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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding188
LPK designed the packaging for a series of premium
chocolates for Cadbury North America.
Building Brands through Design
Designers shape the material world. Our role in commerce and culture is not to be denied.
We are no longer a profession that struggles for prestige and legitimacy but are recognized
as a critical component of the brand-building process worldwide.
Branding is a powerful business concept today. Fast-moving consumer goods have blazed
the trail. Corporations, municipalities, academic institutions, and even philanthropic organiza-
tions are mastering aspects of the brand-building process and improving their positions as a
result of their newfound brand sensibility.
Design strategy is recognized as a powerful tool in the
brand-building process. In a world where everything
works, it is difficult to successfully differentiate one
brand from another based on features or efficacy
alone. The way we connect emotionally with the
products and services in our lives is where the contest
begins, and that’s where design best serves brands.
The Design Council and many other academic and
professional organizations worldwide are helping our
industry make the case for design. The core thought is
that businesses in which design is integral to opera-
tions can consistently help increase competitiveness
and turnover.
My Personal Journey in the Design Profession
JERRY KATHMAN, President and Chief Executive Officer of LPK
in Cincinnati, Ohio
While pursuing a design degree at the University of Cincinnati, Jerry Kathman
interned at the London office of Cato Johnson where, he claims, the experi-
ence validated his commitment to working internationally. Years later the Cato
Johnson office in Cincinnati became the head office of his LPK global network.
As the leader of one of the most respected branding and design firms in the
world, Jerry relishes the challenges of helping his client’s brands successfully
compete in an increasingly globalized marketplace.
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189Twelve Key Determinants to Creating Successful Brands
(continued on page 190)
LPK created the successful personalities of these lead-
ing brands: Kellogg’s Special K and Herbal Essences.
Things are a bit complicated, however. We find
ourselves in a time of rapid and accelerating change.
Brand-building conventions that seemed timeless only
yesterday are being retooled or abandoned altogether.
Technology has challenged assumptions about the role
of branding and continues to radically transform busi-
ness and culture.
The globalization of brands has also caused companies
to abandon time-honored practices and reinvent their
business models. A small group of leading multination-
als has embraced change brilliantly and has enjoyed a
time of unparalleled success. Disruptions create new
winners. Ingenuity and agility are at a premium.
Transformed Consumers, Retailers,
and Brands
It’s not all about technology, though. Consumers have
changed radically, too. The way consumers procure
goods and services is very different from what it was
only decades ago. Consumers are better informed
and have more knowledge about the products and
services they purchase. The information imbalance
between buyer and seller no longer works against
consumers. Consumers today are self-confident and
self-identifying, and they’re self-selecting their way
through life. This empowerment is genuine, and it has
changed everything.
Retailers are changing just as rapidly. Worldwide, merchants are experimenting with size, for-
mat, and structure to entice this new consumer. A few retailers are attaining a scale and reach
unimagined only twenty years ago. Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, Metro, and a short list of others
have moved well beyond their home borders and can be found today in almost every corner
of the world. Carrefour is as much at home in São Paulo as it is in the suburbs of Paris.
My Personal Journey in the Design Profession
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