Category Archives: Identity

NEW IDEAS! EXCITED! (BETA)

 

Screenshots of feedback outside class:

FEEDBACKScreen Shot 2019-03-29 at 9.06.20 pm

Ijumaa_is

My project is called ‘Growth.’ It is an EP that considers the future in 10 – 20 years’ time. I hope to influence the cycle of negative energy that we are currently digesting. The world needs to learn to love and compromise rather than destroy. I have researched the history of performance in Ancient Greece and how music frequency can be engineered to create calm and peacefulness. It is my hope that through the combined effort of my performance, message and frequency that you are all inspired to live and impact positively however you can. I love you all beautiful souls!

WORKING PROTOTYPE!!!

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Grown Ass Kid, Social Branding on Instagram

The project I have chosen to curate my research on, is developing growth of the presence of a start-up fashion brand through the creation of an Instagram account, titled after the fashion brand which I have set out to create, ‘Grown Ass Kid’.

Link to the previous blog post: https://fernandezreece.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/cultivating-a-brand-from-the-ground-up/ 

Recently I have set out to create an Instagram account where I will attempt to try and campaign various clothing products which I be releasing and designing myself, while campaigning the start-up brand I will be using various academic sources, statistics and advice in a trial and error process to see what methods and communication processes are most helpful in achieving a strong brand presence online.

Strong in the sense of the reach it has with it’s followers and to a further audience and also in the sense that the brand identity is something which individuals can feel that is an extension of themselves. Something they can use for self expression. During the time of writing (23/4/18) the curation of a branding campaign is yet to begin, due to personal reasoning of wanting to begin the process with the release of the next Grown Ass Kid product which has been in the works for two months and is in the final steps now.

Although my previous work on Grown Ass Kid can be found on my previous linked blog post or my personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reecefernandez/.

 

The aim of my research project does not lie within the marketing aspect of social branding, where influencers/popular account’s endorse products and services as a marketing strategy but rather the communication aspect of it. How to optimally use communication methods to post good, well received content and properly develop a dedicated group of followers/consumers who interact with the brand whole heartedly.

When I think of branding now days I think of branding campaign’s, campaigns that stem from traditional media to online platforms. Although in the era of social media, branding will always win when it has been channelled through this medium. Branded content on social media allows companies to forge relationships directly with consumers, you are able to post relevant content with your audience and stay directly connected to them in real time by posting into their personal feeds where consumers can interact with each other on an equal level. By doing this your brand is able to become a community hub for its consumers (Douglas Holt, 2016).

Companies have noted the relationship between consumers and social platforms and amongst these social platforms Instagram is thriving as the perfect platform to establish brand/consumer relationships. Instagram is able to curate content and build successful relationships with their audience due to the visual nature of the platform, 71% of online marketers have been recorded to use visual assets in their social media marketing (Social Media Examiner 2015 via Hubsport.com) and visual interactions are key in branding as researches have found that coloured visuals increase peoples willingness to read content by 80%. (Xerox 2014). Visual content being key and the ability to connect via likes, hashtags and comments are what makes Instagram the go to for branding.

Within Instagram there are multiple methods to curating your presence. Advantageously planning the way your grid of photos are presented on the profile is key in defining a distinct individual aesthetic. The key strategies in creating a visually pleasing sequence of photo’s is to follow rules set by Lev Manovich 2016:

Use of a single visual style in your gallery or have few reserved for particular subjects:

  • The way I will achieve this is by choosing to shoot most, if not all content for my brand using the medium of 35mm film photography. A personal hobby of mine.

When posting a sequence of photo’s overtime, no two photos should be aligned with each other that share similar values. E.g photo’s from the one photoshoot or photo’s that show the same subject should not be posted alongside each other, like so: 

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– By using applications such as ‘Snug’ or ‘Unum’ this can be achieved. Snug and Unum are applications which allow the user to preview what posted content would look like on their profile by letting the user post pictures on a draft version of the Instagram grid.

