Exploring the Process of Developing a Visual Brand Language Focusing on Product Design (Mechanical Project)

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This paper explores the process of developing a visual brand language. With the need for a structured process and the opportunity to both increase profit as well as creating a company-customer relation, understanding how a visual brand language is implemented becomes crucial.

The visual brand language allows for a closer relation between the company, its products or services, and the end customer, enabling a firm to communicate and be recognized externally.

This study focuses namely on one company, ROL Ergo, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers of custom-made ergonomic table stands. The company has not yet developed a visual brand language, but with its growth, there is an ascending need for consistency in the product portfolio, i.e. a visual brand language, with which the company can communicate in the market. Two research questions have emerged and are addressed throughout this thesis. These explore what the process of developing a visual brand language is (focusing on product design) and how to create a visual brand language and at the same time meet customer specific requirements.

Thus, the objectives for the master thesis work are, apart from answering the research questions regarding the process of developing a visual brand language, to implement the process and hence, create a visual brand language for ROL Ergo and by doing so address their issue of not attaining the desired recognition by their end customers. To meet the objectives information was required both from ROL Ergo and companies with knowledge about the process. This information has been obtained by interviewing key people within the organizations. Additional data was obtained through literature studies to elaborate more in depth.

The literature used had foundation in design drawn from theoretical fields of product development, industrial design and marketing. The result indicates that there are possibilities to acquire a standardized process that could be used to develop a visual brand language. Based on literature review and data collection the process consists of three major steps, which are; defining the brand, defining the product and defining the shape. Upon validation, this process serves as a basis for further research on the process of creating a visual brand language.

There might be an opportunity in developing the process into a more detailed process with more specified methods to use. The process should also be validated further in terms of applicability for different companies. The process could be generally applicable, in other words not restricted to certain companies or products. Even though the interviewees were all in the business-to-consumer area, the process might be applicable even for suppliers or business-to-business companies but the need for it can be investigated further.
Source: KTH
Author: Chiu, Rebecka

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