Ralph Stuyver (2006) Interactive Brand Identity Design
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The thesis (2006) analyses existing design processes for online (interactive) brand identity design, and shows that none of them is apt to meet the new demands of the interactive Age. A new process is ...

The thesis (2006) analyses existing design processes for online (interactive) brand identity design, and shows that none of them is apt to meet the new demands of the interactive Age. A new process is clearly needed, and here proposed and evaluated at several main Dutch Design agencies. This new design process will be applicable for both corporate brands and product brands, and is specifically aimed at the field of interactive brand design, such as website design.

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Ralph Stuyver (2006) Interactive Brand Identity Design Document Transcript

  • 1. Master Dissertation Interactive Brand Identity Design Towards a Cross-functional Design Process for Digital Brand Dialogues Ralph Stuyver May 2006 Master of Design Management Nyenrode Business Universiteit/ INHOLLAND Graduate School
  • 2. © 2006, Ralph Stuyver, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. All rights of this publication, including copyrights and database rights, are reserved to the author. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, or transmitted, or saved into a automated database, or translated into machine language, without the prior written permission of the author, who can be contacted at: ralph@realaudience.nl
  • 3. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN « propaganda ends where dialogue begins » McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. and Agel, J. (1967). The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. New York: Bantam Books, p.142. © Ralph Stuyver 3
  • 4. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN CONTENTS FIGURES AND TABLES ............................................................................................................................................. 6 PREFACE .................................................................................................................................................................. 7 SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................ 8 STATEMENT OF ORIGINAL AUTHORSHIP................................................................................................................ 9 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS..........................................................................................................................................10 1. INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................................11 1.1 Problem Field...................................................................................................................................11 1.2 Problem Statement..........................................................................................................................12 1.3 Research Approach .........................................................................................................................12 1.3.1 Research Questions ..............................................................................................................13 1.3.2 Literature Review ..................................................................................................................13 1.3.3 Primary Research ..................................................................................................................13 1.4 Purpose, Objectives and Delimitations ..........................................................................................14 1.5 Thesis Outline .................................................................................................................................14 1.6 Definitions .......................................................................................................................................15 1.7 Conclusions .....................................................................................................................................15 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ......................................................................................................................16 2.1 Trends and Changes .......................................................................................................................16 2.1.1 Globalisation, market saturation and product commoditisation .......................................16 2.1.2 Monologue & dialogue communication ...............................................................................16 2.1.3 Active, informed and networked users................................................................................17 2.1.4 Individualisation, customisation and personalisation.........................................................17 2.1.5 Multi-channeling users .........................................................................................................18 2.1.6 User-centric brand experiences ...........................................................................................18 2.1.7 Co-creation of values............................................................................................................19 2.1.8 The future of brands ............................................................................................................19 2.1.9 Trends: Conclusions .............................................................................................................19 2.2 Offline Brand Identity Expression...................................................................................................21 2.2.1 Identity Schools.....................................................................................................................21 2.2.2 Identity structures ................................................................................................................22 2.2.3 Identity, Image and Reputation............................................................................................24 2.2.4 Touchpoints ..........................................................................................................................25 2.2.5 Offline BIE: Conclusions .......................................................................................................27 2.3 Online Brand Identity Expression ...................................................................................................28 2.3.1 Communication.....................................................................................................................28 2.3.2 Interaction .............................................................................................................................29 2.3.3 Three Levels of Value Interaction.........................................................................................31 2.3.4 Key Brand Interaction aspects, work definition...................................................................31 2.3.5 Online BIE: Conclusions........................................................................................................33 2.4 Brand Design Processes..................................................................................................................34 2.4.1 Birkigt and Stadler (1986) ....................................................................................................34 2.4.2 Aaker (1996) .........................................................................................................................35 2.4.3 Stuart (1999) .........................................................................................................................36 2.4.4 Balmer & Grey (2003) ...........................................................................................................37 2.4.5 Van Erp (2004a) ....................................................................................................................38 2.4.6 Andrews (2004).....................................................................................................................39 2.4.7 Manning (2005).....................................................................................................................40 2.4.8 Existing brand design processes: Conclusions ...................................................................41 2.5 Design Management .......................................................................................................................42 2.5.1 Design process as strategic resource ..................................................................................42 2.5.2 Managing the webdesign process........................................................................................43 2.5.3 User experience webdesign .................................................................................................45 2.5.4 Design management: Conclusions ......................................................................................47 © Ralph Stuyver 4
  • 5. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 2.6 Literature review: Conclusions .......................................................................................................48 3. FRAMEWORK: THE IBID PROCESS ................................................................................................................50 3.1 IBID: Goals and Delimitation...........................................................................................................50 3.2 IBID Process: Explained...................................................................................................................51 3.2.1 Brand Identity phase - explained .........................................................................................53 3.2.2 Brand Identity Manifestations phase – explained................................................................57 3.2.3 Interactionpoints phase – explained....................................................................................60 3.2.4 Quadrants II, III and IV – explained......................................................................................61 3.2.5 Three Cycles of Value Interaction ........................................................................................63 3.3 IBID Process: Conclusions...............................................................................................................64 4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .........................................................................................................................65 4.1 Problem Definition & Research Questions .....................................................................................65 4.2 Research Approach .........................................................................................................................66 4.3 Data collection procedures.............................................................................................................66 4.3.1 Participants ...........................................................................................................................66 4.3.2 Materials................................................................................................................................69 4.3.3 Procedure ..............................................................................................................................69 4.4 Data Analysis Procedures ...............................................................................................................70 4.4.1 Processing the data ..............................................................................................................70 4.5 Research Methodology: Conclusions .............................................................................................71 5. PRIMARY RESEARCH: ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ...........................................................................................72 5.1 Quantitative Research .....................................................................................................................72 5.1.1 Topic 1: The IBID process in general ...................................................................................72 5.1.2 Topic 2: Reactions on Statements........................................................................................73 5.1.3 Topic 3: IBID relevance for brand Types..............................................................................74 5.1.4 Topic 4: IBID relevance for brand Phases and Stakeholders...............................................75 5.1.5 Topic 5: IBID relevance for business Functions and Groups ..............................................75 5.2 Qualitative Research .......................................................................................................................76 5.2.1 Extra Topics ..........................................................................................................................76 5.3 Quantitative & Qualitative combined .............................................................................................77 5.4 Primary Research: Conclusions ......................................................................................................79 6. THESIS CONCLUSIONS .................................................................................................................................81 6.1 Introduction.....................................................................................................................................81 6.2 Conclusions .....................................................................................................................................81 6.2.1 Conclusions from the literature review ...............................................................................81 6.2.2 Conclusions from the proposed IBID process .....................................................................82 6.2.3 Conclusions from the Primary Research..............................................................................82 6.3 General discussion ..........................................................................................................................83 6.3.1 Limitations & improvements ................................................................................................83 6.3.2 Theoretical Implications .......................................................................................................83 6.3.3 Practical Implications............................................................................................................83 6.4 Further research ..............................................................................................................................84 7. REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................................85 8. APPENDICES .................................................................................................................................................90 8.1 Referenced Brand identity design processes .................................................................................90 8.1.1 Boer (2003) ...........................................................................................................................90 8.1.2 Corporate Identity Framework (Brandt et all., 2003) ..........................................................91 8.1.3 Brand Identity Prism and Pyramid (Kapferer, 1995)............................................................91 8.2 Primary Research.............................................................................................................................92 8.2.1 Questionnaire........................................................................................................................92 8.2.2 Quantitative research variables..........................................................................................102 8.2.3 Descriptive statistics...........................................................................................................103 8.2.4 Questionnaire Explanation-sheet .......................................................................................104 8.2.5 Open Interview FAQ-sheet ..................................................................................................105 © Ralph Stuyver 5
  • 6. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN FIGURES AND TABLES Figure 1. Conceptual Research Model .................................................................................................................12 Figure 2. Thesis outline and Chapters ................................................................................................................14 Figure 3. Multi channel user paths ......................................................................................................................18 Figure 4. Towards user-centric experiences .......................................................................................................19 Figure 5. Monolithic identity structure (after van den Bosch, 2005) .................................................................22 Figure 6. Two different Endorsed identity structures (after van den Bosch, 2005) ..........................................23 Figure 7. Branded identity structure (after van den Bosch, 2005) .....................................................................23 Figure 8. Framework for brand identity structures.............................................................................................23 Figure 9. Stakeholders weights for corporate/product brands..........................................................................24 Figure 10. Image, Reputation and Interaction ....................................................................................................25 Figure 11. Brand Touchpoint Wheel ....................................................................................................................26 Figure 12. Points of Interaction: Company-think vs. Consumer-think...............................................................27 Figure 13. Monologue communication................................................................................................................28 Figure 14. Dialogue communication ...................................................................................................................28 Figure 15. Websites as dynamic centers of brand building ...............................................................................30 Figure 16. Three Levels of Value Interaction.......................................................................................................31 Figure 17. Corporate Identity and Image ............................................................................................................34 Figure 18. Brand Identity Planning Model (Aaker, 1996)....................................................................................35 Figure 19. Corporate Identity Management process (Stuart, 1999) ..................................................................36 Figure 20. Corporate Identity & Communication (Balmer & Grey, 2003) ..........................................................37 Figure 21. Firm personality based products .......................................................................................................38 Figure 22. Product-User personality match.........................................................................................................38 Figure 23. User Experience (Andrews, 2004)......................................................................................................39 Figure 24. Consumer Web Brand Experience (based on Manning, 2005) .........................................................40 Figure 25. Business Concept Innovation .............................................................................................................42 Figure 26. User experience webdesign process .................................................................................................43 Figure 27. Business functions concerned with the brand ..................................................................................44 Figure 28. Progression of Economic Value..........................................................................................................46 Figure 29. Conceptual Research Model ...............................................................................................................48 Figure 30. Interactive Brand Identity Design (IBID) process ...............................................................................51 Figure 31. Brand Identity phase...........................................................................................................................53 Figure 32. Brand Identity Manifestations phase .................................................................................................57 Figure 33. Brand Identity Interactionpoints phase..............................................................................................60 Figure 34 User Identity phase ..............................................................................................................................61 Figure 35. Three Cycles of Brand Value Interaction............................................................................................63 Figure 36. Means and StdErr of general IBID characteristics..............................................................................72 Figure 37. Means and Std Err. of reactions on Statements ................................................................................73 Figure 38. Analysis of relevance for brand Types...............................................................................................74 Figure 39. Analysis of brand Stakeholders..........................................................................................................75 Figure 40. Analysis of branding Phases ..............................................................................................................75 Figure 41. Analysis of brand Groups...................................................................................................................76 Figure 42. Analysis of brand business Functions ...............................................................................................76 Figure 43. IBID Implications & further research..................................................................................................84 Figure 44. Possible causal interactions between interaction aspects................................................................84 Figure 45. Brand Design Process (Boer, 2003)....................................................................................................90 Figure 46. Corporate Identity Strategic Framework (based on Brandt et all., 2003) ........................................91 Table 1. Online channels and phases..................................................................................................................18 Table 2. Eight Key Changes .................................................................................................................................20 Table 3. Naming issues: Corporate Brand and Product Brand ...........................................................................24 Table 4. Eight Key Changes .................................................................................................................................49 Table 5. Key Interactive Brand aspects................................................................................................................49 Table 6. Existing Brand Design Processes...........................................................................................................49 Table 7. Eighteen Questions on five Topics, and 46 variables ........................................................................102 Table 8. Additional information (57 variables in total).....................................................................................102 Table 9. Descriptive Statistics ............................................................................................................................103 © Ralph Stuyver 6
  • 7. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN PREFACE This thesis forms the final assignment for the Master of Design Management (MDM) at Nyenrode Business Universiteit/INHOLLAND Graduate School, the Netherlands. The MDM programme focuses on the power of design in the business management context, from strategic design to tactic design and operational design. A brand is a strong contributor to business performance and 96 percent of all senior executives rate brand building as vital to their firms future success (Davis & Dunn, 2002). Successful brand performance also depends upon the critical interactions stakeholders have with the brand values (Davis & Dunn, 2002). Design affects all aspects of brand performance, since “design penetrates all of the assets that make brand value: mission, promise, positioning, expression, notoriety and quality” (Borja de Mozota, 2003, p.113). Design also creates “differentiation through brand identity development, building brand equity and brand architecture”(ibid.). Furthermore, design is “the only business discipline that has the process of idea development at the core of its education program and practise” (Powell, 1998). This thesis analyses existing design processes for online brand identity design, and shows that none of them is apt to meet the new demands of the interactive Age. A new process is clearly needed, and here proposed and evaluated. This new design process will be applicable for both corporate brands and product brands, and is specifically aimed at the field of interactive brand design, such as website design. © Ralph Stuyver 7
  • 8. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN SUMMARY The brand is a key asset for most contemporary companies, and the process of designing, communicating and managing the brand identity is important for a strong brand image and reputation. Most companies have strong offline brand communication, but when it comes to online brand communication, e.g. through their websites, they often loose sight (Letts, 2003). A recent Forrester report (Manning, 2005) found only 15 percent of all researched top US companies successfully delivering an online brand experience, yet most decision makers rated ‘building the brand’ of near critical importance for their websites. This thesis therefor focuses on why this big gap might exist between aim and reality of interactive brand expression, and it researches and suggest design management solutions for improvement. Just like human relationships, the brand-user relationship can be complex, subtle and highly individual. Two-way communication (true personal dialogue) is an important aspect of interactive brand communication. The process of interactive brand identity design was identified as an potential area of improvement within the field of strategic design management (Cooper & Press, 1995). Theoretical backgrounds were explored in the literature in order to gain insight in the process of interactive brand identity design. Models for offline and online brand identity expression, brand design processes, specific characteristics of interactive media, and main future trends were explored. On the basis of this literature research, a new process is proposed that facilitates an open brand-user dialogue, facilitates cross-functional communication, and allows for multiple levels of interactive brand experience. The here proposed Interactive Brand Identity Design process (IBID process) is then evaluated by means of a quantitative research (questionnaire, Lickert scale scoring, statistical analysis) and qualitative research method (open-ended expert interviews). The experts opinions about the IBID process were analysed about the relevance for different brand types, phases, stakeholders, brand groups and business functions. The results of this mixed-method research suggests that the proposed IBID process is clear and detailed, and that it can be most relevant for customer driven, corporate or product/service brands, especially in the retainment phase, where customers and brands share a personal dialogue trough their websites. This new IBID process seems furthermore most relevant for brand designers and brand owners especially in marketing, branding, communication and design functions. It is therefor concluded that the IBID process could in principle help brand designers to narrow the gap between offline and online brand expression, and improve the interactive brand identity experience. Future research can focus on exact implementation of the proposed IBID process, e.g. guidelines and implementations for specific interactive brand identity design practises. © Ralph Stuyver 8
  • 9. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN STATEMENT OF ORIGINAL AUTHORSHIP I hereby certify that this thesis is my original work, created specifically for the purpose of obtaining a Masters of Design Management title. At no times this thesis has been reproduced from any person or legal entity without the proper acknowledgements, nor have I committed plagiarism to my knowledge. I further state that I have personally carried out the research and investigations and finally achieved at what you are about to read. However, if any of the referenced authors feel that they have been incorrectly paraphrased or interpreted, please contact me at the below mentioned address. All figures and tables have been created specifically for this thesis, with the exception of the cover image, for which a written permission is granted by the owner: materialise-mgx.com, Belgium. Furthermore I want to state that most authors mentioned here are included for their specific line of thought, and at no place I want to restrict those authors to only one singular place in my IBID process. In fact, most of the authors have significant contributions to many different areas in my field of interest. Amsterdam, 25 June 2006 Ralph Stuyver, ralph@realaudience.nl © Ralph Stuyver 9
  • 10. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis could not have been written without all of the help and support of many friends, colleges, experts and other dear people. I like to thank Marco Bevolo, design director at Philips Design and my thesis supervisor. Marco critically challenged my ideas, thoughts and findings, and gave access to relevant people and information. But above all he supported me in his own personal style, and I hope we can continue our lively (lunch)discussions about brands, cultures, innovations, inventions, interactions and the good food. Thanks to Nyenrode Business Universiteit and all of the people (previously) working for INHOLLAND Graduate School. A very special thanks goes out to Jos van der Zwaal, Rik Riezenbosch, Schelte Beltman and Aart Goud for setting up, providing high quality content, coordinating and trying to manage this dynamic MDM programme. A special thanks also goes to the inspirational main lectors Ralf Beuker, Marco Bevolo, Frans Joziasse, Rob van Gullik and Jos van der Zwaal. And a very warm thank you goes to Marije Duijf and Barbara Vlot for providing and solving the many important daily MDM issues. A big thanks also goes to all the people I spoke to, interviewed, had lively discussions with, that provided me information, visions, experiences, business cases, helped me, motivated me, challenged me and truly inspired me: Jurgen Baart (Clockwork), Eugene Bay (VBAT), Joke van Beek (University of Utrecht), Gert Hans Berghuis (Fabrique), Edo van Dijk (Eden), Jeroen van Erp (Fabrique), Eileen van Essen (Identitydoctor), Tirso Frances (dietwee), Monique Fransen (Eden), Paul Gardien (Philips Design), Marlon Heckman (Clockwork), Rik Heijmen (Satama/Oer), Willem Kars (Metrostation), Dingeman Kuilman (Premsela), Michiel Lammertink (dietwee), Sophia Lancia (Lancia Automobili), Joost van Liemt (.bone), John Lippinkhof (Design Platform Eindhoven), Erwin van Lun (Mensmerk), Monique Mulder (Mattmo), Frederik Nijsingh (Mattmo), Paul van Ravestein (Mattmo), Rik Riezenbosch (BrandGenetics), Mitch Roedoe (Qi), Matthijs Tammes (Mattmo), Koen Verhagen (.bone), Piet Westendorp (Delft University of Technology), Elma Wolschrijn (Eden), Jos van der Zwaal (TakePart); my Master of Design Management cohort 3 colleagues and soul-mates: Erik Roscam Abbing, Verena Baumhögger, Marc van Bokhoven, Katja Claessens, Barbera Evers, Kees de Vos, Madeline Maingay, and my other dear MDM colleges: Alfred Jansen, Ada van Dijk, Joris Funcke, Rob Mulder and Edwin Rooseman. And above all, I want to thank Ilse Verstijnen, just, for everything. © Ralph Stuyver 10
  • 11. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 1. INTRODUCTION Today, the critical first contact users have with a brand is usually via it’s website. Their positive online experience affects their brand image and attitude in every context, including those offline (Bradford, 2004). Moreover, competitive brands are only one mouseclick away, even for loyal customers. Meanwhile there is a clear shift in media strategy and budgets from above-the-line mass communication towards integrated online dialogues. So, how will brands embrace this new reality, and what will be the added value of interactive brand design? Brand- and trend analysts see that future users want much more interactivity with the brand, across different channels, at times they desire. Future users demand a shorter, quicker and more direct brand interaction. Business decision makers regard ‘the way firms interact with customers’ as the area of greatest change between now and 2010 (Franklin, 2005). This greatly impacts their business strategy and brand-, communication- and design- strategies. While most traditional media were designed for the specific aim of one-way mass communication (monologue media) and hence provided poor means for feedback, the internet and other digital media were intentionally designed for two-way communication (dialogue media) and interaction. So the question is: how can today’s companies better express their brand identity online? What aspects will enhance the online brand identity, how to integrate it with the offline brand identity, and how to cross- functionally design it? Does the process of interactive brand development fundamentally differ from offline brand development, or is online ‘just another brand channel’? And what can be the design implications for brand identity owners and brand design agencies in creating, expressing and managing interactive brands? While ample literature shows the contribution of design to offline brand identity expression, there is little written about its specific contribution to interactive brand identity expression. Early research indicates that creating an effective interactive brand expression “is far more complex than the application of line- extension methods” and “what is needed is a new interactive brand development process” (Mauro, 2001). This thesis tries to find answers to the above questions, and the main problem appears to be that most firms have an articulated offline brand identity, but most of them under-express their brand identity online. A theoretical framework for Interactive Brand Identity Design (IBID) will be developed, based on the literature review combined with ideas of main brand identity practitioners and researchers. This framework will then be tested on a number of Dutch offline and online brand identity design practitioners by means of questionnaires and interviews, and its usefulness for online brand identity designers will be evaluated. 1.1 PROBLEM FIELD Current research shows that today most brands have an articulated offline brand identity expression, yet most firms under-articulate their brand identity online (Letts, 2003). Forrester recently reported that only 15 percent of the researched US global brands scored good on online brand expression, yet most decision makers rated ‘building the brand’ of near critical importance for their websites (Manning, 2005). © Ralph Stuyver 11
