Addressing the meaning and purpose of a brand comprises of three parts. To begin creating an understanding of a brand, it is important to realise what the key features of the brand is, some of which include the consistency, passion, competitiveness, audience knowledge, and uniqueness. Consumers rely on brands to be consistent with the quality of their services, and always expect the brand to deliver with quality the way they did the first time, or risk consumers moving onto their competitors due to inconsistency. McDonalds could be used as an example in this case; their menu is consistent across the world, and deliver the same flavours a customer is used to. No matter where a customer is in the world, a Big Mac sandwich would taste the same (Forbes.com, 2018). The powerhouse of a brand is driven by passion. The enthusiasm and triumph put into the service or a product a brand produces helps businesses thrive. Without passion, it is impossible to set a brand to succeed. Audience knowledge is the most crucial part in creating a brand. Analysing the demographics of a brands target audience, their needs and interests helps tailor the brands identity by reaching the correct set of audience and customers, and creating a connection between the business and the consumer (Forbes.com, 2018).
The second part to understanding a business is what makes it successful. “ “Successful brands stand for something. They have a philosophy, a purpose, and values that not only excite their customers, but their staff too.”(Dawood, 2018). A successful brand is easily recognised through its logo, product form and consumer group. The third stage to creating a brand is advertisement. Advertising has changed in the past few years and have become widely spread across social media by sponsoring bloggers, media influencers or even celebrities. Putting a famous face to a brand becomes instantly recognisable, reaching a wide range of customers and target groups across the world. Advertising for a brand could also be found on TV, commercials and billboards.
Defining the key elements of a brand above brings us to the concept of “subcultures”. We can conclude that a brand tailors its identity, product or service to reach its set target audience. Without conducting research into who their product or service is for, a brand’s identity is lost. Finding the right target group for each brand creates individuality, and at the same time, speaks to their customers and creates a connection between the buyer and the seller.
A subculture is a “cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture”. (Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2018). “Ultimately subcultures and their dress is about displaying resistant and deviance to to the parental cultural i.e. dominant culture in a visual and outward way. It is their ways of denouncing the cultural hegemony agenda and displaying their disagreement with the set of conditions they attempt to place on them and society at larger.” ( Slide 26, Branding & the aesthetics of subcultures). For example, Punks could be described as a “subculture”. The aesthetic of the group or “community” were rebelling against the social norm at the time (Thomas, 2001-2014), choosing to include body piercings, tattoos, dyed hair, painted faces and a unisex fashion code which included leather, fishnet stockings, graffitied shirts ect. (Hebdige, 1979, p.108 cited in ibid). The subculture was due to the extremely high unemployment rate which impacted the youth leading them to rebel with such fashion orientation (Barker, 2010, p.435).
Instantly after the subculture of punk was seen, the aesthetics emerged across the fashion world and had become a trend. Brands began to take onto the fashion and dress celebrities in a manner the subculture could relate to. In a photograph of Liz Hurley, the actress is seen in a dress titled ‘that dress’ by Versace which was a reaction to the trend ( Slide 42, Branding & the aesthetics of subcultures). The bold and revealing style of the dress was inspired by the trend. More of the trend is later on seen in fashion shows.
Concluding the idea of branding and subcultures, it can be said that a brand and a subculture have influence on one another. A brand would analyse and then direct a product or service to a specific group, and the consumer group would purchase the product or service as the brand loyalty and trust is formed between the two.
Dawood, S. (2018). What makes a brand successful? – Design Week. [online] Design Week. Available at: https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/5-11-october-2015/what-makes-a-brand-successful/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].
Forbes.com. (2018). Forbes. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/11/12/the-top-7-characteristics-of-successful-brands/#1a2361ba42f9 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].
Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2018). subculture | Definition of subculture in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/subculture [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].
Thomas, P. (2001-14). ‘1970s Punk Fashion History,’ Fashion Era. Available at: http://www.fashion- era.com/punks_fashion_history1.htm [Accessed on: 04 February 2018]