Design in the Market Lecture – How To Promote Your Brand

Todays lecture was about how to get your design work noticed and how you can go about promoting your brand, we were given a talk about work getting noticed via media coverage. The university can help with reaching local press who may be interested in publishing articles about your work. Whats in it for them? They are focused on raising awareness of any of the universities success and promoting DJCAD as an upcoming place as well as your success.


Media is now showing a greater interest in biotechnology, there are a lot of new networks being established with the Dundee V&A and creative industries, design is now seen as established credible centre for design in Dundee.

Press release is first point of call, how do you get there?

Your not telling a story there’s no start beginning and end, it’s all about the beginning, don’t be shy about pushing the unique and freshness about what you are doing. Most people only read the first paragraphs, what you’re doing has to be interesting. People enjoy reading quirky unusual articles that showcase local success. Awards, funding and charity, we can then guide you with what works for your story media wise and what doesn’t.

Part two

Jane Gowans

Jane Gowans geology rocks model

Jane who was a previous student of DJCAD returned to tell us about her progress in her developing jewellery brand. She told us about her current jewellery collection based on precious metals. Her collection launched in Harvey Nicols before Christmas last year, she is also collaborating with successful designer Hayley Scanlan.

She discussed her perspective and experience of business, she told us her business had to develop naturally because when she graduated there were no workshops or modules based on setting up your own business. She developed her first product samples right away and began to sell them. “Don’t be put off by the jargon of business, its nothing special. The more you familiarise your self with it the more you get used to it. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t understand at first.”

She is a sole trader, she organises her business by herself by creating an annual plan with set deadlines that she sticks to. Initially she creates designs on paper which are then; converted to 3D files, are then printed on wax, hand cast in silver then sent to back her to make. She creates 10 items per collection so her time is valuable and must be spent wisely. In business terms Jane had to think ,”What am I doing differently that makes my brand unique. Who are my customers? What is the market place for appreciation for contemporary craft?”

“You have to think about  your target customers. Are the people you are selling to people who appreciate your work? You have to be patient”. Jane’s brand style is chic and contemporary jewellery, she creates for the style conscious woman; middle-aged with a disposable income, who reads vogue, stylist magazines and a regular buyer from boutiques. It is very important to know your buyers persona, Where would they shop? What do they read? Where do they socialise?Who is her audience?

People she wants to share the market with are other brands who share the same values as her, share key brand messages, Scottish made products, a handmade sense of exclusivity and luxury.

“Be aware that anyone you are speaking to could be a potential client. The best opportunities come from the most unusual places, opportunities from people you wouldn’t expect. Six degrees of separation is true.”

She also has PR representatives in London to help her with promoting finding contacts and general press. She has had also used some past relationships she has made herself,  “No one has as much heart and soul about your product then you do.” It is important to build relationships with people who can help along the way such as; graphic designers, hallmarkers, material suppliers, production assistants, gold platters, models, photographers.”


  • Direct Marketing, “Give someone companies something beautiful on their doorstep and they will always be reminded of you when that time comes to look for a jeweller for an upcoming photo-shoot”. The downside however, the scale of prospective clients you want to contact  is vast and might be quite expensive  to do, the cost can add up.
  • On Sales promotions, “Don’t cheapen your brand as a whole when it comes to promotions. “Have a plan for your discount in a marketing sense”.  Jane has sample sales, she feels this “Offers her customers a bigger experience.”
  • Personal selling via trade shows, “They are amazing opportunities to build relationships for the future, you can apply to get funding local or national to attend trade shows. They are excellent places to get noticed.
  • On rewards, you have to be able to sustain your business, “I was awarded no funding, anything I sold was put directly back into my business. When you create a product in the creative industry you get a better feeling of satisfaction when you sell something you’ve hand-made. You get a greater sense of achievement.”
  • Personal qualities, “Prepare for failure” You may doubt yourself but it’s not an easy road. “Success is the measure of how well you have coped with that failure”. This helps develop a stronger business sense. Failure happens a lot and makes you more determined, you are connected to what you are selling because its yours, this makes your determination greater.

Her final advice was to “Not to be shy about what you do, constantly tell people what your work is about, people will respond to friendly people. Enjoy it, make it a job you love,  if you enjoy what you’re doing you will be more productive in the long-term.”


Lego Man Photoshoot

Advertising and Branding

Re-branding Volunteering

So it has begun, the photo shoot for our Lego man idea to kickstart students into volunteering. The Lego man has a quirky and recognisable character. I was able to purchase a few builder Lego men on Ebay for a good price, plus I also have a valid excuse to own Lego men! So I started off by using one single character and playing around with the builders tools he came with. I purchased this group of Lego men because the tools they came with relate to some tools you would use for volunteer work; coffee, broom, binoculars, radio, axe and saw (well maybe, once they get to know you).

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The tagline for this image would be “Build Your Character”, promoting the range of volunteer opportunities and skills that can be gained from volunteering as a student. The volunteer website would also be shown at the bottom of the poster. Once we have decided what poster to use we would then create a smaller leaflet/ flyer. We want to think od something different from and average paper slip, maybe something interactive or 3D?

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A group of Lego citizens doing their volunteer jobs well, we could perhaps Photoshop the word volunteer on their clothing so that the poster is identifiable but not too overwhelming. People always seem pressured when it comes to volunteering, big bold “Volunteer!” might be off-putting.

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More Lego men photos,

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The original idea for our “Build your Character” concept. The physical act of building the Lego man is related in the transition of building a better life experience with skills you can learn from volunteering.

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Another quick idea i thought would be fun “Stay Cool, Volunteer”. I just like the mans shades.

