Are brands belief systems, like any other, that can interpreted and examined in the way that other belief systems are? Thinktopia argues that brands can be understood in this way, and they make the process of interpretation informative, compelling, and fun.
We’re working with a local client, Roosevelt University, on a website redesign. Like many projects, there are other vendors working with the university and in this case, Thinktopia has been hired to do a brand excavation and overhaul. This process begins with interviews of all audiences the institution touches, from prospective students to faculty members to community leaders.
Last Friday, we were invited to participate in a brand workshop hosted by Roosevelt (with representatives from marketing and web teams, as well as faculty members and leadership) where Thinktopia presented their interview and research findings and allowed participants to outline the seven main ideas inherent in the Roosevelt brand, including the creation story, the creed, rituals associated with the brand, icons, and more.
Using this process, participants were able to build on and enunciate four core messages of the Roosevelt brand platform. Although we can’t expand on specific outcomes too much yet, the branding messages that emerged will be woven into the new Roosevelt website in an emotional and unique way.
If the workshop, or branding in general sounds interesting, I recommend checking out Patrick Hanlon’s book, Primal Branding. The book invites us to understand brands in the same way we examine belief systems such as religions or mythology, and to identify the core identity elements of the brands we love, or the institutions we belong to.