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Ep 9
Episode 91st July 2022 • Remarkable Branding • Amin Ahmed & Heather Murphy
00:00:00 00:05:50

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Today we're going to talk about the evolution of branding.

What we're going to discuss is inspired by one of Heather's heroes in branding, Debbie Millman. This is her five waves of branding.

Transcripts

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Hey, Heather, I'm really excited about today's topic.

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I can't wait to nerd out with you for the next five or six episodes.

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What we're going to be doing is talking about the evolution of branding.

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This is something, as Heather said, she likes to nerd out about

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and I'm going to let her takeover for most of the show today.

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So Heather, why don't we start with a bit of a history lesson

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on the evolution of branding.

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Okay, well, I have to begin by saying that this is inspired by

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one of my heroes in branding.

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Debbie Millman.

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This is her five waves of branding.

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And, Debbie Millman is one of the first podcast posts

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with her show design matters.

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It's one of the earliest podcasts.

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She's a designer author speaker, the CMO of Sterling brands.

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She's worked for a huge brands like Pepsi and.

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In this evolution, she describes why we brand and why we buy in her keynote.

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And we're going to kind of synopsize that for you today.

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That's awesome.

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Let's jump right in.

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Okay.

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So the first wave of branding started in 1875.

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We talked a little bit before about how bass ale was the first registered

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trademark in the United States.

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And the first instance of.

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Product placement.

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But the reason why trademarks became important is because

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products weren't safe.

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You know, you had snake oil, salesmen, selling things like arsenic for hair

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oil and all kinds of things like that.

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So the government wanted to get involved to guarantee that

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products were safe and consistent.

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So the first wave of safety, and consistency with trademark.

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meant that there was patents that had to be approved and

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in 1906, the FDA was founded.

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So brands in these times needed that marker of product safety and consistency.

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So branding really came out of an evolution to keep people safe.

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That's very cool.

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It's surprising that that 1875 is actually not that long ago, but it sounds like

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since then a lot has changed as well.

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Right.

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So instead of a brand, just being a marker, like a marker on a crate

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or a marker on cattle, it became a marker from the government saying

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this is safe to consume or to use.

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So then we move into the brand gold rush.

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And so this is an exciting time in graphic design as well, because you start to see

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some of those early world war one posters.

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You start to see propaganda and people are really having fun with

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brand artwork and advertisements.

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So this is where businesses started to spring up everywhere.

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There was a lot of industry going on and to differentiate brands

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like Morton salt came out with characters like the Morton salt girl.

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So actually something interesting about Morton salt is it was the first salt that

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didn't clump when it got damp or wet.

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And that was really important.

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So having the little girl with the umbrella, told a little bit of the brand

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story without giving away all the facts.

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That's awesome to know about the starting of using characters and branding.

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It seems like now everywhere you go, there's a character,

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there's a logo, there's a mascot.

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So how did that now evolve into what we see today?

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Well, character and metaphor really started to take off in 1965.

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So if you look from 1920 to 1965, there used to be all

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kinds of copycats springing up.

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So people were trying to copy each other and to stand out,

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people had to develop a story.

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And it's so similar right now, online, where you have to develop a story.

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So instead of having someone like the Morton salt girl, you get

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something like the Marlboro man, who's like a sexy, rugged cowboy.

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And, you identify with him with cigarette smoking.

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And so people wanted to identify with the character instead of just

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hearing a story, they're starting to identify with this character

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metaphor that brands are creating.

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The fourth wave is experiences and transformation.

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And so this started in 1985 and we see things like, I want my MTV,

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and this is a real shift because consumers are looking for experiences.

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They want to be involved in the trajectory of the brand.

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They want to feel something.

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And, it's a really interesting transition because instead of looking to a movement

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or looking into each other, they're looking for brands to be that movement.

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And so this is where consumerism really takes over in, creating experiences

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and transformations with brands.

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This is my youth growing up in, the mid eighties and nineties.

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So I totally know exactly what you're talking about.

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Well, and, and how can you listen to that without just wanting to scream?

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I want my MTV, you know, and that's when big brother those shows were

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coming out and people were just really looking to identify with something more.

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And that really set the stage for the internet era.

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So you haven't in the two thousands starting with limbic brands.

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And so limbic brands are based on try and brain theory and that's, where

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people have a sense of connection.

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So we're really looking to bring.

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Over people even more as we have access to the internet.

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So brands are becoming a place for community and connections.

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And as it's more digital, people are looking for spaces to belong online.

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So we look for a place to connect to people with similar values

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is, and a great example of this.

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Something like Tom's shoes.

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So they have a very simple design.

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But their philosophy to give back a pair of shoes for every pair purchased is

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something that people want to align with.

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And so it's like we're living out our values through breaths.

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That's awesome.

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I've learned so much here today and I'm really excited for our next few episodes.

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Join us next time, where we're going to be talking about how to take your

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brand beyond trustworthiness and how that ties into sales and the

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impact that you can have in society.

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Awesome.

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Thank you for evolving with us and listening with us.

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