P.B.G. Practical Branding Guide Edgar Hoffmann
This guide is meant for creatives in order to simplify the branding process and to sum up its essentials. The main issue one is faced with, while researching on branding, is the rather theoretical approach of most existing guides, which in addition to divergences of theories between them creates a somewhat confusing impression of the branding process, increased even more by the lack of examples. This is why, in response to that, this book is intended as a direct, practical application of the various lines of thought to be found in the literature listed in the bibliography, using a concrete example: a brand for â€œAgnosticismâ€?. In the first part this guide will provide a general outline of branding issues, and in a second part a suggestion for practical application using the example of a brand for Agnosticism. This guide is based on the referenced sources listed in the bibliography for: branding Agnosticism at the end of the guide.
.0 Table of content
Table of Content
Table of content I. Theory I.1 The brand personality I.1.1. The subject matter I.1.2. Social relevance I.1.3. Core values, I.1.4. Focus I.1.5. Features & Architecture
I.2 I.2.1. I.2.2. I.2.3. I.2.4.
The brand face Generalities Name Logo Color
p.21 p.21 p.23 p.25 p.35
I.3 I.3.1. I.3.2. I.3.3. I.3.4.
The brand language Making the brand alive Audience Tone of voice Materials
p.37 p.37 p.41 p.43 p.43
I.4 I.4.1. I.4.2. I.4.3. I.4.4. I.4.5.
Strategy Cultural branding Mind share branding Emotional branding Viral branding Summary
p.47 p.48 p.49 p.50 p.51 p.53
p.13 p.13 p.15 p.16 p.17 p.18
.0 Table of content
Table of Content
II.2 The personality of the brand “Agnosticism” II.2.1. More about “Agnosticism” II.2.2. Target audiences II.2.3. Focus points for “Agnosticism” brand II.2.3.1. Focus points cultural brand II.2.3.2. Focus points mind share brand II.2.3.3. Focus points viral/emotional brand II.2.3.4 Products
p.59 p.59 p.61 p.63 p.63 p.65 p.67 p.69
II.3 The face of the brand “Agnosticism” II.3.1. Finding a name II.3.1.1. Possible names in cultural branding II.3.1.2. Possible names in mind share branding II.3.1.3. Possible names in emotional/viral branding II.3.2. Creating a logo
p.71 p.71 p.73 p.73 p.73 p.75
How to structure a Design Brief A Design Brief example - The Design Brief for an “Agnostic brand”
General outline of branding issues: 9
1 2 3 10
In order to give an overview of the branding process, the main ideas found in literature have been broken down in this guide and condensed into the following three main steps: 1. Personality Developing the core of the brand with the help of brand strategies, which is referred to as the personality in this guide. 2. Face Creating the identity of the brand, which is referred to as the face in this guide. 3. Language Deciding on the communication of the brand, which is referred to as the language in this guide.
The brand personality
The subject matter (the product) The brand’s personality in the first place is obviously determined by its subject matter. Generally speaking this is the particular product or service you wish to brand. In the present case we are dealing with “Agnosticism”. Here is a brief introduction to the subject matter this guide will be looking at:
When it comes to theological questions, such as the meaning of life, life after death and the existence of god, there seem to be only two solutions on offer: Religion – monotheistic, such as Islam, Judaism or Christian belief; or polytheistic (Hinduism, Buddhism) or others (Taoism etc.) or Atheism with its firm belief: No God, no soul, creation of man through evolution, and it all being over after death. But in reality, there is a third way: Agnosticism. There is no church, no organization and no rigid conviction to get it forcefully across. This means it is absolutely underrepresented as it is not clearly communicated and made available as a “proper choice”, a suitable “Weltanschauung”, to the general public. Yet, once you start explaining the general concept to people, you will often get a reaction such as, “hey, I guess I’m Agnostic”. Since Agnosticism is promoting tolerance as opposed to the extremism or other “-isms”, it would be of great interest to distribute it as a concept around the world and raise awareness of this idea. 13
Social relevance of the Agnosticism The growing interest in the subject area is highlighted by surveys such as the one from the quality assessment and qualification alliance, which has reported a 21% increase in choice of theology for A-level studies in the UK (The Tomorrow Project, 2005). A campaign promoting Atheism will be made public in january 2009 on buses in London. The picture on the left illustrates how such a campaign would look like, and it has allowed the instigators of the campaign to raise over ÂŁ100.000 to pay for media space.
Personality: Core values To build a strong personality for a brand, it needs a strong brand strategy. Such brand strategies are presented in more detail in section I.4. . The brand strategy has as main objective to dissect the brand in order to determine its core values, then to elaborate the environment in which those core values will be performed. The core values are roughly said what the brand stands for â€“ the emotional or intellectual information, the insights, the knowledge, the feelings it purports; and thus the profit a consumer may draw from it are the promises he is likely to experience. Such values can appear in a huge variety as they are not only based on the product/service of the brand, but they also have to relate to the target audience.
There is not a universal answer to the core values a brand should carry but the branding strategies can help to determine them. The example of Agnosticism will demonstrate this process in further sections.
