Monday, 25 April 2011

Dissertation Proposal Part 3

Dissertation Proposal Part 3

Name Colette Brown
Course Level 3, Jewellery and Metal Design
Supervisor Hamid Van Koten
Date Friday 22nd April 2011

Working Title
An exploration of the ventures in which globally recognised companies invest, focusing on Nestlé and Marks and Spencer, and several other companies; which are deemed by many to be highly unethical, and examining the practice of greenwashing to promote an environmentally and social conscious image to potential consumers.
(48 words)

For the main body of my dissertation, I have chosen to examine the social and ethical practises of two companies; Nestlé, an internationally recognised company, based in Vevey, Switzerland, and Marks and Spencer, a British retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London. Both have been accused of shirking responsibility when it comes to global issues which affect many thousands of people; Nestlé for their promotion of baby milk formula over breast milk in developing countries, and Marks and Spencer for their open trade with Israel; a recognised terrorist state.
In July 1977, a boycott in was launched against Nestlé, one of the largest food processing companies in the world, founded in Vevey, Switzerland, after concern arose at their promotion of baby milk formula as replacement for breast milk in developing countries.
The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) has accused Nestlé of unethical practices in order to promote their product, such as the distribution of free samples in hospitals and maternity wards. The free samples would usually last long enough for the mother's breast milk to dry up from lack of use and because the supplementation of formula has interfered with the mother’s lactation, the mother must continue to purchase the formula. Despite being distributed in countries in which the primary language is not English, Nestlé does not label its products in a language appropriate to where it is being sold, which prevents mothers from understanding how the formula must be correctly prepared. Nestlé has also been accused of employing women to dress up as ‘nurses’, although they would have received no specialized training to qualify them as health professionals, and get them to hand out free samples of the baby formula.
In order to prepare the formula, it must be mixed with water, but due to poor sanitation conditions, the water is often contaminated, and as previously mentioned, the instructions are not written in their native tongue, as well as illiteracy rates often being high in developing countries, mothers are often unable to read and fully understand the instructions as to how the formula must be correctly prepared. Often less formula than required is used, and is heavily diluted to make the supply last longer. These factors have resulted in malnutrition, disease and death.
Breast milk has many natural benefits that are not present in artificial formula. It provides protection, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including diarrhoea and bacterial meningitis, as well as assisting in the neuronal development of the baby. Breastfeeding can also delay the return of fertility, which can be vital for women in developing countries to help space their pregnancies. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that, in the majority of cases, babies should be breastfed for at least the first six months.
Marks and Spencers is a British retailer, headquartered in London and is one of the greenest companies on the high street, exploring more sustainable alternatives and encouraging customers and employees to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. In January 2007, Marks and Spencer launched ‘Plan A’, an initiative intended to address the company’s social and environmental challenges and to dramatically increase the company’s environmental sustainability. It covered becoming carbon neutral, the end of waste being sent to landfill sites and extending sustainable sourcing; all by 2012.
In March 2008, their range of own brand cosmetics and cleaning products became ‘cruelty free’ meaning the products and the ingredients were no longer tested on animals. This was approved by BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), whose internationally recognised ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo is now featured on the packaging, communicating to consumers that the products have produced ethically.
However, Marks and Spencers has also received criticism for its support and trade with Israel. Marcus Sieff was chairman of Marks and Spencer of 1972 until 1982, and a prominent figure in the UK Zionism movement. Zionism is recognised as a system that fosters apartheid and racism. Seiff is quoted writing that one of the one of the fundamental objectives of M&S is to aid the economic development of Israel. Israel is in direct violation of several UN resolutions regarding its continued oppression of the Palestinian people. One such incident, which gained mass media coverage, occurred in the winter of 2008 in the Gaza Strip, which is home to 1,500,000 people. This area of the Palestinian Territories subjected to air strikes by Israeli forces. Codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’, the attacks lasted from late December until mid January, and during this time, 1400 Palestinians were killed, and large areas of Gaza destroyed, leaving many thousands homeless.
I will also explore, in smaller detail, the practices of several other companies. These will include Caterpillar Inc., The Body Shop and L’Oréal. All of these companies relate in some way to the issues I’m addressing through my examination of Nestlé and Marks and Spencer. Nestlé owns 29.7% worth of shares in L’Oréal and L’Oréal bought The Body Shop, a cosmetics store, in 2006. Caterpillar Inc, like Marks and Spencer, are also guilty of an alliance with Israel.
In 1976, Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop, a cosmetics store which sells naturally scented products, and made its name championing ethical consumerism and opposing animal testing. In 1986, Roddick proposed an alliance with Greenpeace, a non-governmental organisation that focuses its work on worldwide issues such as global warming, deforestation and anti-nuclear issues. The Body Shop had always been considered a socially responsible company, although in March 2006, The Body Shop was taken over by the French company L’Oréal, one of the worlds largest cosmetics companies, and Roddick and her husband went onto gain around £1.3 million from the sale. On The Body Shop’s website, it is stated thus;
“The Body Shop has always believed passionately that animals should not be used for cosmetic testing. We have never tested our products on animals. Similarly, we insist that all our suppliers have not tested their ingredients on animals for cosmetic purposes.”
Whilst L’Oréal, The Body Shop’s parent company, does have the same policy, and is adamant that they do not practice animal testing, it is not recognised by BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), as an animal friendly company and has often come under scrutiny as a result. When a consumer purchases a product from The Body Shop, the money still goes to L’Oréal, so still essentially, goes to a company where there is serious doubt about its ethical policies, when it has been the intention of the consumer to buy a product that has been produced fairly. Nestlé controls over a quarter of the shares and voting rights of L’Oréal, and together have formed Laboratoires Innéov, and L’Oréal is the owner of Lancôme, Maybelline and Garnier; high street makeup brands that are sold separately from L’Oréal, and may be perceived by unknowing customers as competitive brands. The relationships between companies are something I would also like to examine, as it is often unknown by consumers who actually they are actually buying their products from.
Caterpillar Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, as well as producing branded clothing products, including footwear, which is largely available on the high street and online. Caterpillar Inc. also has a contract with the Israeli Defense Force, to supply them with bulldozers, which are used to destroy Palestinian land, and have been responsible for civilian deaths. One such example was that of Rachel Corrie, an American student, who was a member of the International Solidarity Movement; a Palestinian-led group that uses nonviolent methods to challenge Israeli occupation. Whilst trying to prevent a D9R bulldozer from demolishing the home of Samir Nasrallah, a local pharmacist, Corrie was run over, resulting in her death, and international outrage.
Through an exploration of Nestlé and Marks and Spencer’s ethical practices, it is my intention to observe how clever marketing often portrays these and other companies in a positive light, often with a wholesome family orientated image, and prominent featuring of their social awareness, yet failing to highlight the other ventures into which they invest or with which they are associated. If possible I would also like to address the question of whether or not a multinational company can be wholly ethical. I will examine in some detail two high street companies who have had positive response to their ethical practices; C&J Clark, shoe manufacturer headquartered in Somerset and Lush, the Dorset based cosmetics company.
(1399 words)

