Strong brands are necessary for great success, but it's not as simple as choosing a fancy name, and a clever tagline, even with top-notch materials. Branding comes with deep pitfalls for those with their heads in the clouds.
sYou might think the concept of a brand is a modern innovation to rival other American advances like burgers and sneakers. But consider that the word brand comes from the Old Norse brandr, meaning to burn, and that ancient Roman potters marked their creations with symbols to help thwart counterfeiters, and you realise that marking a product with a sign of provenance is as old as commerce itself. Yet it is only with mass consumerism that a brands importance has escalated to where it can be more valuable than anything else.
Such value has arisen because branding is no longer just about trusting a product's origins. According to Andy Payne, creative director at brand consultants Interbrand, a brand is associated with personality, life style, aspiration and communication. The purchaser is enhanced in their association with a product, their life style is improved, they can have commonality with the neighbours through shared experience, and proclaim that commonality through purchases.
These are heady concepts for designers. How do you begin to impart a funky personality through the design of a bathroom suite? How can an extractor fan whisper "good taste" in the neighbour's ears or mirrored tiles reflect your love of life?
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