Anna Lukanina, the executive director at Depot WPF, came up with a fairly provocative title for her presentation: ‘A love triangle: idea, design, execution.’In her talk she focused on the importance of effective interaction between all three sides of the ‘branding triangle’: representatives of business (clients), brand designers (agencies) and manufacturers of packaging, who make the designers' ideas a reality.
In contrast to interpersonal relationships, when three is always a crowd, in business interaction each person in the triangle ‘brand owner, designer, packaging manufacturer’has a key role to play. Or rather, each person ought to have a key role to play –though in reality, communication often takes place along only two of the ‘lines’ of this triangle.
Aleksei Andreev, the CEO of Depot WPF, decided to focus on the first stage of branding, as seen in his use of the word ‘idea’in the title of the session. ‘When the shelves in the shops are heaving under the weight of products of varying degrees of quality, consumers are in a happy place–but manufacturers have cause for concern,’Aleksei observed. ‘They are the ones who lose out when competition is intense. How can they make their product stand out from the crowd? How can they force the consumer, who is overwhelmed by the choice on offer, to pick out their product among all the others? Riding to the rescue is branding–the science of endowing a product or service with special, abstract values which can make the product stand out among its competitors. And designers put everything into giving their product unique features.’
Alas, the effort they put in doesn’t always bear fruit. ‘We would like our brand to be interpreted as a high-quality brand but one that is at the same time affordable, contemporary, natural and traditional,’–this is the archetypal phrase we hear time and time again, with practically the same words used each time, in the majority of client briefs for the design of consumer brands. And then, once identical-twin briefs like this have been sent round to all the agencies, brand managers wonder why there are so many similar trademarks cropping on the market! An inability to focus on genuine consumer insight is probably the main cause of failure in branding.