Personality: Focus On the whole, a brand needs focus. This means selecting a very specific product/service or category â€“ well distinguished from similar products/services on the same market. This specificity has to be emphasized throughout the entire branding process. This is also reflected through a focus of the core values. If a brand tries to emphasize too many product benefits the consumer will be confused. Metaphorically speaking, this can be compared to deciding to focus on football, and drop all other sports. Focusing on one specific thing/action will also enable the brand to ensure the quality and consistency of its product or service when it is put on the market.
By focusing on a very narrowly defined product/service that is launched through the brand, the brand may even create a new category not yet existing on the market, and thus ensure market leadership, which is a preferable option according to most of the writers on branding: You cannot be a professional football and basketball player at the same time, but you can play in the Champions League of either sport. A focused brand will be directly associated in the eyes and minds of the public with its product/service. This associative process operates on a subconscious level, and should be emphasized to such an extent that the core value is omnipresent in the product or service.
Involved Not involved Reactionary
This table is in no way imperative or exhaustive; it is just suggested to help organize first ideas on branding programs outside the â€œAgnosticismâ€? example.
Possible personality features:
Personality: Brand architecture
To give an example of what core values can be, the table on the left hand side gives a few examples. Such a table can be established whenever the full personality of a brand is looked into and as a help to organize ideas for a brainstorming. This can take place together with the client in order to find an appropriate brand focus. It can gauge the core values against the product, the consumer profile, and the visual or emotional environment in which those core values will be placed. The environment column of this table refers to secondary values for a brand that will bring the core value to life by giving it more depth. It should be kept in mind that the core value remains a keystone for the personality of the brand, and that everything in the branding process should be focused on it.
<< See Design Brief in section II.1 for more detail.
The column â€œarchitectureâ€? has been added as it may be of relevance for certain products or brands, but it does not apply to the concept of Agnosticism. Briefly explained, it reflects on the position the products will have in relationship to the brand. In cases such as Procter & Gamble, you have a mega brand that operates on a macro economical level, but only works as a support for a myriad of additional products, with their own brands, in form of cleaning products, toothpaste etc. The customer will mostly relate to the individual product brand, whereas a stockbroker will be interested in the global brand. The Agnostic project example being fundamentally non-commercial does not require a defined brand architecture.
The brand face Once a personality has been shaped, it is necessary to give the brand a face, here follows an outline of the elements of the face.
Face: Generalities The uniqueness of the face can be achieved by giving the brand a name that reflects the values arising from the brand personality, and - obviously - that is distinct from other brands (1st step). The brand name then needs a visual identifier that has to be created. It is called the logo (2nd step) and it needs its own color (3rd step). In terms of trademark law, other signs, provided they can be graphically represented, may become brands, such as three dimensional objects, sound-based signs, olfactory signs, tactile signs, gestures/ movements (for further detail see Philipps, Trade Mark Law, p. 160 ss). In order to simplify things for readers of this guide, the term â€œbrandâ€? as regards the face is limited to products/services which are identified by a name/word.
The name may consist of an understandable sequence of letters (word) or of a discretionary series of letters. There are several types of brand names that can be identified: Owner names, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Mercedes, Disney’s; Abbreviations, such as IBM, MOMA, M&S; Descriptive names, such as London tube; Borrowed interest names, such as Jaguar, Burger King, Virgin; Fabricated names, such as Xerox, Lexus, Primark; Each type of name can be considered for a new brand, or for a rebranding program, but depending on the product, the target and competition, some might be more appropriate than others. When selecting a brand name, it has to be taken into account that the name should visually remain in the mind of the consumer through the logo, but that at the same time it is a word, thus a sound, and that it should have a pleasant verbal flow or a striking acoustic effect. The name should be easy to pronounce. It is important to take the word flow into account – even before the visual aspect – since the inner mind and everyday conversation will strengthen the relationship of the consumer with the brand. This works for example for the museum of modern arts in New York, whose brand name has been shortened to ‘MOMA’.
The uniqueness of the face can be achieved by giving the brand a name that reflects the values arising from the brand personality. Obviously it should be distinct from other brands and not be a generic term (as such it could not be the object of a trademark either) except where the content of such a term has no link whatsoever with the product/service in question (e.g. DIESEL for leisure ware). However, in some circumstances, a brand name similar to already existing brands of the client may be chosen, namely where the main purpose is to defend a brand against competitors or to weaken a brand newly created by them. When choosing a name some pitfalls which quite often can emerge must be avoided:
<< “A Sibling” as A. & L. Ries call it in The 22 immutable Laws of branding, Harper Collins Publishers, 1999.
- Sectoral or tribal considerations: “Crusador” may not be very much welcome in an Islamic community. - Linguistic considerations: “Seat” used by car manufacturers from Spain sounds not very attractive for a product of locomotion in an English speaking environment. - Political correctness :“Washington Redskins” for a basketball team may be seen a disparaging term for native Americans. - Negative imagery, however may work well where consumers tend to be perceived as non-conformist: “Poison” for perfume.
