Magazine article Marketing

Building Blocks of a Distinctive Brand Approach

Magazine article Marketing

Building Blocks of a Distinctive Brand Approach

Article excerpt

"It's not architecture, it's advertising," sniffed the Architect's Journal when Sainsbury built its Homebase store on Warwick Road in West London ten years ago. Such hubris demonstrated a failure to understand advertising and architecture.

Buildings have a functional role in confining space just as advertising provides information to consumers. Buildings, too, can be rich sources of humour, symbolism and metaphor.

Our inability to notice buildings, to be able to talk about them, to describe our emotional responses to what are, after all, part of the warp and weft of our lives is extraordinary. The canny, knowledgeable, discerning consumer has hit the brick wall when it comes to brick walls. We can't tell our squinches from our spandrels or even our Eisenman from our Venturi. The lack of corporate daring has forced us to suffer too many bland, undemanding steel frameworks draped in mean concrete. I don't blame the architects but would ask whether the marketers have attempted to exploit every medium available to them.

Acres of newsprint, like some self-penned obituary, have been devoted to the coming of the new media but the sheer drudgery of getting to it leaves me unconvinced that it will ever match the media that earns its living by demanding my attention. There's no booting up for looking at buildings, there's no tedious segmentation of audiences within architecture. The excitement and imagination applied to much commercial communication has been lacking in the boldest, most permanent expression of corporate brand values. …

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