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Embodied brand meaning through design aesthetics: An Underdog Brand Story

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This paper is an experimental contribution aimed at empirically exploring
design as a method of managing the materiality of brand experiences. Little
attention has been given to the importance of the sensory-perceptual
encounters of the material qualities of brands, that to which the embodied
aesthetic knowledge of design attends. The perspective of embodied
cognition and John Dewey’s notion of art as experience serve as the
theoretical and methodological underpinning for a design project of
developing a personal brand. I use an artistic research approach to consider
how my intersubjective experience of a personal brand, through the material
management of my clothing, acquires meaning through both concrete
qualities and abstract concepts that operate between me and others. The
purpose is offer an (en)active, embodied orientation to design management
and to challenge the predominant research assumption that brands meaning
can be represented through primarily symbolic relationships. “Underdog”
refers to this embodied perspective of design knowledge that is not
considered in brand management research but gets filtered through cognitive
research frameworks for understanding the symbolic dimension of brands or
managerial decision-making.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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