Chapter Synopsis
Informing the reader of what issues I intend to address, which are the main companies I will be focusing on, as well the companies that will be introduced, but not examined in as extensive detail.

Chapter 1
This chapter will examine Marks and Spencer as a company, and will cover their “Plan A” initiative, and all the positive work they have been contributing towards the future of the planet. After this has been analysed, I will focus on their association with Israel, beginning with the history of the company, and its Jewish roots, to their involvement in the current Israel/Palestine conflict, through trade and economic support. I will also look briefly at Caterpillar Inc. and their contract with the Israeli Defense Force as an additional company that supports Israel.

Chapter 2
From a British company, I will move onto explore my chosen international company; Nestlé. I will look at the initial boycott action and the reasons behind it, whether or not the situation has improved today and any media coverage of the boycott. Will also look at the image Nestlé promotes to potential consumers; the wholesome, family orientated and how this can be deceiving to those who are uninformed of Nestlés practices overseas. From here I will also examine their association with L’Oréal, which will also lead onto The Body Shop, and Roddick’s decision to sell her business to L’Oréal.

Chapter 3
In this chapter I will look at companies who are recognised for their ethical policy; Lush and C&J Clarks. I will assess whether or not they are true to their claims of social responsibility, and if they live up to the statements they display on their websites.

Chapter 4
Results of surveys carried out regarding public opinion on the chosen companies ethical policies.
Assessing the primary that I have carried out, and the secondary research I have sourced, to conclude whether or not a huge multinational company can be wholly ethical.
(325 words)


To analyse the environmental, ethical and social responsibilities that should be upheld by companies, but are often disregarded in favour of profit.
An exploration of the ventures, that are often deemed highly controversial and unethical, that globally recognised companies invest in, and how they are concealed from the public, and therefore, potential consumers.
A brief examination of which companies are associated with each other, and which the relationships between them; who owns who?
Whether or not a company, which is as huge as, for example, L’Oréal, can be entirely ethical and socially conscious.
(97 words)

