§ 1. Leaders

Almost everyone tends to watch each other while making different decisions, like what to wear, what car to buy, where to go. But most of all people watch and copy the actions of leaders, in life and in business. Same thing applies to communication. For example, websites of most banks in Azerbaijan have similar design structure and functions, just like in the rest of the world.

This is how it happens:

The director of the bank wants to update the bank website. The marketing director thinks of what kind the website should be made. And then just looks up what other banks do.

They look through all bank sites, but in the end make their decision based on the websites of the lead ones, thinking if the leader uses it, it has to be effective. Their main thought being: “He is successful, isn’t he?” This is the way whole categories appear, like bank communications.

One of examples is the use of color blue by most Azeri banks in 2000. This tendency occurred because the largest bank in Azerbaijan, International Bank of Azerbaijan used this color in its logo.

There is another example. Touristic logos.

It is natural to watch the leader’s actions to make your own decisions, however you can’t simply copy everything they do. You need to improve and supplement their decisions. Depending on the task it can serve to differentiate you from others, to make it more comfortable and effective for people and so on.

Here is a little example of improvement.

Separated modules of currency calculator.

Joined modules of currency calculator.

Using this method you can change the quality of communications in different categories. For example, in order to make the bank sites in Azerbaijan easier to use and more effective the lead banks need to change theirs. Other banks will then follow the leaders.

Therefore communication improvement of the whole industry and in the country as a whole depends on the courage and innovative traits of the leader.

And finally, I would like to mention the example of Wolf Olins, which is a global branding agency that changed many sites of similar agencies.

It all started with a small Swedish agency called Public Class. http://www.publicclass.se Wolf Olins liked their site and asked them to created one for their agency, only better. After the upgrade of Wolf Olin’s site other agencies started to adopt their style. As a result, all these agencies became similar. This kind of tendency is surprising because normally agencies need to be different.

Most likely, other branding-agencies and design companies will use similar solutions.  I mean, if “WolfOlins” wouldn’t be interested in Public Class, this solution wouldn’t change the whole category; it would be the solution just for one web-site. As a result, we can see, that this method can improve all types of communication.