WORD WORD & IMAGE SYMBOL ABSTRACT 24
The logo is a crucial element of the brand, but should not be understood as the brand itself; it is only a visual representation of what the brand offers and stands for. The general proportion a logo should aim for, is 16:9, as our visual spectrum is based on two eyes, and thus is more receptive to a landscape shape then a vertical one. There are different types of logos just as there are different types of names. Depending on the values the brand will carry one will be more appropriate then another. The logo can consist of a typographic treatment of the name, putting an emphasis on the brand name. This can also work with the initials of a brand. The typographic logo can also have a design intervention on one of the letters, to add an image layer to the word. An abstract shape can accompany the brand name on the side, or it can have a symbol as visual identifier of the brand. The two latter choices can help the logo carry values or emotions on a visual basis, but will forcibly reduce the focus on the brand name. The next pages will feature a few examples to illustrate the latter categories.
Word & Image
A color wheel of this type can be used when selecting a color for a brand. It allows for positioning of major competitors on a color scale, and it visualizes wich colors are still available in that specific market sector. In this particular case, the dutch transport market has been looked into. The crosses indicate available colors for a new brand on the market.
Once a concept for the logo has been created, and it has a distinct typographic treatment, a symbol, or another visual identifier, it can be complemented with color to give it more liveliness. A brand should use a color that is the opposite of its major competitors. This step can be challenging, as for words there are millions of possibilities to choose from and a very wide range of typefaces and symbols exist, but the color spectrum is relatively limited. There are five primary colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue) and neutral colors (white, grey and black) available, but not each might be appropriate for a brand. Red is a very dominant and noticeable color, blue on the other hand is more tranquil laid back. Green is closer to blue, and orange similar to red. Yellow is very bright and is appropriate for example on caution signs. Next to each direct physical aspect of colors there are some values that have been associated with color over time. White for example often represents purity, black is associated with luxury, blue is often found in association with leadership, purple with royalty, and green with health and nature. â€œColors should not be a primary factor in the logo, they should be selected to underpin the concept of the logo.â€? B. BergstrĂśm, 2008 Essentials of visual communication, Laurence King Publishing, London
The brand language This is the step when the brand is given life. The language of the brand will determine how the face and the personality come across. This includes deciding on methods of publicity, on a tone of voice, and on developing additional communication materials.
Language: Making the brand alive A brand has to be put into context. This means placing the logo in corresponding visual surroundings, which consists of products/ services, information leaflets etc.
Some authors suggest that the birth of brand is with publicity, not advertising. Publicity is mentioned by these authors as the preliminary stage of marketing for entirely new products or services. Articles may be written about them in newspapers, magazines â€“ they may be presented in TV-shows. The interest of such media may quickly shade away. In any event this approach only applies to entirely new products. It is not the concern of the average brand developer. However, it could be a clue for selling the rather unknown idea represented in the brand â€œAgnosticismâ€?.
<< A. & L. Ries, 1999 The 22 immutable Laws of branding, Harper Collins Publishers.
The Brand Language This picture is take from Mono, 2004, Branding, from brief to finished solution, Roto vision; Switzerland. It visualizes in several mock upâ€™s how a developed identity can be adapted to different communication pieces. It highlights how visual consitency plays a key role in the overall succes of the identity,
Language: The audience “Only the audience can “make” a brand. The designer forms the foundation of the message with a logo and identity system.” When the personality and the face of the brand are set, the language part has to be defined. It is crucial to consider the target audience when deciding on the details of the look and feel of the overall communication of your brand. Using for example punk graphics to communicate with a businessman audience might not be appropriate, neither would a corporate feel be accurate for a heavy metal fan audience. It is also to be noted, that a brand can at the same time be appreciated by a conformist consumer and a non conformist, underground culture is exploited by mainstream culture today, and a clear separation does not exist anymore.
<< S. Adams, 2008. Masters of design: Logos & Identity, Rockport Publishers
More about audiences in II.2.2.. Generally speaking the target audience is defined by market research and by the product. It is necessary to constantly remind oneself of the audience since the product or service is sold to someone specific.
Language: The tone of voice The tone of voice of the brand is reflected by the visual style of the brand elements (name, logo, layout, supporting visuals) and by the writing style in which the information is put together. It can be authoritative, personal, formal etc.
Language: Communication material Hereby is a non-exhaustive list of materials that can be used to put a brand into context. They should consistently use the logo, similar layouts, share a same tone of voice, in the headings as well as the body copy, and use pictures of the same style. Packaging Brochures Web sites Electronic or printed newsletters Posters Advertising (Print, Radio, and Broadcast, TV, Internet) Badges Signage Business cards Event flyers and invitations Reports Thank you notes Grant proposals Press releases and kits Public speaking engagement
These images come from W. Olins, 2008, The brand handbook, Thames & Hudson, London. They show a series of applications of BPâ€™s new visual identity. The brand has repositioned themselves as a leading force in environemental issues, wheter it be true or not, this is how they wish to be percieved. The logo and the brand colors have been coherently applied to differnt communication elements, and a friendly tone ofvice is attempted to be maintained throughout them.
Branding strategies â€“ Building the personality Hereby follows a list of branding strategies that have been filtered from literature. These branding strategies are constructs that help to determine the core values of a brand and thus building the brand personality. The strategy will determine the role a brand will play in relationship with its audience and how the brand wants to be perceived. It should also define how the core values should be interpreted by the brand and by its customers.
