Our task for today is to sell a pencil.

Typically, one starts with the features –

  • You can write/draw/scribble and erase it too
  • It is has attractive and neon yellow color
  • It gets highlighted on men’s light-colored shirts
  • It is handy in use


While most advertising agencies pick up the features to promote; it is not what the customers care about.  At BRIM, we have a practice of positioning branding efforts in ‘Backwards’ style.  Let me explain. While most creative firms would start off in designing brand identity keeping in mind the products and its features, at BRIM we start with the target audience demographics. Here’s the reason why:

  • Customers are basically selfish (and nothing wrong with that). They want focus on themselves.
  • The reality is that the customers give not much importance to the products; but to what the products would make them feel.
  • Take a look at any of the award winning designs and you’ll realize that all of them make the customers feel special and paid attention to.
  • Take all of the above and there is 100% chance that your communicative design will definitely work!

How to go about with this ‘Backward Design’ process?

I’ll briefly enumerate the process of actually creating the brand positioning and brand experiences by taking the last step first. This makes the outcome attain better syncing capabilities between the brand and the customers.

  1. Choose the FOCUS:

As mentioned earlier the focus is the end-user, so the target demographics have to be studied thoroughly before we jump on the product features. Just keep the product in mind and then research on the target audience it will connect to. Don’t focus on the nitty-gritty of the product’s features/functions/capabilities.

  1. Define the OUTCOMES:

Based on the research of the target audience, you can then think of the EFFECT. You can pick out one singular impact you want to create with the help of design that you shall make. This effect has to be SMART ,

  • Specific to what you want to achieve
  • Measurable so that you know whether the communicative design was successful or not
  • Achievable target that’s not ambitious that people can’t connect to it or too commonplace
  • Realistic connection between the design and the target audience
  • Time-bound so that the communicative design meets the deadline
  1. Create rich CONCEPTS:

Once the outcomes are stated; go on to develop rich ideas and concepts and draw out one or two to develop further into design.  Create teasers and prototype of the communicative design and show it to your client before the final creation.


Once your client gives a go ahead; make the final design adding all the necessary finishing touches before it goes into the production phase.

It isn’t easy to go through the ‘Backward Design’ process all of a sudden but yes, it makes the design process smoother and more refined. You’ll have to fine-tune and sharpen your skills to ensure that this is done at the team level. At BRIM we do all this with the help of pencil – researching on the target demographics while researching on the net and writing important points on sticky notes; brainstorming the outcomes together and erasing them off if they don’t fit; making sketches and concepts while articulating the entire idea in the mind and then we hit the computer to give it the digital avatar it deserves. Yeah, pen is commonly used but it’s the pencil which is our companion – to Write. Erase. Ideate.


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