Branding-the portrayal of a lifestyle or the bait of consumerism?

Branding is all around us, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the services we use and the products we buy all rely on strong branding. The core values of branding is to Inspire influence and attract people to a certain range of products, often this is combined in order to sell a lifestyle. There are many great examples of this. The Haig club Whiskey was first brought to market in 2009, branded as a High quality scotch whiskey, with the use of iconic personalities as David Beckham and a punchy advertising campaign promising “a new world of scotch whisky” they have achieved a brand that appeals to new markets. On the Haig club website they describe the Chinese market as “their most enduring” this ratifies the fact that they are directly targeting their branding to a certain group. David Beckham is a known icon within the Chinese market and has been endorsed as a Brand ambassador for various British brands in china Including Jaguar Land Rover. Henry Foy . (2014). JLR signs David Beckham in China drive. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/1c4a9fe2-a54b-11e3-8070-00144feab7de. Last accessed 13/02/2017

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 This justifies the clear branding strategy that famous icons within branding can directly influence target market a company aspires to interest, in Haig clubs case they have intuitively identified Beckham as their right hand man in gaining influence from a market in order to sell their brand and Lifestyle.

 There are many cases in which branding has been directly criticised for forcing products on people with little or no difference in form or function while still charging a premium for a branded product. Supreme who are a Skate lifestyle clothing brand out of New York are renowned for their high price branded products that are also meant as an art statement

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One of their latest branded gimmicks include the Supreme brick, supreme have taken what would previously be a 55 pence item, rebranded it with their logo and managed to charge £30 off the shelf. The irony of this branding strategy is that the Guardian states that the Supreme brick is now selling for in excess of $1000 on Ebay as the original stock sold out within a day! One Reddit user Tamaral36 calculated it would cost $4,704,000 to build an average sized house in bricks alone, this clearly suggests the novelty land the lack of functionality that this product holds.

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Branding of this extremity really does make you question whether this strategy by supreme was to publicly mock the theory of branding while further exploring their ideas of creating art statements, or whether they were double bluffing the market in order to make some ironic profit while also breaking ground on consumer loyalty towards their ‘iconic branded products’.

Global perspectives on Design.

There are many ways globalisation can impact design, whether it’s through the role design plays globally or how companies target cultures in order to enhance sales and their consumer base. Or whether they are just bringing diverse cultures together with a range of similarities in product form.

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Cultural Identity has always played a key role in design and marketing, Apple in 2015 brought cultures together through a similarity they all share, the I phone camera. “Like every Shot on iPhone ad, all the images and videos featured in “The Human Family” were taken on an iPhone. The poem is fitting for an Apple ad, given the company’s public support for human rights and making the world a better place.” (Bell, 2017)

As you can see here Apple’s strategy was to break the boundaries and build relations through the products they design.

Apple have been Fairly ground breaking when it comes to global charities, the RED foundation “In 2006, Bono and Bobby Shriver began paving the way for a new generation. An AIDS free generation. They founded (RED) with a simple mission, to make it easy for people and businesses to join the fight against the deadly virus.” (RED), 2017)

By Gaining the influence of such brands as Nike, Apple, Armani and other famous brands pushes people to support the vulnerable in need through the use of product consumerism, there are many positive and negative effects of this strategy of charity. “In Product (RED), celebrities are moving attention away from “conscious consumption” (based on product information) and towards “compassionate consumption” (based on emotional appeal). To us, this is even more problematic than the risk of negative media attention that celebrities bring to development aid.” (http://developeconomies.com, 2017)

As can be seen from the previous reference marketing and design of this relativity can really add emotion to consumerism, and empathetically persuading the public to consume more, for a good cause.

Despite this there are still Positive outcomes of global design, events such as cultural design exchanges, These can educate and inspire people from completely diverse cultures to take inspiration from what they are doing in design in their part of the world. The Tate modern has been described as a place that holds similar characteristics. “A building that was once London’s beating heart is now its cultural cathedral.” (Demagazine.co.uk, 2017)

Overall the Global perspective on Design can be portrayed in many different forms and has been primarily projected through emotion, with the intent to help and promote problems in our everyday society.

