Brand associations as a design driver
This thesis presents an exploratory study over the constructive parameters of an 'emerging' brand through consumer associations. Streams of research for brand study, academic and business practice, were brought together to provide a robust basis. A number of challenges apparent in the communication processes between brand, offering (product or service) and the consumer were recognised. The aim of this research was to investigate the possibility of extending and adapting existing techniques in brand management and consumer perception to provide a theoretical framework supporting consumer associations as a design driver for the development of an'emerging' brand's experience. A sustainable holistic brand experience requires including the voice of the consumer. This has not been deployed accurately previously although there is a shift to this direction by organisations. As consumers do not always say what they actually mean, the use of visual and verbal means for understanding their associative parameters is desirable. The method of picture-aided recognition, with passenger interviews in Greece and U. K. was used. Equally important is the implementation of these findings and preferred characteristics to company communications and the offering provided through a selective semiotic analysis and use of the variables in the design process. A case study methodology, incorporating interviews, observational methods along with enabling and projective techniques were used to triangulate findings and provide an in- depth understanding. This research provides a framework linking the offering, the brand and the consumer along with presenting practical applications. This is a support system on how an organisation could organise the basis of constructing an 'emerging' brand from its 'driver' brand to initiate its sustainable value. Such a system is targeted to the brand management departments of organisations and the design departments or external agencies responsible for the visual manifestation of the brand's appearance to the outside world.