It should be obvious, but style is not a strategy. Instead, style is just one tool in the marketer’s arsenal, brandished to help deliver a specific result, whether it is emotional, visual, or otherwise.
Or maybe style is more like a spice or seasoning. It tastes good, adds unique and distinctive flavor, but can’t stand alone as a meal. We need the red meats of strategy and goal-oriented design to deliver the goods, without being tricked into the idea that style can solve a problem on its own. In our lightning-fast culture, the speed of trends is increasing, and marketers, designers, and artists are often at risk of getting “over trended.”
Ephemeral trends and visual styles are at the highest levels — they’re the waves crashing and moving quickly over the top of the water, while the still waters of good design and communication ripple underneath. Great design and branding is knowing when to ride the crests, and when it’s best to dive deep.