Week four – The Seamless Brand

23 Feb

Creating a seamless brand seems somewhat difficult. Creating a brand that is smooth and consistently branded throughout all form of its touch points requires a great deal of attention for detail, interactivity with each aspect of the brand and most importantly innovation.

Verganti (2009) mentions that innovation can be categorised into two management techniques:

–         Radical innovation ( including – Technological innovation)

–         Insight: people buy meanings not a products

His study is useful when analysing some current company brandings, as he explores the way in which designers approach the concept and design of a new product. He identifies three aspects that are involved when in this process:

–         The technology push

–         The market pull (user centred design)

–         Design driven

It helps us to understand that as well as taking into consideration the technology developments happening around us, and as well as the consumers’ needs and wants – the designer must sometimes go-with-the flow of innovation and trust instinct. Henry Ford said:” If you had asked consumers what they wanted, they would have said faster carriages – not a car!” – this helps us understand why sometimes for designers and innovators it is most worthwhile to follow instinct as sometimes inspiration does not come from the consumer – as if it doesn’t exist – they don’t know they want it.

Mike Crossman, from EMC Consulting gave us an interesting guest lecture regarding seamless branding, in particular the digital aspect – the companies websites. The consistent point raised throughout was that whatever the touch point of the brand, it has to have to same consistent message throughout – to crease a smooth positioning.

A great example Mike Crossman gave was the department store Selfridges in London. The complete retail experience, at each and every brand touch point portrays the constant brand position to create a smooth and seamless brand. For example the on-shop floor experience, the packaging, website, and even toilets within the store embrace the values of luxury and trend setting within the retail sector.

The design of a company website is as much at the utmost importance for the company branding as the product itself. A company’s website can be the perfect branding tool within the market sector – each and every aspect:

–         Logos

–         Design

–         Colour ways

–         Layout

–         Font

–         Images

–         Functionality

Encapsulating the technology developments, consumer views and innovation as Verganti mentions, is hard to consider all aspects when evolving your brand. However one brand I feel has given the consumer an excellent ‘creative brand experience’ is Burberry. This is mainly for one reason, on Tuesday 22nd February, Burberry was the very first designer to stream live their London Fashion Week show – on their official website as well as on huge screens in Piccadilly Circus and to over 150 countries.

This was a huge marking point within the fashion industry, as usually each Fashion Week show is keep secretive with an air of exclusivity for those who are fortunate to attend. However they seem to be at the leader of the pack for all things digital. By steaming their catwalk show to over 150 countries through their web page, did not just mean they were able to give a mass viewing potential – but had a re-launch of their website to co-inside with this to ensure that as soon as the consumers had viewed the show – the website gave them the capability to purchase most of the items viewed. This is a perfect example of innovation teamed with the development of new technological online implements.

This design aspect of their website (even after the show had finished) – playing a video of the show in the background of the site – created an enriching brand experience for the consumer, so they felt part of the brand. This design, innovation and technology ‘stunt’ instantly caused a great conversation point within the social media between fashionistas – on many blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

This helped to make the Burberry website and brand more than just about design – but about the website as ‘a way of life’ for the consumer. This shows that the design and innovation is critical to the success of the design and its identity. The Burberry website now allows the viewer to have a high level of engagement and therefore can create the relationship between brand and consumer.

The company website, along with the other main touch points within a company together can create a seamless brand if done so correctly and innovatively.

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