I intend to contact the companies concerned, but understand that they may be unwilling to divulge information or may not respond, therefore the majority of my research will consist of reviews of literature, documentaries, articles, which relate to the aforementioned issues.
I assume my research will be one sided, but further research will aid me in making an informed decision as to whether I believe the company to be true in what they claim.
I intend to carry out consumer research in order to gauge opinions on these ventures to see how people react towards company practices.
(100 words)

Key Words
Ethical Practices
Social Awareness
Company Policy
Human Rights
Palestine/Israel conflict
Environmental issues
Animal testing

Achbar, M and Abbott, J, (2003), The Corporation. [DVD] Zeitgeist Films.
A documentary that shows the development of the contemporary business corporation.

Allen, F, (1995), Secret Formula: How Brilliant Marketing and Relentless Salesmanship Made Coca-Cola the Best-Known Product in the World, Harper Business.
As the title would suggest, this book chronicles of the history of the Coca Cola company, from its humble beginnings when John Pemberton and his business partner Frank Robinson, developed the soft drink in the 1880s, up to present day. Also looks at politics within the company.

Baby Milk Action, (2011), available from: [Accessed: 07/03/2011]
A website with all the latest information, plus the history of the Nestlé boycott.

Bakan, J, (2004), The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, Constable Publishing.
Bakan wrote this during the production of the film The Corporation, and tells you everything you need to know in six accessible chapters.

The Body Shop, (2011), available from: [Accessed 07/03/2011]
Website of the company The Body Shop, which states its ‘Values and Campaigns’.

Books LLC, (2010), Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Israel.
Gives a list of the weaponry that is currently being used .by the Israeli army. Useful in proving a connection between Israel and Caterpillar.

Chomsky, N, (1999), Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Pluto Press
An analysis of the relationship between Palestine and Israel, and the support Israel receives from the United States government. Chomsky cuts through the myths that appear in mainstream media accounts and compares the apartheid era of South Africa.

C&J Clarks (2011), available from: [Accessed 22/04/2011]
Website of the shoe manufacturers Clarks. Section available which highlights the concerns of Amazon deforestation and their contribution.

Ethical Consumer, (1989), available from: [Accessed: 07/03/2011]
Website for consumers who are conscious of ethical practices. Useful search function that brings up a selection of articles concerning companies I’m examining.

The Guardian, (2011), L'Oréal buys Body Shop for £652m, March 2006, available from: [Accessed: 28/02/2001]
Newspaper article online detailing The Body Shop takeover by L’Oréal.

Hays, C, L, (2005), The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca Cola Company, Random House Trade.
Examines Coca Cola’s global marketing strategy and dominance of the market.

Healey, M, (2008), What is Branding?, Switzerland, RotoVision SA
An introduction to the branding process, necessary to understand the basics of how a brand is formed, what a brand is, the components involved in branding, what branding does and who owns the brand. Useful selection of case studies.

International Baby Food Action Network (2011), available from [Accessed 21/04/2011]

Kenner, R, (2008), Food, Inc, [DVD], Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media.
A sobering examination of the American food industry. Probably not entirely relevant to my chosen subject, but it relates to my interest in the power companies wield.

Klein, N, (2000), No Logo, Great Britain, Clays Ltd, St Ives plc.
A personal account, written in a journalistic style, examines the relationship between branding and the anti globalisation movement. Klein uses several well-known companies such as McDonald’s and Nike and exposes their misdeeds.

Klein, N, (2000), The Tyranny of The Brands, New Statesman, London, Spencer Neal.
An essay that documents and examines the dominance of brands in the current market. Discusses the stirring anti globalisation movement.

Love, J, F, (1995), McDonalds: Behind the Arches, Bantam USA.
A history of the McDonald’s empire; focuses mainly on the individuals involved.

Mark Thomas on Coca Cola, Dispatches, (2007), Channel 4, 9th November.
Journalist Mark Thomas travels to South America, India and the US to investigate the way in which Coca Cola and its suppliers operate and how upholds moral and ethical obligations.

Prakash Sethi, S, (1994), Multinational Corporations and the Impact of Public Advocacy on Corporate Strategy: Nestlé and the Infant Formula Controversy (Issues in Business Ethics), Springer.
An in depth analysis of the Nestle baby milk controversy and the resulting boycott that sees the company shunned by numerous social activist groups.

Pendergrast, M, (2000), For God, Country and Coca Cola, Orion Publishing Group Ltd.
A history of The Coca Cola Company.

Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, available from: http: // [Accessed: 28/02/2011]
A website dedicated to the life and works of Rachel Corrie, an activist killed in Gaza.

