Behind the scenes of branding
“What is a brand?” is a question often posed to marketing students. In the quest to understand the complexities behind creating a brand and how to keep it relevant, the MMK students visited London’s Museum of Brands, which showcases 150 years of branding, packaging, and advertising. What better way to understand this complex and intangible idea than an experience such as this?
Located in Notting Hill, the Museum of Brands is home to hundreds of brand packaging and advertising, tracking their evolution since the Victorian era. Its main attraction is the permanent exhibition called “Time Tunnel,” which provides a walkthrough of how different brands adapt to changing times.
The visit started with a workshop for students to recreate packaging of old products to adapt to modern times. They were free to illustrate this in any way they wanted with the materials provided. The challenge? To be innovative without losing the brand’s identity.
Students got creative and pitched concepts like highlighting sustainability in the packaging, changing materials for more eco-friendly alternatives, and even devising ways to make product usage more efficient.
Then, to guide their visit into the Time Tunnel, students were tasked to look at how brands used different kinds of means to promote their products: from sponsoring events, using celebrity endorsements, co-branding, and more. The impressive collection housed products and brands from pivotal moments in history such as the World Wars, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, various years of the Olympics, and even the boom of The Beatles and the peak of One Direction.
It was a short and sweet visit, but the main takeaway here is how brands are not just a logo, but rather a 360 degree concept. When it comes to brands, there’s more than what meets the eye – from packaging, advocacies, associations, endorsements, sponsorships and more. This is where marketing and branding come hand-in-hand in providing a full sensorial and delightful experience to their consumers. And the best ones are able to take their audiences through different life stages, no matter the time and place.
An exciting yet tricky feat, an all-encapsulating brand which takes context into consideration is everything marketers should strive for.