Cultural branding A cultural brand utilizes a common social myth and exploits its mood, emotions and visual environment for its identity. These moods and emotions are captured through imaginary worlds rather than depiction of every day life, utilizing social anxieties as vessel for the brand, and acting as a possible author for the customer’s individual biographies. This allows the customer to use the brand to build his own identity, thus supposes a strong involvement of the consumer with the brand. It transforms the use of a product/service into a ritual action.
“Customers value some products as much for what they symbolize as for what they do. For brands like coke, Budweiser, Nike, and Jack Daniel’s, customers value the brand’s stories largely for their identity value. Acting as vessels of self-expression, the brands are imbued with stories that consumers find valuable in constructing their identities.” “ Marlboro’s populist world was the western frontier, Corona beer relied on the Mexican beach, Harley drew from outlaw bikers, Nike borrowed from the African American ghetto, and Mountain Dew sifted from rural Appalachia/ Hillbilly.” D.B. Holt, 2004,How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding, Harvard business school press,
Mind share branding A mind share brand benefits from constant repetition to maintain consumer attention, appearing as a steward of consistency. It can support a complicated product/service, by simplifying decisions for the customer, thus only requiring a low involvement by him.It allows for a perceivable benefit for the consumer when buying (solidity, reliability, maintenance, after-sales service).
â€œMind share is familiar to anyone who has read famous stories about how Procter & Gamble used dentistsâ€™ recommendations to convince Americans that crest has distinctive cavity-fighting ingredients, or how Unilever built Dove soap into a premium mainstay by telling consumers time and again that Dove is gentle on a sensitive skin because each bar contains one-quarter cleansing cream.â€? D.B. Holt, 2004,How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding, Harvard business school press,
Emotional branding It creates a personal interconnection between the brand and the consumer as an individual. This is an appropriate strategy for retailers, services, specialty goods. The brand wants to become a close friend, by creating an emotional or sensory attachment of the customer to the brand, that persist through out and after the purchase of the product, or the experience of the service. It supposes a strong involvement of the consumer.
â€œDowning a coke, consumers could imbibe in collective feelings of national solidarity emanating from Americaâ€™s ethos as dramatized in World War II.â€? D.B. Holt, 2004,How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding, Harvard business school press,
A viral brand exploits new technology to position itself as a new fashion. It operates as a puppet master, by letting the customer discover and experience the brand on his own. This will convey the feeling to the customer of owning the brand, rather than being owned by the brand. It takes advantage of the “selected few” to spread itself like a virus, hence the name viral brand. The customer experience has to be strong enough, to trigger the will in him to share the brand with his friends, which will strengthen in the mind of the consumer the feeling of owning the brand. The basic idea is that if the firm can convince these people to make the brand their own, and configure the brand, like a virus, to make it easy to talk about, these influencers will rapidly spread their interest in the brand to others through their social networks, just as a virus spreads. “The Snapple line of teas and juices was founded by three Brooklyn entrepreneurs who, in the process of goofing around with their small company, eventually stumbled on the brand’s myth. …. The founders authored a quixotic script about a radically different kind of company, one run by amateurs who shared their customers ‘ cynism toward how large companies were managed. … Instead of looking to grocery chains and fast-food franchises, Snapple distributed its products in restaurants, delis, street carts and momand-pop groceries.” D.B. Holt, 2004,How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding, Harvard business school press,
This is the breakdown of available sources for branding strategies. One should rely on each of these strains of thoughts cumulatively and alternatively to develop the personality, face and language of a brand. However strategies 3 (emotional) and 4 (viral) may be fused in one as they work in very similar and complementary ways. This guide will now explore in more detail the branding process on the basis of the example of Agnosticism.
The guide applied to “Agnosticism” Outline of the method Produce a Design Brief (examples in appendix A and B) Develop the personality of the brand “Agnosticism” on the background of existing branding strategies: More about “Agnosticism” Target audience Focus points Develop the face of the brand “Agnosticism” based on the respective branding strategies by: Proposing a selection of names (1st step) Creating a sample of logo possibilities (2nd step) Developing the language of the brand “Agnosticism” based on the respective branding strategies by: Determining the kind of communication that will be used Specifying the design media that will be used
A Design Brief is a document that is created with the accord of the client that has ordered a branding program, or a re-branding program. In the classic methodology of branding, this document is created as a first step, as a base of agreed values, audiences and targets for the brand. As it is required to have some branding knowledge to create such a document it will be featured at the end of the guide. In appendix A you will find a rough outline on how to structure a Design Brief, and what content to put in. In Appendix B you will find a concrete example of a Design Brief, based on the example of Agnosticism.
Agnosticism is about:
What Agnosticism is not:
A philosophy/ â€œWeltanschauungâ€?
Easy to understand
A commercial interest
Any type of obligation
An irreversible commitment
Individuals with similar theological views
A group of fearful atheists
Open to questions and answers A non-commercial interest
The personality of the brand for “Agnosticism” More about “Agnosticism” “Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe.” (Classic definition given by Thomas Henry Huxley, a great ally of Darwin). There is no list of settled Agnostic beliefs. In fact there are three types of Agnostics: >
You might be uncertain whether the God of your culture’s main religion, or any god, exists. You might be a principled Agnostic who believes that the question of God’s existence is unanswerable, that proof either way is impossible. You might be a practical Agnostic and believe that the question of God’s existence is irrelevant to the living of life.