  • 12. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Research also shows that the way consumers experience the online brand strongly influences their brand image and purchasing behaviour (Bradford, 2004). While trend research shows that online channels will gain importance (as compared to TV and radio); the way future firms interact and create value with customers will be crucial (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Franklin, 2005); design will play a strong role in the differentiation of brands and products; and the way firms handle ICT is critical for their future success (van Dijk, 2004; Franklin, 2005). If design can positively affect interactive brand expression, then why is there still such a big gap between the aim and the reality of interactive brand identity expression? 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT To summarise the above described problems, one could state that firms have an articulated offline brand identity expression (C, see Figure 1), yet most of them under-articulate their brand identity online (D), while most consumers today interact with the online brand on a near daily basis. Or, more compactly written: “There is an unwanted gap between the offline and the online brand identity expression” 1.3 RESEARCH APPROACH This research aims to narrow this gap between offline and online brand identity expression, by researching why it exists, what the difference is between offline and online brand identity expression (BàC ∩ BàD in Figure 1), how online brand identity could be designed (B), what strategic design resources (A) possibly hamper an articulated online brand identity expression (D), and what the result could be for the users (E). Figure 1. Conceptual Research Model BRAND IDENTITY BRAND IDENTITY BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN FACTORS EXPRESSION (BIE) EXPERIENCE PHASES Design OFFLINE Assets OFFLINE BIE A C aspects CHANNELS Firm Strategic B DESIGN User Strategy Resources PROCESS E Experience D ONLINE BIE ONLINE aspects Design Competencies ENVRONMENTAL FACTORS (F) Based on Hamel’s (2002) business model, internal design factors will be researched, i.e. design processes as strategic resources (AB, in Figure 1), as well as external factors, e.g. changes in user behaviour (E), the environment, media, communication and technologies (F). The research specifically focuses on online brand identity expression through websites (D), with brand identity designers (agencies) as primary stakeholders. © Ralph Stuyver 12
  • 13. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 1.3.1 Research Questions Based on the above described problem statement and research approach, a first set of research questions were formulated about Brand Identity Expression (BIE): RQ1: “Why is there a big gap between online and offline brand identity expression?” RQ2: “How can this gap be reduced?” The literature review indicated that possible answers on the first two research questions could be found in a new process for Interactive Brand Identity Design (IBID), since most existing identity design processes were still mainly one-way communication processes, based on monologue, mass-media channels. Therefor, this thesis will propose a new process, which could reduce the gap between online and offline brand identity expression. The primary research will specifically focus on the following research questions: RQ3: Is the proposed IBID process clear and detailed enough? (content) RQ4: Is the proposed IBID process relevant for brands, users and brand phases? (context) RQ5: Is the proposed IBID process relevant for brand identity designers? (target group) RQ6: Does the proposed IBID process enable cross-functional communication (function) RQ7: Can the proposed IBID process be used in practice? (applicability) 1.3.2 Literature Review In order to find possible answers to the first two research questions, the literature review will focus on: • External changes in consumer behaviour, the business environment, technological, sociological trends and changes in media characteristics (subsection 2.1) • Offline brand identity properties, where main identity principles are described (subsection 2.2) • Online brand identity properties, where unique website characteristics are described (subsection 2.3) • Existing brand identity processes, where processes and ideas for brand identity design by main authors will be compared and evaluated (subsection 2.4) • Design factors, where mainly design processes as strategic resources are reviewed (subsection 2.5) The literature review will focus on brand identity expression through websites, and how processes for brand identity expression could contribute specifically to interactive brand identity design. The conclusions of the literature review lead to the proposal of a new design process, which is the focus of the primary research. 1.3.3 Primary Research Since the literature review reveals that there is a lack of apt design processes for interactive brand identity design, this thesis proposes a new interactive brand identity design (IBID) process, which will be the focus of the primary research. This IBID process will be evaluated by a structured questionnaire (quantitative) and open interviews (qualitative) with brand identity design experts from Dutch design agencies. Research © Ralph Stuyver 13
  • 14. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN questions 3, 4 and 5 will be answered by the IBID process and its evaluation in the primary research. 1.4 PURPOSE, OBJECTIVES AND DELIMITATIONS The research aims to find answers as to why companies under-articulate themselves through online media (websites) while usually fully expressing their brand identity offline, and to find better ways to express a brand identity through interactive media. In order to achieve these objectives, a new IBID process is proposed and evaluated by experts: brand identity design agencies. The primary research focuses on brand identity design agencies, so the proposed IBID process is not intended for direct use beyond this scope. The research also tries to apply the theoretical (from literature) and practical (from interviews) knowledge to the practise of interactive brand identity design for webdesign agencies. The IBID process is specifically researched with respect to it usefulness in daily brand identity design practise. The reader is referred to Chapter 5 for comments and restrictions regarding this issue as provided by the interviewees. 1.5 THESIS OUTLINE This first Chapter introduced the thesis, and described the problem field, the problem statement, the research approach and research questions. It also provided the objectives and delimitations (see Figure 2). Figure 2. Thesis outline and Chapters RESEARCH CONTEXT CHAPTER 1 PROBLEM DEFINITION & RESEARCH QUESTIONS CHAPTER 1 RQ 3 RQ 4 RQ 5 RQ 6 RQ 7 2 RQ 1 RQ 2 METHODOLOGY 4 2 LITERATURE REVIEW PRIMARY RESEARCH 5 3 FRAMEWORK: IBID PROCESS ANALYSIS & RESULTS 5 THESIS CONCLUSIONS CHAPTER 6 THESIS RECOMMENDATIONS CHAPTER 6 The second Chapter contains a literature review based on the first two research questions, and concludes that a new design process might answer the first two research questions. In the third Chapter such a design process will be described, which will form the main subject of the primary research. In the fourth Chapter the research methodology is described for finding answers on research questions 3 until 7. In Chapter five, the results are analysed and presented. In final Chapter six, the conclusions for the research on questions 3 until 7are provided, in combination with research questions 1 and 2, and recommendations are given. © Ralph Stuyver 14
  • 15. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 1.6 DEFINITIONS Most definitions of terms will be given in the following chapters. However, some general terms need to be defined beforehand, because these terms are not explicitly explained in the thesis: • Firm: the organisation as the origin and responsible for creation and/or delivery of products and values. • Products: all of the physical and digital objects, environments and services, the firm offers to the users. • Users: any legal entity, group or individual that can affect or is affected by the firm • Values: all of the firms principles and qualities that are manifest to the users, and all of the users principles and qualities that are manifest to the firm. The choice for the term ‘user’ instead of e.g. ‘stakeholder’ is made in order to underline the active role that most of today’s stakeholders have with the firm. 1.7 CONCLUSIONS In this first chapter an introduction was given about the thesis research, the problem field, problem statement, research questions and research approach. It described the scope of the research, its aims, the structure of this thesis, and it provided key definitions that are not given elsewhere in the thesis. Next chapter two will present a literature research of the first two research questions: RQ1 “Why is there a big gap between online and offline brand identity expression?” and RQ2 “How can this gap be reduced?”. Chapter 2 will also give a theoretical background and work definitions of the main elements of the research. © Ralph Stuyver 15
  • 16. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND This Chapter will describe the most relevant literature and authors for this thesis, regarding: • Trends and changes (external factors; section 2.1) • Offline brand identity aspects (section 2.2) • Online brand identity aspects (section 2.3) • Existing brand design processes (section2.4) • Design management & processes (section 2.5) The theoretical background forms the basis for this thesis, and Chapter 2 will summarise and conclude on the findings in section 2.6. Based on these conclusions, a new process for Interactive Brand Identity Design (IBID) will be proposed in the next Chapter 3, which forms the subject of the primary research. 2.1 TRENDS AND CHANGES 2.1.1 Globalisation, market saturation and product commoditisation Because of the globalisation, the number of newly entering brands in combination with the already high number of locally existing brands, has lead to an overcrowded market of products and services (Kapferer, 2001). However, this has not lead to an increased quality (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Furthermore, traditional product features and attributes are no longer sufficient to differentiate the firm or meet the new needs (Andrews, 2004).The blurring of national boundaries therefor has fuelled product commoditisation, and market saturation (Rijkenberg, 2005). Competition between brands has changed too. Especially recently in Europe a global opening of boundaries of people, goods and labour increased the rivalry between brands (Fombrun & van Riel, 2003) and new competitors come from complete different market segments or even industries (Buschman & Schavemaker, 2004). The media are also changing. Most western consumers have been overloaded by TV, radio and printed ads (Fombrun & van Riel, 2003). As a result, some media became less effective and “advertising has hit a brick wall” (Lindstrom, 2005, p.16). Kapferer concludes “Today we have 1001 product variations within one product range, 1001 media channels and 1001 different types of consumers” (Adformatie 52, 2004). 2.1.2 Monologue & dialogue communication The direction of communication has changed too. Modern communication facilities such as the internet and mobile phones, made consumers no longer passive recipients of one-way targetting from companies. Instead, monologue communication is supplemented by two-way communication. Or, as Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004, p.13) put it: “communication once flowed almost entirely from companies to consumers. Now consumer feedback is beginning to overwhelm the voice of the company“. In their opinion firms are not prepared for this feedback that needs a totally different kind of communication infrastructure. Brandt (2003) contents that two-way communication will become the essence. He also stresses that this two- way communication should be considered as a natural ongoing dialogue that is “characterised by equality © Ralph Stuyver 16
  • 17. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN and acceptation” of which “the expressions are authentic and recognisable from a shared value pattern” (ibid., p.20). It is clear that monologue communication will grow towards a dialogue with people, which was even underlined by the worldwide advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy (Vincent, 2002). 2.1.3 Active, informed and networked users The content of the dialogue not just concerns feedback on existing products as stated above. From the end of the 20th century, design agencies suddenly found people knocking on their doors asking to design new products for them “telling them what they wanted and how much they wanted to pay for it” (van Erp, 2004). And it is not just two-way communication between customers and companies. Customers communicate with other customers too. Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004, p.2) see a shift “in the role of the consumer –from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, from passive to active”. The internet has created a class of almost perfectly informed citizens (Hamel, 2002). The drawback of unlimited information access is that it makes it more difficult for them to distinguish between different firms qualities (Fombrun & van Riel, 2003). In the Netherlands, most citizens have an internet connection at home (75%) or at work (91%), mostly via broadband, and most citizens (92%) have one or more mobile phones (CBS, 2004). These connected, informed and active citizens put high pressure on firms to be transparent and truthful towards their stakeholders. "In an Internet-connected, media-saturated world, developing high negative visibility can happen overnight -witness the Enron-Worldcom executive scandals" (Fombrun & van Riel, 2003, p.107). Most brands were born during the era of incomplete and imperfect information and they used to be in control of the mass media. But due to the internet, the power balance will shift from the brand to the consumers, leading to the rise of consumer power in their transactions and relationships with brand on the Web (Kapferer, 2001). The connected, informed and active users therefor increasingly control the dialogue. 2.1.4 Individualisation, customisation and personalisation The western world consumer individualises and is in search for brands and products that can support his own identity (Rijkenberg, 2005). Consumers increasingly dislike predefined lifestyles, and want to create their own world by combining all sorts of styles and brands. Mass consumption will change from one product for many towards one individual chooses from a plenitude of experiences (ibid.). Three levels of personalisation were found. On a first level, users can individualise products and services by selecting from a number of firm-defined options (e.g. choosing between different coloured products or combinations). On a second level, customisation can take place as a support for an individual experience. But often, this kind of customisation suits the firms supply chain rather than the users unique desires and preferences (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004) thereby regarding the user more as a 1:1 ‘marketing target’. The third level will allow personalisation of interactions. Here, the user can engage in a meaningful brand experience and create relevant personal brand values and stories together with the firm (co-creation). Experience environments such as (flagship) stores, theme parks but certainly also websites, allow for such personalisation. These environments allow individual users to interact with the environment, and support individual users to change in relation to time and events (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Designing such an experience environment in which a multitude of different users can enjoy a truly personalised experience © Ralph Stuyver 17
  • 18. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN becomes therefor a complex, but important task. Personalisation is key to individual experiences, and it will put the user at the heart of the value creation process, as will be explained further below. 2.1.5 Multi-channeling users Users make increasingly use of multiple channels. Research shows that 80% of all Dutch consumers orient across different channels before they buy, and 50% of all Dutch consumers are fully multi-channelled in both the orientation- as well as the buying-process (MarketResponse, 2005). They use these multiple channels to interact with the brand, and most Dutch citizens are connected to the internet. Some individual multi-channel paths for orientation, buying and using, across offline and online channels and phases, are shown in Figure 3, below: Figure 3. Multi channel user paths based on de Wilde (2004) The relative importance of interactive media therefor will grow, which will put more emphasis on delivering relevant brand experiences across a multitude of channels. Online channels can support all of the different brand phases in many ways, as is shows in Table 1. Some online channels are more suitable for the earlier phases, but websites in general can suit all phases of the branding process. Table 1. Online channels and phases online channels E-mail marketing • • • • • Database marketing • • • • Online advertising • • Mobile marketing • • • • Search engin. optimalis. • • Website(s) • • • • • based on Kars (2003) 2.1.6 User-centric brand experiences The active, informed, networked and multi-channeled users that require personalised value interactions, © Ralph Stuyver 18
  • 19. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN have their effects on how companies express their brands. The firm’s focus will need to shift from firm- centric supply/demand, towards user-centric experiences: “the experience is the brand” (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004, p. 132). Future brands will evolve through personalised experiences and new user-firm interactions, as is shown in Figure 4. Figure 4. Towards user-centric experiences FROM FIRM-CENTRIC SUPPLY/DEMAND Suppliers Firm Channels ERP, CRM, SCM Consumer segments TOWARDS USER-CENTRIC EXPERIENCES Nodal Firm Nodal Firm Individual Nodal User Firm EXPERIENCE ENVIRONMENT USER COMMUNITIES Based on Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004, p.97) 2.1.7 Co-creation of values Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004) see the firm-user interaction as the locus of value creation, and individual co-creation experience as the basis for value. Multiple channels will be the gateways to experiences, and the firms infrastructure must support heterogeneous experience co-creation. Finally, according to Prahalad & Ramaswamy, the firms core competence will be based on experience networks including user communities. There has to be a clear focus on the co-creation of values of the firm with the user (Prahalad & Ramaswamy 2004; Bevolo, 2005). Value can be defined as a co-created experience for a specific user, at a specific point in time, in a specific location, and in the context of a specific event. Increasingly complex patterns of firm- user interactions will emerge at every point in the firm-user network (ibid.), as is summarised in Figure 4. 2.1.8 The future of brands In the future, firms will allow the brand to be transformed by users, while brands transform users lives too (de los Reyes, 2002). Identities will move in a more dynamic direction, towards constant evolution and away from the five-year cycle (Kraft; in: Cheston, 2001). Brands will emphasise individual fulfilment of personal values and aspirations (Bevolo & Brand, 2003). Firms will build brands through personalised experiences and new interactions together with user communities, instead of the firm-centric staging (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004) or pre-packaged user-experiences (Andrews, 2004). Future brands will evolve to complex interactions between the firm, people, culture and technology (Bevolo & Brand, 2003). 2.1.9 Trends: Conclusions The business context of most western firms shows high levels of instability and change. Due to the globalisation, modern communication means and other factors, there will be 1001 product variations within one category resulting in a market saturation and product commoditisation; there will be 1001 media © Ralph Stuyver 19
  • 20. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN channels resulting in media saturation and lowered effectiveness; and there will be 1001 different types of consumers (Kapferer, in: Adformatie 52, 2004). Monologue communication (from firm to consumers) will be enhanced by dialogue communication (between firms and users), across multiple channels. Users changed from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed and from passive to active, putting high pressure on firms to be transparent and truthful. The internet created a class of almost perfectly informed citizens and the power balance shifts from the brand to the user. Rijkenberg (2005, p.112) concludes “the consumer = the brand = the firm”; and Prahalad & Ramaswamy 2004, p.135) conclude the “firm = competitor = partner = collaborator = investor = consumer”, and Brandt et all. (2003, p.19) state that in a future approach “the sender will not be central, but the values shared with consumers and relations”. As western society individualises (level 1) and mass consumption moves towards individual choice of many experiences, customisation (level 2) will support the individual brand experiences. But to allow users to engage in a meaningful brand experience, the next level (3) will be the personalisation of interactions with the experience environment. The firms focus will have to shift from firm-centric supply/demand towards consistent user-centered experiences. The firm-user interaction will be the locus of the value creation process, and individual experiences will be the basis for value. Future brands will evolve from interactions between the firm, people, culture and technology, across multiple places in the firm-user network. All of the above information can be summarised in Eight Key Changes, see Table 2. In the next section we will specifically focus on offline brand identity expression. Table 2. Eight Key Changes THE ENVIRONMENT CHANGES (F) 1. Globalisation, Market saturation and Product Commoditisation 2. Monologue and Dialogue Communication THE USERS CHANGE (E) 3. Active, Informed and Networked users 4. Power-balance shifts from brand to user 5. Individualisation, Customisation and Personalisation 6. Multi-channeling users 7. User-centered Experiences 8. Value Co-creation © Ralph Stuyver 20
  • 21. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 2.2 OFFLINE BRAND IDENTITY EXPRESSION There are many definitions of a brand. From very compact definitions as “an idea people live by” (Grant, 2002) or “a product/service + aura” (Ellwood, 2000, p.11), to the more elaborate: “incorporation of a combination of promises made to customers, based on the multiple experiences over time, delivered with a consistently high level of quality and value, that are perceived to be unparalleled relative to the competition, ultimately resulting in deep, trust-based relationships, which garners great amounts of loyalty and profits over time” (Davis & Dunn, 2002, p.15). Kotler (2000, p. 396) defined a brand as: “the name, associated with one or more items in the product line, that is used to identify the source of origin or character of the item(s)”. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as: “a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services (Guzmán, 2005, p. 404). Many authors describe their process of brand identity design. The most relevant ones for this thesis will be discussed in section 2.4. Most of these processes share some elements, but many differ on parts too, also depending on the authors view or ‘school’. At least three main schools were identified, which all have different definitions of a brand and brand identity. These will be described in subsection 2.2.1. Brands cover a wide spectrum from brand identity structures, through corporate brands and product brand, to brand width and depth, for a wide group of stakeholders. These are described in subsection 2.2.2. The perceived brand identity by stakeholders – the image and reputation – are described in subsection 2.2.3. Brand identity is experienced at the touchpoints, as will be described in subsection 2.2.4. Final conclusions about the key aspects of offline brand identity expression (Offline BIE) will be given in subsection 2.2.5. 2.2.1 Identity Schools Three main identity visions or ‘schools’ exist, mostly independent of each other (van Riel, 2003; van den Bosch 2005; Borja de Mozota, 2003), emphasising different aspects of corporate identity: 1) the design school, 2) the organisational school and 3) the communication school. These will be outlined below. 1. The design school has the longest tradition in corporate identity, and mainly concerns authors and practitioners in the field of design. One of the earliest was Ollins (1978), who defined corporate identity as “the totality of the way the organisation presents itself”, expressed in “the names, symbols, logos, colours and rites of passage which the organisation uses to distinguish itself, its brands and its constituent companies”. Authors of this school usually emphasised the visual expression and the symbolic qualities of the corporate identity. They also developed strategic choices for an identity structure (see section 2.2.2).. 2. The organisational school emphasises the organisational culture and changes the firm undergoes, and its implications on the corporate identity. Practitioners of this school are typically found internally in the firms organisation management functions and externally in change management and organisation consultancies. A widely used definition of corporate identity from the organisational school can be found by Birkigt and Stadler (1986; in: van Riel, 2003, p.42): “the planned and operational self-expression of a company, both internal and external, based on an agreed company philosophy”. This school added four new insights to the earlier design school (van Riel, 2003, p. 37): • Corporate identity involves more than visual and symbolic qualities alone. Birkigt & Stadler (1986) gave a corporate-identity mix of symbolic, communicative and behavioural aspects, with a central personality. © Ralph Stuyver 21
  • 22. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • Corporate identity can be seen in many different ways dependant on the value (dimensions) that have been chosen to be most typical for the organisations identity. • There are five types of identity: the actual-, communicated-, conceived-, ideal- and desired corporate identity. This school added strategies for bridging the gap between the actual-, desired- and conceived. • Research methods for quantitative measurements of the corporate identity, next to –or in addition to – the already existing qualitative research methods. 3. The communication school This school was usually propagated by communication consultants and marketing- or advertising experts, emphasising the communication needed to express the chosen identity towards all internal- and external stakeholders. In the firm, this expertise is usually found in the PR-, marketing-communication and corporate-communication functions. A typical definition from the communication school can be found in Franzen & van der Berg (2001, in: Boer, 2003, p. 27): “Brand identity is the unique set of physical, social and mental components of a brand, being authentic, differentiating, central, sustainable and salient”. According to van Riel (2002, p. 38) the communication school developed and implemented a ‘sustainable corporate story’ and other ‘content driven messages’, and its contribution to the above schools is: • A clear process of execution of the corporate identity programme. • The translation of the chosen corporate identity aspects into paid publicity (advertisements) and unpaid publicity (public relations and public affairs). • A focus on the ‘red thread’ in the overall approach to the identity programme, integrating the symbolic, communicative and behaviour identity aspects, trying to bridge personnel activities and communication. In current research and practise, these three ‘schools’ somewhat overlap or flow into each other, and actual ‘schools’ are not found in reality either, they are spread over many business functions within the firm and its external agencies. But it is to the firms interest that all functions work together towards one integrated brand identity design, expression and experience. The take home message from this section is that a shared identity design process should be appreciated by design, organisation and communication schools. 2.2.2 Identity structures A brand identity is usually closely related to the way the firm is structured in a parent company, daughter companies and different units (or companies) active in different industries, categories or segments. According to Ollins (1989; 2002) the identity of most companies can be divided into three main identity structures: 1. monolithic identity, 2. endorsed identity, and 3. branded identity structures: • Monolithic identity: Everything the firm does has one name, one style and character, each subsidiary supports the other. People primary think of the firm, and secondary of its products or services (Figure 5). Figure 5. Monolithic identity structure (after van den Bosch, 2005) © Ralph Stuyver 22
  • 23. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • Endorsed identity: Several activities take place under a common name, and the parent company allows subsidiaries to operate under their own names. The parent endorses its subsidiaries with the corporate visual style (Figure 6, left example) or only by an added corporate name (Figure 6, right example). BLOGGO BLOGGO BROWNS SMITHS JONES CLARKS Engineering Chemicals aerospace plastics BROWNS SMITHS JONES CLARKS Engineering Chemicals Aerospace Plastics part of BLOGGO part of BLOGGO part of BLOGGO part of BLOGGO Figure 6. Two different Endorsed identity structures (after van den Bosch, 2005) • Branded identity: The parent company works with several ‘child’ identities, visually unrelated to each other and to the parent. Some companies separate their corporate identity from the brand identities they own. Those brands have names, identities, reputations and personalities of their own (Figure 7). BLOGGO BROWNS SMITHS JONES CLARKS Engineering Chemicals aerospace plastics Figure 7. Branded identity structure (after van den Bosch, 2005) Boer (2003, p.102) added two extra levels in between (see Figure 8): • Semi-monolithic identity: Restricted uniformity with the parent identity, like Canon or Philips. • Multi-branded identity: Combination of two (or more) parent identities, like Sony-Ericsson. Figure 8. Framework for brand identity structures Siemens Philips Hi, Sony- Motorola by KPN Ericsson Monolithic Semi-monolithic Endorsed Multi-branded Single-branded Based on Boer (2003, p.103) The width of a brand is defined by the number of product categories the brand is connected to. The depth of a brand defines the amount of variants within one category (Boer, 2003, p. 98). Some brands are very wide, but not very deep. Other brands can be very small, yet deep. Kapferer (1992) differentiates between range-brands (width) and line-brands (depth). The above framework for brand identity structures (Figure 8) facilitates comparing different brand identities. Its two extremes, the corporate brand on the left and the product brand on the right, interact with their stakeholders in different ways (Kapferer, 1995). Usually corporate brands address a broader audience (more © Ralph Stuyver 23
  • 24. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN stakeholders) than product brands (Cheston, 2001). Kapferer (1995) made an stakeholder analysis for the corporate brand ICI and its product brand Tactel of the relative weights for all stakeholders, see Figure 9: Figure 9. Stakeholders weights for corporate/product brands CORPORATE BRAND PRODUCT BRAND share- financial gouvern schools local interest press/ suppliers personnel partnerscustomers holders market ment community groups media Based on Kapferer (1995, p.222) There appears to be some confusion between Dutch authors about naming both extremes of the brand identity structures, and some terms for both extremes are listed in Table 3. Many Dutch authors name ‘corporate identity’ and ‘brand’ as two opposing extremes. This can lead to confusion. The division in ‘corporate identity’ and ‘brand’ could originate from different views between different schools (Bos, 2002). But today, the peaceful co-existence between the two schools is perceived to be to the benefit of the client (Bos, 2002). For clarity reasons, this thesis uses ‘corporate brand’ to indicate the left side of the brand identity framework of Figure 8, and ‘product brand’ at the right side. And when the brand identity is concerned, the thesis uses ‘corporate brand identity’ (left side) and ‘product brand identity” (right side). Table 3. Naming issues: Corporate Brand and Product Brand Corporate Brand is also called: Product Brand is also called: THE IDENTITY THE BRAND Corporate Identity Brand Identity Corporate brand Product brand Organisation Identity Brand 2.2.3 Identity, Image and Reputation Where Identity describes the authentic constituents of the brand that make it identifiable, unique and coherent, the image could be described as the way users imagine a certain product, brand, political figure or country. Image results from users decoding all signals that the brand sends through its products, services and communications (Kapferer, 1996). Image was historically based on communicating the product brand image, and was later also used for the corporate brand image (van Riel, 2003). Users can have different images of different elements of the brand: the product, the business (unit), the corporation (company), branch or country of origin (see Figure 10). The image is formed by all individual associations as received over time, primarily based on 1) the users direct personal experiences with the brands touchpoints (van Riel, 2003). However, people generally do not experience all different brand touchpoints, and people are personally involved with a limited number of touchpoints only. Therefor, the information received stems also from 2) friends and colleagues, and 3) paid information (advertising) and unpaid information (PR). These strongly influence the users image too. But today, product associations are more strongly influenced by other information than product advertising (van Riel, 2003). © Ralph Stuyver 24
