This week, I will be working on putting together the notes that I have accumulated for the various introductory sections of the thesis. It is a little garbled at the moment, and becuae they have been noted at various times, usually in response to something I have read or heard, the tone of voice is a inconsistent. I have worked on a proposed structure, but I am anxious to start to actually get this down in writing to build some momentum as to what my critical position is.
I am also looking to establish if the visual experiments and modes of deconstruction and rationalisation of the material I have is going to be relevant. What changes need to be made and, hopefully, some further avenues for investigation.
Anyway, below is the first draft of the week:
Introduction and context
We live in a world dominated by brands, a set of perceptions and images that identify and persuade our everyday decisions from the food we eat, what we wear, what we read, even where is live is dominate by brands.
Since the late 1980’s the charity sector and non-profit organisations have been developing and adjusting the way in which we interpret their organisations. The charity sector in the UK is valued at £53 billion1, £10.6 billion of that coming from the public through voluntary donations2, and the need for the sector to incorporate the model of the commercial sectors infrastructure and organisation has been of paramount importance. One of its many aspects is the need for a strong and focussed marketing and communication platform.
It is important to define what this study is describing when it talks about brand and branding, as well as, the difference between them, and to clarify what a charity and not-for-profit or non-government-organisations (NGO) is and how it works.
For most professional organizations in the western world, a brand is everything. A brand is the ideas, the memories, and the feelings evoked every time someone thinks of the brand. It is something that lives in the brain. Whether it is words or images, symbols or colours, or any combination of these things. Brands are the cognitive associations that exist in the mind. When those mental associations make the associated product, service or organisation more salient, more interesting, or more compelling than the alternatives, they create value. It is what Allan Anderson; Managing Director of Landor Associates refers to as the ‘save as file’ we store in the minds mental ‘desktop’3.
If you look at any of the best brand in world, old or new, it is possible to tell what makes them different from its competitors within its category or sector. The strongest of brands are successful not merely, because they have established a differentiated meaning of their brand and ensured that it has relevance. It is because they reduced this meaningful difference to a simple and understandable thought – an idea people can get and connect with the second they see and recognise it. This in the media rich western world is about all you are likely to get.
2. UK Giving 2010. An over view of charitable giving in the UK, 2009/2010. December 2010. National Council of Voluntary Organisations
3. Allen Anderson. Brand Simple by Palgrave Macmillian 2006. Page4.