Managing the brands Instagram account in the form of statistics is a necessity. Viewing these stats is of high importance as it allows me to see how much reach per person each upload gets, as well as each profile visit I receive through the uploaded photo. Instagram provides these tools via their ‘business account’ setting. I will also be using third party apps such as ‘Command’ for a much more detailed insight into the analytics of the account. Command visualises stats such as:

  • Engagement Rate
  • Post Frequency Rate
  • Average Likes
  • Best Time to Post to achieve maximum reach

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These will be of huge help to develop my understanding of optimising my use of Instagram behind the scenes as well as learning what attributes to the creation of a successful post, assisting to my trial and error method of posting.

For the future of my online brand I will hope to have the campaign up and running by the time of presentation, as of writing 25/4/18 I have just placed an order in 40 blank hoodies which I am having sent to have the design printed. Once I receive the final product back, I will begin campaigning for the brand through videos, photoshoots and competitions. I believe the best way to achieve a successful start is by having a core brand product being associated with the beginning of an online account.

 

References: 

http://popai.com.au/wp-content/uploads/March-PDF/Branding-the-age-of-social-media.pdf (Douglas Holt, 2016, Branding in the Age of Social Media. Harvard Business Review P41. Date Accessed 23/4/18)

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics?_ga=2.97055901.361101574.1524464722-228448703.1524464722 (Social Media Examiner 2015 via Hubsport.com, Date accessed 23/4/18)

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics?_ga=2.97055901.361101574.1524464722-228448703.1524464722 (Xerox 2014, Via Hubsport.com. Date Accessed 24/3/18)

http://manovich.net/content/04-projects/147-instagram-and-contemporary-image/instagram_book_manovich.pdf (Lev Manovich, 2016 Instagram and Contemporary Image, Creative Commons License. Date Accessed 24/3/18)

A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer

elysium design utopia

After a semester of research into online identities and branding, I finally  have a finished product!  Definitely the most interesting research based assignment I’ve undertaken at university which is both brilliant and terrifying because the research hasn’t just stopped because I finished the subject.  Anywho, the image below is linked, and the PDF is interactive (aka the contents gives you a quick jump to the right page), hope you enjoy!

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

That means you can SHARE and ADAPT this work, as long as it is for NON COMMERCIAL purposes and you give ATTRIBUTION.

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A Digital Network: Brand and Consumer

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User Generated Content

elysium design utopia

When brands utilise fan made, or user generated content, it becomes the advertising equivalent of citizen journalism.  It promotes the idea of participatory culture, while also adding to the narrative of the brand identity, and creating a community of collective understanding, collective intelligence, and collective passion (or brand tribes) around the brand organisation.

Bruns (2007) outlines characteristics of produsage with these 4 main points:

  • Moving away from dedicated individuals/teams, towards broader generation and distribution via participants;
  • Produsers move between the roles of leader; participant; and content user;
  • The generated content isn’t necessarily a finalised product, but something which can still develop;
  • Deliberate blind eye turned from copyright, in order to build upon existing works for further engagement.

A great example of a brand utilising user generated content to tell a targeted narrative are the hashtags UOW promotes to highlight student culture: #ExperienceUOW (1 | 2

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Who do you say you are online?

elysium design utopia

Personal branding is something we all interact with in this digital age, whether consciously or not.  Creating a username for a site you sign up to is one of the simplest ways this can play out: that username you choose is meant to reflect you, your identity, and act as an identifier for others, alerting them to your posts and interactions.  Further signifiers such as your profile picture/dp/avatar and bio boxes solidify this identity, giving other people more information about the online persona.

