BrandBox: Conformity By Design, in Design

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PRINTCast: The PRINT Podcast Studio is a curated collection of cutting-edge podcasts we love about design, creativity, branding, books, and further subjects afield. Soon, we’ll have a dedicated digital listening room. In the meantime, we present the latest episode of BrandBox, “a (playful and thoughtful) podcast on the strategies and effects of brands.”

What do “Survival of the Fittest” and branding have in common?

More than you might think—because ultimately Survival of the Fittest is about fitting in.

On that note, let’s say you worked for IBM back in the day. You had to wear a specific type of suit. And you had to wear socks with garters—and, yes, the top brass would check to make sure you were indeed strapped in.

Think such conformity is a product of a Midcentury past? As the latest episode of BrandBox explores, it continues to this day. There are just more niches to it.

“There has been an explosion of models to which one can conform,” co-host Mark Kingsley says. “But you are still trapped within that expectation of conformity within any kind of milieu. There is a behavior that is persistent that you must follow, there is a language—which is why you hear a lot of brand people talking about brand positioning and customer segmentation and using the word bucket, or the word leverage, that kind of stuff. It’s both conformity, and it’s also fear—it’s fear of standing out, a fear of not fitting into these [preconceived] notions.”

So what does it all mean? In “Fit for Use,” Kingsley and Tom Guarriello break it down.

Stay tuned to Clubhouse tonight, as well, for a live breakdown of all things related to the episode at 6 p.m. (ET).

Show Notes

SVA Masters in Branding program // Music courtesy of Mikel Rouse // Dr. Tom Guarriello // Mark Kingsley