“Promiscuity of Admiration” is what Des Esseintes, Huysman’s aesthetically-oriented protagonist in the decadent, fin de siècle-era masterpiece Against Nature dubs the trend of artistic appreciation trickling down to the masses. Good branding synthesizes this phenomenon. Striking visuals, aspirational or relatable personality and market strategy all help brands reap admiration. Admiration leads to loyalty. Loyalty leads to money.
But what is “Good” branding? The question begs a deep and borderline philosophical inquiry into the nature of a “brand,” itself. In short, however, good branding cannot be accomplished without design thinking - one of those bothersome hot-word terms in the advertising and art industries that actually merits recognition. Design thinking applies the simple concept of fixing a problem through design to a much broader slew of professions. Urban planning can benefit from design thinking. So can medicine, law and even finance - in addition to the obvious beneficiaries: architecture, art and advertising.
So, to brand well one must understand design thinking. And to think in terms of design, in my opinion, the more holistic the approach the better. An understanding of literature, history, art, technology, economics and science can only help brands reach their core consumers in one neat little package by encouraging inferences to be made. For this reason, this blog will not only discuss and display successful branding initiatives, but also showcase well-designed efforts from every corner of the proverbial professional globe.
Des Esseintes may not have been pleased about the promiscuity of admiration that plagued the gilded era that he lived in, but brands today should be happy about it. Very happy.