Rachel Corrie In Memoriam, available from: [Accessed: 07/02/2011]
A website with links to a selection of the newspaper articles that have been published concerning Corrie’s death, useful for cross referencing to ensure information is correct.

Roddick, A, (2005), Business as Unusual: My Entrepreneurial Journey - Profits with Principles, Anita Roddick Books.
An account in Roddick’s own words how she founded, and the success, of The Body Shop.

Royle, T, (2000), Working for McDonald’s in Europe: The Unequal Struggle?, Routledge.
Relationship between the McDonalds Corporation and its employees in Europe, written in the form of a case study.

United Nations Children’s Fund, available from:
[Accessed; 20/04/2011] Search ‘baby milk formula’ in the website search engine for a selection of talks and slideshows which have been prepared to promote breastfeeding in developing countries.

Waitzfelder, M, (2007), L’Oréal Took My Home – The Secrets of a Theft, Arcadia Books.
Waitzfelder tells the story of how she has been carrying on a one-woman struggle against L'Oréal, the French cosmetics giant, which refuses to give back the Waitzfelder family house in Karlsruhe, Germany, which the company purchased under highly dubious circumstances after it had been confiscated by the Nazis.

White, B, (2009), Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, London, Pluto Press.
An introduction to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which exposes that which the West is hiding from the public; Israel’s apartheid regime.

World Health Organization, (2011), available from [Accessed 19/04/2011]

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Chapter Summaries

Business Start Up Guide {}

Chapter Summaries

Chapter 13: Exporting

This chapter looks at the problems and challenges a business will face when they begin trading overseas. Key points that should be considered when thinking about trading your product/service overseas:

• How will you find and develop your markets?
• What are the relevant regulations governing (a) exporting from the UK and (b) importing into the particular overseas market
• What methods of transport will be used?
• What are appropriate forms of packaging?
• How will you communicate effectively with clients at a distance?
• What cultural and other differences are there in business customs and etiquette?
• How will you deal with any language barriers? Will you need an interpreter or a translator?
• What is needed to adapt your contracts, and how much will this cost?
• Will payment delays seriously interfere with your cash flow, and how will you allow for this?
• How will you organise safe, efficient and prompt international payments? If payments are delayed, how will you enforce penalties?

The chapter then lists numerous organisations that may be able to assist the business and help overcome these problems when trading overseas:

UK Trade and Investment: offers support for UK companies who are keen to develop international business and also provides support for overseas companies wishing to invest in the UK. It offers designers interested in exporting a range of services that will maximise their chances of breaking into overseas markets.
Advice and Support: UK Trade & Investment’s network of International Trade Advisers based in local organisations such as Business Links and Chambers of Commerce can provide you with essential, impartial advice on all aspects of international trade.
Passport to Export: The Passport to Export programme combines many of UK Trade & Investment’s services in a cost-effective package specifically designed for new and inexperienced exporters.

These are just three examples of the organisations mentioned, and the chapter also mentions:

• Visiting trading seminars to test the market and attract customers,
• The Trade Development Officers, who are based at embassies and consulates, who can alert you to new business opportunities,
• Overseas Market Introduction Services who can introduce and connect you to staff overseas.

Chapter 14: Working with Agents and Distributors

This chapter discusses what to do if your products are not being sold direct to the client, and typically they will be sold through either a distributor or an agent, so which channel of distribution would best
suit your product/service.

Distributors are sales-based companies that buy and sell on.
Agents are independent sales representatives who sell your product to the most suitable retail outlet.

Costs involved when working with a Distributor:

• When working with a distributor, you will pay all manufacturing and development costs,
• Distributors will ask for a hefty discount on your normal trade price (the price at which you sell to the retailer). They will expect to mark up their cost price by around 40% before selling on. Ideally the price of the product should be approximately the same whatever channel they are sold through.

Costs when involved when working with an Agent:
• Agents usually work on commission and pay for all their own expenses,
• Most furniture agents will not contemplate taking on a company unless they can see a potential income of £7,500 to £10,000. This means you have to be able to produce £75,000 to £100,000 of furniture per annum. Some agents may work for less if they see potential for the future.

Always have a written agreement; either in the form of a contract or letters.

A representative carries out the same job as an agent, but he/she is an employee of your company; you are therefore liable for all of their expenses. The advantage of a representative is that he/she concentrates solely on selling your product, and you have complete control of his/her movements. However, the cost of a representative is rarely viable for a small company.

