Alan Murdock

Brand Strategy

Brand Strategy was a course in the Design Management program I managed at The Art Institute of Portland. The course emphasized developing a brand platform from a mission and vision statement that could express the brand story and resolve in visual and linguistic expressions of the brand. Students developed a mission and vision in a team environment, conducted a market assessment and brand audit to assess market opportunity, then developed and executed on a creative brief. The emphasis in this class was on the interplay between creative services and business strategy to result in market success. The featured project resulted in a 35 page brand audit, market positioning, brand strategy and identity package. A few images pulled from the report follow.


The Towaga brand was developed under the marketing mode of "nostalgia." Students assessed that their market, young "hipsters" living in an urban environment had nostalgia for what they perceived to be a more rugged and connected lifestyle expressed by vintage clothing, bicycles, photographs and back to nature activities like camping and fishing. The brand story developed around these activities, and while the foundational product category was coffee, the team perceived brand extensions into activities such as climbing, rafting and survivalist outings. The team was made up of students Valerie Haeussler Johnson, Alex Jones, Vivian LaBrocke, Adi Zuccarello, Dave Rivera and Brandon Carter. Coaching and feedback was provided by class instructor Sondra Huber, advertising lead faculty Tim Mantz and me in the position of Design Management Academic Director.

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