Target audiences The target audience is traditionally defined in the Design Brief, but, for this instance, it has to be outlined in this section in order to facilitate the development of the brand personality. Agnostics who are interested in the subject Internet users who are members of Agnostic debate groups Internet users who are interested in religious debate Internet users who are interested in philosophy Internet users who are interested in brands Designers who are interested in design that â€œcaresâ€? Students on the search for religious identity Relevant writers such as Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher Organizations such as the humanist leagues
Not relevant here
Brand as friend
Focus points for “Agnosticism” brand
Focus points for a cultural brand: In the world of today which is becoming more and more radical, it is harder to find middle ground philosophies to which to adhere to build your own thoughts, ideals, and ultimately your own personality. As stated before, there is a growing interest in the young public for philosophy and religion. This is where the cultural brand for Agnosticism kicks in. It enables the customer to get in touch with a moderate philosophy but it most of all enables him to develop his personality, without being dictated “who to be” by any religious group, or political organization. It full-fills a need for identity, but at the same time a need of independence. The underlying idea in the concept of “individuality” also responds to a more and more popular tendency to personalize things, see ‘pimp my ride, MTV production’, custom made ‘Nike’ shoes, etc.. According to research, using popular myths allows for an effective branding strategy. The challenge in this strategy resides in making sure that this popular aspect is applied on a new category of product/ service, which seems to be feasible through the idea of personalizable philosophy/Weltanschauung. This may ensure that the popular idea remains new and creative.
The main strength of this strategy is that it allows for a strong involvement of the consumer in the brand, as it enables him to use a popular social myth in combination with a new philosophy to build his own identity.In the eyes of a designer, using an existing cultural myth might seem unoriginal from a creative perspective, but using a myth to build up a brand is nonetheless a very powerful tool, and has very strong chances of success. Ultimately all the other brand strategies will evolve into cultural icons if they are successful. 63
Not relevant here
Focus points mind share brand A mind share brand for â€˜Agnosticismâ€™ will focus on giving a clear perception of the brandsâ€™ qualities, and allow for constant association with the core values of the brand. In this case, the brand will emphasize the alternative aspect of Agnosticism. This means highlighting the difference there is between Agnosticism and religion/atheism, but it will also allow exploiting the alternative culture that can be found in political, musical environments. The coherence between ideological and visual environment should allow good repetition, and help anchor the brand and its values in the mind of the consumer. This will require only a low involvement on his part, which is also coherent with the low spiritual involvement that Agnosticism requires.
This type of strategy can be adopted in particular where a product/ service is technically complex and gives the consumer a clear notion of what he will receive. Agnosticism, because of its multi facetted aspects and possibilities, is not an easy product or service to deal with, which is why this strategy could work. The challenge resides in maintaining the consumers attention, because of his lower involvement with the brand. Making the product/service easier to handle, even though it is still complex may also lessen its quality. The other problem faced with in this strategy is that Agnosticism is not a product and thus has no direct product benefit, except the alternative character in its nature. By simplifying the product/service, it will force the brand to strongly focus on some aspects, and thus making it easier to visualize and give a strong identity.
Not relevant here
Focus points viral/emotional brand The emotional/viral strategy exploits new technology and fashion as a means to create a high involvement of the user. In this case, presenting the brand as an achievement will strengthen the connection of the user with the product and service, and give him a sense of privilege and pride of being part in the brand, as he has to discover it and deserve it. The sense of achievement can be created by a test that is required for membership, or a system of ranking within the brand. The viral/ emotional brand will not be advertised itself through the traditional means, but rely on members to promote and spread it, the â€œselected fewâ€? who create a hype around the brand.
This type of strategy seems attractive for Agnosticism since its concept is not innate or self-evident; it carries the image of modernistic progress and promises inspiration and a new identity. It also requires some intellectual effort on the part of the consumer, strengthening the emotional bond between the customer and the brand. He owns the brand, rather then letting the brand own him. The interaction and achievement aspect of this strategy will easily make the brand into a new hype. This may however lessen its credibility, as hypes can be associated with a lack of content. This type of strategy may seem appropriate for Agnosticism, in the sense that Agnosticism is not something innate, or promoted by famous institutions such as the church. There is no activism and representatives. The viral nature of this strategy also to reflects the process with which a person comes in touch with this Weltanschauung, as it has to be acquired through personal exploration and thinking.
Cultural “Agnostic” brand A catalogue of choices, specifying and highlighting the individuality aspect of the Agnostic belief. There are for example 3 categories outlined in the description of Agnosticism that can be used as suggestions for personal development. The possibility to personalize the brand items themselves, in forms of an adaptive logo, maybe on T-shirts, badges, or through an appeal to contribute to the brands visual imagery. A toolkit to build the brand out of a selected number of items and compose a personal but controlled brand.
Mind-share “Agnostic” brand Information leaflets on Agnosticism, to simplify and demystify this belief. Lifestyle suggestions Tools for the promotion of Agnosticism, adapted to the alternative values it will carry. Underground distribution might be appropriate in these cases. A mind share brand can also benefit from associations with real people, and the placement of the logo in different alternative contexts, to further anchor the brand into the consumers mind. A simple sign of recognition, allowing for constant repetition of the Agnostic concept in every day life: A wristband, pin, badge etc.
