to see most ideas from a fleeting thought to something real that exists in the world.

Too many ideas can be more paralyzing than not enough. In the initial excitement of a new idea, there’s generally a flurry of activity around getting it off the ground. But for most ideas, the follow-through eventually becomes a lot of work.

 Ideas are easy; execution is hard. The arduous (and less exciting) process of execution is when you’re most vulnerable to letting another new idea pull you off course. To accomplish what you’re capable of, you must be very discerning in which ideas you pursue and which you don’t.

However, some ideas you don’t have time for now may be worth coming back to later. Those are for the bottom drawer. In my office, I have one lower drawer in my credenza where I stash notes on ideas like that. Things I don’t have time for now but that I don’t want to completely discard. You might rather use a folder on your computer. I have a client who puts some ideas into his imaginary “crazy box.”

That frees you from having to give the idea any energy. But also let’s your subconscious know that yes, you’re listening to all those ideas popping up, so keep them coming. Even if they’re crazy.