Ethics In Design.

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Ethics play a key role within the design industry from inclusive design, designing for disability to the response from the public that could seem un ethical.

Barrier Free Design is an area of ethical design that should be considered throughout the design process and is currently thoroughly used within product design in order to cater to a range of needs. AKW is a prime example of a company that is striving to aid people with a disability while also maintaining a level of emotional comfort throughout the home. “‘Made Better’ is the phrase that runs through everything we do at AKW, the UK’s leading manufacturer of accessible bathroom, kitchen and mobility support solutions for older people, disabled and people with reduced mobility. It’s in our belief that people’s quality of life can be made better through great independent living solutions and in constantly striving to improve our already exceptional levels of customer service.” (AKW, 2017)

This level of design is considered being highly ethical. Ethical Design can take shape in many forms, while AKW directly effected someone in need other companies are portraying ethical design through their marketing strategies. The innocent BIG Knit has raised awareness for the elderly in winter while also raising 1.9 million pounds for age UK ”For every behatted smoothie sold, the Big Knit campaign donates 25p to Age UK to help keep older people warm and well over winter. The colder months can be tough for a lot of people – as many as 25,000 older people’s lives are at risk because of the cold.” (Theyarnloop.com,2017)

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Although a lot of positives can come of ethical design there are many companies that are deemed by the public to be un-ethical, a clear example of this is the trident nuclear deterrent that has been designed by the MOD, A lot of the negativity or positivity perhaps has been highly represented of the persons political stance. “It’s doubly immoral because George Osborne is obviously happy to cut the poor, while continuing to line the pockets of big businesses like Jacobs.”But also because investing in weapons of mass destruction is illegal and immoral.”The AWE contract is said to represent among the biggest profit margins within the Jacobs business portfolio. (Mancunianmatters.co.uk, 2017)

 

From the points above it could be suggested that ethical design can be highly opinionated on political stance, unless it is directly positive on society ­­­­­such as the work that Innocent do on their market campaigns.

 

Sustainable Design, and its impact on renewable Technology.

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Sustainable design can influence products, architecture, fashion and many other areas of design in a range of forms, whether it’s with the use of tech or through re defining the design process. “Utilizing a sustainable design philosophy encourages decisions at each phase of the design process that will reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants”.(GSA,2015)

There are many ways that Sustainable design has redefined the way we design, The impact that the consumer culture has had on businesses and designers through the awareness of climate change, and ecological change, has drastically improved the way we design. “Consumers are becoming more concerned about sustainability and more knowledgeable about environmentally friendly products. Rather than just thinking about the initial price many customers now make their purchasing choices based on the expected life span of a product, the running and maintenance costs and its overall carbon footprint.” (sustainability?, practice and technology, 2017).

 

Because of the use of Sustainable design, designers are obliged to design sustainably in order to fit into a profession that is highly competitive. Yves Bahar states in his interview in the guardian. “Designers now have a real obligation to not only themselves, but also future generations to introduce sustainability in every aspect of their operation Sustainability should be an ethos, rather than an add-on. The design world has grasped this idea, and the will of manufacturers to make a difference – by introducing responsible design thinking to all areas of industry”(Yves Bahar,The Guardian,2017).

 

There are many great examples of sustainable design that directly impacts the ecology of the environment while maintaining its impressive aesthetic expected of a high quality design. As seen in figure 2.

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The Super Trees of Singapore Bay gardens are a glowing example of how sustainable design can influence ecology, the consumer while also providing sufficiency. “Over 162,900 plants comprising more than 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical flowering climbers have been planted on the 18 Supertrees” (Gardensbythebay.com.sg, 2017)

The self sufficiency of this sustainable architecture not only reduces its carbon footprint but also highlights its design to the people of Singapore by night. To generate electricity, 11 of the supertrees are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into energy, which provides lighting and aids water technology within the conservatories below.” (Lauren Said-Moorhouse, 2017)

Sustainable design such as this is paving the way for innovative technologies to combine to create a fully sufficient outcome, originally spurred on by the users and now practiced and iterated throughout the Design industry.