How to find the right Distributor or Producer:

• Have a full understanding of the product, its potential market costs and price point.
• Research similar products, or products that you feel work in the same market – find out who makes them, and who sells them.
• Visit trade shows; research the companies you are interested in approaching.
Find out who makes the decision on product selection; contact him/her to arrange a meeting to show the product.

How to find an Agent:

• By recommendation from another manufacturer.
• By advertising in trade journals.

Chapter 15: Getting Your Work Manufactured

This chapter helps you to decide whether or not your product is suitable for batch manufacture and highlights the issues involved.

Many designer/makers want to focus on the design and marketing of their products than producing a batch of them, which takes a great deal of time, so subcontracting is an option available.

However, there are questions that should be considered before you decide to go down this route;

• Can you sell enough subcontracted products at the right price? Your products may sell well in small numbers at a relatively high price, but will the demand and the price hold up when the product isn’t new any more? Will you be able to sell enough additional products to make the investment in manufacturing? To answer this you will need to have done some serious market research.
• Is your product suitable for mass production? Is it intended to be a bespoke item, or multiples of a commission piece? Because if so, it will need the personal touch.
• Quality control.

What does subcontracting the manufacture of your product involve?

• Raw materials,
• Production,
• Logistics (where is your product going to end up and how will it get there?)
• Packaging.

What are the processes involved? Can just one supplier produce your product, or will you require different suppliers to carry out different stages of production? And how much value is added at each stage?

Products made by one supplier:

• Easy to subcontract; the suppliers are adding value to the piece, you add a mark up and sell it on.

Products requiring many suppliers:

• If your product needs many suppliers, you are likely to be establishing a complex business and perhaps spending more time managing the various suppliers than when you made everything yourself. Can the design be refined to reduce its components or processes? Can you persuade suppliers to provide you with sub-assemblies rather than individual components only? If not, you probably need to redesign the product to take into account the capabilities of potential suppliers.

Products needing a small number of suppliers:

• The products that are most successfully subcontracted tend to need a small number of suppliers, each responsible for a key part of the product. You can develop good relationships with three or four suppliers in a way that you could not with ten. You can also have alternative suppliers in mind for when demand increases, or in case a supplier lets you down. You can build up a good body of knowledge in particular processes, and this may lead on to more designs. You can retain the highest value-added aspects of the production for yourself. For example, the final assembly and packaging is often where most of the value is added to a product, so if you retain an element of finishing for yourself, this will allow the product’s value to remain high as there is still a bespoke element in the product.

All three kinds of products can be subcontracted, but each kind will result in a very different role for you. It is important to establish what sort of business you want, and then fit the products to that business model, otherwise you run the risk that your first products will dictate the nature of what you end up doing.

Finding a suitable manufacturer:

• Numerous hard copy directories and internet sites, which you can research for listings,
• Think laterally – if you can’t find what you need, think of the processes involved and what does that process also make.
• There is no substitute for going to see manufacturers, discussing your requirements and adapting your design and other specifications if necessary. This also gives you an idea of the manufacturers’ character and how you could start to form a commercial relationship.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Semester 2, Assignment 2A: Post Consumerism

Our group poster which discusses and examines the characteristics of a 'post consumer':

Semester 2, Assignment 1: Learning Styles

For our first assignment of the semester, we were asked to complete a questionnaire known as the VARK test, which would give us an indication of our learning style, of which there were 4 possible outcomes: (text taken from Design Studies Handbook)

They involve themselves fully and without bias in new experiences. The immediate is important to them, enjoying the here and now. They are open minded and enthusiastic about new things with a 'I'll try anything once' philosophy. Activists are people who act first and consider the consequences afterwards so they are busy on- the-go tackling problems by brain storming. They like having other people around, involving themselves with others, at the same time seeking to centre all activities on themselves.

They are ponderous about experiences and observe them from many different perspectives. They methodically go about collecting and analysing data and this is the aspect they enjoy, postponing reaching definitive conclusions for as long as possible. They have a cautious philosophy and tend to take a back seat in meetings and discussions. They listen to the arguments before contributing to the discussion. They adopt a low profile and have a slightly indifferent, unruffled air about them. They act within a context of the past as well as the present and include other's observations as well as their own.

They create complex, but logically sound theories from their adaptations and interpretations of observations. They are logical, step-by-step people who assimilate all sorts of facts into coherent theories. Theorists are perfectionists who want everything to be tidily fitted into a rational scheme. They like to analyse and synthesise. Questions they frequently ask are 'Does it make sense?' 'What are the basic assumptions?' Their philosophy is based on rationality.

