How To Utilize Live Traction Within Your Creative Toolbox

It’s easy to feel misunderstood as a designer. We’re often thought of as the people who make pretty things, which of course is a big part of what we do, but the most effective design lies at the intersection of strategy and aesthetics: digging deep into the psychology of color choices, translating eye tracking data into beautiful design and…dare I say it? Falling in love with consumer research to enhance the way we approach our designs. I relish the opportunity for the direct conversation with the people I’m creating for. That’s what I appreciate most about the Live Traction methodology we use at Spicefire; it creates a uniquely fluid process between direct consumer research and its design implications.
Creating targeted social ads and landing pages requires a blend of strategic thinking and design finesse. As part of a repositioning and refresh for Nurish by Nature Made, Spicefire placed 3 brand identity options (one control) into a Live Traction test.
Live Traction is a tool we utilize to gain accelerated, authentic, behavior-based insights. We create ‘real’ brand concepts with landing pages and field live social campaigns that drive traffic, while tracking behavior throughout the entire journey. We’ve used Live Traction to test new brand positioning, evaluate new brand identity options and even to uncover the right product mix for a portfolio. This tool, with its marriage of the aesthetic and the analytical, has given me a whole new way to think about the work that I do. With Live Traction, we’re creating the strategy and visual expression all at the same time. It requires true collaboration and gives designers a seat at the table at an earlier stage of the process.
Both of the new brand expressions we designed for Nurish by Nature Made drove consumer interest more than the current brand, and a clear winner emerged. With a higher click through rate, better post and site engagement and higher conversion, there was a clear path forward. Having behavior-based results reinforced and solidified our recommendation.
As designers, we aim to gain trust from our clients — to demonstrate that we understand the target consumer and can affect behavior change through design. Live Traction pairs real time, objective data with our design expertise to build confidence in our recommendations and solutions. Specifically, Live Traction:

Keeps designers closer to the business challenge:
I’m in this business not just because I love design but because I like solving problems for brands and businesses. Sometimes when we’re deep in a big exploratory or working on an isolated design project, it’s easy to lose sight of the true impact we’re making. Live Traction is a focused effort to solve a specific challenge, and helps maintain focus on the design as a means to drive results. It allows us to consider the choices we’re making in a whole new way — and see the impact of those choices immediately.

Fosters an iterative, growth-minded process:
The iterative nature of Live Traction is one of the key benefits of the process. The nimble quality of this form of testing means you never have to hit pause in the process. The methodology revolves around creating controlled variables, distilling insights, refining assets, and testing again. As the refinement happens, the clear data converts real consumer buying behavior into validated insights for our clients.

Eliminates the assembly line:
Live Traction cuts out the waterfall effect between strategy and design. While our Spicefire culture is naturally collaborative, Live Traction demands a true co-creation approach that is more reflective of today’s fast-moving and nimble world. The real-time perspectives each of us bring to the process make the work stronger. Demands a holistic point of view: With Live Traction, we’re creating an entire eco-system for a brand at once. While oftentimes the design process can be very siloed (one agency creates packaging, another creates activation months later, etc.) the nature of the real-world testing environment forces the brand to feel holistic and complete — so we consider, activate, and learn from multiple touchpoints at once.
The Nurish by Nature Made lead brand expression launched shortly after and is delivering on growth targets.
At the end of the day, Live Traction makes our work better. The entire process and objective data are all focused on finding the right solution for the consumer. I appreciate the insight I gain from the process, and it gives me great confidence that the work I’m doing will make a positive impact on the business. The best design helps businesses reach better outcomes — Live Traction changes the way we approach design work, and delivers the insight needed to create smart, strategic, and impactful results in market.


McKenzie Finchum

Design Director

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