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Let’s take a look at my own twitter profile and what I believe it says about me:

  • Cover photo/Background image: My cover photo was chosen because it reflects a moment of me accomplishing something huge; climbing up to the top of a dormant volcano, despite stress and anxiety at being unfit comparatively to the rest of my family.  While not all those who visit my profile know this backstory…

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Performance of Online Identity

Our social media profiles provide a platform to tell a narrative about a subject we have the ultimate authority on: Ourselves.  So how does this tie into branding?  As highlighted earlier, “branding is not the logo, it is not the name, but rather it is a conceptual idea, which gives consumers ‘something to believe in.” (Turner, 2015).  Placing this into a personalised context, it means that our  digital identity is not based solely on our avatars, usernames, and bios; it is formed around what we utilise our platforms for, what message we communicate though our tweets, our Instagram pictures, our status updates on Facebook.  The avatar/username/bios form a quick overview, while the content we publish allows the audience to get a better understanding of who we are. “In essence, our online selves represent our ideals and eliminate many of our other real components.” (Green, 2013)

Are our online identities accurate reflections of who we are as a whole?  Do we successfully communicate the way we understand and approach life through our digital profiles?  Or do we instead present a false construction of ourselves online?  One of the ideas I suggested in my post about branding and transmedia, is that perhaps our online identity varies across different platforms, together creating a larger narrative of the self, but also existing separately, without the need of information from another network.

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If we are displaying different aspects of ourselves through different social networks, it becomes clear that we are curating our online presence for different audiences.  Our representation of self, although only an aspect of our identity is still a vital part of it, not making it any less valid than a social network which includes all possible information in one space; but rather targeted towards a more specific audiences.

“When an individual plays a part he implicitly requests his observers to take seriously the impression that is fostered before them. They are asked to believe that the character they see actually possesses the attributes he appears to possess, that the task he performs will have the consequences that are implicitly claimed for it, and that, in general, matters are what they appear to be.” (Erving Goffman, 1959)

We enter into the social media space, assuming that the content published is an accurate representation of oneself, in some way; however when the narrative presented conflicts with itself, the authenticity has been lost.  Davis (2010) suggests that we “preemptively alter our offline selves in order to authentically convey ourselves online in a particular way”,  which is an interesting concept if we acknowledge that we present different aspects of ourselves through different social networks.  If we are trying to authentically portray ourselves, do we lose authenticity if we omit certain aspects of our lives? I would argue that this is not the case, and Owen’s (2011) takes the idea of authenticity and how showing different aspects of self in different environments is still an authentic representation of ourselves: “James is an honest man and also kind. At the funeral of his wicked uncle, he will not be honest about his thoughts about the deceased, in order to be kind to the feelings of the rest of his family. […] Our identities are not socially universal.”  As such, we perform for different audiences, we aim to create a highly curated feed of information about ourselves, which is specifically directed at an audience, with similar interests, similar personality types, similar ideals.

As some extra food for thought; if we portray a different element of our overall identity on digital platforms, and chose to invest in AI technology after we died, would that mean our varied social presences would generate a number of vastly different versions of ourself as a result of the content we have access to?

Digital Life After Death

Do you have a digital plan for when you die? An idea of what you want to do with your online presence after death? “Nine out of 10 Australians have a social media account of some description, yet the vast majority have not even had a conversation – let alone written anything down – about what should happen to these accounts when they die,” (Brad Hazzard, 2014)

What if you could live on after death?  What if, when you died, your social networks took the information you had provided it with, and then integrated it with software which analysed the way you interacted with the medium, and was able to continue your interaction for you?

Although the above video is intended as a parody of sorts, this sort of thinking isn’t too far off, with research underway, and programs already existing that play this sort of role.

Currently, Facebook opts to memorialise accounts when people pass away, unless family members request for it to be deleted, but what if we didn’t have to stop at the idea of posting tributes, and tagging our loved ones in the statuses.  What if we could just message them, tell them how much we loved and/or missed them and get a response?

Two years ago, I had a friend my age pass away from cancer, and I had sent her messages in the days leading up to this.  I had dyed my hair purple as it was her favourite colour, and wanted to show my love and support for her through this difficult time.  While I’m sure she did not see the post, it makes me wonder what would have happened if this technology was available.  What would she have said? Would it have reflected the girl I knew, and if it did, would she really be dead?  And if the AI which responded evolved over time based on conversations, would she still be the same person as when she physically died?