They want to see if ideas, theories and techniques work in practice. They seek out new ideas and take the opportunity to try them in practice as soon as possible. They like to get on with things and act quickly and confidently. They take ideas away from courses, events, discussions and at the earliest opportunity experiment with them in practice. They want to get on with things, so are impatient with long winded discussions.

My results were:
REFLECTOR: moderate
THEORIST: very low
PRAGMATIST: moderate

As I was not particularly drawn in one particular learning style, the results would suggest that I am multimodal learner, which means I can adapt my learning style to the task in hand.

The rest of my group's results:

The majority of our group are REFLECTOR learners.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Semester 1, Assignment 4: Summaries

What is Branding: Matthew Healey

“What is Branding?” begins by discussing the basics of the branding process. It looks at what a brand is, the components involved in branding, what branding does and who owns the brand. Healey covers all aspects of what is involved in developing a brand, and examines changes that may occur after a successful brand has been established, for instance, the evolution of a logo as time goes by, or the revamping of packaging. He then examines the relationship between branding and design, and how the latter can aid branding in achieving global success and ultimately profit.

Advertising plays a key role in promoting a brand, and through several examples, such as Fiat and Stella Artois, Healey explains that each brand “needs to tell a story” in order to sell its products, and that in order for advertising to be successful, it must tie the consumer emotionally with the brand, as “emotions drive our behavior [sic], including our buying.”

Healey also spends a chapter exploring “What Else Can Be Branded?”, which focuses on the logo of the Olympic Games, the five rings, and celebrities, such as David Beckham, and how being associated with a celebrity can further endorse a brand. He looks at the differences advertising faces when addressing men and women and how, in some cases, such as car manufacturers, to appeal to both sexes.

“What is Branding?” is an easy to swallow book as it breaks down the key components of the branding process from start to finish, and the helpfully named chapters allowed me to pick out the parts of the branding process I was most interested in and that would be most useful to me, without having to wade through masses of material. Healey takes a positive stance on the branding process, and admires the ways in which consumers can be influenced into buying a particular product, through clever, memorable advertising campaigns, although he is also fairly unbiased when examining the relationship between producer and consumer, and competition between companies. This unbiased approach is useful to me in understanding the process involved with branding, although it is not what I am choosing to examine in my dissertation, so Healey will be able to give me information, without swaying my viewpoint.

Healey’s approach is fairly simplistic, and he addresses this in the glossary of the book;

“While I have made a strenuous effort to avoid branding jargon in this book – I feel plain English is always preferable – there are some key terms and concepts, that readers may want to refer to …”

Having a glossary of branding terms explained succinctly will be useful when reading other books discussing branding, as they may not take this approach, so it is key to my understanding of the text.

Healey has used books and web resources when carrying out his research, and none of the books he has used have been written earlier than 1999 (the majority are from 2005 – 2006), which at the time of “What is Branding?” being published, would be nine years old, which suggests that the majority of the material in the book is fairly up-to-date. However, this only includes his secondary research, so his primary research may be more recent.

“What is Branding?” allowed me to examine the basics of the branding process, but in order to write my dissertation, I will need to look more in depth at certain areas covered, although not thoroughly examined, within the book and Healey has allowed me to see, in no great detail, what certain aspects entail which should help me in sorting through material into finding out what is useful and what is not.

Healey, M, (2008), What is Branding?, Switzerland, RotoVision SA

No Logo: Naomi Klein

Klein begins in her introduction by examining the reasons behind writing ‘No Logo’. She recalls her time living in Toronto, in what she calls a “ghost of a garment district”, and describes the dilapidated, boarded up warehouses, in one of which she resides, and her view of the area, which still features the faded signs advertising discontinued brands, that have never been removed, as no one has yet discovered how to make a profit from doing so, and as a result, the modern city has been built up around the area. She talks of the Polish and Russian immigrants that arrived in the 1920s and 30s, and the thriving sense of community and solidarity, as they formed unions for workers rights. She discusses how the area is now disintegrating, with the demand for the garments and items the workers manufactured, having fallen rapidly, and in some cases, is practically nonexistent.

“… And the need for a rhinestone bridal tiara if the need for such an item happens to arise (a Hallowe’en costume, or perhaps a school play…).”

Klein goes on to describe her visits to factories in Jakarta, Indonesian, that produce goods for various multinational companies that are widely recognised “back home” and the conditions in which the girls were subjected to, had resulted in a strike. She discusses these visits to various other locations and her own experiences that she can relate back to the workers; one example being that clothing is produced for the brand ‘Esprit’ and she, a teenager worked in a store which sold ‘Esprit’ clothing. Klein goes onto explain her reasons for writing ‘No Logo’, which she describes as:

“An attempt to capture an anticorporate attitude I see emerging among many young activists.”