  • 25. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Figure 10. Image, Reputation and Interaction REPUTATION AS INTERACTION BETWEEN BRAND - USER CHARCTERISTICS INTERACTION INGREDIENT PRODUCT INDIVIDUAL USERS BUSINESS CORPORATE BRANCH COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Based on van Riel (2003, p.90, p.111) and Kapferer (2002) Reputation, according to van Riel (2003), is the users overall evaluation of all of the different images and perceptions as compared to competitors. Reputation results from all interactions between the characteristics of the brand, and the characteristics of the individual user (van Riel, 2003). This reputation can be measured e.g. by the Reputation Quotient™ (Harris Interactive/RI), that measures how users see the: • Social image – How socially en environmentally responsible is the brand? • Emotional Image – How does the brand appeal to users, makes them feel? Do users admire it? • Product Image – High quality, innovative, value for money products and services • Leadership Image – What is the brands vision of the future, market opportunities and leadership? • Financial Image – What is the brands financial performance? What is its growth? • Workplace Image – Does the firm supply a well-managed, good place to work ? The image/reputation can be adjusted in two ways: either by changing its constituents (product-, business-, corporate, etc.) or by changing the user communication, in order to change the users beliefs, ideas, feelings and impressions (van Riel, 2003, p.111). Furthermore, image consists of two distinct parts (Kapferer, 1992): • Reflection – Not the target buyer, but how users can use the brand to convey their own identity • Self Image – The users own internal mirror, the users inner relationship with the brand Based on the above, in combination with the conclusion that the power balance shifts from the brand to the user (see subsection 2.1.3), we conclude that both images contain how the brand sees itself and its users, and how the users see themselves and their brands. We envision four image types: 1) Brand SelfImage: how the brand sees itself 2) Users Reflection: how users like to see the brand and identify with it 3) Users SelfImage: how users like to see themselves, 4) Brand Reflection: how the brand likes to see the users and identify with them. 2.2.4 Touchpoints Davis & Longoria (2003) state that every brand has between 30 and 100 touchpoints, which can be defined as “all of the different ways the brand interacts with, and makes impressions on, customers, employees and all other stakeholders” (Davis & Dunn, 2002, p.58). Every time a stakeholder interacts with the brand, an impression of the brand will result, whether the firm wants it or not (ibid.). Actively influencing the design of each brand touchpoint can strengthen the brand, give a higher degree of customer satisfaction, higher loyalty, better reputation, higher levels of profitability and a firmer grip of the brands destiny. © Ralph Stuyver 25
  • 26. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Figure 11. Brand Touchpoint Wheel Loyalty Advertising Programs Viral mkt Newsletter UserBlogs DirectMail & Billing eLetter iAdvertising PR PR E- CE My Pages U N S eGames eMail E SearchEO Blogs E FAQ I R Customer Updates MyAccount Coupons& EX PE Service eMail Incentives PE USE EX RIENCE PERSONAL Downloads Manuals Communities MyCoupons BRAND live Webcam EXPERIENCE Product/ MyPrice Deals & Service VoIP MyShop Promotions Use Chat Messager SMS Product Sponsored Profile Configuration Content C E matching PU N R SelfService CHA RIE S E E X P E Quick3D Product/ Salesperson Peer rating Pano360 Service eShop Assortment P-O-P Purchase Displays Environment Based on Davis & Longoria (2003) and Davis & Dunn (2002) Based on Davis & Dunn (2002), above Figure 11 shows some offline touchpoints (in blue), and we added a number of online touchpoints (in white). We envision that from the outer side towards the inner side, the relevance of the experience increases as the level of personalisation and interactions increases. This will be explained in more detail in subsection 2.5.3, on page 45. Davis & Dunn (2002) name two phases ‘pre- purchase experience ’ and ‘post-purchase experience’. We prefer a more user centered approach so we’d rather name these the ‘pre-use experience’ and ‘use-experience’ phases. Determining the relative importance of each touchpoint is usually a task for a strategic- and brand/ marketing manager of the firm rather than for a webdesign manager. However, since webdesign managers – within a firm or in an external webdesign agency –are most familiar with the existence and possibilities of these new interactive touchpoints, the choice of touchpoints and the incorporation of the brand vision, positioning, identity, design, development, testing and tracking, should preferable be a joint effort. Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004, pp. 37-40) urge firms to understand the difference between ‘company think’ and ‘consumer think’ in order to be successful in the 21st century, see Figure 12. Many firms were misled by company think and cluttered the market with feature rich but experience poor products. This mismatch between company think and consumer think specifically arises at the touchpoints, or ‘Points of Interaction’ , “where choice is exercised and the consumer interacts with the firm to co-create an experience” (ibid.). It is crucial for firms to deliver consistent and professional interactions with all stakeholders at all times, across all points of interaction (Davis & Dunn, 2002), and to deliver a constant quality of experiences (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Success in operationalising the brand strongly depends on controlling these critical interactions that brands have with all stakeholders (Davis & Dunn, 2002). © Ralph Stuyver 26
  • 27. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Figure 12. Points of Interaction: Company-think vs. Consumer-think. Company Think Consumer Think Desires R&D The co-creation of value exposes the disconnect between company-think and consumer-think Life stage Logistics at points of consumer- company interaction Technology Distribution Socialisation platforms Hopes Word-of-mouth Family Systems Call centers integration Points of Needs Lifestyle CRM Channels Channels ERP Sales Interaction Manufacturing Expectations Workstyle Customer service Communities Aspirations Procurement Marketing Education Engineering Privacy Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004, p. 38). 2.2.5 Offline BIE: Conclusions There are many definitions of a brand, strongly depending on the ‘school’ or view towards the brand. Three main schools were identified: the design school, the organisational school and the communication school. In order to overcome an apparently Dutch confusion of terms, we prefer to use the terms ‘corporate brand’ and ‘product brand’, as the two extremes of the brand identity structures. Although the design process for corporate brands or product brands is quite different (Cheston, 2001), and the diversity of stakeholders with which the two brand structures communicate differs too (Kapferer, 1999; Ind, 1997), all brand structures do have in common that they interact with various stakeholders. Websites, and other forms of interactive communication, can be regarded interactive touchpoints or interactionpoints. Choosing and optimising the different offline and online brand touchpoints should be an integrated effort of the firms strategic- and brand/marketing manager and the (web) design manager. For successful brands of the future, in order to maintain a consistent quality of experiences, it is crucial to design, deliver and manage consistent interactions with all stakeholders at all times, across all points of interaction. Success in expressing the brand identity depends on controlling these critical interactionpoints. Next section 2.3 focuses on online brand identity expression (online BIE), where interaction plays a key role. © Ralph Stuyver 27
  • 28. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 2.3 ONLINE BRAND IDENTITY EXPRESSION It is remarkable to see how many books are written on brand, identity and communication, yet very few handle the specific subject of interactive brand identity for websites. Brand identity as a communication process will be described in sub-section 2.3.1. In sub-section 2.3.2 interactivity will be described, along with other unique properties of interactive brand identity. Three levels of interaction were found and described in subsection 2.3.3. The results of both subsections 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 were then combined into five key interactive brand identity aspects in subsection 2.3.4, and a preliminary definition of interaction is given. Subsection 2.3.5 concludes with the main findings about online brand identity aspects (online BIE). 2.3.1 Communication Communication can be divided into monologue communication (mainly one-way, see Figure 13) and dialogue communication (mainly two-way, see Figure 14). Figure 13. Monologue communication channels SENDER message RECEIVER (firm) (user) no/poor feedback Most mass media today, like TV, radio and print, were not designed for feedback between the sender and the receiver (van Lun, 2005, p. 21). This lack of feedback was regarded unfortunate, but inevitable (ibid.). Later attempts used some feedback means, like teletext, telephone or SMS, were still very poor in quality. Furthermore, the receivers identity was usually unknown (TV, radio) and feedback was cumbersome. Together with an increasing number of communication channels and advertisements, this resulted in an overflow of one-way communication (Lindstrom, 2005), media clutter (Cristol & Sealey, 2002), making most consumers anonymous. TV ads became dramatically less effective (Levi, 2005; Lindstrom, 2005; Ritson, 2003) and the viewed time per channel decimated (Booz, 2003; Forrester, 2005). In short: the monologue mass media were less and less effective in reaching people and triggering their attention (Bevolo, 2005). Figure 14. Dialogue communication channels Rich, pers. SENDER message RECEIVER ID = known ID = known Message history Message history channels Rich, pers. RECEIVER feedback SENDER Interactive media like the internet however, were intentionally designed for a dialogue (see Figure 14). Furthermore, internet is the only mass-communication medium that allows full interactivity (Ries & Ries, © Ralph Stuyver 28
  • 29. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 2000). The antique model of Sender à Message à Receiver failed to recognise that the real-world communication is a dialogue, and today firms can no longer afford to close their eyes, catapult messages, cross their fingers, and hope that it hits target (Neumeier, 2003). Today, the consumer feedback is beginning to overwhelm the firms voice (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Most brands today however, are not very strong in allowing feedback (van Lun, 2005) as they also evolved together with the mass-media one-way communication (Roberts, 2004). In the future, firms should listen as well as talk (Roberts, 2004; van Lun 2005). This implies a two-way communication between two equal problem solvers, based on a deep mutual engagement and interaction (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). In the next subsection 2.3.2, interaction as a key element of brand identity communication will be analysed, specifically within the context of websites. 2.3.2 Interaction Interaction is defined as “a mutual or reciprocal action or influence”(Merriam-Webster (2005). Both parts are essential in our opinion: interaction is bi-directional and it enables action/influence. Tremayne (2005) found two emerging concepts of interaction: functional interactivity (as a medium characteristic) and perceptual interactivity (as a user experience). Functional interactivity is "the extent to which users can participate in modifying the form and content of a mediated environment in real time" (Steuer, 1992; in: Tremayne, 2005). Perceptual interaction concerns “actions the participant is capable of observing trough one or more senses, over whatever channels exist, to connect the participant to the experience" (Heeter, 2000). In researching the unique properties of interactive communication, literature suggests that it can: • stimulate an engaging and responsive brand dialogue (Locke & Levine, 2000; Keller, 2002; Andrews, 2004; Buschman & Schavemaker, 2004; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004) • build a truly personal brand relationship (van Beek, 1999; Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000; Ellwood, 2002; Keller 2002; McNealy & Speak, 2002; Buschman & Schavemaker, 2004) • especially when customisation and interactivity are involved (Pine & Gilmore, 1999; Keller, 2002; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). • stimulate brand resonance (Keller, 2002) • support in achieving a lasting competitive advantage (Urde, 1999) In short, interactive communication has the unique strength to create new opportunities for the brand. Furthermore, literature suggests that specifically online brand interaction can: • improve the perception of the brand value (Ellwood, 2002) • improve the brand quality (Ghose & Dou, 1998; in: Tremayne, 2005), • improve the brand personality (Wheeler, 2003), • improve the brands standing (Bradford, 2004), in an influential way (Bradford, 2004), • effect the users brand attitude offline too (Letts, 2003). • convert interested consumers into active ones (Berthon et al.,1996), • modify purchasing behaviour (Bradford, 2004). But most of all, literature suggests that specifically online brand interaction can: • give a rich brand experience (Pine & Gilmore, 1999; Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000; Ellwood, 2002; © Ralph Stuyver 29
  • 30. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Wheeler, 2003; Buschman & Schavemaker, 2004) • create a strong brand identity (Upshaw, 1995; van Beek, 1999; Brandt et all., 2003). In short, online brand interaction has a major impact on almost all constituents of the brand identity. Brands on the web can build a more powerful personal brand experience In contrast to traditional media (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). But the art and science of designing web brand experiences “requires new perspectives and skills and a willingness to understand the unique properties of the web” (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000, p.233). Therefor, strong brands of the digital Age will be those that best utilise the web as a brand building tool. Mass media will hardly be the lead player in future brand-building programs. In contrast, a website is potentially the main driving media vehicle, or centrepiece of brand building efforts (Moon, 1999; Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000), see Figure 15. Website based communication will insert a whole new dimension into integrated communication (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). Hence, traditional media will increasingly serve as pointers to websites and other participation enabling digital platforms (Ries & Ries, 2000; Bevolo, 2005). Figure 15. Websites as dynamic centers of brand building MONOLOGUE MASS MEDIA BROADCAST PHYSICAL RADIO BRANDED INTERACTIVE TV PROGRAMS PRINT RDBS data Spots Spots Feature films Program taglines Product placements Inscript sponsoring Theme parks PRINT BRANDED PRINT COLLA- WEBSITE PUBS TERAL Postcards E-mail Display ads DM, Posters Communities SHOWS Inserts CD-ROMS Blogs & EVENTS PERSONAL DIALOGUE MEDIA Showcase ENTERPRISE Tradeshows, Document distribution DATA WAREH Videoconferencing Product data Events Customer data Clickstream data PERSONAL CUSTOMER LIVE PRINT RELATIONSHIP TELECENTER Personalised Sales force automation Live TSR 1:1 brochures Helpdesk E-mail 1:1 webpages Fax on demand Based on Moon (1999) Websites let users interact directly with the brand message (Ries & Ries, 2000), and can uniquely create greater brand involvement between the brand and its greater brand community (Upshaw, 2001). As a result, users are more actively engaged, and the impact will be more intense than with conventional media (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). Websites can furthermore enhance user community interactions to provide greater brand potential to stay relevant in users lives (Keller, 2002; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). If a website contains rich user values (e.g. the users identity, characteristics and interests), and at the same time communicates rich information about the brand identity (values, heritage, symbols), then a closer and deeper relationship could result than with any other medium (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). The purchase experience has been quite disassociated from brand building when monologue mass-media left the © Ralph Stuyver 30
  • 31. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN purchase over to the other channels. The web however can integrate the purchase experience again within one web environment (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). Brand information and brand transaction can both be present in websites, giving it an unique position in a multi-channel brand experience (see Figure 3). The website can deliver actual and personalised information of almost infinite depth that cannot be found anywhere else (Ries & Ries, 2000; Keller, 2002). Websites can uniquely personalise the brand experience, and the brand can even have different positions and different identities for different users (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Andrews, 2004). 2.3.3 Three Levels of Value Interaction Three levels of Value Interaction were found (Kuilman, 1999; Moon, 1999; Ries & Ries, 2000; Upshaw, 2001; Neumeier, 2003; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Andrews, 2005). These levels are: 1) interaction between the user and the firm, 2) interaction between the firm and user communities (networks), and 3) interaction between the firms communities (networks) and user communities (networks). At each higher level, the complexity of the interaction increases along with the personal value experience, see Figure 16. Figure 16. Three Levels of Value Interaction MULTIPLE FIRMS - MULTIPLE USER COMMUNITIES INCREASING INTERACTION COMPLEXITY (many to many) FIRM - USER COMMUNITIES (one to many) FIRM - USER (one to one) INCREASING VALUE EXPERIENCE based on Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004) Upshaw (2001, p.35) calls the wider brand-community interaction the “Law of Mutually Beneficial Interaction” where “the value of future brands will be a direct function of the mutually beneficial interaction”. Dell’s website for instance allows users to build their PC specifically to their personal needs. But Dell also allows partners to engage in the value creation process, through their extranet website ‘valuechain.dell.com’. Here, access to Dell’s assets and workforce is facilitated, supplier reports are shown, feedback to Dell’s operational processes is encouraged, and best practises are shared. Dell’s websites on internet, extranet and intranet, help building its brand identity as ‘accepting nothing but the best’. 2.3.4 Key Brand Interaction aspects, work definition The above described aspects of brand identity of subsections 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 we then combined into five key Brand Interaction aspects: 1) Dialogue, 2) Access, 3) Trust, 4) Relationship and 5) Value Personalisation. 1. Dialogue – is defined as “a communication based on a deep engagement between two equal problem © Ralph Stuyver 31
  • 32. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN solvers and a propensity to act on both sides” (based on Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Dialogue allows for a two-way communication and availability of a rich messages history from both sides (van Lun, 2005). Feedback is an essential element of a dialogue, and it needs a context (channel, forum, platform) for the dialogue to appear, requiring some rules of engagement (code) to make an orderly, productive interaction. A recent survey (Wreden, 2005) that interviewed 8000 US shoppers and 75 firms, showed that 75 percent of all consumers are willing to provide feedback on websites, and more than 50 percent are willing to provide their product preferences too. But only 38 percent of consumer goods firm actually provide this feedback. Recognising the importance of dialogue, Procter & Gamble redesigned its website to enhance feedback, it even encourages complaints about corporate products or activities (Wreden, 2005). And Cisco even reports all product bugs on its public web pages, thereby helping customers and providing employee initiatives. 2. Access – can be described as “the allowance to desirable products, services or values, at any time, place, context, language and style”. Access does not equal ownership, and can be allowed to data, lifestyle, digital services and analogue services (e.g. holiday time-share). Access can create new business opportunities in emerging markets and can transform individual self expression. Internet enhances direct access, it flattens organisations, replaces intermediates and allows to reach once unreachable people (Kapferer, 2001). 3. Trust – has two main components: risk assessment and transparency. In combination they influence trust between the users and the firm (Kapferer, 2001; Ind, 2004; Fombrun & van Riel, 2003). Trust can also benefit from mutual identification between sender and receiver (van Lun, 2005). Risk assessment – refers to “the communication of the expected probabilities of harm as compared to the expected advantages”. Risk disclosure is emerging as a major bone of contention between users and firms (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). A main function of a brand is to reduce the perceived risk (Kapferer, 2001), and as users become more active and informed, they’ll demand more information about potential risks, but they may also bear more responsibility (Kapferer, 2001; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Transparency – can be defined as “information disclosure about the firms values and beliefs, products and services, financial performance, vision and leadership, social responsibility and workplace environment, in a timely and responsible way” (definition based on Fombrun & van Riel, 2003; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Transparency in communication is important to reduce perceived risk and to build trust (Kapferer, 2001). Two other components could also be part to the Trust aspect: Authenticity (integrity, credibility, sincerity) and Privacy, but those have not been explored further for this thesis. 4. Relationship – refers to “the firms dynamic ability to permanently speak, listen and learn from all internal and external stakeholders, being responsive to their needs, and respecting their uniqueness as individuals or communities” (based on Kapferer, 2001). In essence, brands are interactive relationships and not static statements (McNally & Speak, 2002); brand building is comparable to relationship building and “without interaction there can not be a relation” (van Beek, 1999, p.54). Hamel (2002) concludes that relationship dynamics (the emotional and transactional interactions) form the basis for a strong business differentiation. Brand relationships should be formed on customer terms, not on company terms (Buschman, 2004; © Ralph Stuyver 32
  • 33. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). A nice example is the snowboard brand Burton, where the founder stated that Burton customers “practically felt they owned the brand, and they expected a different kind of relationship. They didn’t want to have it done for them, but rather with them” (Kapferer, 2001, p.130). Websites enable to deal individually with consumers, by means of extensive databases. These databases are rich assets for building intimate relationships, to increase loyalty, to keep users informed and to share the brand values (Kapferer, 2001; van Lun, 2005). Amazon.com for instance, deepens its relationship every time a user visits the website, looks for a new book and reads reviews of other users. Every time a user interacts with the brand, the more he teaches the brand what he wants, the lower the his sacrifice becomes, and the deeper and smarter the relationship gets. Pine & Gilmore (1999) call this learning relationships. 5. Personalisation of values The above four aspects of interaction are inter-related. In combination they enable the personalisation of values. Firms today must allow users to actively participate in the value creation process, as internet created a culture of participation, and consumers today want to participate in the “production or ‘servuction’ process” (Kapferer, 2001, p. 83). Personalisation is key to individual experiences (Pine & Gilmore, 1999). An example of personalisation is MTV’s future plan. The Senior vice president stated that MTV “will turn passive TV viewers into active users” and “brands must become buddies” (Adformatie (44), p. 20). He found that youngsters today watch less and less TV, and create more and more content themselves, like self-shot video’s with their favourite music, video’s, avatars, etc. TV will still lead until 2010, but then the internet and mobile will lead. With South-Korean youngsters today, webblogs are very popular with personal mini- blogs for mobiles. It will be a global trend to personalise mobiles. MTV will offer interactive platforms where they can play with their own uploaded and customised content. MTV facilitates these communities in Japan with Flux.com, where digital video’s and music are exchanged between mobiles, computers and youngsters. Work definition of Brand Interaction, for the purpose of this thesis, is: “A mutual influence between users and firms, enabling direct access to products, services, values and experiences, at any given time, place or touchpoint, facilitated by a transparent and trusted dialogue between two equal parties, enhancing the personalisation of meaningful and relevant experiences, and leading to an empathic relationship that respects the emotional, social, and cultural context of both.” 2.3.5 Online BIE: Conclusions It became clear that internet differs fundamentally from all other media because of its inherent possibility for brand interaction, allowing a rich dialogue and personalisation. Future communication models will have to be based on dialogue communication, allowing for feedback and interaction. Online brand communication proofed to be entirely different than offline (Mauro, 2001), and expressing an authentic online brand identity is still a new frontier that designers and communication architects are beginning to conquer (Wheeler, 2003). Firms should strive for consistent and professional user interactions at all times, regardless of how and where the interaction takes place (Davis & Dunn, 2002, p. 256). Five key Brand Interaction aspects were selected: Dialogue, Access, Trust, Relationship and Personalisation, three Levels of Value Interactions were identified, and a work definition of Brand Interaction was given. The creation of an effective online brand is considered far more complex than simply applying ‘offline- © Ralph Stuyver 33
  • 34. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN extension’ methods (Mauro, 2001). What will be needed “is a new brand development process model that is based on the concept of ‘interactive’ brand development” (Mauro, 2001). Such a new design process will be proposed in chapter 3. But first, the next section 2.4 will evaluate existing brand design processes. 2.4 BRAND DESIGN PROCESSES This section describes existing brand identity design processes from literature. The here presented processes are not qualitatively better or worse than the others, and have been selected as examples during a time period ranging from 1986 until 2005. The purpose of this review is to see what design process might be most applicable for the research questions 1 and 2. Since our focuses is on interactivity, each process will be evaluated on interactivity, and feedback, along with other criteria. This section will conclude with the main findings about the existing brand identity processes. 2.4.1 Birkigt and Stadler (1986) Figure 17. Corporate Identity and Image CORPORATE IDENTITY CORPORATE IMAGE SYMBOLICS BEHAVIOUR PERSONALITY COMMUNICATION Birkigt & Stadler (1986) Description – Birkigt & Stadler’s model is widely used across different schools. It is a relatively simple model with a corporate identity-mix of: Symbolics, Behaviour and Communication, and a central Personality. Symbolics convey implicitly where the organisation stands for. Behaviour holds all of the organisational actions. Communication entails all organisational messages (verbal or visual). Personality is the manifested organisational self impression. Personality, Symbolics, Behaviour and Communication give the firm a way of expressing its Identity. The whole identity-mix is projected to the stakeholders: the Corporate Image. View on identity (school) – Birkigt & Stadlers view could be placed in the organisation school, but their basic model is widely accepted across other schools as well (communication and design school). Critique – Although the model gives a quick insight of corporate identity, there are also some drawbacks: • A corporate image is more than the perceived identity alone. It is also influenced by a great number of environmental forces, like behaviour of competitors, what friends or peers of stakeholders say (e.g. in weblogs), socio-demographic changes, etc. (Maathuis, 1993; van Riel, 200;). • Symbols and Behaviour could both be seen as Communication too, yet non-verbal. • It seems hard to distinct Symbolics, Behaviour and Communication for these aspects usually appear simultaneously in most manifestations. Therefor, we like to describe it as ‘what a firm says’ (Communications), ‘what it does’ (Behaviours), ‘what it shows’ (Symbolics) and “who it is” (Personality). © Ralph Stuyver 34
  • 35. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • From a corporate point of view, the corporate image is not the end-goal. Building a good image or reputation instead is the means to an organisational end: good corporate performance (van Riel, 2003). Interaction & Feedback – Birkigt and Stadlers model is essentially a one-way communication model, from the left side projecting to the right side. There is no feedback from the Image back to Identity, nor is there any feedback from the Symbols, Behaviours and Communications to the Personality (van Riel, 2003). Hence, the model does not display any signs of interactivity or feedback. 2.4.2 Aaker (1996) STRATEGIC BRAND ANALYSIS Customer Analysis Competitor Analysis Self Analysis - Trends - Motivation - Brand image/identity - Strengths, strategies - Existing brand image - Brand heritage - Unmet needs - Segmentation - Vulnerabilities * Positioning - Strengths, capabilities - Organis. values BRAND IDENTITY SYSTEM BRAND IDENTITY *Brand Essence Core Extended Brand as Product Brand as Organisation Brand as Person Brand as Symbol 1. Product scope 2. Product attr. 7. Organisation attributes 9. Personality 11.Visual imagery and 3. Quality/Value 4. Country 8. Local vs global 10. Relationship brand- metaphors 5. Uses 6. Users customer 12. Brand heritage VALUE PROPOSITION CREDIBILITY - Functional - Emotional - Self-expressive - Support other brands benefits benefits benefits BRAND-CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP BRAND IDENTITY IMPLEMENTATION SYSTEM *BRAND IDENTITY ELABORATION - Brand Identoty Priorization - Identity-Supporting Programs Audit - Identity Role Models - Visual Metaphors BRAND POSITION The part of the brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience, providing competitive advantage *BRAND BUILDING PROGRAMS - Acessing multiple media - Achieving briliance - Integrating communication - Measuring results TRACKING Figure 18. Brand Identity Planning Model (Aaker, 1996) Description – Aaker (1996, p.68) defines brand identity as: “the unique set of brand associations the brand strategist aspires to create or maintain. These associations represent what the brand stands for and imply a promise to the customers from the organisation members”. Aaker’s brand identity process is organised around four brand perspectives (dimensions): the brand as Product, the brand as Organisation, the brand as a Person, and the brand as a Symbol. The brand identity exists of a Core and Extended identity (and in 2000 Aaker added brand Essence, indicated here with an asterisk). There are three brand identity phases: strategic brand Analysis, brand Identity system, and brand Implementation. © Ralph Stuyver 35
  • 36. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN View on identity (school) – Aaker’s process could be placed in the (marketing)communication school. Critique– Aaker gives a very elaborate brand identity development process, with enough detail for brands to differentiate and express themselves. However, the process is basically linear, from the top Brand Strategy towards Brand Implementation and Tracking. Feedback is described in a some sub-sections of Aaker’s book as a relational aspect of the ‘brand-customer relationship’, e.g. “a brand-customer relationship will have an active partner at each end, the brand as well as the customer” (Aaker, 1995, p. 161). This reciprocal relationship is however treated with low importance as compared to the whole identity process. It should be noted though that Aaker & Joachimsthaler (2000) have updated their process with some new internet and interactivity insights, but even in 2000 the process remains mainly one-directional: from firm to consumer. Interaction & Feedback – The absence of any feedback and lack of important interaction makes the Aaker (1995) identity process a predominant one-way, inside-out, monologue process. This can be due to the fact that it evolved alongside with the monologue and mass oriented media of the 90’s. 2.4.3 Stuart (1999) Organisational Culture CORPORATE CORPORATE CORPORATE PERSONALITY STRATEGY IDENTITY Communication Organisational Corporate Top INTERFACE CORPORATE Behaviour Philosophy Management Interpersonal REPUTATION Vision Communication CORPORATE IMAGE Management Products/ Communication Employees Mamanagement Stakeholders Services Organisational IMAGE Core Values Marketing Performance Communication Organisational Symbolism Communication Structure Management IDENTITY Business Corporate Corporate Communicat. Marketing Communication Survival Mission Identity Structure feedback feedback feedback Organisational Culture Environmental Forces Figure 19. Corporate Identity Management process (Stuart, 1999) Description – Stuart (1999) describes a corporate identity management process, where the Organisational Culture consists of three dimensions: Corporate Personality, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Identity, which then are communicated through an Identity Image Interface to the Stakeholders, leading to a Corporate Image and finally resulting in a Corporate Reputation that eventually influences the Business Survival. All the different types of communication are placed in the process (management-, organisational-, interpersonal- and marketing-communication). The process starts at the top-left Corporate Philosophy and finally ends in the bottom-right Business Survival, with a few dotted feedback lines back to the Corporate Identity, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Personality. View on identity (school) – This process could be placed in the organisation school, as it tends to be more © Ralph Stuyver 36
