Assess the issues about branding raised in this unit in the light of ethical or responsible design.
We are all branded ourselves to a certain degree, we announce ourselves through the clothes we wear, the products we buy and the car we drive, but why? The aim of this essay is to discuss how branding effects us a consumer society, what makes us remember particular brands and what moral issues are raised by the over use of brands.
A brand was originally a mark on a product to identify who made it or owned it (cattle were branded so others knew who they belonged to if they got lost or stolen). An older definition of a brand is: -
“(a brand name is) a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these, which is intended to identify the goods or services of one group of sellers and differentiate them from those of competitors”
The branding of a product has to mean so much more within the society in which we live today. It’s not so much about the product but the image it portrays. Richard Koch defines a brand in modern day society as: -
“A visual design and/or name that is given to a product or service by an organization in order to differentiate it from competing products and which assures consumers that the product will be of high and consistent quality”
The brand image of a product has to be able to build a ‘relationship’ with its consumers to assure product consumption, the stronger the message of quality and satisfaction guaranteed the more likely the brand will be chosen when making a choice between two similar products. Everything you buy brands you to a certain degree, the make of jeans you buy, the logo on your tee-shirt, all of these appeal to you personally for one reason or another – they make you better, happier, special, powerful, confident whatever the emotion this is the status that all brands want to achieve. The psychological aspect of a brand makes a promise to consumers that it offers something of an advantage to you when you buy it, it could be power or ease of life.
“People buy what they trust and believe in, and are prepared to pay a premium price for it”
The product has to keep up that promise made by the brand, there maybe several products under a brand name, if one of those products does not back up that promise the faith is lost not only in the product but the brand as a whole, the relationship between the brand and consumer is lost.
A brand is: -
“A business strategy to encourage us to consume one product over its competitors, and it is sign loaded with meaning that we choose to consume because we feel we relate to it”
Branding can be said to be a philosophy of life symbolised in a logo, brands have been adapted to portray certain characteristics depending on the type of product it is promoting, this enables the consumer to form a connection with it as is it were a friend. For example...