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Hopefully we will be able to use these as a starting point for our main idea.

Fawlty Towers

I watched Fawlty Towers for the first time with my flat mate. I heard it was really funny so I decided it was time I gave it a go. There are only two series of 6 episodes. We watched series 1 episode 1.

Strangely this episode related to my recent talk on the power of research in branding and marketing. On thursday we were discussing the use of research when trying to promote or sell a product, where would you place your product? Who are you advertising to? Who is the consumer? Placement of advertising is essential in business, you must try to reach your target customer. In episode 1 Basil’ wife complains that he placed an advertisement in a upper-class magazine that cost them £40 pounds. Basil claims it was a smart move as he wants Fawltys lodgers to be more posh/well-mannered/ traveled/rich, she however thought it was a waste of money and time. If you watch the episode you will soon see Basil’s ideology of the perfect clientele unravels into chaos.

Also during our thursday lecture we were told about the John Cleese and the Sainsburys case study. This is famous in Advertising for being a branding fail. Sainsburys decided to used John Cleese’s character of Basil Fawlty from Fawlty towers for their advertising campaign. This however drastically plummeted their sales. Basil Fawlty is a funny and famous character within Fawlty Towers, however his character did not seem suitable for advertising a family friendly Sainsburys. People felt Basils character seemed a bit of a bully from the way he was betrayed in the adverts. This caused customers to avoid Sainsburys for condoning this behaviour, this mistake took Sainsburys a few years to get their customers and sales back, all with the help of Jamie Oliver.


Pareto Principle

I have recently been introduced to a new rule which can be adapted to any situation. The Pareto Principle also known as the 80:20 rule. This is a common rule in business and can be used to show statistics. Think of any situation and this can be used… eg

80% of the time I use 20% of my clothes.

As much as I want to deny this, its true. I always try to filter down my clothing, the old “If I haven’t worn it in the past 6 months then I should consider throwing it out”. This however causes me to think of scenarios where I find I will in fact NEED this item. There still there, resting on their hangers.

80% of the time I will eat the 20% of food that I know I like.

Nothing wrong with sticking to something you like? There are loads of selections for a lunchtime menu, soups, salads, the loyal sandwich but I cant seem to tear myself away from my beloved fish fingers.

80% of the time I contact 20% of the contacts on my phone.

Why is it that there is always at least one person in our phonebook that we have no reason to keep in contact with yet we keep their phone number? I still ave my driving instructors number, ive been driving for three years now? The list accumulates over time and yet I rarely contact these people.

This rule applies in business

80%of the time you will make profit for 20% of your customers

80% of the time complaints come from 20% of your customers

80% of your sales come from 20% of your products

If 20% of your customers are most of your profit then it would be wise to keep them happy, keep them coming back, you its good to focus on this percentage of people.

Most companies create a loyalty card. This usually includes discount offers, money off or in Nando’s case a free chicken. Keeping these customers happy is a wise move in marketing and business.

Advertising and Branding: Module Introduction

Yesterday was the introduction for my new module in Branding and Advertising. We had an introduction lecture into marketing to start us off, followed by what would be expected of us in the module. The whole idea of the world of advertising scared me at first, so many technical terms and formulas for success? How on earth would I be able to get to grips with any of them?

I thought the introduction was engaging and found myself being sucked into thinking fast paced and getting excited at the many possibilities that come with marketing a product. First we were told the basics, The meaning of a brand and what it means to you. A collection of functional and emotional values that together promise and experience. The intangibles; how the company position itself, expertise,culture,personality and positioning. The tangible’s; logos,packaging,premises, advertising,names uniforms and livery.

A BRAND is a promise. ADVERTISING is a way of communicating a promise.

When learning about the marketing ploys of companies and how they can rebrand themselves, I felt almost cheated as I had recently been whipped into the whirlpool that is Herbal Essences. I tried the shampoo products a while back and found they weren’t for my liking, with a new logo and a few years later I decided to give them a chance and now I am a loyal customer. Job done for the branding team! Shame on me!

We we told about how big companies sell an experience and not just a product. Once they have created this they can add more items to their lines that relate to successful products, for example Olay,

There is face day cream, night cream, eye cream, wrinkle cream,cream for sensitive skin, SPF, oily skin, dry skin,circles under eyes, face serum, facial cleanser, toner and moistuiser (three in the one go! always bought together and in that order may I add. God forbid if you only buy a cleanser!). Loads more to mention, oh and here’s some for men..

The advert promoting the mens product in Thailand has a man participating in extreme water skiing just incase anyone tries to say men using moisturiser is feminine. Plus he gets the girls at the end, which bring me onto my next topic.

While watching tv I recently saw this advert for mens hair gel, the main jist of the advert is that the guy can’t get the girl with his existing hair style. To do something about this dilemma he must purchase Axe hair gel. While watching this advert I realised I have seen this pitch so many times. Men using products to ultimately get the girl. This tactic of selling to the target market must work if used so frequently. The brand is pitched at younger men ages about 15-30, therefore the advert is relatable to the younger audience.

Here is another advert, for Dove deodorant for men. Aimed at a male market also but a different age group. The difference in the advertising is clear, it is made to appeal to a certain older man. Theres no time for girls falling from the sky in this mans life, he’s far too busy!

These moves made by the marketing and branding can allow a product to expand from genders to generation with a simple change of logo and advert suited to the target buyer. Now that I am learning the tricks of the trade I will be keeping an eye out on tricks to sell sell sell! My mother always did warn me about the cosmetic departments, once they sell you that smokey eye kit they always try to push the matching mascara…