  • 37. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN inside-out, especially when managing corporate brand identity, as is the case here. Critique – Although Stuart’s detailed process is still dominantly a linear process from top-left to bottom- right, the first signs of feedback loops appear (indicated as a dotted line by Stuart). Birkigt & Stadler’s Behaviour, Symbolism and Communication are present at the Corporate Identity dimension, and Personality is part of Stuart’s Corporate Personality dimension. Environmental Forces appear and effect most dimensions, except the Corporate Image and Corporate Reputation, which seems strange. The Identity Image Interface is situated outside of the Organisational Culture, which seems strange too. Interaction & Feedback – There are first indications of feedback loops between the Corporate Reputation, Corporate Image and the Identity Image Interface. The Identity Image Interface then feeds back to the Corporate Identity, then back to Corporate Strategy, and finally back to Corporate Personality. The feedback loops are present in this process, yet they seem less important. All in all, this corporate identity process does reveal the first signs of feedback loops. All forms of communication are present in the whole process, from Corporate Personality through the Identity Image Interface, (still) finally pointing at the Stakeholders. 2.4.4 Balmer & Grey (2003) creates Exogenous Factors Primary STAKEHOLDERS Communication can CORPORATE lead CORPORATE IMAGE to COMPETITIVE through Tertiary AND IDENTITY ADVANTAGE Communication CORPORATE REPUTATION Secundary Communication STAKEHOLDERS creates feedback feedback POLITICAL ECONOMIC ETHICAL SOCIAL & CULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES Corporate identity: Primary communication: Tertiary communication: Corporate reputation: - Values & purposes - Product & services - Word of mouth Evolves over time as a result of - Corp. strategy - Market behaviour - Media interpretation & spin consistent performance re- - Org. culture - Behaviour towards employees - Competitors - communiation inforced by the three types of - Org. structure - Employee behaviour to stakeh. & spin communication shown above - Non-market behaviour Evironmental factors: Secundary communication: Corporate image: Exogenous factors: The five categories - Formal, corporate & The immediate mental picture - country of origin, image and have an impact on communications (advertising, that individuals or groups have reputation all parts of the PR, graphic, SP, etc.) of an organisation - industry image & reputation process - Visual identification - images & regulations of systems alliances and partnerships etc. Figure 20. Corporate Identity & Communication (Balmer & Grey, 2003) Description – The process by Balmer & Grey (2003) shows the Corporate Identity directly influencing the Primary and Secondary Communication. The Environmental Forces are dominantly present at all levels of the process. The Primary and Secondary communications have an inter-communication effect, and influence the Stakeholders, mediated by Tertiary Communication (word of mouth, media spin and interpretation, etc.), creating the Corporate Image and Corporate Reputation, which then feeds back to the Tertiary Communication. Between Corporate Image/Reputation, there is a clear feedback to the Primary and Secondary Communication, as well as to the Corporate Identity. © Ralph Stuyver 37
  • 38. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN View on identity (school) –The corporate identity design process of Balmer & Grey (2003) could be placed in the organisation school, focussing on communicating the Corporate Identity. Critique– All Behaviours are treated only as a Primary Communication (towards employees, the market, non- market, and employees towards stakeholders), which might be logical from a communication school point of view. Visual Identification Systems (e.g. Symbols, see: Birkigt & Stadlers) are only part of the Secondary Communication, where one could expect it to be also part of the Primary Communication. Personality and ‘Brand as a Symbol’ (Aaker. 1996) are not mentioned as such, and most ‘strategic brand analysis’ elements, e.g. Positioning (Aaker, 1996), are not mentioned either, or were implicitly included in Corporate Identity. Interaction & Feedback – The feedback loops are clearly present in this recent process (2003). Feedback is clearly present from the Corporate Image/Reputation to the Primary and Secondary Communications, and to the Corporate Identity. Still, this process is an inside-out corporate communication to stakeholders, with some feedback loops, where the balance between corporate sending and receiving is not very equal. 2.4.5 Van Erp (2004a) Figure 21. Firm personality based products Figure 22. Product-User personality match based on van Erp (2004a) based on van Erp (2004a) Description – Van Erp (2004a) describes the company Personality as the basis for design (see Figure 21). Each product contains the basic company Personality ingredients of Behaviour, Communication and Symbols, in varying degrees. Consumers, on the other hand, have individual concerns (see Figure 22) here defined as: Goals, Standards and Attitudes, which are context-dependant. The role of the designer is to create the Match, between the personality of the consumer and the personality of the product. Van Erp aims with his process a.o. to facilitate the dialogue between the (product) designers and a team of other consumer-centered specialists. Designers also have a strong role in determining the company personality values to be expressed in the products. Although primarily used for the design of products and environments, van Erp found his process to be applicable to interactive communication (websites) too. In a second publication, Van Erp (2004b) maps Birkigt & Stadlers corporate identity elements on a webdesign process by Garrett (2002), see Figure 26. Behaviour mainly influences Garrett’s lower planes (site © Ralph Stuyver 38
  • 39. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Strategy and Scope),. and is strongly geared towards interaction. Symbolics mainly influences the higher planes (Skeleton and Surface), and conveys the firms deeper and more abstract values. Communication is almost omnipresent in Garrets design process, and strongly geared towards emotion, according to van Erp. View on Identity (school) – Birkigt & Stadlers (1986) identity model is dominantly present in van Erp’s process on the company and product side, and e.g. the Positioning dimension (Aaker, 1996) is absent. This could place van Erp’s process more in the design school than the communication or organisation school. Critique – This is one of the first processes to show a match (equal weight) between the firm identity and user identity. The identity dimensions of the brand consist of Birkigt & Stadlers Symbols, Behaviour, Communication and Personality, yet the identity of the Consumer shows interestingly three other dimensions: Goals, Standards and Attitudes. Other brand identity dimensions e.g. ‘Brand as an Organisation’, brand Positioning and brand-customer Relationship (Aaker, 1996) are absent in this model. Interaction & Feedback – The process could be seen to be based on an interaction (match) between the Company- and the Consumers identity, and all products, websites, etc., should enable a two-way match of both identities. Van Erp is a main author describing a design process based on reciprocal identification. 2.4.6 Andrews (2004) Brand Points of Contact Expression Zone of Potential nts me unication s Pro ces Env duct ur vio Co ron i mm rv i a Se a Beh Ide e Valu ning Mea Customer on Acti Perception ation Sens Figure 23. User Experience (Andrews, 2004) Description – The User Experience model by Andrews (2004a) from Philips Design, shows a process of customer-brand interaction. Customer value, meaning, etc. can result from the interaction with the brand trough digital multi-channel touchpoints (Points of Contact). The touchpoints will allow feedback, response, and the co-creation of solutions in the Zone of Potential, expectedly leading to long-term relationships. The process challenges the paradigm of brand building through mass media by expanding the classic definition of ‘positioning’ into a Zone of Potential (Bevolo, 2005). The left side (Brand Expression) shows six layers, based on Ollins’ (1989) corporate identity elements. The right side (Customer Perception) shows four layers. All brand-customer messages travel around in cycles, through the digital Points of Contact. Andrews also described tools to apply the process, in internal publications (Andrews, 2004b; Bevolo, 2005). Critique & Interaction – This a very relevant processes for the thesis. It elegantly shows the equality between the brand and the customer, and an interactive dialogue through multiple touchpoints. Value, however, is © Ralph Stuyver 39
  • 40. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN shown only on the customer side of the model, yet value co-creation in our opinion should equally involve the brand (left) side. One point of critique on this process is that the dimensions on the brand side –mainly brand Expression and manifestations– and the dimension on the customer side –mainly brand Perception and experiences– seem different and hard to match. Furthermore, customers also Express and manifest themselves towards the brand, and reciprocally, brands perceive and experience customers too. This reciprocity is essential in all brand-user interaction processes of the digital Age, and is not clearly present in the process. Finally, the three Levels of Value Interaction (see section 2.3.3) are important, but are not present in the process. But overall, this is an elegant and very relevant process for the thesis. 2.4.7 Manning (2005) BUSINESS STRATEGY: The overall plan to achieve company goals Mission Vision Values - What we do - What we aspire - What we believe BRAND POSITIONING STATEMENT: How the company wants customers to percieve the brand Personality Benefits Behaviour - Human characteristics of the brand - The value we offer (*promise) - How we interact with customers eg Sincere, Competent eg Saves time, Saves money eg Conduct, Performance TOUCHPOINTS: Where customers experience the brand and form their actual perceptions BRA ND IMAG E * (im p res si o n s * ) 50% 50% (* in tera ctio n s) * B R A ND AC TI O N TV Radio print Paper Email Web Store Kiosk IVR Call Product ad ad ad mail site center WEB BRAND EXPERIENCE COMMUNICATE IMAGE 50% 50% DELIVER VALUE - Make the brand promise - Fulfill the brand promise - Bring emotional & experiential brand aspects to life - Provide tangible brand benefits - Convey a brand image - Let customers take action Figure 24. Consumer Web Brand Experience (based on Manning, 2005) Description – This last process reviewed is by Forrester Research analyst Manning (2005). Most decision makers found ‘building brand’ to be a top online business goal, and the website brand experience: 1) Flows from the business Strategy: its Mission, Vision, Values and a powerful sense of corporate purpose, 2) Is shaped by a Positioning statement: including the brand Benefits, Personality and expected Behaviour, 3) Manifests through every Touchpoint: consistent delivery of the positioning statement, across channels. According to Manning, touchpoints have two roles in support of the positioning: 1) communicating the image that it specifies –the brand Image, and 2) delivering the value that it promises –the brand Action. Brand Image comes from customers impressions of seeing and hearing all of the brand messages. Brand Action is derived from every interaction customers have with a product or its maker, giving tangible proof of the real value the brand delivers. The sum of all impressions and interactions is the web brand experience. A website is uniquely for 50 percent a communication medium that conveys the brand Image, as well as for © Ralph Stuyver 40
  • 41. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 50 percent a delivery channel that enables brand Action. Aspects of both Image and Action are described. Manning (2005) then rated sixteen main US brands on the two main dimensions brand Image and brand action. Brand Image was measured by how well the website supports the Positioning (on 6 criteria), and Brand Action was measured by how well the site supports relevant customer Goals (on 8 criteria). The brand Image criteria focus on emotional and experiental aspects, the brand Action focus on transactional and usability aspects. As a result from the research, only two out of sixteen US global brands passed both tests. View on identity – Mainly views brand identity from a (marketing)communication point of view, especially for product brands with website transactions, since the process is mainly Proposition and Positioning based. Critique – This is also an important brand identity research found so far, that touches the heart of this thesis: interactive brand expression through for websites. Although Manning (2005, p.2) mentions the “potentially endless depth and two-way communication” as inherent strengths of the web, his process however could still be regarded as mainly one-way (inside-out,) because it predominantly communicates the image to customers and delivers the value to customers, through the website as delivery channel. Interaction & Feedback – Although (inter)action is a part of this process, there is hardly any description of consumer feedback, rendering it a more monologue process on a dialogue medium (website). This process could be usable for the level 1 and possibly level 2 web user experiences, but probably not for level 3 and 4 web user experiences (see section 2.3.2, page 31). Finally, the process does not handle interaction between firm-user communities, or multiple firms-user communities, placing it on level 1 of Social Value Interaction. 2.4.8 Existing brand design processes: Conclusions This section 2.4 described existing brand identity design processes to see if any of these processes might reveal answers to research questions 1 and 2. The described processes of the 80’s show dominantly one- way, top-down, left-to-right processes, where brand identity is defined, then communicated to consumers, resulting in a brand image/reputation. There are no signs of feedback or interaction. These processes can be easy to understand or quite complex, and provide granularity for a rich brand expression. Rarely some feedback is touched upon in the books, but no interaction is (clearly) present at any of the 80’s processes. From the 90’s, identity design processes started to show some first signs of feedback. First they appear as a dotted lines, and later as clear and multiple feedback lines. At the same time, the environmental forces on image/reputation also became more dominantly present, at many places in the identity process. After the year 2000, brand identity processes slowly changed towards allowing more feedback, eventually to be clearly included in the dialogue based identity process by Andrews (2004), where interaction, participation and dialogue are described in the publication. We like to conclude that there is a tendency from mainly monologue processes in the 80’s towards clear dialogue identity processes after 2000. Although the above described brand identity design processes are selected from main authors in the field, they can not be extrapolated to all brand identity processes in general, during the past twenty years. But our main conclusion is that, considering the important trends and changes of section 2.1, none of the above described processes seem fully fit for the digital Age. © Ralph Stuyver 41
  • 42. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 2.5 DESIGN MANAGEMENT This last section of the literature review describes the contribution of design processes to the firms core strategy and competitive advantage (subsection 2.5.1), and the specific role of webdesign management and processes (subsection 2.5.2). Subsection 2.5.3 describes user experience design and research, followed by a conclusion on design management for interactive brand identity design (2.5.4). 2.5.1 Design process as strategic resource Design could be defined as ‘values made visible’ (Cooper & Press, 1995, p.75) and ‘value’ is a key word in all discussions about brand identity. At the birth of a firm, these values are initially carried by its products or services (Kapferer, 2001; Boer, 2003) which Kapferer names the ‘physical’ or ‘tangible’ values of a brand. Others call this ‘intrinsic values’ or ‘product attributes’. As the firm grows, the value is enhanced by aspects beyond the physical: it’s personality, image and other ‘intangible values’. These intangible brand values enhance the tangible values but they never replace them (Kapferer, 2001). ‘Values made visible’ could fuel a misconception that design is only about visual perception. Although visual perception is often dominant over other human senses (van Riel, 2003), design does influence all human perceptual channels (Lindstrom, 2005): auditory (hear), visual (see), tactile (touch), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell), and uses these to influence associations and experience of values. Instead of visible we prefer ‘manifest’ defined as “readily perceived by all senses and especially by sight” or “easily understood or recognised by the mind” (Merriam-Webster, 2005). Manifestations are “forms in which an individual is manifested” (ibid.). Design could then be redefined as ’values made manifest’. In the organisation, design can have many functions. One distinction can be made between design as an outcome and design as a process (Hargadon, 2005; Cooper & Press, 1995; Borja de Mozota, 2003). This distinction could also be described as ‘the outcome of values made manifest’ versus ‘the process of making values manifest’. The Japanese Ministry of International Trade nicely summarised this in: “Design is more than shape, color and dimensions of products. Design is the decision making process that deals with the manifestations of objects with consideration to economy and technical function and in answer to various consumer demands” (Cooper & Press, 1995, p.36). Figure 25. Business Concept Innovation value network core strategy customer interface 11. Suppliers 1. Business Mission 7. Fulfilment & Support 12. Partners 2. Product/Market scope 8. Information & Insight 13. Coalitions 3. Basis for Differentiation 9. Relationship Dynamics company customer boundaries benefits 10. Pricing Structure configuration strategic resources 4. Core Competencies 5. Strategic Assets 6. Core Processes Based on Hamel (2002) © Ralph Stuyver 42
  • 43. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Ollins (1995) stated that design is a significant management resource. And above all, design is the only business profession that has the process of idea development at the core of its education and practise (Powell, 1998). Business processes, including design processes, can be regarded Strategic Resources of the firm, especially for design agencies, which are the focus of this thesis. Hamel (2002) describes a business model) where Core Processes contribute to the firms Core Strategy (see Hamel, Figure 25). Core processes are “activities used in translating competencies, assets and other inputs into customer value” (Hamel, 2002, p.80). If a firm wants to exploit design as a strategic resource then it must have the competency of managing the design process (Powell, 1998). It is clear that the design process as a strategic resource is an important function of design management (see Hamel, Figure 25). Next, we will specifically focus on managing the webdesign process in the context of brand identity design. 2.5.2 Managing the webdesign process Garrett (2002) gives an insightful process for designing user web experiences, see Figure 26. It shows five different planes, from the Strategy plane where the firms values, brand identity and goals are defined, as well as the users needs, through the Scope, Structure and Skeleton planes, finally coming together in the Surface plane as the firm-user interface, where the brand values can be experienced. Figure 26. User experience webdesign process sitestrategy sitescope sitestructure siteskeleton sitesurface a n io a c t nt b M I N un t e t R f n n FI c ont e co c n T c t io n d U o c O f u nc t i t n en f u nd co users user needs functional specs interaction design interface design visual design business & site goals content specs information arch. navigation design sound design brand identity technical. specs usability design information design video/ani. design << strategic design management > < tactic design management > < operational design management > based on Garrett (2002) At the bottom of Figure 26, we added three different levels of webdesign management: Strategic, Tactical and Operational (based on Cooper & Press, 1999; Joziasse, 2000; Borja de Mozota , 2003). At the strategic level of webdesign, it is crucial to align the webdesign strategy with the brand-, marketing-, innovation- and communication strategies and overall business strategy. More often than not a solid webdesign strategy influences the firms Core Strategy, its Customer Interface and its Value Network (see Hamel, Figure 25). A good example of a value network is the Apple iPod. The industrial design and easy-to-use interface of the iPod is truly elegant. But it is the design of the entire network © Ralph Stuyver 43
  • 44. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN which really differentiates the iPod (Hargadon, 2005). IPod’s value network connects the hardware (iPod), software (iTunes), websites (Music Store), artists and users in a way no competitor yet matched. The iTunes software and websites have a central role in connecting the different network partners. New products/services add value to the firm from the networks they bring together (Hargadon, 2005). Therefor, (web)design management includes not only managing ‘the outcome of values made manifest’ and managing ‘the processes of making values manifest’ but also increasingly managing the value design brings to each network partner. Today, designers should get used to this, as Tim Brown, CEO from IDEO stated: “If designers can get comfortable with the idea that they are ‘designing business’ on different levels, then they will do a better job of bringing value to businesses” (Hargadon, 2005, p.35). At the tactical level of webdesign, managing a consistent and meaningful brand identity experience through websites involves a lot of external design disciplines spread over one or more design agencies. For the brand owner (firm) this implies that the selection, organisation and management of these external agencies can be crucial. Design agencies responsible for creating online brand identity range from IT-companies, advertising agencies, management consultants, TV producers, new media design agencies, communication design agencies, graphic design agencies, and others (van Erp, 2004b). But also within the firm (brand owner) many other business functions are also involved with brand identity development, such as communication, visual design, information design, IT, marketing and supply management (Brandt et all., 2003). These internal business functions can be spread over design, behavioral, and communication groups (see Figure 26). In the digital publishing processes for instance, the success of a firms integrated communication campaign relies on extensive co-operation and efficient communication between marketing, design and IT (van Dijk, 2004). Figure 27. Business functions concerned with the brand BRAND IMAGE & REPUTATION Clients/users Society General public BRAND IDENTITY Brand Design Brand Communication Brand Behaviour Product Comm. Environment Organis. Managemnt Marketing Organisation Personal Innov. Design Design Design Comm. Comm. Comm. Develop. Develop. Culture based on Moeller (2004) and van Riel (2003) Although a close co-operation between functions is to the benefit of the brand, each function regards itself as the most important ‘owner of the brand’, as Ms. Asenio stated (Borja de Mozota, 2003, p. 97): “the marketing people will tell you they own the brand, the advertising people think they own the brand, and designers claim their stake too. But like quality, the brand is everyone’s business”. Eventually however, some authors state that it is not the firm who owns the brand, but that people are the real owners. Since brands live in the minds of people, it is not what the firm says the brand is, but what people say it is (Neumeier, 2003). At the same time, a brand can not follow every user wish, and the management and development of brand identity must have a strong vision as a guiding principle. © Ralph Stuyver 44
  • 45. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Finally, at the operational level of webdesign, a diverse group of design specialists teams together, such as interaction-, information-, interface-, usability-, graphic-, video-, sound-, 3D- and animation designers (see Garrett, Figure 26). Furthermore, other specialist can be part of the web project team too, e.g. web copy writers, media strategists, e-business strategists, e-marketers, front-end and back- end integrators, etc. And above all, the web project team should partner with the firms other internal disciplines such as brand design, brand communication, and brand behaviour specialist, IT, etc. This makes the team for serious webdesign projects very large, divers and complex to manage. On this level, an important function of design management is the coordination all of these different design specialists. A shared design process could facilitate the communication between all participants (van Erp, 2004a). Design is crucial to achieving coherence (Borja de Mozota, 2003). But at the same time design should ensure flexibility (Cooper & Press, 1995), allow for the personalisation (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004) and be flexible in loading the brand associations (Kootstra, 2003). “Variety is the spice of life, and variety in the brand system does not necessarily mean incoherence” (Kapferer, 2001). On all levels of design management, the design process plays a significant role as a strategic resource of the firm (Hamel, Figure 25), especially for webdesign agencies. But ultimately “design should be driven by the values of those who adopt and use them” (Hargadon, 2005, p. 38). Therefor, design manifestations, processes and networks should be user-centered, especially for web users who are quick to click away. The last section focuses on user experience webdesign and user centered research. 2.5.3 User experience webdesign Design in the third millennium will increasingly be a process of creating meaningful experiences (Press & Cooper, 2003). Creating a satisfactory online experience is a combined marketing, design and management issue (Schmitt, 2000). Rhea (1992) already found that change in products, technologies, cultures and peoples lives is the only constant factor in today’s saturated markets, and he stated that designers should increasingly create customer experiences instead of designing end-products. Designing meaningful user experiences needs a deep understanding of the users, appreciating how they live, satisfying their psychological and emotional needs and expectations. This emphasises the need for innovative user-centered research (Press & Cooper, 2003). Pine & Gillmore (1999) suggest empathic design research by observing users in their own environments. Hence designers should increasingly: 1) create personal experiences, based on 2) new ways of user-centered research. Pine & Gilmore (1999) stated that due to the increasing prosperity and due to the market saturation of goods and services, firms must seek new ways to create customer value. Experiences will be the next value that fulfil the new user needs, according to them (see Figure 28). If a firm delivers experiences relevant to user needs, this will result in a differentiated position, and allow for a premium price. They define experiences as “events that engage individuals in a personal and memorable way” (ibid., p.18). © Ralph Stuyver 45
  • 46. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Figure 28. Progression of Economic Value Differentiated Relevant to Mentalisation Facilitate Transformations COMPETITIVE POSITION NEEDS OF CUSTOMERS Personalisation Co-create Experiences Customisation Deliver Services Commoditisation Undifferentiated Individualisation Make Goods Commoditisation Irrelevant to Extract Commodities Commoditisation Market PRICING Premium Based on Pine & Gilmore (1999); Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004) In order to avoid the ‘commoditization trap’ (ibid.), i.e. falling back to ‘lower’ levels of competition, firms increasingly need to customise and personalise the values that fulfil the users needs. By increasing the number of firm-customer interactions, the more the customer teaches the firm, the lower the ‘customer sacrifice’ will be, the better the firm can provide exactly what the customer wants, and the more difficult it will be for competitors to lure the customer away (Pine & Gilmore, 1999, pp. 84-85). Personalisation therefor can be seen a key factor in creating meaningful user experiences, and personalisation is the natural result of interactivity (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2002; Ellwood, 2002). As was shown in section 2.3.4, websites in particular are perfectly fit for interaction and personalisation. Therefor, websites can support the brand in at least two ways: 1) they can be rich research tools to discover, store and update the unique user values, and 2) they can personalise the user experience by increasing the amount and quality of interactions. Brands in the digital Age increasingly have to show they permanently hear the users, are quick to react, and open to true dialogue (Kapferer, 2001). As a result, brands “must be a permanent learner: surveying, auditing, profiling its customer base and updating its knowledge for an adaptive and updated response to consumers’ expectations” (Kapferer, 2001, p.85). Some implications for the design of personal web experiences will be described next. On a tactic level of experience webdesign, key management issues are the integration of the interactive user experience in the business process, and the consistency of the user experience across channels (Moore, 2003). If the user experience is integrated in the firm, this will give a stronger personification with the brand values, making it more difficult for competitors to duplicate, and keeping loyal customers longer (ibid.). Four levels of experience websites were found (Moore, 2003; Moon, 1999): • web level 1: (mainly) monologue communication on the web, no (or little) interaction, and the main online business goal is to have a web presence. • web level 2: first possibilities for personal interaction and dialogue, online business goal is to explore the web to support its activities, with maybe a simple form of content management system. © Ralph Stuyver 46
  • 47. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • web level 3: rich experience, online transactions, CRM and content management systems, online business goal is save money and drive revenues, website fully integrated in the business processes. • web level 4: deep personalisation, value co-creation, rich and consistent user experience leading to transformations, cross-channel integration, and a business culture of constant change. On a operational level of experience webdesign, the personal character of the experience and the stimulation of all senses, all greatly impact the story the user co-creates. Authentic stories, created around a theme that connects the brand to the user, have the character of being retold. By focusing on the shared values between the brand and the user, and translating them into experience concepts, the most powerful experiences can be designed. According to Buschman & Schavemaker (2005), brand experiences on the web, should be: attractive, relevant, interactive, engaging, impressive, sticky, and most of all storyable, where storyability is the extent to which the personal experience can be retold. 2.5.4 Design management: Conclusions Design – affects all aspects of brand performance and “design penetrates all of the assets that make brand value” (Borja de Mozota, 2003, p.113). Design also “creates differentiation through brand identity development, building brand equity and brand architecture” (ibid.). A distinction can be made between ‘design as an outcome’ and ‘design as a process’. The design process can be regarded as a strategic resource of the firm, and the firm thus must have the competency of managing the design process. An important aspect of design management therefor is managing the design process. Design management – can take place on three levels: strategic-, tactical- and operational design management, and on all levels the design process has a significant contribution. At the strategic level of design, the design strategy should be aligned with the marketing-, innovation- and communication strategies and the overall corporate strategy. At this level, a new interactive brand design process could change the corporate vision about interaction as an integral part of the brand identity in the digital Age, and affect the corporate position in the industry. A new design process could also influence the corporate strategy, its value network and its customer interface. At the tactic level of design, management is crucial to plan and organise a consistent brand identity across all business functions, manifestations, touchpoints and time. This involves many specialists across several business functions, and design agencies in the value network. Here, a shared interactive design process could endorse the quality of the process and of the outcome, by communicating between all specialists at the brand owner and the (design) firms. Design management is crucial to achieve coordination and coherence of the interactive brand expressions, yet at the same time it should stimulate innovation, flexibility, variation and personalisation of the interactive brand expressions. At the operational level, design management concerns the creation and organisation of all brand identity manifestations, in order to differentiate the brand identity and to create brand resonance with users (relevant and meaningful brand values and relationships). One important aspect of design management concerns the coordination of all design specialists in the project team. Here too, a commonly shared interactive design process can play an important role to allow all design specialist to communicate and to contribute to the common goal. © Ralph Stuyver 47
  • 48. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Webdesign – in the digital Age will increasingly be a process of creating user experiences. For any user experience to be relevant, an empathic understanding of the users is needed, appreciating how they live, their psychological and emotional needs, expectations and contexts. This also underlines the need for constant and innovative user-centered research. Interaction and personalisation have shown to be crucial factors for any relevant and meaningful user experience. Websites in particular are perfectly fit for this as they can support in at least two ways: 1) by personalising the brand experience (increasing the amount & quality of interactions), and 2) by providing a rich research tool to discover, store and update unique user values. A website “dedicated to the brand is potentially the most powerful brand-building tool” (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2002, p. 237). Webdesign managers – can coordinate the design of consistent personal user web experience. Key management issues include the integration of the interactive user experience in the business process, the consistency of user experience across all channels, and the coordination of all of the different webdesign specialists. A shared interactive webdesign process on all levels of webdesign management can contribute to the firms core strategy, its customer interface and its value network. 2.6 LITERATURE REVIEW: CONCLUSIONS The literature research revealed a big gap between offline and online brand identity expression and experience. To find possible solutions we first looked at environmental factors (F in Figure 29) and user factors (E) that could be of influence, and we included future brand and cultural trends (F and E). Figure 29. Conceptual Research Model BRAND IDENTITY BRAND IDENTITY BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN FACTORS EXPRESSION (BIE) EXPERIENCE OFFLINE BIE A C aspects Firm Strategic B DESIGN User Strategy Resources PROCESS E Experience D ONLINE BIE aspects ENVRONMENTAL FACTORS (F) We concluded that users (E) changed from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, and from passive to active; that monologue communication will be strongly enhanced by dialogue; that the power balance will shift from brand to users, and that future brands will co-create value by individual user-experiences. We then condensed all of these findings into Eight Key Changes, see Table 4. © Ralph Stuyver 48