Viral /Emotional â€œAgnosticâ€? brand
A viral Agnostic brand could offer a test to become part of it, heightening the sense of privilege and achievement that has to be established To further develop the sense of pride of the customer, achievement points and a ranking system can accompany the test. Giving the customer the role to promote the brand to outsiders will be a crucial communication tool, and can be made possible through badges or other communication material.
Ben & Jerry’s
The face of the brand â€œAgnosticismâ€?
Finding a name A brand name can fit into different types of categories that can be used for each brand. Some types might be more appropriate for certain brands than others, depending on the brand strategy. Here is a non-exhaustive list of types of names that exist:
Possible names for cultural branding
Possible names for mind share branding
Possible names for viral/emotional branding
Creating a logo Once a name has been decided upon, the transfer of the abstract name into a tangible artifact, the logo will complete the face. There are different types of logos. Quite apart from their aesthetic style, most logos are based on certain structural characteristics. A few examples have been listed in chapter I.2.3. Each of these logos will offer separate pros and cons to a brand, depending on the strategy/ personality it is aiming at. A logo simply composed of letters will put emphasis on the brand name. The symbol will allow associating values and images more easily, and abstracts will bring across emotions. Letter and image combinations risk to be visually redundant and work as a visual pun; they may be more useful in a case where the brand name is not strong on its own.
Agnostik - Agnoskit The challenge for this logo lies in the fact that very abstract concept of an Identity Kit has to come across, while the integrity of the word agnostik has to be kept intact. By Inverting the letters K and T, a double direction of reading can be created in the word. Adding a handle or a hand to the logo can emphasize the D.I.Y. aspect. Giving the the last three letters of the word a different weight, or texture can also bring the double meaning across. In this instance a hand drawn texture can further the toolkit idea.
Final Logo for Cultural brand The final logo suggestion is accompanied by a tag line. The role of the text is to givie an additional information to complement the visual apsect of the logo. If it repeats what is already visible in th elogo, it might become redunant and reduce itâ€™s impact.
IDKAYDe stands for: I don’t know and you don’t either. This is a very appropriate name for a mind share brand, as it’s catchy and cheeky tone allow for easy repitition. The challenge here resides in transcribing the wordflow while maintaining the integrity of the individual letters.
Final Logo for Mind-share brand The final logo for IDKAYDE has a simpli typographic treatment. The capitalization allows the reader to recognize that it is an abbreviation for something. The explanation is given in the tag line. The striped texture is meant to emphasize the alternative position of Agnosticism. There is no black and white, it is somewhere in between. The additional use of blue is used in this instance, for the association tha blue has with calm. This is also an element that a brand for agnosticism can support.
For the viral logo, the word VAP has been selected. It stands for very agnostic person, but at the same time caputres the idea of a viral brand to promote the achievement of the customer. He gains the idea hat he owns the brand rather then other way round. This way he can be proud to be part of the band. The challenge with this logo resides in giving it a sence of exclusivity, a club, without looking expensive. Explaining what the logo stands for can reduce its exclusive effect. The cusomer will know what he means when he gets in touch with the brand.
Final logo for Viral brand Rather then using sophisticated coats of arms, or mystical symbols to create an effect of exclusivity, the final logo uses a simple, yet elegant font. A typographic intervention allows to capture the essence of agnosticism, with a question mark. This visual symbol remains only meaningful to those who know what VAP stands for.
Website One of the possible ways in which the brand for agnosticism can be progressed is to make the brand avaible for criticism on an acquired wespace. For example: www.agnostic.org.uk. This adress could be posted on agnostic forums and facebook groups, and the feedback can be used to develop the brand.
It has to be underlined that none of the 3 branding strategies developed in this guide has more success potential then the others. This is especially valid for branding projects with a non-commercial target audience. For a non-commercial project such as Agnosticism, the concept of success is not quite as relevant as for a profit-based project. It would have to be measured for example by the amounts of visits of a website. The bottom line is that a brand first needs to be tested on a sample of the targeted audience before being able to draw any real conclusions on its potential. A possible way to proceed this way with the brand for Agnosticism is to upload the brand guidelines and preliminary products on a website, and then announce it on Agnostic forums around the web, and to implement the feedback as a result of this. One may question whether Agnosticism is even appropriate for branding. Nothing seems to speak against such an attempt: at least branding strategies as presented in this guide can effectively be applied and give it a fair â€œmarketâ€? chance.
