Welcome to Year Two !
We start this year off with an introduction to Branding – a whole new world, which hides many interesting secrets waiting to be explored. In my opinion, having to deal with design within such a realistic topic is going to give us a strategy for our future jobs and open our eyes for the fact that design is not only nice looking stuff that are understandable only to us. Last year it was dreamy, this year it is going to get real. Thinking about design within the market will provide us with skills that are going to be very useful to us.
What is a brand?
A brand is a combination of identity, marketing and the product itself. Each one of these three categories contain much more to them, but as designers we will concentrate mainly on the brand’s Identity.
The personality of a brand is described by the impression that you would like to make to your potential customers.
A brand has its brand values which define it (just like qualities define the person). By using only three adjectives you could create a brand personality. It is interesting how the information stored in your brain allows you to visualize what the brand would look like instantly as you hear its values. For example, the three words “Sophisticated, Luxurious, Feminine” are enough for you to imagine what this brand would be like. For me that would be something stylish, simple, with a nice smell, black and pink, soft and smooth, perhaps lingerie…All the objects/feelings/colors/shapes/etc. that you can define with those three words could be a part of this brand’s set of qualities which shape what it is.
We looked at different lip balm brands to identify their values and evaluate the product. Although all of the lip balms had a lot in common, they also had many differences. I find it amazing how a simple lip balm (or any other product in this world) could be perceived in so many ways, even though it is all the same. It is so impressive how people associate and identify themselves with material items and attach emotionally. Branding makes this possible by adding value to the product, transforming it to a valuable asset. Branding builds reputation, it provides a sense of customer security and makes your product more visible. If we have to be realistic – this is a balm no matter what it looks like – you use it on your lips and that’s it. But no – they are all different, yet the same. I hate it (because it is an illusion) and love it(because it is such a convincing and seductive lie) at the same time.
Who are they? Why are they important? How can we find out about them?
Target audience could be characterized by six typical factors that have influence on the behavior of an individual or a group.
- Geographic (Where people live, the nature of their physical environment, their specific region, local characteristics, the effect of climate upon them)
- Demographic and socio-economic (Their sex, cultural definitions of gender, ethnicity and associated culture, age, income, occupation, education, who they share their household with, children/adults, relative status within the family, status within a relationship, single/shared/married)
- Psychographic (Personality, introvert/extrovert, perfectionist, needy, isolated..etc… With whom they might share similar attitudes, or express differing attitudes, from whom they might derive sets of values, with whom they might share similar lifestyles, their interests and hobbies..)
- Behavioural (Responses within the context of a group or/and family; their loyalties to a group and/or a family, their responses to different scenarios and occasions)
We then had to complete a persona exercise where we built an imaginary character based on these six characteristics and had to present it in front of the group. (Our group didn’t present Brenda because some people didn’t turn up and Ian forgot about us but that’s all right Ian 😀 ) Thinking about our persona in such a depth made me put myself in her shoes (Brenda’s) and made me feel as if she is a real person. If i were to design a product for her, i would do my best to satisfy her needs.
Presentation tips (because How you present it is just as important as What you present):
- Clear delivery
- Appropriate language
- Eye contact
- Body language
- Introduce yourself!
- Practice! This builds confidence