Drawing upon publications in the French press, this article considers three interweaving themes that characterized the construction of the Euro Disney park. It then offers an analysis of the historical context for and the implications of the park's construction, using the literature of French cultural studies and cross-cultural studies for support. It concludes with a discussion of the possible consequences to the company of Disney's negative image in the French press.
Designers often tell us part of their responsibilities is to enhance the branding of a site, product, or organization. In recent years, we've focused our research on understanding how design can have a positive effect on a brand. In our research, we've learned that brands are an investment instrument. With a savings account, money is deposited so that interest accrues -- the investment grows over time.
“Branding” is one of those issues we picture the marketing VPs of Intel or Kraft Foods worrying about--hardly something for us to concern ourselves with. It’s easy, after all, to appreciate the value of a brand like Coca-Cola, but near impossible to see how the same principles apply to an organization with an advertising budget something less than 30 million dollars. Or is it? Like it or not, your organization and the products or services it sells, have a brand. It is the sum of all the impressions your prospects and customers collect from the first time they hear your voice, see your brochure, or link to your Web site. And if you don’t take branding seriously, you’re leaving a critical piece of the marketing puzzle to little more than chance.
I've been in the following scenario several times. I'm in a meeting room with the web and marketing teams and there is a raging debate about brand guidelines. A proposed improvement to the design contravenes the guidelines. One group think that branding is more important than usability. The other group think the opposite. They are both wrong. Usability is branding. It shapes people's opinions of your product or organisation.
Half of knowing where you're going is knowing where you are. So a fundamental part of creating a great web is to let your readers know where they are at all times. One way, of course, is to use tabs and menus that literally tell them where they are. Here at ideabook.com, for example, you know where you are by looking at the top of the page–-the tab tells you you're in the 'DESIGN PALETTES' section and the headline tells you the article title.
The best brand voices are true reflections of the people behind the companies. But people change and businesses grow, so we can't expect brand voices to remain stagnant and predictable. It's possible to have a voice that's consistent, but still evolves over time. And it all starts with honesty. When an organization's content is rooted in truth, its voice and tone tend to fall into place.