Our talk consisted of two sections. The first was to explain how brand has changed from what it was at its early development to where it is now. Our key message was that brand is now something that is shared, that is open to input and development by your audience as much as your business. The instructional approach to brand no longer washes with people, you need to be invitational. A brand is no longer proprietary, it is participatory. Essentially, a brand is something that is co-created and as such will evolve through time.
During our talk we explained our process for working with brand – understand, clarify, communicate, evolve. What was interesting about this talk was that both of the other speakers – James Scroggs (Hoop London) and Chris Moody (Wolff Olins) – talked very much along similar lines, on how brand is no longer proprietary and the need for openness in a brand.
The second part of our talk explained that there is still a vital role for design in brand, and that is in communicating or reflecting the brand. Although brands evolve, they still need to be seen, heard, felt, even smelt and tasted. They need to be made tangible, and design is one of the most important ways this can be done. Without being communicated the brand could never develop or evolve.
Our thanks go out to the audience who listened and then responded with some interesting questions. Brand is a difficult subject to discuss as it is a word with a myriad of definitions and meanings. However, the audience seemed to take on board the suggestion, from all of the speakers, that a brand is considerably more than you probably think it is.