Independent Design – Brand Design and the Desire for Freedom
Brands with their specific strategies and design solutions are, by and large, always a mirror of society. Wherever consumers’ interests, desires and behaviors change, the need for companies to take action with regard to their own branding automatically increases. In view of the developments during the Corona pandemic, numerous brands, including established ones, have to ask themselves whether the values they embody with their philosophy and design still match the values of their target groups or whether changes or adaptations are needed.
The repeated lockdowns have affected the quality of life of many people to an extremely high degree. Some people have not coped well at all with the isolation and the enforced renunciation of contacts and company in both the private and public spheres, as evidenced by reports ranging from stressful loneliness to genuine depression. Older people living alone in particular have been massively affected by measures such as curfews and contact restrictions. But deprivation of liberty has not passed the younger generations by without leaving a trace, only with different effects.
Many young people react “defiantly” to the restrictions, so to speak. While the quest for independence, individuality and self-realization was already an important issue for them before, it has become even more so since the Corona pandemic and its extraordinary side effects. Being free represents more than ever the goal to be achieved day by day. Of course, each person must decide for himself what freedom means to him, but here we mean first and foremost to be able to do whatever he wants, whatever he feels like doing.
So it is precisely the young who want to break out, to get rid once and for all of the tight corset into which they have been forced by the government and – above all – the viruses. Whether this is right or wrong remains to be seen. In any case, it is a clear trend. And so here we are again with the question addressed at the beginning, with which brands definitely have to confront themselves as a result of this new situation. Should values and design features be adapted? Put positively: Brands that target younger people can take advantage of the development and push their kind of breakout.
But what does such a breakout look like? We’re referring to “independent designs,” with which even established brands can break out, so to speak, and embrace the updated values of their customers. This mainly requires a successful idea, which of course presupposes creativity. But the changed values and designs must not make the brand unpredictable under any circumstances. In other words, it must remain true to its brand identity, but can certainly set new stimuli within this framework in order to show the target group: “We understand you and want the same thing.”
It’s quite possible that a fresh wave of hedonism will follow the Corona crisis. The restrictions of the lockdowns have made us all more aware of the great importance of socializing, partying with family and friends, going out, and traveling and taking trips in general. We now know that, in truth, not even these freedoms taken for granted are really self-evident. Our guess is that younger people, in particular, will be even more experience-oriented after the pandemic than before – and so brands will have to be, too.