Setting Clear Goals for Project Success

Clear goals help your team and your client understand the definition of success

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In branding and design, the definition of project success might seem obvious: A completed logo update or refreshed website. However, as we have discussed in past posts, completion does not equal success. Clear goals will help you take a project from “just ok” to meaningful and impactful.

Après’ approach to goal-setting

For our team here at Après, setting clear goals means that both the client and our team have reached an understanding of where a project should head. Before we even begin to brainstorm ideas, an initial conversation with a client gives the project shape and direction.

For example, a client might come to us seeking a rebranding package. That usually includes a few key deliverables, but the goal behind each deliverable helps drive each design and branding decision along the way. It might look something like this:

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We can hear some of you groaning already, especially those of you accustomed to “SMART” goals (acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). No, some of those goals above aren’t necessarily measurable or specific; however, design tends to resonate with people on a gut level. A client will know instantly if a design feels right for their brand - and if it doesn’t.

What are clear goals?

While SMART goals make sense in a lot of settings, another goal-setting model better fits the work we do at Après. Former Canadian Olympian and entrepreneur Adam Kreek developed a different approach, using the apt acronym CLEAR, which stands for:

  • Collaborative

  • Limited

  • Emotional

  • Appreciable

  • Refinable

Ahh, each of those words connect perfectly with our Après style. You have heard us talk about collaboration a lot in past blogs, and that word permeates literally everything we do. We do not have a project, or a business, without collaboration.

The word limited helps us maintain focus. While some of our goals might seem lofty, we do have strict deadlines and check-in points that help us stay on track and deliver a finished product.

We seek an emotional response from everything we design. Next to collaboration, emotion might rank as one of our most important drivers. When properties market to renters, it’s not about data and facts. It’s about emotion and lifestyle. When a potential renter feels an emotional connection with a property’s brand, half the job is done.

We do have appreciable ways to measure a target audience’s response to a rebranding. More website traffic, more clicks and more conversions tell us that potential buyers are responding to the design and brand we created for a client.

Our collaborative approach leads us naturally to the refinable portion of this goal model. Along the way, we refine and perfect each project element in response to the client’s needs and market information that pops up along the way.

Success and failure: It’s all in your perspective

“I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.” - Oprah Winfrey

Right on, Oprah. We are beyond lucky that we get to do work we enjoy every single day. A lot of our work is about the process - the journey, not the destination, as they say. That journey often includes ideas that don’t work or that don’t resonate with a client.

Not only are those moments of failure A-OK by us, we actually embrace them. Each and every “failed” idea helps us refine and perfect our approach. They spark creative thinking and innovative approaches that we can apply both the the current project and many future ones.

As we work toward our project goals -- as well as bigger-picture business and personal goals -- we welcome the challenge of creating. In fact, we thrive on that.

To learn more about Après Creative’s marketing and branding approach for the multifamily industry, contact us today.