Hero & Zero Brief

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A few weeks ago we were given a brief entitled 'Hero & Zero' which would enable us to analyse brands and visual communication in greater depth. Each group was allocated a different market sector and ours was designer menswear. We had to pick a 'hero' and a 'zero' brand for this market sector. A hero brand is one that is the best in its sector, which really understands its consumer, creates compelling communication, is innovative and engaging and has a bright future. Whereas a zero brand is one that is not working. It’s not clear what it stands for, its communication is mediocre at best, it has no clear message and is failing to connect with its target market.

After some initial research, we chose Paul Smith as our hero brand and Emporio Armani as our zero.  We began by comparing the brands as analysing them in isolation to each other would provide no justification for naming one a 'hero' brand and one a 'zero'. Whilst both brands are arguably the complete antithesis of each other in brand style and values, what both have in common is a single man at the forefront of their eponymous brand and a strong focus on tailoring and attention to detail. This enabled us to look at both brands and discover how and why one brand is more successful in this aspect than the other. 
I also created mood boards for each of the brand as a visual summary, giving examples of colour palettes used, brand font, fabric and pattern choices, product examples, inspiration sources and examples of communication channels; 

Within our presentation we explored the brand positioning, values consumer profiles, communication channels for both Paul Smith and Emporio Armani and explained why Paul Smith's strategy and marketing position was more successful than Armani's. The main conclusions drawn upon in our presentation were that; although both have a single man as the face of the brand, the conglomerate nature of Emporio Armani is less attractive than the almost independent nature of Paul Smith which allows the brand to have more of a connection with their consumers. Paul Smith has a clear understanding of his ‘niche’ position within the menswear market, maintaining a consistent style, in comparison to Emporio Armani which simply feels like an unnecessary extension of the Armani brand in order to make money as it is unclear what the brand stands for. Perhaps Paul Smith’s most endearing character – which is completely juxtaposed to Armani-  is that it takes design, style and quality seriously, but not itself.

Overall I was pleased with the presentation but to improve upon, some adjustments that could have been made would be; make the presentation more visual - add more images and visual examples so the presentation is slightly less text heavy. Make more concise points but expand on these when speaking. Allude to the mood boards more, making them part of the presentation. Undertake primary research rather than just focusing on secondary and finally, explicitally differentiate between secondary sources and our own opinions within the presentation. 

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