The Second Years cometh…

Okay.  After a second stab at first year I’ve managed to find myself sitting back in Llandaf for the start of second year!  No time to sit and have a breather because you’re a second year now and you’ve got work to do…

BRANDING.  It’s all about branding.  So the first couple of days back have been focussing on improving our knowledge of what a brand is, why its so important to a company (and the success of their product/service) and what we can be doing as designers to best help them to create something wonderful.  A company’s ‘brand’ is its voice – how it wants to be seen, your attitude and how you are defined.  It is not just a logo, or a colour, or a typeface.  The brand is about storytelling and setting the scene for who you are as a company.  It can be described as an organisation, service or product with a ‘personality’ that is shaped by the perceptions of the audience.

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“As an example, let’s look at the well known IT company, Apple. Apple as a company, projects a humanistic corporate culture and a strong corporate ethic, one which is characterised by volunteerism, support of good causes & involvement in the community. These values of the business are evident throughout everything they do, from their innovative products and advertising, right through to their customer service. Apple is an emotionally humanist brand that really connects with people – when people buy or use their products or services; they feel part of the brand, like a tribe even. It is this emotional connection that creates their brand – not purely their products and a bite sized logo.”

The importance of an audience’s perception of a brand is the most important factor as to the success of that brand.  We discussed how Apple could promote any number of new products, within reason, and people would queue up on the release day to buy it, just because it’s Apple.  For the same reason that I upgrade my phone every time a new iPhone comes out.  Mine works perfectly fine, but I must have the new one.  I was also very nearly suckered into buying an Apple Watch because I was so enthralled by this tiny magic watch that had Google Maps in it.

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This is obviously a hugely fascinating topic, and one that also requires a great deal of human understanding.  Why do we like the things we do?  Why are we drawn to certain things if they look a certain way?  When we’re younger we often create emotional attachments to brands without ever knowing why, but we’d never consider changing.  I buy CK One perfume because my mum used to wear it when I was little, and reminds me of home and familiarity.  There’s a lot of research and surveys and time that go into creating a brand, but I have a suspicion that we’ll have to create one within two or three weeks.

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