  • 49. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Table 4. Eight Key Changes THE ENVIRONMENT CHANGES (F) 1. Globalisation, Market saturation and Product Commoditisation 2. Monologue and Dialogue Communication THE USERS CHANGE (E) 3. Active, Informed and Networked users 4. Power-balance shifts from brand to users 5. Individualisation, Customisation and Personalisation 6. Multi-channeling users 7. User-centered Experiences 8. Value Co-creation Next, both offline (C) and online (D) brand identity aspects were researched, and online brand expression proofed entirely different from offline. We concluded that online brand expression impacts all parts of the brand identity, and that strong future brands will use the internet as a brand-building tool. The unique aspects of online brand identity were then filtered through the above Key Changes, resulting in five Key Interactive Brand aspects (Table 5) and three Levels of Value Interaction. Table 5. Key Interactive Brand aspects 1. Dialogue (feedback, two-way, equality, act) 2. Access (to products, services, values, experiences) 3. Trust (risk assessment, transparency, authenticity, privacy) 4. Relationship (user-centered, dynamic, contextual, memory) 5. Personalisation (individual, experience, participation) The goal of the literature research was to find answers to the first two research questions. On our first research question (RQ1): “why is there a big gap between online and offline brand identity expression” some authors suggested that it may be caused by inadequate existing offline brand design process (BàC). Hence we researched ten existing brand design processes by main authors (Table 6). We evaluated the seven most relevant processes on: Key Interactive Brand aspects and the levels of Social Value Interaction. The other three existing brand identity processes were used as a reference. Table 6. Existing Brand Design Processes EVALUATED (BàC) or (B à D) à REFERENCED 1. Birkigt & Stadler (1987) 8. Boer (2003) 2. Aaker (1996), Aaker & Joachimsthaler (2000) 9. Brandt et all (2003) 3. Stuart (1999) 10. Kapferer (1996) 4. Balmer & Grey (2003) 5. Van Erp (2004a; 2004b) 6. Andrews (2004) 7. Manning (2005) We concluded that none of the existing offline design processes (BàC) seemed fully fit for online brand identity expression (BàD) since they lacked or hardly supported many Key Interactive Brand aspects. For our second research question (RQ2): “how can this gap be reduced”, we researched within the field of design management to gain more insight into design processes. Main authors indicate that design processes are strategic resources of a firm, and that design penetrates all assets that make brand value. Since none of the existing brand processes seemed fully fit, we concluded that a new interactive brand design process might indeed reduce this gap, indicated in RQ2. Such a new Interactive Brand Identity Design process (IBID) will be proposed and described in the next Chapter 3. © Ralph Stuyver 49
  • 50. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 3. FRAMEWORK: THE IBID PROCESS In this Chapter, a new Interactive Brand Identity Design (IBID) process is proposed, which forms the core of this thesis. Section 3.1 gives general goals and delimitation of the process. Section 3.2 explains the overall IBID process and three phases in particular: the identity, the manifestations and the interactionpoints phases. Finally, section 3.3 provides general conclusions about the proposed IBID process and how the it will be researched in the primary research. 3.1 IBID: GOALS AND DELIMITATION IBID does not try to accurately describe all of the brand identity aspects and dimensions of all main identity authors of the last thirty years, as this would simply be impossible. The goal of the IBID process is to place the most important and commonly used identity dimensions in an new interactive process that fits the digital Age. Hopefully the new IBID process can reduce the gap between offline and online brand identity expression. The IBID process is evaluated on this aspect and other aspects as described in the next Chapter 4. Based on the outcome of the literature review: the eight Key Changes, the five Key Interactive Brand aspects and the three Social Value Interactions, the IBID process aims to add a new tool for brand identity designers in order to: • Deepen the insight of brand identity value interactions (through interactive touchpoints) • Enhance online brand expressions and user-experiences (with a focus on websites) • Enhance cross-functional communication (between brand owner functions and design agencies) • Be applicable for design agencies (focus on interactive communication designers) • Improve the quality of the interactive brand identity design process (and the design outcomes) • Narrow the gap between offline and online brand identity expression and experience The following sections will explain the proposed IBID process and will provide some examples. © Ralph Stuyver 50
  • 51. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 3.2 IBID PROCESS: EXPLAINED 1. BRAND CONTEXT USER CONTEXT III. SENDING (code & ING (code & val AN D v END i da R brand brand a l i da R S user user te .B te SE ) strat ident ) .U ident goal III 1 corp 1 8 tribe strat brand user goal manif manif netw netw onance onance onance 2 9 resonance re s onance re s onance brand interact user netw points netw re s re s re s 3 7 tribe user brand corp goal manif manif strat IV. user user 10 ch ) II. brand brand 6 4 BR A ) goal ident ar US ident strat ch N se ER r D 11 re 5 ea REC EIVING (decode & RE CEI res VING (decode & IV. II. Figure 30. Interactive Brand Identity Design (IBID) process The IBID process as shown in Figure 30 above, displays the brand (firm) on the left side, and the user (stakeholder) on the right, thereby stressing the equality of the brand and the user. Each side of IBID is divided in two quadrants, one for receiving and one for sending. The IBID process contains several phases, shown as blue pointed boxes. Brands have multiple interactionpoints (number 3, in Figure 30), where values travel around and are exchanged between the brand and the user, in continue cycles. QUADRANT I – BRAND SENDING Let’s start at the brand identity phase (1, in Figure 30). When defining and communicating the brand values, the brand identity is a key element. Simply said, the brand identity contains: who the brand is and what it’s most important values are. The next phase contains the brand manifestation values (2, Figure 30). Simply said, the brand- manifestations make tangible how the brand shows its values, behaves and communicates its values. This can be manifested through it’s name, logo, use of colours, stationary, annual reports, websites, advertising campaigns, physical or software products or services, how brand representatives behave, etc. In short: brand manifestations are all the possible ways the brand values can become manifest. The next phase concerns the actual interactionpoints (3). In this phase the brand values and user values meet each other in time and space through various interactionpoints. This is where and when values are expressed and experienced by both. Think of a retail- or website-experience when buying a product, seeing a TV ad, an online ad, or visiting a website. But also think of the rich experience when using a product, reading service-pages on the web or reading (writing) weblogs about the brand. Quadrant I (BRAND SENDING) is the quadrant where all of the brands intentions are defined and eventually communicated. Naturally, the process does not start with the brand-identity (1) as this is also based upon the brand- and corporate strategies etc. But let’s leave those alone for a minute. © Ralph Stuyver 51
  • 52. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN QUADRANT II – USER RECEIVING The bottom-right Quadrant II, USER-RECEIVING, shows the user receiving and ‘researching’ all of the brands intentional values, as received through the interaction points (3). All of the ways the brand speaks, shows and behaves its values (4) can be decoded by the user, and the identity of the brand (5) too. Maybe the firms goals and parent behind the brand (6) are also decoded by the user, and the value network the brand is connected to (7). All of these received values can lead to the users image of the brand identity. Users actively orient themselves across different brands (research), increasingly by using the internet to visit different brand sites and make e.g. price/attribute/design comparisons. Now, whether the brand values hold any meaning or relevance to the user, depends upon the resonance of the users individual needs, goals, values, identity, tribe and social network, as shown in Quadrant III (USER SENDING). This resonance between USER RECEIVING (Quadrant II) and USER SENDING (Quadrant III) is where the meaning and relevance of the brand values are validated by the user. QUADRANT III – USER SENDING The users personal identity (8) contains in principal the same identity dimensions as the first (1) phase, but then based on needs as well as expressions. The user has needs for certain values and also manifests her/his individual values (9) towards the brand and the outer world. At the same time, a user may be part of a ‘tribe’ (family, work group, religion, culture, or any group of people sharing certain values) or a ‘network’, and the user is influenced by the outer world (USER CONTEXT). All of these aspects can influence the users brand image, leading to a brand reputation. Finally, how well the brand listens to the users expressions, needs, wishes and values, is part of Quadrant IV: BRAND RECEIVING. QUADRANT IV – BRAND RECEIVING Now here too, the relevance of the user values for the brand, depends upon the resonance between the brands identity (Quadrant I), and the received user identity (Quadrant IV). This fourth quadrant strongly depends upon the brands research capabilities, and how well it adjust its brands values again in Quadrant I. It does not really matter at what point of the process you start, but it is essential is that the value interaction cycles are completed, and as often as possible. The so far described IBID process might appear somewhat linear or sequential. But in reality of course, many different brand values interactions happen in parallel across many different manifestations, touchpoints and places. In the next subsections, three phases will be described in some more detail: the brand identity phase (1), the brand manifestations phase (2) and the interactionpoints phase (3). © Ralph Stuyver 52
  • 53. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 3.2.1 Brand Identity phase - explained brand brand user user strat ident ident goal corp tribe strat brand user goal manif manif netw netw brand interact user BRAND IDENTITY DIMENSIONS netw points netw WHO ARE WE? user C C tribe brand corp goal manif manif strat user user brand brand goal ident ident strat CULTURE IMAGE PRODUCT ! SYMBOL INTERACTION DNA POSITIONING X ;-) ;-) PERSONALITY EXPERIENCE Figure 31. Brand Identity phase In Figure 31, the dimensions of the brand identity are shown (as red dots). All dimensions contain values (choices, meanings, intent) that can trigger associations (resonate) with users. All dimensions together can form an unique and memorable brand identity, allowing direction and structure for the organisation, and making it recognisable, relevant and meaningful for all key users. This example has nine identity dimensions, and two are newly proposed: the experience and the interaction dimension. Not all firms use all of these dimensions and some have other dimensions too. But the above shown dimensions are commonly used. The firms choice of the identity dimensions, especially the values and weights of its most important dimensions, can differentiate the brands identity. If the firm changes one of its main dimensions drastically, than this will likely result in a different brand identity in the eyes of most users. All dimensions combined, represent who the brand Is and what its main values are. The DNA dimension – forms the central core (Boer, 2003) and the fundamental idea behind an identity programme (Jones, 2001; Ollins, 2002), containing the soul (Boer, 2004; Moyen, 2004), the essence (Kapferer, 1995; Aaker, 1996), the philosophy (Birkigt & Stadler, 1986) and the core values (Ellwood, 2002). Like human DNA, a small replica should be present in all identity manifestations. DNA stays mainly unchanged for years, but as users, technologies and markets change, and the firm e.g. merges, the DNA can change a little. DNA consists of (based on Kapferer, 1995; Boer, 2003): • Core Values – What are the brands core values, its main philosophy, soul? What is the ‘big idea’? • Vision – What is the brands vision on products, users or worldview? What is its strategic direction? • Mission – What changes does the brand want to bring in peoples lives? Why does the brand need to exist? What is its core proposition? How can it realise its vision? • Standpoint – From where does the brand speak? What is its (prototypical product or service) history, parent values, parent narrative? • Territory – Where can the brand legitimate achieve its mission? For what needs, categories? • Style and language – What core style, language and behaviours are typical of the brand? © Ralph Stuyver 53
  • 54. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN The identity DNA dimension can be summarised in a ‘brand foundation’ document including a ‘brand narrative’ or rich corporate story. Identity DNA can further be made tangible (e.g. for employees or network partners) through identity DNA books, online identity manuals and identity video’s with music, or even online identity quizzes (games). The identity DNA contains the firms core values and its ‘scope of credibility’, and within this scope all other identity dimensions should be positioned. Positioning – could be regarded as ‘strategic placing’ of all other identity dimensions: Culture, Product, Image, Symbols, Personality, Experience and Interaction. Corporate brands positioned all identity dimensions more related to the firms internal wishes and external market possibilities. Product brands positioned the identity dimensions more in the mind of the user, compared to competitors, by adding ‘unique emotional value’ and ‘personality’. Positioning was introduced by Ries & Trout (1982) because firms in the 80’s found their intrinsic product values (see section 2.5.1) not differentiating enough to hold or win the consumers preference (Rijkenberg, 2005). The Positioning dimension can be comprised in a positioning statement and it can contain (based on Kapferer, 1992): • Why, or for what? - What is the specific user benefit? What motivates them? • For whom? – Who are the key users of the brand? What is the scope of the market? • When? – What is the occasion to use the product (e.g. night and day coffee). • Against whom? – Points to the main competition, makes the identity specific and differentiated. • Know-how – What is the brands specific know-how? What is it exceptionally good in? A good interactive positioning example is the Dutch slim cheese brand ‘Slankie’. Since the 70’s, Slankie acquired a leading position in the Dutch ‘slim cheese’ segment, but recently serious competitors occurred. In 2006, their cross-media campaign included a major online effort to reposition Slankie as ‘partner in weight control’, aimed to be the authority in weight control. The repositioning was intensely enhanced by its new website, and users were informed of its existence by TV commercials, on-pack communication, printed and online ads (banners) and ‘guerrilla marketing’, all pointing to the main website. On the website, users are emerged in ‘the world of Slankie’ where a food specialist gives free personal advice, fitness video’s can be viewed, and where a personal training scheme and recipes can be co-created. The website attracted 100,000 unique users in the first month alone, and it will remain a permanent platform for user-brand experiences. The Organisational Culture dimension – holds the fundamental cultural values of the organisation. These cultural values usually grow over time and can be very hard to change fundamentally. The organisational culture can be a very influential dimension of a brand identity, especially for service brands where the organisation behind the brand is prominently visible. Organisational values and their associations can be very powerful because they are difficult to compete against. This dimension can consist of the following aspects (Kapferer, 1995; Aaker, 1996): • Characteristics – Organisational values, e.g. innovation, consumer concern, trustworthiness. © Ralph Stuyver 54
  • 55. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • Origin – The country of origin of the brand • Globalisation – Localisation and globalisation choices The Product & Services dimension – represents the main basis of any brand identity (Kapferer, 1992; Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000; Boer, 2002). This dimension is increasingly enhanced by intangible values, especially experiental values since the mid 90’s. The product and services dimension can contain (based on Rhea, 1992; Kapferer, 1995; Aaker, 1996): • Scope – The current and new product and services innovations • Anchoring products – What typical acts, products or services best convey the brand identity? • Attributes – Specific product or service attributes (tangible, intrinsic values) • Price – The pricing scheme and range for the different products and services • Quality – The intended, expected and observed quality levels of the product or service • Experiences – Overall user-experiences, Cycles of user-experiences The Personality dimension – holds a set of human characteristics associated with the brand identity (Aaker, 1997), giving the brand human values, feelings and emotions in order to differentiate it from competition. The strong focus on building a brand identity around its personality evolved in the 70’s and 80’s (Kapferer, 1992). The personality dimension can create differentiation (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000) by making it interesting and memorable, stimulating energy, and suggest brand-user relationships (e.g. friend, party-companion, advisor). A distinction can be made between how users perceive the brand personality, and how they use it for self expression purposes, e.g. by wearing products of a certain brand. Five described personality dimensions are (Aaker, 1997): • Sincerity – Down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful (e.g. Coca-Cola, Hallmark, Ford) • Excitement – Daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date (e.g. Yahoo!, Virgin, MTV) • Competence – Reliable, intelligent, successful • Sophistication – Upper class, charming • Ruggedness – Outdoorsy, tough The Image dimension – describes how users might see the values of certain product, brand, firm, political figure or country, based on all manifestations decoded by the user (Kapferer, 1996). Users can have different images of different aspects of the brand identity values (van Riel, 2003): • Social image – How socially en environmentally responsible is the brand? • Emotional Image – How does the brand appeal to users, makes them feel? Do users admire it? • Product Image – High quality, innovative, value for money products and services • Leadership Image – What is the brands future vision, market opportunities and leadership? • Financial Image – What is the brands financial performance? What is its growth? • Workplace Image – Does the firm supply a well-managed, good place to work ? Reputation can be seen as the evaluation users make of all of these images, combined with their acquired information from the brand, information from friends, colleagues, advertising, pr, etc. Image/reputation is based on brand-user interaction (van Riel, 2002) and can be adjusted in two ways: either by changing its constituents (product-, business-, corporate identity, etc., see subsection 2.2.3), or by changing the communication in order to influence the others beliefs, ideas, feelings and impressions (van Riel, 2003). © Ralph Stuyver 55
  • 56. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Brands and users both have an image about themselves and about the other, resulting in four types of images (see subsection 2.2.3): • Brand SelfImage – How the brand sees itself (Quadrant I) • Users Reflection – How users like to see the brand and identify with it (Quadrant II) • Users SelfImage – How users see themselves (Quadrant III) • Brand Reflection – How the brand likes to see the users and identify with them (Quadrant IV) The Symbolic dimension – also plays an important role for the brand identity. The symbolic dimension defines what values will be made manifest. Symbols have an internal and external function, which should closely be aligned. Internal: enhancing identification between the organisation and its employees, and external: enhancing recognition of the brand identity. The symbolic values can become manifest (in the next phase) in many ways: the CEO, a logo, color, sound, smell, etc. The symbolic dimension also defines which values should stay constant and which could be varied over time. Strong symbols can give the brand identity (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000): • Attention – To make it easier to recognise the brands identity values • Cohesion – Of the used symbols. Variance (a family of symbols) is also essential. • Structure – To the brands internal organisation, and across different manifestations • Recognition & Recall – To make it easier to recognise and recall The Interaction dimension – is newly proposed by this thesis, and it forms the core of the thesis. As the literature research showed (subsection 2.5.3), by increasing the number of firm-user interactions, the more the user teaches the firm, the lower the users ‘sacrifice’ will be, the better the firm can provide exactly what the user wants, and the stronger the firm-user relationship will be. A definition of brand interaction was given on page 33. For creating meaningful experiences, personalisation is key, and personalisation is the natural result of interactivity. The interaction dimension can therefor be regarded a gateway to meaningful brand experiences, and it can contain (see subsection 2.3.4): • Dialogue – Feedback, Two-way, Equality, Empathy. • Access – To values, products, services, experiences • Trust – Risk assessment, Transparency, Authenticity, Privacy • Relationship – User-centered, Dynamic, Contextual, Memory • Personalisation – Individual value co-creation, active participation The Experience dimension – is also newly proposed by this thesis. Recent literature and business practises from mid 90’s increasingly mention this dimension of the brand identity. The experience dimension can contain the following aspects (see subsection 2.5.3): • Centrality – What experiences are central to the brand identity and can be shared with individual users? What identity values will individual users identify with and be connected to? • Narrative – What individual story can be experienced? How is it embedded in the corporate story? • Storyability – What personalised story will the user remember? And how easy can it be retold? • Pleasure – Which sensory, ideological, cultural or psychological pleasures are key to the identity? • Transformations – What constant flow of events will facilitate a user to become a happier self? Summary – All of the above brand identity dimensions can be seen as the creative tools with which the © Ralph Stuyver 56
  • 57. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN brand identity will be painted, coloured and textured and brought to life through its manifestations (next phase). In this brand identity phase, the intention is decided upon what values are essential and why, in line with e.g. the communication-, marketing- , innovation and business strategies (previous phase). Each firm will weight each dimension differently and will decide upon the authentic set of values across all dimensions, thereby defining its uniquely identifiable brand identity. 3.2.2 Brand Identity Manifestations phase – explained brand brand user user strat ident ident goal corp tribe strat brand user goal manif manif netw netw brand interact user BRAND IDENTITY MANIFESTATIONS netw points netw E tribe user brand YL corp &S T goal manif manif strat ME E user user brand brand TH NT goal ident ident strat H ER E CO BENEFITS DO IDENTITY SHOW VALUES TEL L Figure 32. Brand Identity Manifestations phase In this next phase, the brand identity will be manifested i.e. will become tangible for users. Manifestations can be: a tagline (Intel inside), a character (Michelin man), a logo, a color (KPN green), a movement (Yellow Pages fingers walking), a sound (Nokia ringtone), a smell (Singapore Airlines), a shape (Coca-Cola bottle), a prototypical product (iPod), a program (Ronald McDonald charities), a rite of passage (Harley Davidson), etc. The manifestations can not be disconnected from the identity, as the essence is shown in the form of the message (Kapferer, 1995). Based on Birkigt & Stadler (1987), the brand identity can become manifest through three aspects: what the brand Does, what it Shows, and what it Tells. All manifestations contain all three aspects to a certain degree, and all three stem from the central brand identity values (see Figure 32). The Identity Values & Benefits dimension – holds the set of unique and differentiating brand identity values from the previous phase. These drive the user benefits, containing all rational, emotional and self expressive benefits of the brand (Aaker, 1996). Also included are the relational benefits: the desired brand- user (inter)actions and criteria for accessing and co-creating the benefits (Ellwood, 2002). This combined dimension consist of (based on Aaker, 1996; Ellwood, 2002): • Promise – Initial proposition to the users, clearly stated and summarised, specific and actionable. • Relevance – Brand salience, differentiated from competition, based on needs and expectations. • Benefits – Rational, emotional, self-expressive and relational benefits. • Believability – Authenticity, expected & delivered proof of promise, originating from one identity • Opportunities – Ways to enjoy (experience) the promise, solve the needs of both user and brand • Criteria – For accessing and co-creating values and benefits © Ralph Stuyver 57
  • 58. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN For product brands, this dimension historically held the value proposition (promise, benefits). For corporate brands this dimension contained core corporate values to be communicated. When value communication changes to a dialogue and people become connected and informed (section 2.1), then value co-creation becomes more prevalent. This dimension could then more aptly be named ‘value interaction’, providing a constant flow of mutual value propositions, expressions and experiences. Brand Identity Manifestations – In our opinion, Birkigt & Stadlers division in behaviour, communication and symbols might not be very clear, since symbols as well as behaviour are communication too, yet non- verbal, and behaviour can have symbolic meaning too. Therefor, we propose to use Do, Show and Tell instead. The brand identity can become manifest through three aspects: • Do: All of the ways the brand behaves, to all of its users (non-verbal) • Show: All sensory ways to show the brand and its value symbols (non-verbal) • Tell: All verbal, narrative and textual ways the brand communicates Most of the times all three manifestation aspects are simultaneously present, in some higher or lower degree. What the brand Does is usually the field of the business management, HRM and organisational functions (see Figure 27). What the brand Shows is usually the field of the design business functions. What the brand Tells is usually the field of the marketing and communication functions. All identity manifestations usually appear under one overarching theme, style and language (also a visual language), giving coherency to the brand identity and making it more recognisable and memorable for all users of the brand. DO – These non-verbal aspects define for example the way the firm handles it’s current and future employees, how it behaves towards external customers, clients and allies, etc. In short, this aspect concerns how the firm acts (and how it re-acts, in QUADRANT IV of the IBID process). With the emergence of interactive media such a the internet, the way the firm behaves (acts) and responds (reacts) to its stakeholders is highly accelerated. This is supported by a recent Forrester study (Manning, 2005) showing brand action as one of the two main elements of interactive brand identity. An example of interactive brand behaviour is the Axe Touch campaign (Buschman and Schavemaker, 2004). Unilever tried to create a buzz around it’s deodorant brand Axe, by opening a weblog at Lycos where a supposedly illegal pre-release of the new Axe tv commercial was posted. Unilever tried to keep secret that it was in fact Unilever itself revealing this pre-release. When this became known to the Dutch weblog GeenStijl, they revealed that this was a misleading commercial campaign by Unilever itself. As a result a huge negative discussion about the trust of the Unilever brand appeared on the internet, and Unilever supposedly removed the fake weblog as quickly as possible. This example shows that on the web, a brand should be quick to react on actions of external stakeholders, in order to maintain trust in the brand identity and its reputation. Rijkenberg (2005) found consistent brand behaviour ultimately defining the brand-user resonance, through all brand manifestations. According to him, it is not only what the brand does, but explicitly also what the brand does not do. The brand image will in time acquire its value through all of the brands behaviours. © Ralph Stuyver 58
  • 59. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN SHOW – These aspects are also non-verbal, and influence all five perceptual aspects of brand identity: visual (see), tactile (touch), auditory (hear), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell). In short, this aspect concerns how the brand shows it’s identity, usually by means of a logo, typefaces, colours, images, smells, textures, materials. It can also contain symbols, metaphors and analogies. A visual identity is an important aspect of any brand identity (van den Bosch et all., 2004), and a logo is usually an important means to express the brands identity. But a logo is not the same as the brand. Instead it represents some of the brands meanings, core values or brand DNA, and it contains the basic material for e.g. the personality of the brand that makes it distinct from the competition. Two-dimensional logo’s are by some authors regarded as typical results of the printing press and monologue mass-media era (Neumeier, 2003). In the future, logo’s are expected to be replaced by avatars, especially on the internet and all other interactive channels such as mobiles, ip-TV, LCD panels on streets, in shops, stations, busses, cabs, etc. Neumeier (2003, p.86) defines avatars as icons “that can move, morph or otherwise behave freely as the brand’s alter ego”, and avatars can be regarded the symbolic actor in an continuing brand story. Logo’s and trademarks will go from two dimensions to three and four dimensions. A nice example of a dynamic manifestation is the visual identity of Carat, a worldwide media network. Here, a sphere animates between different colours and shapes, giving associations of ‘global, ‘electricity’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘magic’. This animated visual identity does not react to a user action, nor does it change as a result of the users context, time or environment. But it does nicely resonate with and express Carat’s core brand values. The example of Google goes even further. Here, the google logo changes according to time, birthdays and other special days, season, location (Dutch google looks different than Finnish google) and language. Google’s brand values are even expressed by the number of results: the more results, the bigger the logo. All of these aspects are used to enhance the online brand identity expression. © Ralph Stuyver 59
  • 60. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN TELL – These verbal manifestation aspects are concerned with how and what the firm tells about its identity (content of the message) and how it tells it (tone-of-voice, narrative). In QUANDRANT IV this aspect is concerned with how the brand listens to its users and receives their verbal messages. Literature describes that these communicative aspects are the most flexible of all manifestations, and can be adapted depending on the context or reactions. The boundaries of the verbal communication are not so much in the medium, but more in the relevance, authenticity and trustworthiness. The brand should speak from one central source and should deliver what is tells to stand for. One overarching Theme & Style – A brand theme is the conceptual driver that all brand manifestations can be connected to (Ellwood, 2002). Successful brands create one theme that aligns all of the brands manifestations and interactionpoints. A well chosen theme triggers the imagination of the brands main users and is close to the brand essence (Buschman & Schavemaker, 2004). The manifestation style should enhance and support the chosen theme. In a way, the brands theme and styles could be regarded the glue that ties all of the brand identity manifestation aspects together and relates them to the core brand identity. 3.2.3 Interactionpoints phase – explained brand brand user user strat ident ident goal corp tribe strat brand user goal INTERACTION POINTS manif manif netw netw TV Print eMail brand interact user netw points netw Radio user Store eCoupon tribe brand corp goal manif manif strat user user brand brand goal ident ident strat site Call mono l o g u e dia l ogue convert engage retain attract MAIN SITE Download Blog iAdv iGame Event Product /Service BRAND-USER EXPERIENCE Figure 33. Brand Identity Interactionpoints phase In the next phase, all brand manifestations and user manifestations come together at the interactionpoints. These interactionpoints are all of the different media, places and channels where monologue and dialogue communication appears over time. Think of TV ads, retail environments, a personal talk with a sales representative or call centers. But certainly also think of corporate websites, self service websites, theme and campaign websites, where users can experience the brand values and exchange rich information. As brought forward in Chapter 2, people make increasingly use of multiple channels to interact with brands, and websites will increasingly serve as the centrepiece of integrated brand communications. Furthermore, monologue communication from brand to users will be enhanced by dialogue communication between brands and users. Therefor, the monologue interactionpoints will increasingly be connected with –and pointing to– the more personal digital dialogue interactionpoints, as is shown in Figure 33 above. © Ralph Stuyver 60
  • 61. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A nice example of a digital interactionpoint is BMW’s “the Hire”. Here, BMW found a new way to interact with her busy BMW prospects, who spent minimal time on TV, and who were otherwise hard to reach. BMW placed five short online movies including a BMW car chase and directed by renowned directors on her website. About 1,5 million people viewed the online movies and these were actively discussed and send around by millions of people, creating a ‘viral effect’. Davis & Dunn (2002, pp. 103-104) assessed BMW’s interactive touchpoint, and found it to score maximally on most brand metrics: consistency with the brand promise, delivery of the brand positioning, support of the brand identity, enforcement of the brand image, consistency with the brand personality, perception shift as related to other brands, driving inclination to buy BMW, new leads generation and addressing desirable target segments. 3.2.4 Quadrants II, III and IV – explained Brand identity at the firms side is often described in terms of human characteristics. Brands in a more general way, could be seen as living organisms that have their own personality and culture, that speak, listen, act and react on environmental changes, just like humans do. Now, on the user side, as shown in QUADRANT II and QUADRANT III of Figure 34, IBID proposes to use the same identity elements as is used on the brand side, but then seen from the user point of view. Firstly, QUADRANT III will be explained further. QUADRANT III – In this quadrant the user sends its values that can resonate with the brand. The user identity phase (number 8) contains principally the same identity dimensions of: DNA, positioning, personality, product, culture, experience, symbols, image and interaction. Most identity dimensions seem quite obvious. Yet two dimensions need to be explained in some more detail: positioning and product. QUADRANT III G (code & validat DIN e) brand brand SEN user user E R strat ident US ident goal corp tribe strat brand user goal manif manif 8 netw 9 netw USER IDENTITY DIMENSIONS brand interact user WHO AM I? netw points netw user 3 C C tribe brand corp goal manif manif strat user user brand brand goal ident ident strat IMAGE CULTURE QUADRANT II ! SYMBOL PRODUCT DNA INTERACTION POSITIONING X ;-) ;-) EXPERIENCE PERSONALITY Figure 34 User Identity phase © Ralph Stuyver 61