Klein describes ‘No Logo’ as “not a book of predictions, but of a firsthand observation”, which would suggest that the majority of research she has undertaken in writing and producing ‘No Logo’ has been primary and has taken her to London for;

“The handing down of a verdict in the McLibel trial; to Ken Saro-Wiwa’s friend’s and family; to anti sweatshop protests outside Nike Towns in New York and San Francisco; and to union meetings in the food courts of glitzy malls”.

She goes on to describe in some detail the other locations that her “personal quest” has led her.

The book is divided into four main sections; ‘No Space”, “No Choice”, “No Jobs” and “No Logo”, each of which contains chapters discussing the title of that section, and ends with a conclusion and an afterword, which discusses the rise of anticorporate movements. Some section begin with two images, which relate of the content discussed in the following chapter, and there is a selection of statistical imagery displayed throughout the book, such as pie charts and graphs to show comparisons, so Klein has used secondary research that she has gathered to further her arguments, using sources such as ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘New York Times’, and Klein uses quotes at the beginning of the chapters which have been taken from books on advertising and from various people within in the world of branding, such as Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Corporation until 2005.

This analysis is based on only reading the introduction of ‘No Logo’ in depth and from scanning the remainder of the book, but from reading these few pages, it would be safe to assume that Klein will be taking a negative stance regarding the practises of multinationals and their treatment of their workers, but I would assume that Klein’s outcome would be fairly positive in that by educating and raising awareness of these malpractices, action can be taken in various forms, for instance boycotting the brand, which will affect profit and by passing on the information discussed in the book to spread the word.

Klein, N, (2000), No Logo, Great Britain, Clays Ltd, St Ives plc.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Statement For Exhibition of Narrative Project

The ongoing conflict in Palestine had always been an interest of mine, especially the situation in the Gaza Strip, which is home to 1,500,000 people, and in the winter of 2008, was subjected to air strikes by Israeli forces. Codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’, the attacks lasted from late December until mid January, and during this time, 1400 Palestinians were killed, and large areas of Gaza destroyed, leaving many thousands homeless. The stated aim behind the atrocity was to end rocket attacks into Israel by armed groups affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

My initial intention was to recreate a section of the 703 kilometre long ‘Separation Barrier’ which is built around the West Bank, dividing Israel and Palestine. However, as my research developed, I chose instead to design a layered piece, secured by rivets, with each layer representing a different section of the history concerning the conflict. The segment which depicts the photograph of the woman at an anti apartheid demonstration was to epitomise peaceful protest and the reaction of people all over the world as the events unfold in Gaza. The brass etching of the mosque was to symbolise the destruction of the heritage of the Palestinian people, and the wire fencing represents part of the ‘Separation Barrier’ and the people trapped behind it.

Colette Brown
‘Narrative Project’
Jewellery & Metal Design

Monday, 4 October 2010

Semester 1, Assignment 1: Wiki Article

Colette Brown
Jewellery and Metal Design

What is Branding?

A brand is a name, logo, symbol, slogan or colour combination that is used to identify a product, service or business. A brand is often used to project its companies’ values and objectives, and to communicate what the brand stands for, when reaching out to its audience; “Through the use of bright color [sic] and clever design elements, the Conseco Worksite logo communicates our mission and our energetic approach …” (Chordas, L, 2007).

The inspiration for brand names can come from a variety of sources and the most commonly used types are:

Creator/Family Name: the name is usually the surname of the person responsible for creating the concept, product or service e.g. Disney
Geographic: based on where the product was created and/or where it is manufactured e.g. Fuji Film
Descriptive: the name describes the product or services function
Abbreviations: the name is made up using initials e.g. IBM
Fabricated/Invented: completely made up words e.g. Wii

A Brief History of Branding

Branding was developed in the 19th century during the industrial revolution, when it became increasingly important for manufacturers to “create identifiable names and symbols to make their products stand out from their competitors” (Vaid, H, 2003). A brand is built, primarily through exposure through advertising. In the 1950s, branding and advertising took off on a much larger scale due to the invention and the availability of the television, and other methods such as radio, newspaper, magazines and other print advertising and the Internet have all been widely exploited. A brand can then begin to establish a reputation, and if successful, can create instant association with their product or service e.g. a McDonalds restaurant conveys to the consumer that they will be able to purchase cheap, fast food from them. The goal of the majority of companies is to become globally recognisible, therefore enabling them to amass sizable profit, whilst maintaining a consistent product or service, and constantly improving their advertising to keep them ahead of the competition of rival organisations.