Reference books for branding R. Klanten, N. Bourquin, 2006, Tres logos, Gestalten Verlag, Berlin R. Klanten, N. Bourquin, 2008, Los logos 4, Gestalten Verlag, Berlin N. Klein, 2000, No logo, Clays Ltd, UK Rick Poynor, 2000, â€˜Frst things Firstâ€™ Mono, 2004, Branding, from brief to finished solution, Roto vision; Switzerland W. Olins, 2008, The brand handbook, Thames & Hudson, London S. Heller, 2008, Iron fists, Branding the 20th-century totalitarian state, Phaidon, London A. Shaughnessy, 2005, How to be a graphic designer, without losing your soul, Princeton architectural press, New york Adbusters 1/2007 J. Barnbrook, 2007, Barnbrook bible, the graphic design of Jonathan Barnbrook, Booth-Clibbron editions, UK E. Lupton, 2006, D.I.Y, design it yourself, Princeton architectural press, New York S. Sagmeister, 2008, Things I have learned, Abrams books
E. Luption, A. Miller, 2006, Design writing research, writing on graphic design, Phaidon, New york I. Noble, R. Bestley, 2005, Visual Researchm an introduction to research methodologies in graphic design, Ava Publishing Sa, Switzerand D.B. Holt, 2004, How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding, Harvard business school press, D.K. Holland, 2006, Branding for Nonprofits, Allworth Press,U.S. A. Ries, L. Ries, 1998, The 22 Immutable Laws of branding, Harper Collins, UK P. Laver, Brand identity mapping, J. Philipps, The Psychology of Trade Marks in Trade Mark Law Chapter 20 S. Adams, 2008, Masters of design: Logos & Identities, Rockport Publishers P. Chua & D. Ililic, 2008, Logo Savvy – Top brand design firms share their names and identity strategies, – WOW Branding, Rockport Publishers B. Bergström, 2008, Essentials of visual communication, Laurence King Publishing N. Chiaravalle, 2007, Branding For Dummies, Wiley publishing Inc, Indiana J.T. Drew & S.A. Meyer, 2008, Color Management, A comprehensive guide for graphic designers, Rotovision, Switzerland TDC, 2005, The Annual of the type director’s club typography twenty six, Cresent hill books, China R. Daab, 2008, Young graphic designers Americas, Daab GMBH, Koln V. Frost, 2006, *Sorry trees, Also Dominie pty LTD, Australia R. Fawcett-Tang, 2007, New typographic Design, Laurence King publishing, London D. Gautier, 1998, Typo-graphie, guide pratique, 2nd edition, 2001, Pyramid, Paris A. Frutiger, 2008, Symbole, Haupt, Switzerland
References for Agnosticism K.H. Deschner, 1997, Warum ich Agnostiker bin Dr. D.M. Brooks, 1933, The Necessity of Atheism, Freethought press association, New York L. T. Cole, 1898, The basis of early Christian theism, Project Gutenberg F. B. Jevons, 1913, The Idea of God in Early Religions, Cambridge university press T. Payne, 1976, The age of reason, Project Gutenberg W. R. Washington-Sullivan, 1898, Morality as a religion, Project Gutenberg H. Yahya, 2004, The Struggle Against â€œThe Religion of Irreligionâ€?, Abul-Qasim Publishing House, Saudi Arabia The Tomorrow Project, 2005
B. Russel, What is an Agnostic? http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/humftp/Etext/Russell/Agnostic.htm http://reimagineritual.wordpress.com 2008 Agnostic debate http://www.channel4.co.uk/culture 2008 faith and belief, Godâ€™s next army http://www.channel4.co.uk/culture 2008 faith and belief, Make me a muslim http://www.channel4.co.uk/culture 2008 faith and belief, Talking point atheism http://www.channel4.co.uk/culture 2008 faith and belief, The hidden story of Jesus http://www.Agnosticforum.com 2008 definition of Agnostic http://www.Agnosticforum.com 2008 Many Agnostics seem to be mislead about belief in god http://www.Agnosticforum.com 2008 what turned you atheist/ Agnostic ? http://www.Agnosticforum.com 2008 Withholding belief v. denying knowledge http://scienceblogs.com/evolvingthoughts 2006 Atheism and Agnosticism... again http://atheism.about.com 2008 What is Agnosticism? http://Agnosticuniverse.com 2008 Why am I Agnostic? R. Ingersoll 95
http://www.wikipedia.org 2008 Agnosticism http://www.wikipedia.org 2008 Agnostic http://www.wikipedia.org 2008 Atheism http://www.wikipedia.org 2008 Nihilism http://www.facebook.com 2008 A question for Agnostics http://www.facebook.com 2008 AAA (Agnostic association of America) http://www.facebook.com 2008 Agnostic http://www.facebook.com 2008 Agnostic =_= Atheist http://www.facebook.com 2008 Agnostic DOES NOT MEAN YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD http://www.facebook.com 2008 Agnostic is just Atheist, Spelled by a Retard http://www.facebook.com 2008 Anti-Brainwashing_ Be an atheist or Agnostic; http://www.facebook.com 2008 Atheist_ Agnostic and Proud! http://www.facebook.com 2008 Atheist, Agnostic, and Non-Religious http://www.facebook.com 2008 Exactly how ignorant are you? http://www.facebook.com 2008 Thank God I’m Atheist_Agnostic http://www.facebook.com 2008 The Agnostic Movement http://www.disbeliefnet.com 2008 http://www.tomorrowproject.net 2005 The story so far
2006, Jesus camp; R. Dawkins, 2007 The god delusion; R. Dawkins, 2007 The root of all Evil; 1999, End of days; 1973, Jesus Christ superstar; 2007, The hidden story of Jesus; P. Joseph, 2008 Zeitgeist; P. Joseph, 2008 Zeitgeist II Addendum 1999, Dogma; Brainwashing - Gods of the New Age - Religion Exposed as a Fraud.
