We have a small tangent to take for the sake of storytelling and curiosity.
If you will allow us, we'd like to take a few tangents in order to interview some of the speakers so you can get to know them before their participation in FUSE. Perhaps it will entice you to sign up if you haven't. And if you have, maybe it will push you to favor one track over another.
Here are some notes from an interview with Melissa Smith Hazen from Ahold USA. She’ll be on a panel with Suzanne El-Moursi (Power2Switch) and Josh Handy (Method) to discuss Brand Differentiation Through Design with the ever-clever moderator, John Silva from Dupuis.
Here are some of the subject areas Melissa will be covering:
Getting design through an organization: Looking at it from the inside out, the panel will discuss how achieving design "buy-in” begins by first knowing the internal audience. Sometimes it can be a struggle, but if leadership understands the power of design the process is much easier. Melissa commented specifically about Ahold USA's adoption of design and how Ahold USA leadership is very supportive of design efforts:
Melissa: "I've always tried very hard to create industry leading design for our Brands. Distinctive package design becomes an integral part of the consumers purchasing process along with quality and price. I have been fortunate to have supportive leadership during my tenure at Ahold USA who understand and support top quality design.
Finding the right balance: Speed to market is essential in our industry. This means we have to find a balance between speed and quality when we're being pushed to the limits of capacity and time to deliver on thoughtful design. The phrase you likely never want to hear inside a design conversation is, "its good enough, let's go with it."
Melissa: "There's a real balance in how you stay true to the brand, but at the same time you can not sacrifice design quality. It is important to make sure that speed doesn't become the only factor."
Essential factors to success: The first item of business is the design brief, which includes being clear about objectives and making sure the design team has enough direction and inspiration to do good work quickly. A higher level of inspiration results in higher quality design and more efficient use of time. The more clarity on direction means the work will be on target and meet objectives. It means clearly thinking through how the design brief will direct the design. Does it have the right information?
Melissa: "How thorough is the design brief? Is it well thought out? If a design brief is inspiring and gives clear direction, the result is work that will be more focused and will be on strategy.”
Well, there are three good ones for you, and it’s likely that Melissa will support her stories with examples of work for Simply Enjoy and other Ahold USA Brands, giving you—the audience—some good content to chew on for the afternoon panel.
I look forward to seeing you in the room for this triad of speakers.