Briefs

BBB Design Group has recorded a pre-tax profit of 80 000 in the six months to end-October 1995, compared with a loss of 88 000 for the same period in the previous year.

Zero 2 Design has designed a new logo for Portman Corner, the bar and restaurant area of London’s Portman Hotel, with new interiors by RPW Design Partnership.

A total of 48 bids have been made for the Design Council-controlled 250 000 in Government funds available for design projects in 1996/7. The grants will be announced next month.

Salisburys, the luggage chain, is considering applying Allen International Consulting Group’s store concept – being piloted in Maidenhead – to its 175 outlets.

The design team at Hertfordshire’s MBS Advertising has won a paid pitch to design a new identity for Project Office Furniture.

Greenwich Design Associates has designed a poster, cassette cover and leaflets for a spoof Archers radio advert for Select – Shell’s forecourt shop chain.

As food retailers’ margins face a medium-term squeeze, development and design of new formats and non-food ranges will gain importance in differentiating leading players, a new report from Verdict Research predicts.

The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet’s plans to move into an Ian Ritchie Architects-designed theatre at London’s Tower Bridge during renovation of their Covent Garden home are in doubt as the new theatre has yet to find a tenant to move in after the temporary stay.

DOCB:

SRCE: Design Week

PDAT: 120196

WRDS:

SCTN: News

PGNO: 4

HDLN: Confusion reigns over mixed brand messages

SBHD:

BYLN: By Clare Dowdy

TEXT:

Consumer brands, although keen to heighten their profiles in the battle for customer loyalty, are sending out inconsistent messages, says Dragon International.

From its research into brand reputation, the group maintains that design has a role in articulating more clearly brand values and behaviour to the customer.

The group wrote eight different query letters under the guise of typical consumers to 50 leading brands in the drinks, food and household products sectors. The letters’ themes ranged from the brands’ pricing or environmental policies to complaint procedures and ideas for recipes.

Responses were judged on speed, tone, quality, accuracy and fullness, and were treated as a gauge to the brand’s consistency of behaviour. The best replies came from Colgate, Schweppes, Anchor, Weetabix and Famous Grouse.

Some discrepancies were thrown up by the letters. For example if a consumer writes to Dolmio why do they often get replies from Master Foods, its corporate company? “When a brand is aiming for loyalty, you have to ask what they are expecting their customers to be loyal to,” says Keith Wells at Dragon.

“We will be looking at brand hierarchy on packs as a form of presentation, and the relationship between the corporate owner and the brand. From a designer’s point of view, this offers up an enormous amount of work,” he adds.

Dragon has developed an analysis system it calls ReputationPower as a result of the group’s research.

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