How to structure a Design Brief The role of the Design Brief is in the first place to define what is going to be branded to have an agreement between the designer and the client. This is intended to prepare all the further steps, as to what the values, goals and audiences of the brand might be. This step is necessary for the progression of the personality, and allows in the further steps to refocus the branding process, by gauging the work that has been done against the initial intentions. This can help to bring everyone to agree on what is being done, and can avoid ugly surprises in later steps, such as: â€œ hey, but thatâ€™s not at all what we wanted to say or doâ€?. The introductory part of the Design Brief, should give a brief overview of the product that is to be branded, and the reasons it might need a brand/re-brand, as well as the context in which this is happening. A part of the Design Brief should be dedicated to clarify to the client why a brand may be beneficial for him, and which role it is going to play for his product or service. It can beneficial fot the designer to include in the design a brief definition of branding, to create and understanding between the designer and the client of the specific tasks that are going to be addressed during the branding process, and how and in which sequence they will be performed.
In addition to that a Design Brief can be used to furthermore explain to a client, the difference between a brand strategy and a logo, as he might not be familiar with he branding process. This is intended to make sure he does not just expect a beautiful logo. Once the role of the designer has been defined in the Design Brief, it is time to define the product and service in detail, or at least outline what it stand for, and which values it aims to carry within. This is where the designer has to produce a first set of ideas of where the strategies might be heading. In order to effectively communicate a brand, it is necessary to research the type of audience you want to address. Defining customer profiles can be useful to have a clearer idea of the audience. Market research is usually used to find out abet possible targets, but in a non commercial project the budget for such a step might be lacking, and will need a little bit of flexibility. This step should be included in the Design Brief, as the target audience should be taken into consideration when choosing a strategy for the brand. In order to proceed with the branding process, it is crucial to establish a to do list, for the designer to have and to give a clear idea of what is done, and what still needs to be done. Let the client know what is ahead.
A Design Brief example: The Design Brief of a brand for “Agnosticism” What is this about? When it comes to theological questions, it seems there are two available choices today; you can either be part of a religion, or be a firm non-believer: an atheist. But really, there is a third way: Agnosticism. There is no church, no organization and no message to forcefully get across, thus it is absolutely underrepresented as it is not clearly communicated and made available as a “proper choice”, a suitable “Weltanschauung”, to the general public. Yet, once you start explaining the general concept to people, you will often get a reaction such as, “hey, I guess I’m Agnostic”. Since Agnosticism is promoting tolerance and not extremism, it would be of great interest to distribute as concept around the world and raise awareness of this idea. Why brand it? Create a general standard for Agnosticism To attract people and inform them To promote the tolerance and respect for non religious people To turn Agnosticism into a “real” and known alternative
What is branding?
Is the logo the brand?
Branding determines what we (the brand) are, who we are, what we communicate, and what our purpose is. Branding determines where we want to go, and how we want to be perceived by others. Branding creates a plan on how to communicate those attributes Branding will create the personality of “Agnostic”, and will manage the way whereby such a personality is distributed appropriately and introduced to the target audience. Branding will combine that abstract personality with visual elements, giving the brand a face, and bring them to live by putting them into a real environment; giving it is own language. It will guide and monitor the experience the audience shall have with it, to ensure a pleasant user experience and create an emotional attachment with Agnosticism.
A logotype, or an identifier is only a visual element by itself. Alone it would not show anything about Agnosticism, what it stands for, what it is useful for and who it is for. Even if its aesthetics are stunning and interpellant, the logo needs complete environment to get the full meaning. “A logo is not a brand unless it’s on a cow” S. Adams, 2008, Masters of design: Logos and Identity, ; Rockport Publishers The role of branding is to bring a logo to life by making it part of a brand, with a personality a face and its own language.
What is ‘Agnostic’ about? Definition of Agnosticism
The strategy on which the brand is based will be called the personality. The name and the logo will be the face of Agnosticism. The final product, the services, and the editorial pieces that will be included in the brand will form the language with which the brand communicates.
Darwin’s great ally Thomas Henry Huxley gave the following classic definition of Agnosticism: “Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe.” >
You might be uncertain whether the God of your culture’s main religion, or any god, exists. You might be a principled Agnostic who believes that the question of God’s existence is unanswerable, that proof either way is impossible. You might be a practical Agnostic and believe that the question of God’s existence is irrelevant to the living of life.
Who is the Audience?
Core values of the brand: Choice Freedom Real people Questioning Neutrality Open view Change Achievement Identity Not granted Tolerance
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Agnostics who are interested in the subject Internet users who are members of Agnostic debate groups Internet users who are interested in religious debate Internet users who are interested in philosophy Internet users who are interested in brands Designers who are interested in design that â€œcaresâ€? Students on the search for religious identity Relevant writers such as Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher Organizations such as the humanist leagues
Now how to go about it ? Define Agnosticism on paper. (Personality) Elaborate 3 possible brand strategies. (Personality) Create names for each strategy. (Face) Logotype designs for each strategy. (Face) Apply logo in environment. (Language) Create set of downloadable resources (Language) Promote website and inform newspaper about existence. (Language)
A Guide that goes through branding Theory using an example to demonstrate theory in practice.