  • 62. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Positioning – Many people have some idea about their own identity, and their identity in relation to other people and brands. The positioning dimension therefor contains a set of user needs, wishes, knowledge and capabilities that places the other user identity dimensions in relation to other brands and people. This positioning can take place consciously and most likely partly unconsciously too. This could further be researched in the field of psychology and social & cultural sciences. Product – As for the users product dimension, people can have a need for some product or service, and they can also use products and services to express or enhance their own identity. From the users point of view this dimension therefor contains the needs, wishes, self expressive use and experience of products and services. Nike shoes for instance are also used by people to express that they belong to the Nike community. In the next User Manifestation phase (number 9, in above Figure 34), users manifest themselves too by what they Do, Show and Tell. Then, in the Interactionpoints phase (number 3), all user and brand values can come together again through different media, places, channels and time. Traditionally, the touchpoints for sending brand values and receiving users values (research) have been separated. Unique of the internet is that both value expression and value research can occur through the same interactionpoints. QUADRANT II – As described in the first section of this Chapter, QUADRANT II show the user receiving and researching the brands values. The user research is based on what the user himself directly receives from the brand; what media, newspapers and e-zines write about it; but all from a users point of view, and within the user context of trusted friends, groups (tribes) and user networks, like consumer organisations. QUADRANT IV – As part of what Hamel (2002) names the ‘customer interface’, this quadrant IV contains important user information and insight, defined as information “that is collected from and utilised on behalf of the customers” as well as ”the ability of a company to extract insights from this information” (ibid., p.86). In this quadrant the brand receives and decodes all main user values. On a manifestation level, this concerns the ability of the brand to React (vs. Do), the brands ability to Observe the users values (vs. Show), and its ability to Hear (vs. Tell) the users verbal communication. In this quadrant IV all user information is received by the brand and decoded in the brand’s context. This is where the resonance between quadrant I and quadrant IV appears on the different levels. According to Fombrun & van Riel (2003, p.176): "Listening involves attentive interacting with stakeholders that enables the company to understand the standards against which their actions will be evaluated. Through listening, the company can also assemble a cognitive map of the worldviews espoused by its stakeholders and use the map as a guide in selecting its strategic positioning." Any brand should take the input from this receiving quadrant IV to heart, and relate the user insight to the core of its business activities, identity and aspirations for the future (Fombrun & van Riel, 2003), as this “feedback, i.e. audience research, can inspire and validate innovation” (Neumeier, 2003., p. 154). © Ralph Stuyver 62
  • 63. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 3.2.5 Three Cycles of Value Interaction As the literature research revealed (see subsection 2.3.3, p.31), at least three levels of social value interaction were found. When applied to the IBID process, these levels appear as the three Cycles of Brand Value Interaction, as is shown in Figure 35 below. FROM WHERE WHY WHY FROM WHERE brand user strategy WHAT WHAT goal WITH WITH WHOM corp. brand user tribe WHOM strategy identity HOW HOW identity goal brand brand WHERE user user network manifest. WHEN manifest. network network identity manifest. interaction manifest. identity network cycle cycle cycle points cycle cycle cycle user user brand brand network manifest. manifest. network tribe user brand corp. goal identity identity strategy user brand goal strategy E X P A N D I N G T H E B R A N D E X P E R I E N C E Figure 35. Three Cycles of Brand Value Interaction Shared values travel around in the IBID process, creating resonance between the user and the brand in at least three ways: the Manifestation, the Identity, and the Network Cycles. As each cycle gets more towards the identity and culture of the user and the brand, this will bring them more closer together. When applying the Cycles of Brand Value Interaction, the proposed IBID process will facilitate expansion of the user-brand experience, hopefully building deeper value dialogues. Examples of different cycles will be given below. The Dutch brand Postbank has a good example of a Manifestation Cycle. This bank allowed its credit cards to be almost fully customised by letting users upload their favourite photos through an online service. Almost fully, because the company logo, and some other data must remain on the card. In this way, the users are able to change the card to fully match to their personally preferred manifestation. By allowing this, the Postbank literally placed one of its core brand values in the hands of its users: “always personal”. An example of an Identity Cycle is MSN Messenger. The use of Messenger in the Netherlands, with about 4 million registered users, ranks amongst the worlds highest. The number of Dutch Messenger users even equals all printed Dutch newspapers together. Why is Messenger so popular in the Netherlands? According to a Microsoft design anthropologist (Emerce online, 18.11.2005) “a lot of internet users use it to design their identity” in the Netherlands and “exchanging emotional messages” (ibid.). This is in contrast with Italy for instance, where “it is socially not accepted because everything there is about face-to-face contact” (ibid.), A nice example of the Network Value Cycle is the earlier described Apple iPod. The industrial design and easy-to-use interface of the iPod is truly elegant. But it is the design of the entire network which really © Ralph Stuyver 63
  • 64. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN differentiates the iPod (Hargadon, 2005). IPod’s value network connects the hardware (iPod), software (iTunes), websites (Music Store), artists and user networks in a way no competitor yet matched. The iTunes software and websites have a central role in connecting the different network partners. 3.3 IBID PROCESS: CONCLUSIONS The purpose of the new IBID process was to propose a process that could narrow the gap between offline and online brand identity expression, and the resulting brand experience. The IBID process tries to create an interactive brand identity approach, while keeping most existing brand identity constructs mainly intact, and placing them in the digital Age. IBID integrates in an iterative and interactive process, all of the relevant issues that were brought forward by the literature research. A general description of the proposed IBID process was given, and some specific parts of the process were described. Some logical big questions remain to be answered: 1) could the proposed IBID process indeed narrow the gap, 2) could interactive brand designers really apply IBID, and 3) could IBID actually enhance cross functional brand identity design? The research analysis and results of Chapter 5 should provide answers to these questions. But first, the next Chapter 4 will describe the research method used in order to generate answers to these questions. © Ralph Stuyver 64
  • 65. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This chapter describes the methodology for the primary research. In the first section we will restate the problem definition and research questions (section 4.1). Then we will show how we operationalised the theoretical constructs into measurable variables (section 4.2). Next, a description is given what procedures were used for data collection (section 4.3) and data analysis (section 4.4), followed by a methodology conclusion (section 4.5). The next Chapter 5 will supply the data analysis and primary research results. 4.1 PROBLEM DEFINITION & RESEARCH QUESTIONS As was stated in Chapter 1, firms today have an articulated offline brand identity expression, yet most of them under-articulate their brand identity online. At the same time, most users today interact with the online brand on a near daily basis. The main problem statement of the research is: PS: “There is an unwanted gap between offline and online brand identity expression” Subsequently, seven research questions were formulated about brand identity expression (BIE): RQ1: Why is there a big gap between online and offline brand identity expression? RQ2: How can this gap be reduced? The literature review (Chapter 2) indicated that possible answers on these first two research questions (RQ1 and RQ2) could be found in defining a new design process specifically created for interactive brand identity design. This has led to the new tentative IBID process as was described in Chapter 3 which incorporates all necessary aspects that the literature review revealed (i.e. Eight Key Changes, Five Interactive Brand Identity aspects and Three Levels of Value Interaction). In order for any new process to be successful, it should be comprehensible and applicable. Naturally this also applies to the IBID process. We formulated five criteria: RQ3: Is the process clear and detailed enough? (content) RQ4: Is the process relevant for brands, users and brand phases? (context) RQ5: Is the process relevant for brand identity designers? (target group) RQ6: Does the process enable cross-functional communication (function) RQ7: Can the process be used in practice? (applicability) The rationale for these criteria is that if a new process is hard to understand or too general, chances are that the process will not be used (RQ3). If the new process holds little relevance for brands, users or branding phases than it might still be a valid new process, but probably not in the desired context (RQ4). Next, if the new process seems clear, detailed and relevant in its context, then the target group should consider the process relevant (RQ5) and should be able to use it (RQ7). Finally, the process should enable cross-functional communication (RQ6) as was indicated by the literature research. The goal of this primary research was to find answers on these research questions RQ3 - RQ7. © Ralph Stuyver 65
  • 66. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 4.2 RESEARCH APPROACH In order to investigate the proposed IBID process, two approaches present themselves. A quantitative approach is generally a good approach to test a concept or theory (Creswell, 2003). The numerical data collected can be attitude data, and can be statistically analysed. With this approach, all variables within and between participants can be accurately measured and compared. A qualitative approach (open-ended interviews) is also a valuable approach, as it is usually applied for exploration and generally yields new roads to venture and deeper insights. The primary research as applied here contained a mixed method approach: a combination of quantitative (structured questionnaire with Lickert-scale scoring) and a qualitative methods (open interview questions on the same subject). Such a mixed method approach is found to be applicable for pragmatic knowledge claims (Creswell, 2003) as is the case in our research. 4.3 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURES 4.3.1 Participants Thirteen participants were sampled from the intended user group of the IBID process. Some main characteristics of the individual participants and the companies they work for will be described below. The first participant (male, 42 years) was a partner of a medium size design agency. The agencies main design disciplines are print, interaction, motion and environment. It holds more than ten years of experience in new media design and provides integrated communication and design solutions for corporate visual identities, annual reports, brochures, websites, intranet sites, CD-roms, printed advertising, posters, commercials, documentaries, company movies, presentations, exhibitions, etc. The agency works for various types of brands, phases and stakeholders, and its R&D department focuses on visual notations, intuitive navigation, content management systems and narrative structures in interactive environments. The first participant had not indicated any type of education and held a board level function (director and partner). He regarded his function to concern mainly the strategic level of design, to a lesser extent the tactical level, and absent of the operational level of design. The second participant (male, 35 years) was an art director at the same design agency as participant one. He was educated in graphical design at HBO level and regarded his function to concern mainly the tactical and operational levels of design, and to a lesser extent the strategic level of design. The sixth participant (male, 36 years) was responsible for new brand identity business at the same design agency as participants one and two. He studied law at HBO level and considered his function to concern equally the strategic and tactical levels of design, but not the operational level of design. The third participant (male, 44 years) was managing director of the Dutch foundation that promotes the development of Dutch design. This foundation aims to initiate, cultivate and enhance public-oriented economic, social, international, regional, and cultural design-as well as the infrastructure of the design field. It tries to shape new attitudes for Dutch design towards culture, economics and society. The foundation can be regarded the Dutch pendant of the British Design Council. This third participant was educated in graphical design at HBO level and held a rich theoretical and practical experience in identity design for a wide range of brands, phases and stakeholders. He judged his design function to concern mainly the © Ralph Stuyver 66
  • 67. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN strategic level, to a lesser extent the tactical level and to be absent of the operational level of design. The fourth participant (female, 35 years) was an usability designer at one of the six largest Dutch offline and online design and communication agencies. This agency creates brand identities and campaigns, and specialises in website and tools development, adding an imaginative touch to brands, communication and interaction. It holds more than 75 employees and its clients cover all types of brands (central and local authorities, government bodies, non-profit, business sector and service providers) and stakeholders. The agency is active in both offline-BID and online-BID. This fourth participant was educated in industrial design engineering at University level. She judged her design function to embody mainly the operational level of design, to a lesser extent the tactical level, and absent of the strategic level of design. Participant number seven (male, 42 years) was design director at the same design agency as participant four. This participant held a board function as partner of the identity design agency. He studied industrial design engineering at University level and considered his design function to concern the strategic, to a lesser extent the tactical, and absent of the operational level of design. The fifth participant (female, 46 years) was consultant for a small identity consultancy. This agency specialises in strategic management advice, corporate design management, interactive branding and gives brand identity lectures. Its clients range from the financial sector to local authorities and government bodies. The agency advises both offline and online identity design agencies and brand owners, for all types of brands and stakeholders. The participant studied art at HBO and pedagogy at University level. She found her function to concern exclusively the strategic level of design, and not the tactical or operational levels. Participant eight (male, 45 years) was managing director of another of the six largest Dutch offline and online design and communication agencies. This agency designs a total experience through graphic design, new media design, industrial design and environmental design, where brand identity design forms the core of all of its design disciplines and expressions. The agency holds more than 70 employees and its clients range from service companies, consumer brands and the entertainment industry to local and national government, educational institutes and cultural bodies. It designs for all types of brands, phases and stakeholders. This participant studied industrial design engineering at University level and considered his function to embody mainly the strategic, somewhat tactic and absent of the operational levels of design. Participant number twelve (male, 34 years) was art and design director new media at the same design agency as above participant eight. He studied industrial design engineering at University level and held a board position as partner of the agency. He regarded his design function equally balanced over the strategic, tactical and operational levels of design. Participant number nine (male, 46 years) was creative director of a medium size interactive advertising design agency. This agency aims to design and stimulate meaningful relationships between brands and people by means of interactive communication. It works closely together with offline communication agencies in order to achieve an optimally integrated communication mix. This participant studied graphic design at HBO level and regarded his design function to be exclusively at the strategic level of design, and not at the tactical or operational levels. © Ralph Stuyver 67
  • 68. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Participant number ten (male, 35 years) was creative director at a third of the six largest Dutch offline and online design agencies. This design agency with 150 employees believes that brands increasingly value effective interaction with their clients, who will interact at moments they desire. This agency aims at designing and delivering integrated interactive multi-channel solutions that are meaningful and relevant for clients, through new media as internet, mobile, callcenters and narrowcasting. It creates the form and content for the strategic, creative, technical and organisational levels of the new digital relationships. Its clients range from corporate to product brands, across all branding phases and channels, for all types of stakeholders. This participant studied communication at University level, held a board position, and found his design function to primarily embody the strategic level, secondary the tactic level, and absent of the operational level of design. Participant eleven (male, 44 years) was creative director of a small identity design agency. This agency designs corporate identity, product and company brochures, point of sale, advertising and direct mailing campaigns, stationary design, annual reports, packaging design, website and intranet design and mobile presentation systems. It works for business to business brands, non-profit and consumer brands, for most types of stakeholders. The participant studied design management at HBO level, was partner of the design agency, and regarded his design function primarily to concern the tactical level and secondary the operational level of design, and absent of the strategic level of design. The thirteenth and last participant (female, 52 years) was an University professor at a school of business and organisational science, researching identity design and management, and author of a book on organisation identity and design. Specific questions in the interview about the participant’s identity design group or profession were answered for her identity design research group or profession. This participant studied social science and communication design at University level, and her design research function was considered primarily to cover the strategic level of identity design, secondary the tactical level, and not at the operational level of identity design. In conclusion, about half of the group was educated at University level (n=6) or at HBO level (n=6) and one participant had no indicated type of education. The type of education ranged from industrial design engineering (n=4), graphic design (n=3), communication design (n=1), social science (n=1), general art (n=1), design management (n=1) and law (n=1). Most firms the participants worked for (or were active in) covered both offline-BID as well as online-BID (n=12), the remaining participant was an University professor. Most participants held a board level function (n=8), other levels were management (n=3) or operational (2). Half of the group considered their design function to cover the strategic level of design (50%), a smaller part for the tactical level of design (34%) and the smallest part (16%) for the operational level of design. Most participants were brand identity design experts, working at both online as well as offline brand identity design agencies. Two subjects did not fully meet these criteria because they were either a brand identity researcher or responsible for new brand identity business. In total, 13 participants were interviewed, ten male and three female and their mean age was 41 years (StD. = 5.7). These participants were selected because they form a cross section of the Dutch offline and online brand identity design and research, along the different levels of design, and they represent the target audience for the proposed IBID process. © Ralph Stuyver 68
  • 69. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 4.3.2 Materials For the primary research interviews, the following materials were used: • Instruction: one introduction page for the interview (see Appendix 8.2.1). This half A4-page of text contained a welcome and explained the two parts of the interview: a description part and a questionnaire. The instruction clarified the background, goal and use of the research, the confidential handling and anonymous processing of the personal data, and it encouraged participants to freely give their opinions by underlining or annotating the description pages. • Description: six describing pages of the overall IBID process with in-text coloured images (see Appendix 8.2.1). Specifically the brand identity phase, the manifestations phase, the interactionpoints, and the three Levels of Value Interaction were described in more detail. This description was a condensed version of the above described IBID process of Chapter 3. • Questionnaire: a three page questionnaire (see Appendix 8.2.1). This questionnaire contained 46 questions with five point Lickert-scales, and two related open ended optional questions. These questions were organised following five topics (based on the research questions): the general IBID process, reactions on statements, relevance for brand types, relevance for phases and stakeholders, relevance for functions and groups (see Appendix 8.2.2, p. 102). Furthermore participants were asked to provide some personal information (name, age, sex, education, field of design, firm and function), and they could write down some remarks at the end of the questionnaire if they felt the need to do so. • Explanation & FAQ-sheet: this sheet contained two parts: an explanation sheet (see Appendix 8.2.4) and an three page FAQ-sheet (see Appendix 8.2.5). The explanation sheet was not handed to the participants, it was used by the interviewer to answer specific questions participants could have about the questionnaire. Only questions that arose concerning the questionnaire were answered through this sheet, in order to have these questions answered as uniformly as possible. For other questions about the IBID process that arose during the questionnaire, the participants were kindly referred to the open interview part that followed the questionnaire. The FAQ-sheet (frequently-asked-questions sheet) contained topics and images to be used during the open interviews and was created to show the participants whenever they asked some in-dept question concerning a particular aspect of the IBID process. 4.3.3 Procedure An appointment was made with the participants at their natural working environment explaining the interviewers’ general wish to interview Dutch brand identity experts for the purpose of a graduation project. No other specific information was conveyed before the interview. The participant was asked to schedule about one hour for the total interview. Prior to the interview, on the time of arrival, the participant(s) met the interviewer, who introduced himself and general information was exchanged. The participants were then asked to select a quiet room and environment, where no mobile, telephone or office colleagues could interfere with the interview. The participants were then handed out the instruction, description and questionnaire. After the instruction page was read by the participant, the interviewer asked if the set up was clear and © Ralph Stuyver 69
  • 70. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN agreed upon, and communicated that the participants could use as much time as needed, reading and filling in the questionnaire at their own pace. If something was unclear, some parts of the instruction were clarified in a global way, but participants hardly had questions at this point. The participants then started to read the first page of the IBID description. While the participant was reading these pages, the interviewer was quietly present reading a magazine, to signal that the participants could take their time. If participants had questions while reading the description pages, no specific extra information was given other than appeared on the explanation sheet, and the participant was informed that any clarification could take place after the questionnaire was filled in. This was done to have the same information to every participant prior to filling in the questionnaire. When the participant was ready reading the IBID description pages, they typically asked if they should next fill in the questionnaire. The interviewer confirmed and continued reading the magazine. In some cases, when filling in the questionnaire, participants needed some explanation, which was only given from the explanation-sheet, page 1 (see Appendix 8.2.4). In two instances there were two participants and one interviewer present. In these cases, the interviewer explained the same procedure, emphasising the two participants to not discuss with each other during the reading and filling in the questionnaire. After finishing the questionnaire, the open interview started. Prior to the open interview, the participants were asked if it was agreed that the interview was recorded, and none of the participants objected. During this interview the participants were asked for their general impression of the IBID process, whether they found the process applicable for them, and whether the participants design function was more strategic, tactical or operational. Other topics of the open interview were spontaneously provided by the participants, and more detailed information and thoughts were exchanged and discussed around the presented subject. If applicable, the FAQ-sheet pages (see Appendix 8.2.5) could help the interviewer explaining some parts. In the two instances where two participants were present, they both partook in the interview. Under these conditions the interviewer tried as much as possible to get their independent views on the topics that arose. Typically, after about one hour in total, the interview was rounded off, participants were thanked for their kind corporation, and they were promised to receive the research results when they were finished and ready to be published. The participants and interviewer then finished the interview. 4.4 DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURES 4.4.1 Processing the data The questionnaire (see Appendix 8.2.1) contained 46 questions (variables), covering 5 topics (see Table 7, Appendix 8.2.2). The optional questions 15b, 15c and 17 were not analysed because they were not filled in by most participants. The additional personal information held 11 different variables (see Table 8, Appendix 8.2.2), resulting in a sum total of 57 variables for the experiment. The data processing of the first 46 variables (quantitative data) was done in a two step process: 1. A general linear model analysis (GLM: repeated measures), was applied to calculate the estimated means, standard deviations and standard errors (see Table 9, Appendix 8.2.3). Such an GLM © Ralph Stuyver 70
  • 71. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN analysis calculates the means (m) and standard deviations (StD.) for further (Post-Hoc) analyses. Furthermore, when the GLM is found to be significant, this means that the 46 questions systematically differ in their answering pattern, indicating that the participants took their job seriously since they did not fill in the questionnaire randomly. 2. Next, post-hoc analyses (T-Test analyses) were performed on the calculated means from step 1. The T-Test analysis was used to check whether the scores (i.e. the answers) of all respondents (the whole group) were positive, instead of ‘only’ a positive mean score, as the T-Test needs the Mean and the Standard Deviation, and only when it shows up significantly, the group as a whole answered positive. It in fact compares the group mean with the neutral score (0) of an infinite group with no variation (m=0, StD=0). We’ll refer to this post-hoc T-Test analysis as the “>0 analysis”. 4.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: CONCLUSIONS The primary research methodology is based on a mixed-method approach combining both quantitative (mainly questions with five point Lickert-scales) and qualitative approach (open-ended interviews). Thirteen subjects were selected on the basis of forming a cross section of the Dutch offline and online brand identity design and research, and representing the target audience for the IBID process. The research materials included one instruction page, six description pages of the IDIB process with printed text and coloured images, a three page questionnaire, one additional explanation sheet and two FAQ sheets. The research procedure involved an interview of about one hour at the natural working environment of the subjects, with the researcher present. The data analysis included a GLM model analysis followed by post-hoc analyses. The results of the primary research will be described next. © Ralph Stuyver 71
  • 72. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 5. PRIMARY RESEARCH: ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Based on the methodology as described in Chapter 4, the analysis and the results of the primary research are given in this chapter. Firstly, an analysis is made of the quantitative data (questionnaire) in section 5.1. Secondly, an analysis of the qualitative data (interviews) is provided, where new topics are described and existing topics are deepened (section 5.2). The combined quantitative and qualitative data, in relation to the research questions, are then given in section 5.3. Finally, the research conclusions are drawn in section 5.4. 5.1 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH A total number of 13 participants were questioned. The answers of the participants were submitted to a repeated measures analysis (GLM) with one factor of 46 levels. This analysis proofed to be significant (F(1,45)=2.472; p<.001). The means that resulted from this analysis (fully described in Appendix 8.2.3) were each compared to zero, and further researched according to five Topics: • IBID process in general (subsection 5.1.1) • Reactions on statements (subsection 5.1.2) • IBID relevance for brand types (subsection 5.1.3) • IBID relevance for stakeholders and phases (subsection 5.1.4) • IBID relevance for business functions and groups (subsection 5.1.5) 5.1.1 Topic 1: The IBID process in general The participants found the overall IBID process to be clear (m=0.769), detailed (m=0.692), complex (m=0.769), and most of all relevant for them personally (m=1.00) see Figure 36 below. These means were all significantly larger than zero, indicating they all fell well above neutral. Although ‘relevance for their design group’ scored positive (m=0.539) it did not significantly deviate from zero (p=.103). Figure 36. Means and StdErr of general IBID characteristics Q1-Q4 The presented IBID system is: very 2 positive ** 1 ** * ** Q1 Q2a Q2b Q3 Q4 0 neutral clear detailed complex relevant relevant for for me my design -1 personally group very negative -2 ** p < .01; * p < .05; n=13 ‘Relevance for my design group’ (Q4) proofed not to deviate significantly from zero, hence there seems to be some difference between ‘personal relevance’ (Q3) and ‘relevance for my design group (Q4). A Tukey post-hoc analysis however showed no such difference between these means (p>.05). Moreover Q3 and Q4 © Ralph Stuyver 72
  • 73. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN correlated positively (r=.548, p=.058 near significant), indicating the more positive answering on Q3 the more positive answering on Q4. A closer look at the data revealed why the scoring on Q4 did not deviate from zero; two participants stood out with highly negative scores. We come back on this in discussing Q6. Data interpretation – Overall, the main interpretation of this first topic is that the IBID process scores significantly high on ‘personal relevance’ for brand identity designers, and that the IBID process is clear, detailed and quite complex. This is very important because two research questions (RQ3 and RQ5) concerned the understanding and relevance of IBID for the main stakeholders (brand identity designers). 5.1.2 Topic 2: Reactions on Statements The second cluster of questions presented seven statements that underpinned the proposed IBID process. As the analysis shows (see Figure 37 below) all statements were highly agreed upon, and all were highly positive (p<.001) too. Figure 37. Means and Std Err. of reactions on Statements Q5-Q11 What do you think of these statements? -2 -1 0 1 2 Having a personal dialogue with (key) stakeholders Q5 *** is important for brand owners Designing a personal dialogue is important Q6 *** for my design group One-way communication will shift towards a Q7 ** true personal dialogue Interactive media pressed for the need ** Q8 for an adjusted brand identity process The proposed Interaction dimension is *** Q9 an essential brand identity dimension The proposed Experience dimension is *** an essential brand identity dimension Q10 Websites will become more important *** for personal brand interactions Q11 agree don't agree neutral neutral agree *** p < .001; ** p < .01; n=13 Referring back to the two participants who answered negatively on Q4; these two participants answered surprisingly positive on Q6 ‘designing a personal dialogue is important for my design group’. Furthermore, the recordings from the qualitative interviews for these two participants held no indication as to why ‘relevance for my design group’ was answered this low by them, hence this remains puzzling. Data interpretation – The importance of designing and conducting a personal dialogue (Q5, Q6) is strongly agreed upon. This is an important outcome because the IBID process is based on dialogue communication. Any reason as to why question 7 (Q7) was answered somewhat lower than the other questions is brought forward in the open interview subsection 5.2.1. The ‘need for an adjusted brand identity process’ (Q8), asked for one of the main pillars of the research. © Ralph Stuyver 73
