What if a brand does not have a “body”?
I have pointed out how a brand’s DNA is what defines it and sets it apart in BRANDED DESIGN – THE GENETIC CODE / PART 1
The physical retail space can be seen an extension of the brand’s DNA, as in it is the “body” of the brand.
For a brand that does not yet have its “body” or a physical space, we first have to “exfoliate” the marketing layers to get down to the original brand essence. Very often, the findings of this exercise stimulate a rethinking of the current brand positioning and its strategic development. It becomes an opportunity for the company to verify its core strategic direction and intent of the brand. Does the brand always deliver along its original intent?
Once we have identified “the essence” of the brand, we look for a representation of it to use as a starting point for our design strategy. It becomes the theme for the conceptual design approach. This can be as small as a key word, an ingredient, or a technique around which the brand was built. Any of these can become a catalyst to the design concept to formulate a design vision congruent with the brand’s defining theme.
case study: the aesthetic of a smashbox photo camera is the catalyst for our new design of the brand’s “body”
The emotional response and result
By looking at the brand this way, we peel back the layers to find its brand essence and use it as a catalyst to develop a design concept.
The design will be able hold up regardless of size and context because it is built directly into the brand’s genetic code. Using the code that made the brand to create a contextual environment allows the consumer to recognize the same emotional connection they have already established with the product and the brand. The environment becomes the logical extension of that emotion.
Esthetics linking directly back to Smashbox Cosmetics brand genetic heritage:
So the first step in our design method it is about (re)discovering what is already there, sometimes well hidden under many layers of distortion. By observing and evaluating, we often find the best starting points. Every brand carries a powerful source code, it is just a matter of unveiling it and putting it back to use.
Next time I will show how we put this code to use and develop retail designs from it.
“staging the product” – The Photo Studio setup for Smashbox Cosmetics