AN EXPLORATION OF BRAND IDENTITIES: UNDERSTANDING BRANDS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF ADAPTATION
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Brands provide a sense of identity for people, products, and companies. The term "brand" itself has been used for centuries to denote property and form associations; however, as the usage of the term widened, there is disagreement as to its current meaning as well as what branding actually means in terms of advertising and development. While the idea of branding today is less literal than physically marking ownership, it still holds these associative powers and is used as a form of communication and quick recognition. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how brands come about their identities in the eyes of the consumer and then determine how brands can and have adapted to achieve further success. The findings from this thesis advances understanding of how brands are formed both in an internal and consumer facing sense, and additionally, how their meaning is a product of cultural reflection rather than a definitive and static identity. In order to gain a more comprehensive look at brand identities, several brand case studies will be explored within multiple categories of branding, including commercial, political, and personal. As a project component to reflect these findings creatively, I have also created a book that reflects associations with personal branding.