  • 74. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Most respondents again clearly agreed to this statement (m=1.077) and its significance was high (p<.01). The next two questions (Q9, Q10) asked for some of the proposed IBID process main additions to the existing brand identity knowledge. The ‘interaction dimension’ (Q9) was amongst the three most agreed upon statements (m=1.385) and even somewhat more agreed upon than the ‘experience dimension’ (Q10; m=1.308). Both proposed identity dimensions were furthermore highly significant (p<.001). These two variables suggest that this part of the IBID process might add to the existing body of identity knowledge. Question 11, asking about the future role of websites, scored amongst one of the highest too, both in terms of weighted means (m=1.462), as well as significance (p<.000). This might suggest a stronger future role for websites in personal brand interactions, and might support the InteractionPoints part of the proposed IBID process, as was described in more detail in subsection 3.2.3. 5.1.3 Topic 3: IBID relevance for brand Types The next topic concerned the relevance of the proposed IBID process for several types of brands. Question 13 (see Figure 38 below), asked the relevance of the IBID process across different brand identity structures, based on Ollins (1989) and Boer (2003), see subsection 2.2.2. On average, the IBID relevance scored relatively high for all brand structures, but mostly for monolithical (m=1.230) and product/service structures (m=1.000). These two extremes were (very) significant too (respectively p<.001 and p<.005). Figure 38. Analysis of relevance for brand Types Q13 Relevance for Type of brands (1) Q13a Relevance for Type of brands (2) -2 -1 0 1 2 very 2 relevant *** ** low involvement ** high *** *** i 1 brands inv. brands * transactional ** relational 0 t neutral brands brands mono semi-mo endorse co-brand prod/serv -1 functional * expressive not f brands brands relevant -2 d o n't ag ree neutr ag ree *** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05; n=13 Secondly, the IBID relevance for another brand classification was scored (Q13a), based on van Kralingen (1999) for the high-low involvement and functional-expressive bipolar scales; and a transactional-relational bipolar scale, based on own research. Data interpretation – In general, the proposed IBID process is regarded relevant for all types of brands. The highest relevance was found for ‘monolithic’ and ‘product’ brand structures, and ‘high involvement’ brands. The research therefor suggests that the IBID process can be relevant for all brand contexts (RQ4). The data clearly indicates higher relevance for the high-involvement and expressive brands, tending towards what van Kralingen (1999) named ‘mythical brands’, which is the combination of high involvement and expressive brands. The transactional – relational scale scored accordingly, yet a bit more significant (p<.01) than the © Ralph Stuyver 74
  • 75. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN functional – expressive scale (p<.05). 5.1.4 Topic 4: IBID relevance for brand Phases and Stakeholders Two questions focused on the relevance of the proposed IBID process for main Stakeholders (Q14) and Phases (Q12). The relevance of the IBID process for shareholders, financial market, government and local community (see Figure 39 below) was quite low (0.077<m<0.564) and no significance was found for these stakeholders (.107<p<.422). However, for the other stakeholders the relevance of the IBID process was considered higher, especially for customers was scored as very relevant (m =1.615; p<.001). For almost all branding phases (Q12) the IBID process was considered relevant (.001<p<.01), except for the Attraction phase, where the IBID process was not found relevant (m=0.538;p=.103), see Figure 40 below. Figure 39. Analysis of brand Stakeholders Figure 40. Analysis of branding Phases Q14 Most relevant for Stakeholders Q12 Most relevant Phases very 2 very 2 *** relevant relevant *** ** ** *** *** ** 1 ** 1 neutral neutral 0 0 attract engage convert retain sha fin gov lco p&m sup per par cus -1 -1 not not relevant relevant -2 -2 *** p < .001; ** p < .01; n=13 *** p < .001; ** p < .01; n=13 Data interpretation – The quantitative research data suggests that the proposed IBID process is highly relevant for Customers and also for Press & Media (m=0.923), Personnel (m=0.846), Partners (m=0.846) and Suppliers (m=0.614). IBID’s relevance for Shareholders, the Financial world, Local Communities and Government was considered much lower. This might also be due to inadequate examples of these stakeholders in the descriptive text. However, this was not verified in the research. The Attraction phase scored the lowest, and a reason as to why this might be the case is brought forward in the open interview subsection 5.2.1, and will be discussed in the combined section 5.3. Overall, The proposed IBID process showed high levels of relevance and significance for some main stakeholders of the brand, across the different phases, especially for the Retainment phase (m=1.308; p=.000). These findings, combined with the findings of the above third topic, might positively answer RQ4 about IBID’s relevance for the brand context. 5.1.5 Topic 5: IBID relevance for business Functions and Groups This last topic scored the relevance of the IBID process for the main target audience of the research: business Functions (Q15) and Groups involved with the owning, selling, designing and using the brand (Q15a). The analysis shows that IBID’s relevance was generally high, especially for brand Owners (m=1.615; p<.001) and brand Designers (m=1.461; p<.001), see Figure 41. On asking for the most relevant business functions (Q15), high relevance was found for the Branding (m=1.692; p<.001), Marketing (m=1.615; © Ralph Stuyver 75
  • 76. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN p<.001), Communication (m=1.538; p<.001) and the Design functions (m=1.154; p<.001), see Figure 42. Most respondents attributed low relevance to ICT (m=.3071; p=.227). Sales & Service has high scores for relevance too (m=1.077; p<.001). Figure 41. Analysis of brand Groups Figure 42. Analysis of brand business Functions Q15a Most relevant Groups Q15 Most relevant for business Functions very 2 very 2 *** *** *** *** relevant *** relevant *** ** ** *** 1 1 * neutral 0 neutra 0 own sel des use mkt bra des com mgt npd hrm s&s ict -1 -1 not relevant not relevant -2 -2 *** p < .001; n=13 *** p < .001; ** p < .01; * p < .05; n=13 Data interpretation – The analysis (Q15a) shows extremely high relevance for brand Owners and Designers, and again for Designers in Q15. This might support the research question (RQ5) about the relevance for brand identity designers, in combination with above questions 4 and 5. The ICT function scored the lowest, and a reason as to why this might be the case is brought forward in subsection 5.2.1, and will be discussed in the combined section 5.3. The research question about IBID’s possible cross-functional applicability (RQ6) might be answered in part by question 15 (Q15), where brand identity designers scored IBID’s high on relevance for their own Design function, and even higher for the Marketing, Branding and Communication functions. This could mean that brand identity designers see a cross functional purpose for the proposed IBID process. 5.2 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH This section describes some extra topics derived from the open interviews that were not analysed in the quantitative research. These topics can give deeper insight in the respondents scoring motivation in the quantitative research and they can trigger new lines research. Typically, topics that were touched upon in the descriptive part of the quantitative research were used by participants for lively discussions in the open interviews. The main topics that appeared during most open interviews are described below. 5.2.1 Extra Topics ET1. General reactions on IBID – On average, most participants (n=12) were very enthusiast about the content and possibilities of the proposed IBID process. The quality of the IBID process for design was found on a strategic level (n=5) and also in structuring communication thoughts and processes (n=5). ET2. Practical applicability of IBID – Some respondents (n=6) wished the IBID process to be made somewhat more operational for their specific design function, e.g. for brand identity management. Other respondents (n=3) could already see direct practical use of the proposed IBID process in their daily design practise. © Ralph Stuyver 76
  • 77. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN ET3. Designing with IBID vs. using IBID– Some respondents (n=5) regarded ICT as primarily facilitating the identity process, and found ICT therefor not directly influential in designing brand identity. ICT as a function will not make use of the IBID process, according to these respondents. As a result, they rated IBID’s relevance for ICT the lowest in the quantitative research (Q15). The same holds true for Users who are also not involved in using the IBID process. ET4. The term ‘websites’ – Many respondents (n=7) preferred the term ‘online communication’ or ‘interactive systems’ instead of the term ‘websites’ as was used in the quantitative research. They found ‘websites’ too limiting or not accurately enough describing all main forms of interactive communication. ET5. Interaction as a brand identity dimension – The majority of the respondents (n=8) found this part of the IBID process generally strong. How firms react to users, and how they engage in a dialogue with them, was generally regarded an essential brand identity element of today’s firms. Lively discussions about this topic appeared in most interviews. Some respondents (n=4) agreed that if the board of a brand realises that ‘interaction is a key dimension of any brand identity, just like personality or culture are key identity dimensions too’ then this would have a great strategic impact on the brands behaviour in the digital Age. ET6. Supposed linearity of IBID – Some respondents reported (n=4) the IBID process to be somewhat linear, while in the daily reality of brand identity design many processes occur in parallel. Although the descriptive part of the research showed three parallel loops of value interaction and experience (see Appendix 8.2.1), the overall IBID process was sometimes regarded quite linear by some respondents (n=4). ET7. Three Loops diagram – Three parallel loops of value interaction were described in the questionnaire that have the result of ‘expanding the interactive experience’ (Appendix 8.2.1). Generally, the descriptive text and the accompanying diagram were regarded as interesting by most participants (n=12), yet they had some questions about parts of the diagram. An adjusted diagram was then shown (see Appendix 8.2.5), explaining in more detail the intended working of the ‘three loops’. As a result, most participants then grasped the intention and meaning of the ‘three loops’, and were enthusiastic about it (n=10). ET8. Monologue media shift – Many respondents (n=6) reported orally or written (in the questionnaire) that they found ‘one-way communication’ not to be completely replaced by a ‘true personal dialogue’ (or/or), but to be co-existent (and/and). They therefor scored question 7 (Q7) more towards the neutral position (see Figure 37). ET9. Extra branding phase – One respondent mentioned a possible new phase: a Recovery phase. Especially in the digital domain this (latent) phase might be of interest for the IBID process. This could be an interesting area of further exploration in future research. 5.3 QUANTITATIVE & QUALITATIVE COMBINED Brand identity design processes can be quite complex (see subsection 2.4), since brand identity is quite a complex phenomenon. For any newly proposed design process to be successful, a first criterion is that the content should be clear and detailed enough to understand. This was addressed by research question 3: © Ralph Stuyver 77
  • 78. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN RQ3: Is the IBID process clear and detailed enough? (content) The quantitative data shows that the IBID process is indeed clear to understand (Q1), quite complex (Q2b) and with a reasonable level of detail (Q2a). The qualitative data shows that most participants are enthusiastic about the content of the proposed IBID process in general (ET1). A first conclusion therefor can be that the content of the IBID process on average is clear and detailed enough to understand. Next, it would be interesting to know what relevance IBID might hold for the selected target group of brand identity designers. This was addressed by research question 5: RQ5: Is the IBID process relevant for brand identity designers? (target group) Based on the quantitative data, IBID is indeed considered very relevant for brand identity designers personally (Q3). However, IBID’s relevance for their design group (Q4) on average is less positive, but these answers vary largely. This was due to two participants who answered maximally negative on this Q4. IBID is furthermore regarded very relevant for brand identity designers (Q15a) and design as a business function (Q15). The qualitative data shows that for some participants, IBID is very relevant for strategic design and for structuring communication (n=5, ET1) and many participants like IBID to be more operational (n=6, ET2). Finally, IBID should support parallel brand communication (n=4, ET6) and explain the different levels of interaction (n=12, ET7). In conclusion, IBID’s relevance for brand identity designers personally is very high, and its relevance for brand identity designers in general and design as a business function is high too. Suggestions are given to enhance its relevance by making it more operational and explaining parallel brand processes and levels. RQ4: Is the IBID process relevant for brands, stakeholders and brand phases? (context) Next, IBID’s relevance for specific types of brands, users and phases was addressed by research question 4. Based on the quantitative data, it is clear that IBID is considered highly relevant for all types of brands in general, with its highest relevance for monolithical and product/service brand architectures (Q13). On another type of classification, IBID is considered most relevant for mythical brands (Q13a) which is an combination of high-involvement and expressive brands. As for the specific kind of stakeholders, IBID is regarded extremely relevant for customers and press & media (Q14). IBID is also highly relevant for partners, personnel and suppliers. Its relevance for financial markets, shareholders, local communities and especially the government is generally much lower, yet these answers largely vary. In conclusion, IBID holds high relevance for some main stakeholders of the brand. Regarding the specific brand phases, the qualitative data shows IBID to be relevant for most phases (Q12). The highest relevance is found for the retainment phase, but IBID also proofs relevant for the conversion phase and engagement phase. IBID’s relevance for the attraction phase however is relatively lower (Q12). The qualitative data shows that that one-way communication (ET8) will not be completely replaced by a true personal dialogue, but that it will be more co-existent. This is confirmed by the quantitative data of Q7. Because most respondents found interactive communication (ET5) to gain © Ralph Stuyver 78
  • 79. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN importance for personal brand interactions (Q11), it could be logical that they find IBID’s relevance for the attraction phase relatively lower (Q12) and find a relatively higher relevance for one-way communication in the attraction phase. The above leads to the conclusion that IBID is considered very relevant for most brands, most phases and main stakeholders. The research question (RQ4) about IBID’s context relevance can in general be positively answered, especially for more customer focused, monolithical or product/service brands, in the retainment and engagement phases. Furthermore, one extra phase might be relevant for IBID: a recovery phase (ET9). RQ6: Does the IBID process enable cross-functional communication (function) Next, IBID’s specific contribution across different brand identity functions was researched (RQ6). The quantitative data shows that brand identity designers find IBID personally very relevant (Q3), most relevant in general for brand owners and brand designers (Q15a) and quite relevant for their own design function (Q15). Surprisingly, the researched brand identity designers indicate that IBID is even more relevant for marketing, branding and communication functions (Q15). This could lead to the conclusion that brand identity designers indeed indicate a cross functional purpose for IBID. It would be interesting to further research the other functions to discover if IBID could indeed be of equal relevance for their functions too. RQ7: Can the IBID process be used in practice? (applicability) This last research question focuses on the practical applicability of the IBID process. The quantitative data shows that the researched brand identity designers underline today’s need for an adjusted brand identity process (Q8), that IBID is clear to understand (Q1), personally relevant for them (Q4), relevant for their design group in general (Q15a) and relevant for design as a business function (Q15). A first conclusion could be that the need for a new process like IBID is confirmed, and that the content, context and working of IBID is clear and relevant for these brand identity designers in general. The qualitative data however shows (ET2) that many respondents (n=6) indicate that IBID could be made more operational, especially for their specific design function, yet some respondents (n=3) see a direct practical use in their daily practise. A final conclusion could be that IBID can already be usable on a strategic level of design. To make it usable for the other two levels of design, it could be improved on the operational level of design. 5.4 PRIMARY RESEARCH: CONCLUSIONS The overall aim of this research was to evaluate the IBID process on issues considering its content (RQ3), context (RQ4), target group (RQ5), function (RQ6) and applicability (RQ7). Content – The IBID process is clear to understand, quite complex, and that it contains ample level of detail. Context – The IBID process is found most relevant for customer driven, corporate or product/service brands, especially in the engagement and retainment phase, where users and brands have a personal dialogue. Target group – Brand identity designers strongly agree that designing and conducting a personal dialogue is very important, and interactive communication (websites) become increasingly important for personal brand interactions. The here proposed interaction dimension comprising of dialogue, access, trust, relationship © Ralph Stuyver 79
  • 80. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN and personalisation, is convincingly seen as an essential element of any brand identity of the digital Age. Function – The proposed IBID process is very relevant for offline and online brand identity designers, and especially relevant for the marketing, branding, communication and design functions. Applicability – It is suggested that the proposed IBID process might become even more relevant by enhancing its operational use and clarifying its parallel brand communication applicability. The researched brand identity designers might see a cross-functional purpose for the IBID process, and future research could clarify its cross-functional use. © Ralph Stuyver 80
  • 81. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 6. THESIS CONCLUSIONS 6.1 INTRODUCTION This final Chapter wraps up the conclusions drawn in this thesis, and proposes further research. It will start with the conclusions from the literature research in subsection 6.2.1, then summarises the proposed tentative framework in subsection 6.2.2. This framework describes a new design process for interactive brand identity design (IBID). The primary research in subsection 6.2.3 then tested this IBID process on brand identity design experts. The main findings are discussed in the general discussions of section 6.3, followed by the theoretical and practical implications of the research in section 6.3.2. Future research and new roads to venture are then discussed in section 6.4. Finally, the overall end conclusions are drawn in section Fout! Verwijzingsbron niet gevonden.. 6.2 CONCLUSIONS 6.2.1 Conclusions from the literature review The literature indicated that most companies have a strong offline brand identity expression, yet many under-express their brand identity online. This results in a unwanted gap between online and offline brand identity expression. The literature review focused on the questions why this gap might exist (RQ1) and how it could be reduced (RQ2), and explored key trends and changes, the properties of offline brand identity expression, and the unique properties of online brand identity. We concluded that users changed from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, and from passive to active. Furthermore, monologue communication will be strongly enhanced by a dialogue communication, the power-balance will shift from the brand to multi-channelling users, and future brands will co-create value by personalising the user-experiences. All of these trends were summarised in ‘Eight Key Changes’. Online brand expression was found to impact all parts of the brand identity, and strong future brands must use the internet as a brand building tool. Offline brand expression proved entirely different from online, and we summarised the unique online properties in five ‘Key Interactive Brand Aspects’ and three ‘Levels of Value Interaction’. On our research question why this big gap might exist (RQ1), some authors suggested that this might be caused by inadequate existing brand identity processes. Hence we researched ten existing identity processes by main authors in the field, which we evaluated on the ‘Eight Key Changes”, five ‘Key Interactive Brand Aspects’ and three ‘Levels of Value Interaction’. We concluded that indeed none of the existing identity processes seemed fully fit for online brand identity expression. For our research question how this gap might be reduced (RQ2) we explored the discipline of design management and reviewed interactive (web)design processes and experience. We concluded that design influences all assets that make brand value, and that design processes can be regarded as strategic resources of a firm. Since none of the existing identity processes proved fully fit, we concluded that the observed gap might indeed be reduced by a new identity design process based on interaction. Such an © Ralph Stuyver 81
  • 82. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Interactive Brand Identity Design process (IBID) was then proposed. 6.2.2 Conclusions from the proposed IBID process The tentative IBID process includes the offline brand identity aspects combined with all necessary online aspects that the literature review revealed: as summarised in ‘the Eight Key Changes’, ‘Five Interactive Brand Identity’ aspects and three ‘Levels of Value Interaction’. The IBID process consists of a number of unique characteristics that could be described as: • Brand and User are Equal (used to be more one-way monologue, now also user driven dialogue) • Symmetrical, two-way communication (send & receive, firm & user, reciprocal feedback) • Interaction as Identity Dimension (5 aspects of interaction dimension, the strategic impact) • Resonance: many complete and iterative Cycles (relevance, meaning, personalisation) • Simultaneous Points of Interaction (different values, cross-channel and time) • Mass Monologue Media and Personal Dialogue Media (shift in weight) • Three parallel levels of Value Interaction (manifestation cycles, identity cycles and network cycles) • Cross-functional integration (marketing, design, communication and management) • Applicable to most manifestations (in this case: focus on online communications) In order for any new process to be successful, its necessity should be acknowledged by the target users, and it should both be comprehensible and applicable. 6.2.3 Conclusions from the Primary Research In order to evaluate the IBID process, it was researched by a questionnaire and an open interview with Dutch brand identity design experts in both online and offline identity design. They agreed on the necessity of a new design process especially fit for interactive brand identity design. The experts found the IBID process clear to understand, to embrace the complexity of the field, and to contain the necessary level of detail (RQ3-content). The IBID process was regarded most relevant for customer driven, corporate or product/service brands, especially in the engagement and retainment phase, where personal users-brand dialogues appear (RQ4-context). The experts strongly agreed that designing and conducting a personal dialogue is crucial for brands, and that interactive communication (websites) will become increasingly important for personal brand interactions. The proposed interaction dimension was convincingly seen as an essential element of any brand identity of the digital Age (RQ5-target group). The proposed IBID process was considered to be very relevant for both offline and online brand identity designers, and especially relevant for the marketing, branding, communication and design functions. (RQ6- function). It was suggested that the proposed IBID process might become even more relevant by enhancing its operational use and clarifying its parallel brand communication applicability. Although brand identity designers not always saw a direct implementation of the process in their own company, the majority acknowledged the relevance for companies and brand identity designers in general. Finally, the experts saw some cross-functional purpose for the IBID process (RQ7-applicability). © Ralph Stuyver 82
  • 83. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 6.3 GENERAL DISCUSSION This thesis is based on the observation most companies have a strong offline brand expression, but online, they often under express the brand. The aim of this thesis was to find out why this is the case and to find out if elimination of this omission is desirable, and if so, how this omission could be reduced. It was concluded that a main reason for the existence of this omission stems from inappropriate brand identity design processes. Hence, the need for a new process was identified, and a new process was proposed, containing all of the aspects that existing brand identity processes lack. This new process was then showed to the target group of brand identity designers. These experts shared the impression that such a new process is necessary and they found the IBID process to be clear to understand and very relevant for them. 6.3.1 Limitations & improvements The 13 brand identity design experts that were tested in the primary research were remarkably consistent in answering most of the research questions. But it should be kept in mind that 13 people is in fact a small number, moreover all 13 people were in some more or less remote way connected to the main researcher. These are both potential threads to the generalisability of the results. It is therefore advisable to test the IBID process on a larger group of experts and preferably with other functions than brand identity designers, such as marketing, brand and communication. Such a research could then also test the cross-functional applicability. The primary research focused on external brand identity design agencies. Therefor, the proposed IBID process is not intended for direct use beyond this scope. The IBID process is not at its final stage as it is still evolving, and some dimensions and phases are likely to change to some extent if the IBID process will be used in the daily practice. Furthermore, the IBID process should not be used in a strict way as most brand identity designers have their own way of working. Whether the IBID process eventually will reduce (or even close) the gap between offline and online brand identity expression, will depend upon the use and incorporation of the IBID process in the design function and other business functions. 6.3.2 Theoretical Implications Existing theoretical brand identity design processes as known from the literature, do not prepare brands for the user interaction that results from the digital Age. Through such an interaction users can communicate their values to the brand and vice versa. The IBID process as proposed here tackles the main issues that result from such an interaction. Furthermore, the here proposed interaction dimension –comprising of dialogue, access, trust, relationship and personalisation – is regarded an essential element of any brand identity of the digital Age, just as e.g. personality and culture are. A major theoretical implication is that any new brand identity design processes will have to include all the new aspects that result from this interaction. The IBDI process proposes such an theoretical addition to the existing body of knowledge. 6.3.3 Practical Implications For the strategic level of design, a new interactive brand design process could change the corporate vision about interaction as an integral part of the brand identity in the digital Age, and affect the corporate position in the industry. A new interactive design process will also influence the corporate strategy, its value network and its customer interface. At the tactic and operational levels of design, a shared interactive © Ralph Stuyver 83
  • 84. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN design process that facilitates cross-functional communication will endorse the quality of the design process and of the design outcome. Webdesign in the digital Age will increasingly be a process of creating user experiences. Personalisation and interaction are key in building relevant and meaningful user experiences, and this should be supported by an interactive design process and implementation of such a process in the webdesign company. 6.4 FURTHER RESEARCH It would be interesting to research how other functions (branding, sales & service, communication) score IBID’s relevance for their own and the other functions, in order to get a clear multiple view on the cross- functional applicability of the process. It would also be interesting to research how the IBID process can be made operational for different design functions, see Figure 43 below. BRAND OWNERS BRAND AGENCIES 1. Strategic Design 1. Strategic Design * Creating board mentality * Role of designer in IBID * Interaction as identity dimension 2. Tactic Design 2. Tactic Design * Integral acceptance IBID * * Cross-functional process integration Process * Cross-function design groups 3. Operational Design 3. Operational Design * IBID operational for webdesign * * IBID operational for other design functions Figure 43. IBID Implications & further research The here proposed interaction dimension contains five aspects. It would be interesting to see how these aspects interact: for example, it seems logical to expect users to have trust in the brand first before engaging in a dialogue. Experience may not be a brand identity dimension, but a end-result of e.g. personalisation. Pine & Gillmore (1999) state that personalisation is a key factor in creating meaningful user experiences, and Aaker & Joachimsthaler (2002) state that personalisation is the natural result of interactivity. In the light of the IBID process and in the light of the literature, research can be done into the interaction between these different aspects, see Figure 44 below. INTERACTION DIMENSION FACTORS Have to be: to get mutual: and facilitate: to build & maintain: with result Authentic Personalisation Reputation Identifiable Access Relevance Visible Dialogue Experience Trust Meaning Transparent Loyalty Flexibility Figure 44. Possible causal interactions between interaction aspects © Ralph Stuyver 84
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  • 88. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Merriam-Webster (2005). Online Dictionary, retrieved December 20, 2005, from http://www.m- w.com/dictionary/identity. Minzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (1998). Strategy Safari. New York: The Free Press. Moeller, G. (2004). Corporate Identity and Corporate Image. Internet publication, retrieved June 20, 2005 from www.innovation-aktuell.de/kv1004-01.htm. Moore, C. (2003). Fusion: Linking strategy, technology, and design to implement your customer experience. Design Management Journal 14(2), pp. 65 –74. Moon, M. (1999). Branding in the Networked Economy. Design Management Journal 10(2). Boston (MA): Design Management Institute press. Moyen, Y. (2004) Corporate DNA. Internet publication. Retreived June 23, 2005 from i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/html/itp/dna_empresarial_ENGLISH3.pdf Neumeier, M. (2003). The Brand Gap. How to bridge the distance between business strategy and design. Berkeley (CA): New Riders Publishing. Olins, W. (1989). Corporate identity. Making business strategy visible through design. London: Thames and Hudson. Olins, W. (2002). Corporate Identity - the ultimate resource. Business, 2002. Retrieved on July 11, 2005, from www.wallyolins.com/includes/corporateidentity.pdf. Pine, J., and Gilmore J. H. (1999). The experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage. Boston: Harvard Business School Books. Powell, E. N. (1998). Developing a Framework for Design Management. Design Management Journal 9(3), pp. 9-13. Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Press, M., and Cooper, R. (2003). The Design Experience. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, pp.12–34. Reep, F. van der, and Kouwenhoven, V. (2004). Connected Future. E-business in balance. Lector Speech, INHOLLAND University, The Hague. Reyes, A. de los (2002). Towards the living brand. In: Marzano, S. and Aarts, E. (eds.), The New Everyday, (pp. 266-269). Rotterdam: 010 Publishing. Rhea, D. K. (1992). A New Perspective on Design: Focusing on Customer Experience. Design Management Journal, 3(4), pp. 40–48. Riel, C.B.M., van, (2003). Identiteit en Imago. Schoonhoven (the Netherlands): Academic Service. Ries, A. and Ries, L. (2000). The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding. Internet version, retrieved on, January 2nd , 2005, from http://www.ries.com/ie_11laws/ibranding.html. Ries, A. and Trout, J. (1982). Positioning: The Battle for your Mind. How to be seen and heard in an overcrowded marketplace. McGraw-Hill. Rijkenberg, J. (2005), Concepting. Het managen van conceptmerken in het communicatie georiënteerde tijdperk. The Hague: BZZTôH Publisher. Ritson (2003). “Kwaliteit van kijken” in UK…London Business School Roberts, K. (2004). Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands. powerHouse Books, p. 133. Rooseman, G. E. (2004). Towards a balanced scorecard to measure design effectiveness in corporate identity design. Unpublished Masters Thesis. Rufaidah P. (2002). Corporate Design Management: comparison between verbal (strategic model) and visual (graphic design model) models of corporate identity. The 11th International Forum on Design Management Research and Education Boston, Massachusetts, USA June 10-12, 2002. © Ralph Stuyver 88