Brand names which have been hugely successful through advertising and through continually providing a good service or product, have infiltrated their way into daily usage. Nowadays, it is common to refer to a vacuum cleaner as a ‘Hoover’, regardless of the company which produced them, as the brand becomes synonymous with the product. Customers often refer to adhesive tape as ‘Scotch tape’ or ‘Sellotape’, regardless of the company that has manufactured the tape, due to the aforementioned companies domination of the market.

When the brand is recognisable to the point that the name of the company is no longer required in order for the product to be distinguishable, but merely the logo or symbol to be present, it is the highest level of achievement for a business. Many companies have had such successful advertising campaigns, through billboards, television and radio advertisements, that the viewer knows exactly which product is being portrayed before the brand even appears on the screen. One such television advert was ‘Surfer’, used to promote ‘Guinness’, the popular Irish alcoholic beverage, and it first made it’s debut in 1999, and went on to become hugely famous. ‘Surfer’ depicted four men riding a colossal wave, whilst the foam generated by the force of the sea, transformed into several huge white horses, and the music track ‘Phat Planet’ by British band, Leftfield, played in the background, becoming increasingly louder as the advert progressed. ‘Surfer’ won a Gold Lion in Cannes in 1999 and was voted number 1 in the ’100 Greatest TV Adverts of all time, a poll run jointly by The Sunday Times and Channel 4 two years later in 2001. The slogan the advert was trying to project was “Good things come to those who…”, but in the success the advert had in becoming so hugely famous, and indeed in other similar campaigns, the original message has been lost, and it is the advert itself which sticks in the consumers mind, and through association, leads back to the brand.

The logo for The Coca Cola Company, one of world's most widely recognised brands.
(Image from:

Relevance of Branding to Design Practise

Usually a company begins with a concept; the invention of a product or service that will in some way enrich peoples lives. This can be the invention of a product that is faster or more convenient in completing a task than a previous product, or it can be a completely new product that the market has unfulfilled need for. Once the concept has been established, the design process can begin; the long arduous task of experimenting and probing until the product is ready to go out onto the market. For huge multinational companies such as Nike, there is a team of inventors and designers working round the clock to create the latest and most competitive product on the market, and enabling them to stay one step ahead of their rivals. For these massive companies, having a ready supply of experts is necessary as they are working within a very specific area and need to have all the facts and information there when creating their vision. The design process plays a huge role in the lead up to the finished product, but at the end when the product or service has been finished and is ready to go out into the world, there needs to be a powerful advertising campaign behind it, to raise consumers interest and persuade them to purchase.

For an already successful brand, this is simply a method of staying one step ahead of the game and thinking up new and more innovative ways of promoting their product. However, for a small and not quite as successful a company, group or individual designer, this can be an extremely difficult process of breaking into the market. Branding helps further and promote a product or service and establishing a brand is vital in gaining interest and therefore profit. Depending on the nature of the service or product and its target audience, the design of the packaging and advertising must be tailored to its individual needs. For instance, Camel cigarettes, introduced by American company R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, are sold in packets which have a dromedary camel on the front and on the back of the packet, is a scene featuring mosques and bazaars, which is in keeping with the idea of an exotic faraway land as suggested by the name.

Raymond Loewy was a designer working in the 20th century and is responsible for some of the worlds most hugely recognisable logos and designs, such as the slender Coca Cola bottle and the oil company, Shell logo. By designing these iconic pieces that are still used today, he increased sales and one such example is when the American Tobacco Company (ATC) commissioned Lowey to redesigned the packet for Lucky Strike cigarettes. Loewy changed the packet from green to white which increased product visibility and cut costs, as it eliminated the need for green dye. By improving the packaging in a small but significant way, Loewy aided in increasing the companies profit. Although the brand was already successful and established, a designer can improve on its current packaging by making it stand out more and have more of an impact of the consumer, therefore increasing sales and ultimately profit.


Chiaravalle, B, Findlay Schenck, B, (2010), Popular Types of Brand Names, Wiley Publishing

Chordas, L, (2007), Cosenco Worksite,

Mono, (2002), Branding: From Brief to Finished Solution, Switzerland, RotoVision SA

Reeves, R, (2006), Paradoxes of Perception, Management Today, Haymarket Publishing Services Ltd

Thibodeau, M, Martin, J, (2000), Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Branding and Design in Cigarette Packaging, New York, Abbeville Press

Unknown, (2002), Surfer, the Guiness TV Advert,

Vaid, H, (2003), Branding, Cambridge, The Illex Press Ltd