  • 89. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN Schmitt, B. (2000). Creating and Managing Brand Experiences in the Internet. Design Management Journal 11 (4), pp.53-58). Stuart, H. (1999). Towards a definitive model of the corporate identity management process. In: Bosch, A.L.M. van den (2005). Corporate Visual Identity Management. Unpublished doctoral thesis. Sifry, D. (2005). State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 2: Beyond Search. A Technorati weblog article, visited March 3, 2005, on www.technorati.com/weblog. Tremayne, M. (2005). Lessons Learned from Experiments with Interactivity on the Web. Journal of Interactive Advertising 5(2). Upshaw, L. B. (1995). The keys to building cyberbrands. Advertising Age, May 29, 18. Upshaw, L. B. (2001). Building a brand.comm. Design Management Journal 12(1), pp.34-39. vanBoskirk, S. (2005). Left brain marketing planning. Forrester Research internet publication, retrieved June 29, 2005, from www.forrester.com Vincent, L. (2002). Legendary Brands. Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing. Wheeler, A. (2003). Designing Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands. Wiley, p.106 Wilde, E. de (2004). De ontwikkeling van een e-commerce project. PIM presentation on 28.09.2004, at Huizen, the Netherlands. Wit, B., de, and Meyer, R. (1999). Strategy Synthesis. Resolving Strategy Paradoxes to create Competitive Advantage. London: Thomson Business Press. Wreden, N. (2002). FusionBranding: How To Forge Your Brand for the Future. Georgia (AT): Accountability Press. Wreden, N. (2003). Letting Customers Define Brands. Presentation at the 15th international Brand/Identity Conference. Design Management Institute. Wreden, N. (2005). ProfitBrand: How to Increase the Profitability, Accountability and Sustainability of Brands. London: Kogan Page. © Ralph Stuyver 89
  • 90. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8. APPENDICES 8.1 REFERENCED BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN PROCESSES 8.1.1 Boer (2003) BUSINESS STRATEGY (p.99) MARKETING STRATEGY (p.99) (Ch.6) BRAND STRATEGY ANALYSIS BRAND STAKEHOLDERS BRAND BASIS BRAND DEVELOPMENT What is our core business? Brand BASICS Brand Strategy Who do we address? monolithic brand intoduction Socio-demographic semi-monolitic brand adjustment Personal attributes endorsed brand restyling Behavioural attributes multi-branded brand repositioning Lifestyles single branded brand extention Use attributes Mental brand identity (DNA&Soul) brand stretch brand vision (corp. philosophy) brand extention brand mission (statement) brand globalising brand values (ratio, emo, fysi) brand switch core concept (brand essence) brand uniforming brand promise Brand Image desired brand personality current vs. new image Brand Posistioning (Ch.7) BRAND IDENTITY ANALYSIS BRAND DESIGN SWOT BRAND ENERGY DESIGN CARRIERS Internal brand SW Brand Energy Product/service carriers External brand OT spiritual Corporate carriers mental External comm. carriers physical Internal comm. carriers Brand Choice objectives d human motives an ex br t. vbi co od means motives m pr m mbi moment motives d an in br t. co rp m co m (Ch.8) BRAND DESIGN BRIEFING VISUAL BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN ASSIGNMENT DESIGN EXPERIENCE Figure 45. Brand Design Process (Boer, 2003) © Ralph Stuyver 90
  • 91. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8.1.2 Corporate Identity Framework (Brandt et all., 2003) (p.28) ORGANISATION BUSINESS STRATEGY ENVIRONMENT *CORPORATE STORY *COMMUNIC. MATRIX Values Norms Internal Stakeholders Themes Motives External Stakeholders (p.28) (p.26) PRODUCT STRATEGY IDENTITY (p.30) POSTITIONING (p.28) IMAGE (p.28) *Personality Prim. appear: *Competition *Formlannguage *Reputation *Desired *Behaviour *Structure *Channels *Tone of voice *Extern. forces *Actual *Symbolics *Naming *Comm. *Symbols COMMUNICATION STRATEGY DESIGN STRATEGY COMMUNICATION- & DESIGNPLAN Figure 46. Corporate Identity Strategic Framework (based on Brandt et all., 2003) 8.1.3 Brand Identity Prism and Pyramid (Kapferer, 1995) BRAND CORE (DNA) CULTURE SE Y IT LF BRAND STYLE AL -P (MANIFESTATIONS) ON RO RS JE CT PE . ON PH TI EC BRAND THEME YS FL IC RE RELATION based on Kapferer (1995) © Ralph Stuyver 91
  • 92. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8.2 PRIMARY RESEARCH 8.2.1 Questionnaire A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW Welcome to the interview about a ‘system for interactive brand identity design’. The purpose of this interview is to get your reaction on the proposed system. You can freely give your personal thoughts, and how you think the system may be used by your design group or profession. The interview contains two parts: • An explanation of the system (30 minutes) • A questionnaire of the system (20 minutes) You are encouraged to underline, write exclamation marks (!) or question marks (?) when reading the next pages. After the interview, a general discussion can be held, where you can give more personal remarks and suggestions. The results of the interview will be used for the research of Ralph Stuyver, for his Master of Design Management thesis. All of your information, including personal information, will be kept strictly confidential and will be processed anonymously. You are kindly requested to keep all delivered information confidential until the thesis is published by Ralph. Best regards, Ralph Stuyver, November 25th, 2005 © R. STUYVER 2005 1 © Ralph Stuyver 92
  • 93. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN I - SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY 1. BRAND SENDING (coding value) 3. USER SENDING (coding value) brand brand user user strat ident ident strat corp brand user tribe strat B-ID manif manif strat netw B-M cult brand interact user cult points netw tribe user brand corp strat manif manif strat user user brand brand strat ident ident strat 4. BRAND RECEIVING (decoding value) 2. USER RECEIVING (decoding value) The above model shows the brand (firm) on the left side, interacting with its user (stakeholder) on the right side. It contains a number of phases, as will explained below. A main basis is that brands have multiple interaction points (in the middle) where values are exchanged in continuos loops, represented by the infinity-shape . A second basis is that brand-user communication will be a truly symmetrical and balanced dialogue, where the brand and user are equally important. THE SYSTEM EXPLAINED – briefly Let’s start at the ‘brand identity’ (B-ID, in grey) shown in the upper left quadrant. When defining and communicating a brand, it’s brand-identity is a key element. Simply said, the brand identity explains: who is the brand and what are it’s most important values? At this point, the model does not yet differentiate between e.g. internal- or external communication, nor between e.g. corporate-brands (corporate identity) or product-brands. The next phase will define the brand-manifestations (B-M, in grey). Simply said, the brand- manifestations will make tangible how the brand looks, behaves and speaks its values. This can be manifested through it’s logo, colours, stationary, annual reports, websites, advertising campaigns, physical (or software) products and services, etc. In other words: all of the possible ways the brand values can become manifest to the user. Next phase are the points of interaction. In this phase the brand values and user values meet each other in time and space. Simply said, this is where and when values are expressed and experienced by both. Think of a user retail- or website-experience when buying a product, seeing a TV ad, visiting a website, listening to the radio. But also think of the user experience when using a product, calling for service or reading service-pages on the web, or reading (writing) weblogs about a brand or its values The top-left quadrant is called BRAND SENDING. Here, all brand intentions are defined initially, and eventually communicated in some coded form. Naturally, the process does not start with the brand-identity (B-ID), as brand-identity in itself is also based upon the brand-strategy, corporate- strategy and network-strategy. But let’s leave those alone for a minute. The bottom-right quadrant, USER-RECEIVING, shows the user decoding all of the brands intentional values over time and place, as received through the interaction points. The © R. STUYVER 2005 2 © Ralph Stuyver 93
  • 94. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN intended brand values can be decoded. A user may encounter a certain brand advertisement, product, service or website. Then the way the brand behaves or shows it’s identity is decoded, possible leading to a brand image (eventually a reputation) by the user. Finally, the firm behind the brand, or the group-values the brand is connected to, could be decoded too. Now, whether the brand holds any meaning or relevance to the user depends upon the resonance of the users individual values, culture, tribes (networks), her or his personal identity, etc (third quadrant), and the perceived brand values by the user (bottom-right quadrant). The users personal identity is shown in the third quadrant USER SENDING, containing the same basic elements as the first (brand) quadrant. The user has both needs for certain values and expresses her/his individuality towards the outer world. If the brand listens and decodes the individual users expressions of personal identity, needs, wishes and values, then this will lead to the fourth quadrant BRAND RECEIVING. Now here too, the meaning and relevance of the user values depends upon the resonance between the fourth and the first quadrant. It does not really matter at what point of the system you start, but essential is that the whole loop is completed, and as many times as possible. Following, three phases will be described in some more detail: 1) the brand identity phase, 2) the brand manifestations phase and 3) the points-of-interaction phase. 1. PHASE: BRAND IDENTITY – More detailed Any brand identity comprises of a number of brand dimensions, containing a set of choices, values and meanings that can be grouped together. In this example there are eight brand dimensions: DNA, Culture, Products, Personality, Image, Positioning, Experience and Interaction. All dimensions together define the brand identity, create differentiation from competitors, give an structure for its internal organisation, and make it recognisable and relevant for all stakeholders for the chosen markets and segments. The choice of brand dimensions, and especially the different weights and values associated to them, will make the brand identity unique and memorable. If you take out one of these brand dimensions, or change it drastically, the result will be a different brand identity in the eyes of most stakeholders. All dimensions together define ‘who the brand is’. THE DNA DIMENSION This forms the central core of the firms identity, the fundamental idea or spirit behind an identity programme, containing its soul, the corporate philosophy, and corporate strategy. DNA also defines the meaning, direction, mutual relationship and common aspects of all current and new products. Like human DNA, a small replica of it should be incorporated into each manifestation, whether it is a retail site or an internal marketing programme. DNA stays largely unchanged over a number of years. But as firms, users and technologies change, sometimes the identity DNA can be modified. Identity DNA contains all emotional and rational benefits towards all of the firms stakeholders across all media types. DNA consists of: © R. STUYVER 2005 3 © Ralph Stuyver 94
  • 95. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • Mission – What changes does the brand want to bring in peoples lives? Why does the brand need to exist? What would the users be missing if the brand did not exist? • Standpoint – From where does the brand speak? History and parent values. • Values – What are the brands core values? What is its main philosophy? • Territory – Where is the brand legitimate in achieving its mission? In what categories? • Know-how – What is the brands specific know-how? What is it exceptionally good in? • Style and language – What elements of style and language are typical for the brand? The DNA dimension is usually comprised in a document containing the brand foundation. THE CULTURAL DIMENSION This dimension concerns the most fundamental cultural elements of the corporation. The firms or business cultural values usually grows over time, and are very hard to change fundamentally. According to some authors, this is the most influential dimension of a brand identity, especially for corporate brands. It consists of: • Organisation– Aspects like e.g. innovation, consumer concern, trust. • Origin – Country of origin. • Globalisation – Localisation and globalisation choices THE PRODUCT/SERVICES DIMENSION This dimension contains: • Scope – The current and future product and services scope • Attributes – Product or service attributes • Quality – Quality levels • Experiences – Uses, Experiences • Price – Pricing scheme • Anchoring acts/products – What typical acts/products best convey the brand mission, values? What are the prototypical products the brand is know for (heritage)? THE PERSONALITY DIMENSION The intense focus on building a brand around its ‘personality’, namely, giving the brand values and feelings in order to distinguish it from the next, evolved in the 1970s and 1980s. There has been no earth-shattering changes in our perception of brands in all this time. This dimension contains the brand as a person: • Traits –Personality traits (genuine, energetic, rugged) THE IMAGE DIMENSION This dimension contains • Reflection – Who are we addressing? What image do we want to render? • Imaginary clients – Not the target buyer, but the reflected user THE POSITIONING DIMENSION This dimension contains • Why, or for what? - What is the specific consumer benefit? • For whom? – Who is the target audience? • When? – The occasion to use the product e.g. night and day coffee. • Against whom? – Points to the main competition © R. STUYVER 2005 4 © Ralph Stuyver 95
  • 96. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN • Know-how – What is the brands specific know-how? What is it exceptionally good in? The Positioning dimension is usually comprised in a positioning statement. THE EXPERIENCE DIMENSION This dimension is proposed by this research. Recent literature and business practises from mid 90’s till 2005 mention this dimension of a brand identity. The experience dimension contains • Pleasure – Sensory, ideological, social and psychological pleasure. • Environments – • Transformations – THE INTERACTION DIMENSION This dimension is also being proposed, and it forms the core focus of this research. The relationship factor is known already for some time, and especially in the 80’s and 90’s this has become an important aspect of brand identity. Building a brand is developing relations, and without interaction there is no relation Some new aspects have been added however, as a result of the shift from a monologue media society, based on one-way, one-to-many, mass- communication, towards an dialogue media society, where trusted and open brand-user dialogues occur. Communication will evolve from mass communication, to contextual, behavioural, and finally personal communication. The interaction dimension consists of: • Relationship – Act and react. Reciprocal action/influence. • Dialogue – Feedback, message history, quality, engagement, empathy, equality. • Access – Transparency, allowance. • Personalisation – Customisation, co-creation. • Trust – Risk assessment, authenticity, known id of sender All of the above brand identity dimensions can be imagined to form a choice of color-pallets with which the brand identity will be painted, coloured and textured. In this brand identity phase, the strategic choice is made what elements (values) will be used and why. All brands will assemble their own ‘color pallets’ of meanings and values, not necessarily containing all of the above proposed eight dimensions. The above model can also be seen in a more historic (and mechanical) way: the identity ‘gear-box’. First gear is DNA, then the brand identity is brought to speed by the Cultural, Product and Personality dimensions. Next, shifted to Image, Positioning and recently to Experience gears, and finally put into the Interaction overdrive. 2. NEXT PHASE: BRAND IDENTITY MANIFESTATIONS – More detailed The firms identity can not be disconnected from it’s manifestations: the essence is shown in the form of the message. Manifestation is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “one of the forms in which an individual is manifested” or “a public demonstration of power and purpose”. Merriam-Webster further defines manifest as “readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sight”, or “easily understood or recognised by the mind: obvious”. The brand identity can be manifested by three aspects 1) Behavioural, 2) Symbolic and 3) Communicative © R. STUYVER 2005 5 © Ralph Stuyver 96
  • 97. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN aspects. All messages the firm sends through all manifestations contain all three aspects to a certain degree, and originate from the central corporate identity. All identity manifestations have to be combined in one overarching theme, style and language (also form-language), giving coherency to the brand identity and making more recognisable and memorable. BEHAVIOURAL ASPECTS These non-verbal aspects define e.g. the way the firm handles it’s current and future employees, how it behaves towards all external customers, clients and allies, etc. Behaviours can be summarised in: how the firm acts and re-acts. Interaction, as a two-way dialogue, plays an important role in manifesting this behaviour. With the emergence of interactive media such a the internet, the way the firm behaves and responds to its stakeholders is highly accelerated. This is supported by a recent Forrester study showing behaviour as one of the two main elements of brand web identity. SYMBOLIC ASPECTS Multi-sensorial or symbolic aspects are also non-verbal and comprise all five perceptual aspects of corporate identity: visual (see), tactile (touch), auditory (hear), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell). These aspects can be summarised by how the firm shows it’s identity, usually by means of a logo, typefaces, colours, images, smells, textures, materials, etc. Visual design plays an predominant role in manifesting these aspects of the brand identity. Symbolics also contain metaphors, analogies and meanings. COMMUNICATIONAL ASPECTS These verbal aspects are concerned with how and what the firm tells about its identity (tone-of- voice, narrative, verbal style), how it listens to it’s stakeholders and what verbal messages it sends and receives. Communicative aspects are the most flexible of all manifestations; what the firm tells can easily be changed or adapted, depending on the context or reactions. The boundaries of the communication are not so much in the medium, but more in the relevance, authenticity and trustworthiness. The brand should speak from a central source and should deliver what is says to stand for. The division between the three manifestation aspects is not necessarily strict. Most of the times all three aspects are simultaneously present, in some higher or lower degree. For instance, even a simple weblink, has a both communicative aspect (what the actual text of the link says, the tone of voice), a visual aspect (you can see you can interact) and even a behavioural aspect (what actually happens after you clicked the link). 3. NEXT PHASE: POINTS OF INTERACTION – More detailed In the next phase, all brand manifestations and user manifestations come together in different channels, media and time. Points of interaction, sometimes also called touchpoints, are all the different media, places and manifestations where the brand and the user exchange values. Think of advertising campaigns, retail environments, a personal talk with a sales representative, call centers. But certainly also think of websites and sub-sites, where users can visit the brand, get information, buy certain products or services. Also think of (online) software like iTunes, and logging into a bank account to make financial © R. STUYVER 2005 6 © Ralph Stuyver 97
  • 98. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN transactions, or using an online service to compare products, prices and attributes With the emergent importance of the internet, a website can inject a whole new dimension into integrated communications and it has the potential to be, the structure and glue that holds it all together. The web site can even link to other communication efforts as the hub of the wheel thereby acting as the centrepiece of the brand building efforts, reflecting the brand identity in a vivid an tangible way. The branded Web site has the potential of serving as a centralised point of command and control for marketing and branding programs of a Web site. There will be a central role for the websites and sub-sites. The monologue mass-media will more and more be used as pointers towards the richer and more personal dialogue media, such as websites. A global shift in communication budgets, away from TV ads and towards interactive ads, already delineates this shift. This will further empower the multi-channelling users, and will give them the opportunity to really come closer together. EXPANDING THE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE BRAND IDENTITY INTENT USER IDENTITY INTENT network culture WITH WHOM corp. tribe WITH WHOM strategy strategy FROM WHERE brand user FROM WHERE strategy strategy WHY WHY brand user identity identity WHAT brand user WHAT IDENTITIES ALIGNED IDENTITIES ALIGNED CULTURES ALIGNED CULTURES ALIGNED manifest. manifest. HOW HOW M experience M user WHERE WHEN brand manifest. manifest. user brand identity identity user brand strategy strategy tribe corp. strategy strategy culture network USER IMAGE & REPUTATION BRAND IMAGE & REPUTATION The above figure shows three loops: A Manifestation loop, the Identity loop, and the Cultural loop. As each loop gets more towards the identity and culture of the user and the brand, this will bring them together more strongly, as values will be exchanged on the most individual and personal level. This system of brand identity design will therewith expand the user and brand experience, hopefully building deeper dialogues, and possible giving rise to transformational relationships. © R. STUYVER 2005 7 © Ralph Stuyver 98
  • 99. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN II - QUESTIONAIRE Some questions about the presented system neutral 1. The presented systems is: unclear clear 2a. The presented systems level of detail is: low high 2b. The presented systems complexity is: low high 3. The presented system is relevant not relevant relevant for me personally. 4. The presented system is relevant not relevant relevant for my design group. What do you think about the following statements? neutral 5. Having a personal dialogue with don’t agree agree (key) stakeholders is important for brand owners. 6. Designing a personal dialogue is don’t agree agree important for my design group. 7. Communication will shift from don’t agree agree sending to a wide general audience, towards a true personal dialogue. 8. Interactive media have pressed the don’t agree agree need for an adjustment of the brand identity process. 9. The proposed interaction don’t agree agree dimension is an essential dimension of any brand identity. 10. The proposed experience don’t agree agree dimension is an essential dimension of any brand identity. 11. Websites will become more don’t agree agree important in the future, for personal brand interactions. PP13081205 © R. STUYVER 2005 8 © Ralph Stuyver 99
  • 100. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN The proposed system might be most relevant for: 12. Phases neutral Attract phase: not relevant relevant Engage phase: not relevant relevant Convert phase: not relevant relevant Retain phase: not relevant relevant 13. Type of Brands (1) neutral Monolithic brands: not relevant relevant Semi-monolithic brands: not relevant relevant Endorsed brands: not relevant relevant Co-branded brands: not relevant relevant Product/service brands: not relevant relevant 13a. Type of Brands (2) neutral low involvement brands high involvement brands transactional brands relational brands functional brands expressive brands 14. Stakeholders neutral Shareholders: not relevant relevant Financial market: not relevant relevant Government: not relevant relevant Local community: not relevant relevant Press and media: not relevant relevant Suppliers: not relevant relevant Personnel: not relevant relevant Partners: not relevant relevant Customers: not relevant relevant 15. Business Functions neutral Marketing: not relevant relevant Branding: not relevant relevant Design: not relevant relevant Communication: not relevant relevant Business management: not relevant relevant New product development: not relevant relevant HRM: not relevant relevant Sales & Service: not relevant relevant ICT: not relevant relevant 15a. Brand Parties neutral Brand Owners: not relevant relevant Brand Sellers: not relevant relevant Brand Designers: not relevant relevant Brand Users: not relevant relevant PP13081205 © R. STUYVER 2005 9 © Ralph Stuyver 100
  • 101. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN A SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 15b. If the system holds some relevance for Design Functions, then please indicate why: Why? Graphic Design: Web/Interaction Design: Advertising Design: Product Design: Environmental Design: Corporate Identity Design: Retail Design: Other: 15c. If the system holds some relevance for Communication Functions, then please indicate why: Why? Organisational Communication: Marketing Communication: Management Communication: Other: 16. Personal info Name Age Education Field of Design Your company Your function 17. Remarks PP13081205 © R. STUYVER 2005 10 © Ralph Stuyver 101
  • 102. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8.2.2 Quantitative research variables Table 7. Eighteen Questions on five Topics, and 46 variables Q Var-name # 1. IBID Process: General opinions Q Var-name # 4. IBID: Phases & Stakeholders 1 VR1CLEA 1 Clearness of IBID 12 VR12ATTR 13 Attract phase 2a VR2ADETA 2 Amount of detail of IBID VR12ENGA 14 Engage phase 2b VR2BCOMP 3 Complexity of IBID VR12CONV 15 Convert phase 3 VR3PREL 4 Personal relevance of IBID VR12RETA 16 Retain phase 4 VR4GREL 5 Relevance for own design group of IBID 14 VR14SHA 25 Shareholders VR14FIN 26 Financial market Q Var-name # 2. Reactions on Statements VR14GOV 27 Government 5 VR5HPDIA 6 Importance of having personal dialogue VR14LCO 28 Local Community 6 VR6DPDIA 7 Importance of designing pers. dialogue VR14PRES 29 Press and media 7 VR7SHIFT 8 Comm. will shift to true personal dialogue VR14SUP 30 Suppliers 8 VR8URGE 9 Adjusted brand identity process needed VR14PER 31 Personnel 9 VR9IDIM 10 Interaction is essential identity dimension VR14PAR 32 Partners 10 VR10EDIM 11 Experience is essential identity dimension VR14CUS 33 Customers 11 VR11WEBS 12 Importance of sites grows for 'dialogue' Q Var-name # 5. Relevant Functions & Groups Q Var-name # 3. IBID: Relevant brand Types 15 VR15MKT 34 Marketing 13 VR13MONO 17 Monolithic brands VR15BRA 35 Branding VR13SMON 18 Semi-Monolithic brands VR15DES 36 Design VR13ENDO 19 Endorsed brands VR15COM 37 Communication VR13COBR 20 Co-branded brands VR15MGT 38 Business management VR13PROD 21 Product/Service brands VR15NPD 39 New product development 13a VR13AHIN 22 Hi-involvement vs. Lo-involvement brand VR15HRM 40 HRM VR13ATRA 23 Transactional versus relational brands VR15SS 41 Sales & service VR13AFUN 24 Functional versus Expressive brands VR15ICT 42 ICT 15a VR15AOWN 43 Brand Owners VR15ASEL 44 Brand Sellers VR15ADES 45 Brand Designers VR15AUSE 46 Brand Users Table 8. Additional information (57 variables in total) Var-name # Extra respondent characteristics AGE 47 Age of respondent SEX 48 Sex of respondent EDUC1 49 Primary education Type LEVEL 50 Primary education Level FIRM 51 Name of respondents Firm FUNCTION 52 Function of respondent in firm S 53 Function is more Strategic T 54 Function is more Tactic O 55 Function is more Operational READ 56 Reading-time of the introduction WRITE 57 Answering-time of the questions © Ralph Stuyver 102
  • 103. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8.2.3 Descriptive statistics Table 9. Descriptive Statistics Q Var-name # Mean StdDev StdErr -95,00% +95,00% p 1 VR1CLEA 1 0,7692 1,0127 0,2809 0,1572385 1,381223 0,0090 2a VR2ADETA 2 0,6923 1,0316 0,2861 0,0689462 1,3156692 0,0162 2b VR2BCOMP 3 0,7692 0,8321 0,2308 0,2664278 1,2720337 0,0030 3 VR3PREL 4 1,0000 1,1547 0,3203 0,3022214 1,6977786 0,0044 4 VR4GREL 5 0,5385 1,4500 0,4022 -0,337778 1,4147011 0,1027 5 VR5HPDIA 6 1,6923 0,4804 0,1332 1,4020143 1,9826011 0,0000 6 VR6DPDIA 7 1,3077 0,7511 0,2083 0,8538267 1,7615579 0,0000 7 VR7SHIFT 8 0,7692 0,9268 0,2571 0,2091659 1,3292957 0,0056 8 VR8URGE 9 1,0769 1,1152 0,3093 0,4030365 1,7508097 0,0023 9 VR9IDIM 10 1,3846 0,6504 0,1804 0,9915562 1,7776745 0,0000 10 VR10EDIM 11 1,3077 0,7511 0,2083 0,8538267 1,7615579 0,0000 11 VR11WEBS 12 1,4615 1,0500 0,2912 0,8270114 2,0960656 0,0001 12 VR12ATTR 13 0,5385 1,4500 0,4022 -0,337778 1,4147011 0,1027 VR12ENGA 14 1,0000 0,9129 0,2532 0,4483576 1,5516424 0,0010 VR12CONV 15 0,8462 0,9871 0,2738 0,2496576 1,4426501 0,0047 VR12RETA 16 1,3077 0,9473 0,2627 0,735226 1,8801587 0,0002 13 VR13MONO 17 1,2308 0,9268 0,2571 0,6707043 1,7908341 0,0002 VR13SMON 18 0,8462 0,8006 0,2221 0,3623315 1,3299762 0,0012 VR13ENDO 19 0,7692 0,7250 0,2011 0,331111 1,2073506 0,0012 VR13COBR 20 0,5385 1,0500 0,2912 -0,0960656 1,1729886 0,0446 VR13PROD 21 1,0000 1,1547 0,3203 0,3022214 1,6977786 0,0044 13a VR13AHIN 22 1,1538 0,8006 0,2221 0,6700238 1,6376685 0,0001 VR13ATRA 23 0,7692 0,9268 0,2571 0,2091659 1,3292957 0,0056 VR13AFUN 24 0,6923 1,1821 0,3279 -0,0220475 1,4066629 0,0282 14 VR14SHA 25 0,4615 1,3301 0,3689 -0,3422476 1,2653246 0,1174 VR14FIN 26 0,3077 1,1821 0,3279 -0,4066629 1,0220475 0,1832 VR14GOV 27 0,0769 1,3821 0,3833 -0,7582838 0,91213 0,4222 VR14LCO 28 0,4615 1,2659 0,3511 -0,3034519 1,2265288 0,1066 VR14PRES 29 0,9231 1,1152 0,3093 0,2491903 1,5969635 0,0057 VR14SUP 30 0,6154 0,8697 0,2412 0,089819 1,1409502 0,0127 VR14PER 31 0,8462 1,1435 0,3172 0,1551173 1,5371904 0,0102 VR14PAR 32 0,8462 0,8006 0,2221 0,3623315 1,3299762 0,0012 VR14CUS 33 1,6154 0,6504 0,1804 1,2223255 2,0084438 0,0000 15 VR15MKT 34 1,6154 0,6504 0,1804 1,2223255 2,0084438 0,0000 VR15BRA 35 1,6923 0,6304 0,1748 1,3113456 2,0732698 0,0000 VR15DES 36 1,1538 0,9871 0,2738 0,5573499 1,7503424 0,0006 VR15COM 37 1,5385 0,6602 0,1831 1,1394914 1,9374317 0,0000 VR15MGT 38 0,9231 1,0377 0,2878 0,2959715 1,5501824 0,0038 VR15NPD 39 0,9231 1,1152 0,3093 0,2491903 1,5969635 0,0057 VR15HRM 40 0,6154 0,8697 0,2412 0,089819 1,1409502 0,0127 VR15SS 41 1,0769 0,9541 0,2646 0,5003822 1,653464 0,0008 VR15ICT 42 0,3077 1,4367 0,3985 -0,5604959 1,1758805 0,2275 15a VR15AOWN 43 1,6154 0,6504 0,1804 1,2223255 2,0084438 0,0000 VR15ASEL 44 0,5385 1,1983 0,3323 -0,1856575 1,2625806 0,0656 VR15ADES 45 1,4615 0,7763 0,2153 0,9924553 1,9306217 0,0000 VR15AUSE 46 0,6923 1,4367 0,3985 -0,1758805 1,5604959 0,0539 © Ralph Stuyver 103
  • 104. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8.2.4 Questionnaire Explanation-sheet EXPLENATION-SHEET 1. EXPLANATIONS – ONLY TO BE USED ON REQUEST 12. Brand Phases – Explained Attract phase – Awareness, being attended about the brands prod/serv Engage phase – Information, getting information about the brands prod/serv Convert phase – Buying product/serv, or some other action (receiving a brochure): Retain phase – Owning and using the prod/serv, loyalty to the brand, upgrading. 13. Type of Brands – Explained Monolithic brands: the corporate brand is the same as the prod/serv brand Semi-monolithic brands: the corp. brand is shown more importantly than the prod/serv brand Endorsed brands: Both corporate. brand and prod/serv brand are equally important Co-branded brands: Two (or more) corporate brands are equally shown Product/service brands: Only the prod/service brand is shown, no relation with corp. brand 15a. Brand Parties – Explained Brand Owners – Firms, commercial companies, governments, cities, etc. Brand Sellers – Retailers, distributors, chains of shops, shops Brand Designers – All internal or external design (groups) involved with manifestations of a brand Brand Users – Consumers, buyers, users, prospects, critics, all stakeholders of the brand High Involvement Brand – Low Involvement Brand High involvement brands are brands that you are personally highly involved with. Think of products or services that have a high financial or social risk, like a Rolex-watch, or think of products or services with a high information need, like insurances or banking services. Transactional Brand – Relational Brand Transactional brands are brands where the transaction is most important, and the relation with the brand after the product was bought or used is usually low. Relational brands are the other way around Functional Brand – Expressive Brand Functional brands could be commodities, like toilet paper, bread and matches. Price and primary Intrinsic function are the main characteristics. These brands or products score low on personal expression or design. Expressive brands are the other way around. © Ralph Stuyver 104
  • 105. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN 8.2.5 Open Interview FAQ-sheet FAQ-SHEET 2. EXTRA QUESTIONS – ONLY WHEN TIME PERMITS YOUR FUNCTION IS MOSTLY: Strategic: 2 / 1 / 0 Tactic 2 / 1 / 0 Operational 2 / 1 / 0 3. EXTRA INFORMATION – ONLY ON REQUEST 3A. WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THIS MODEL: 1. Firm and User are Equal (used to be more one-way, now also user need driven) 2. Symmetrical, two-way communication (send & receive, firm & user, feedback loop) 3. Interaction as Identity Dimension (strategic impact) 4. Many complete Value Cycles (relevance, meaning, personalisation) 5. Simultaneous Points of Interaction (different values through different channels) 6. Mass Monologue Media and Personal Dialogue Media (change in weight) 7. Three parallel Value Cycles (manifestation, identity and cultural cycles) 8. Harmonisation of functions (marketing, design, communication, management) 9. Applicable to most manifestations (in this case: all online communications) 3B. THREE PARALLEL VALUE CYCLES: brand user strategy strategy corp. brand user user strategy identity identity tribe firm brand user user network manifest. manifest. network networkl identity manifest. points of manifest. identity network cycle cycle cycle interaction cycle cycle cycle user user brand firm network manifest. manifest. network user user brand corp. tribe identity identity strategy user brand strategy strategy E X P A N D I N G T H E B R A N D E X P E R I E N C E 3C. EXPANDING THE EXPERIENCE: LE YC 5 LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE C L RA 4 LE YC 5 LTU C U 3 LE TY 4 C YC 5 TI C N 4 EN 2 IO ID 3 T 1 TA ES 3 2 IF N 1 A M 2 1 LEVEL OF DIALOGUE © Ralph Stuyver 105
  • 106. TOWARDS A PROCESS FOR INTERACTIVE BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN FAQ-SHEET 1. Take it or leave it. This is what I think is best for you. 2. Configuration (You could choose between options A and B) 3. Customisation (These are my prefs. Is a new C possible? Can I do that myself?) 4. Personalisation (If there would be a new á combined with C then that leads to È) 5. Transformation (A transformed È gives us both a new level of meaning) 3D. DIFFERENT WEIGHTS OF BRAND IDENTITY DIMENSIONS: BRAND IDENTITY DIMENSIONS BRAND IDENTITY DIMENSIONS e.g. APPLE e.g. AMAZON C C C C ! ! X X ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) 3E. DIFFERENT CONFIGURATIONS: YOUNG FIRM: NEW MOBILE DEVICE MULTINAT: FMCG PRODUCT DRIVEN, INNOVATIVE, PERSONAL, SOCIAL IMAGE DRIVEN, LOW INVOLVEMENT, 3F. OPERATIONALISING THE MODEL: © Ralph Stuyver 106