Reflective Essay



Many companies are competing with others in the same industries; thus, they always try to look for their own strategies to make unique character. Special branding strategy is very important to catch out a customer’s eye. In that, colour branding can be a solution for them. I have interested in that and want to be a specialist of colour branding. Especially, I have a strong interest of store display or window display for attracting the customer using colour strategies. It can give some image of a company to a customer by impressing the speciality. Visual merchandising is a kind of branding strategy as well as marketing strategies. Sen S., Block LG., and Chandran S. explored (2002) how the store and product category information communicated by a store’s windows are related to customer’s shopping decisions. Consumer can use window displays to obtain a variety of specific information regarding the retailer. Atmospherics stimuli enhance the degree of consumer participation in a store, leading to favourable purchasing behaviours (Law, D et al, 2012). Thus, when customer observes the window display, it connected directly to the information about the store; finally the store entry decision is decided.

In the process of this business project, I can learn various strategies for branding and marketing including display design. In this essay, I will discuss what I learned related to colour branding strategies. There are 4 categories about what I learned in this lecture, branding, storytelling, marketing and visual merchandising strategy. For each area, I will describe some theories and practices in my experience.

About our business


Our product is a nail pen, Enamel London. It has remover and essential oil to keep our nail healthy and moisturised. It is very handy and easy to use; thus, we can bring the nail pen in our pouch all the time. We started to develop our product from last September and have been in our journey for producing the real item of business.

Our group are three, Taru, Irene and me. Although we have some difficulties in our journey, we made successful outcome in the end.


What I learned, Firstly Branding.   


Because I want to be a specialist for colour branding and marketing, I try to focus on that area through the whole journey in this business project. To have a clear view and opinion, I searched some books on that. One of the books is written by Schmitt B. and Simonson A. in 1997, Marketing Aesthetics. The said that the vitality of aesthetics in customers’ lives provides opportunities for organizations to appeal to customers through a variety of sensory experiences and thereby benefit both the customers and the organizations through customer satisfaction and loyalty. The word, Marketing aesthetics is related to the colour branding strategies. It is like a marketing of sensory experiences in brand output that contributes for making the identity and image. In this experience, I want to emphasize the effect of colour. First of all, I and Irene try to decide the proper colour for our brand. Because we want to make a chic and simple image, we considered black and white concept first. In colour theory, black means authoritative and powerful because black can evoke strong emotions. It is a classic colour for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated (visual.ly, 2012). When it uses with white, it has contrast effect and highlights simple and refined feeling. In addition, our product is for women from 25-35; thus it is necessary to highlight feminine and pretty identity. Therefore, we decided to use baby pink and cherry pink colour as a sub-one. Because softer pink is associated with romance and the blush of a woman’s cheeks, it is really helpful for attracting many women.



1 Branding Outcomes



Using these colours, we designed our product, package and display. In other words, we choose the package with black lid and white bottle. Also, we made our simple logo using black and white to highlight our main concept, feminine and chic. When people buy our product, they encounter with a package first. Therefore, we should stress our concept on the box package. I make a paper box to contain a product and the colours are baby pink, black and white. In the package, I want to highlight a simple and chic image more; thus, I do not use a vivid colour but mild and monotone colours. On the box, there is only our logo not using any other explanation. It is helpful to illustrate chic feeling and polished first impression of our product. I designed two kinds of package, for an each piece (remover / oil) and for two set product (remover and oil).


2 Package Design





Recently, it is essential for all companies to make people get moved by exposing on their marketing strategy. Telling the stories about the product or brand is more important to make customer experience emotionally. There are many successful examples of storytelling; thus, many companies try to be close with customers by gaining the sympathy with them.

Brown T. insists (2009) we rely on stories to put our ideas into context and give them meaning. In addition, storytelling plays an important role in the intrinsically human-centred approach to problem solving. Sometimes storytelling itself can be a final product. I really agree with this opinion because I think communication and sharing is a keyword for latest business condition.

In our business, telling the story is also important for informing our product to customer. Therefore, we suggest a story focusing on handiness and convenience. First of all, our personas are two girls. First woman is 27 years old. She is a professional fashion model so, she has many audition and fashion shows. She wants to keep her nails groomed very fancy so bring our product all the time to keep them great. Second woman is a professional officer, 31 years old. She has many meetings in a day and has to meet many official parties. She wants to show herself perfectly anywhere, anytime. Thus, she uses our product to keep her nails healthy and pretty. These two girls’ common point is, they are busy. Our nail pen is small and easy to grip; thus, women can bring it all the time in her pouch. We want to emphasize handiness and convenience for all customers, not using a bottled remover and cotton.

To communicate with our customer well, we made our advertisement using the stories. Our group member, Irene made an idea for this advertisement. There is a twin who enjoys grooming their nail. First, they stayed in their room but they realized they are late for the appointment. They have to be rush; however, discover their nail un-groomed. They decide to go out first; thus, bring a bottled remover and cotton for one girl, our product for other. When they arrive in the bust stop, they start to groom their nails in the waiting time. The person who use our product finish grooming very handy and easy; however, another girl who bring many things cannot help moving fast when the bus come. In comparing the two girls, we want to highlight strong point of our product. By sharing the story and gaining sympathy with customer, we can create another benefit for marketing and branding.



3 Synopsis for our advertisement



How to do “Marketing”


From this class, Designing a business, I can learn many lessons on how to do “marketing”. We got twice lectures about that and it is really helpful for understanding the marketing theoretically. I learned that developing an individual marketing strategy is more important in this fast changing market. The reason that the relationship is crucial is that individuals in contemporary society are complicated more and more. In other words, a person in recent society is a materialistic individual who constructs him/herself through his/her consumption. Additionally, they try to look for strong emotions in their consumption all the time. It can be their life styles or their characterized patterns of buying. Second important stage is Customer segments. It is for deciding the most important customer for proper marketing and branding strategies. After marketers choose their target, they should analyze on their customers’ emotional, physical and cognitive needs.



Like this, the influence of customer is essential for all the stages for developing the product and services more and more. From a lecture by Dr. Catherine Morel, we can think about the importance of customer again. In the post modern marketing, the word, tribes, has used very often. The lecturer let us know about,


‘In post-modern marketing, the consumer is not just a passive target for image marketing but an active link in the continual production of meanings. He calls for an experience-based marketing that emphasizes interactivity, connectivity and creativity’. (Cova, 1996)


Therefore, the tribe is more characterized customer for contemporary market and they want to create and share strong emotional link in the process of consuming. All producers including us, try to create and keep in-depth approaches on the tribes. In our journey, we also try to define our own tribe and analyze them. Our main tribe is a women from 25-35, who is fashionable, professional and enjoys many eco-friendly products. Defining a tribe bring some new potential into their own products or services.




Creative Opportunity, Visual Merchadising.


I always think that colour is a key element for marketing and branding strategy. The writer of a book that I mentioned before, Marketing Aesthetics, said (1997) companies can make colour the major focus of their identity by utilizing a single distinctive colour or a colour palette as part of their visual identity. In their product, logo and display design, the power of colour exists. From the article of Fast Company, the implications of colour’s effect on people’s emotions are far reaching, and understanding your customers’ connections to certain colours could increase the effectiveness of the company’s branding methods. Therefore, I will suggest some colour strategy for our product and brand; thus, we prepare many colour concepts for our brand. Among the concepts, display design work was quite interesting. I developed the idea for visual merchandising of our product for twice trade fair. According to a post from MACE blog (http://macekingston.wordpress.com), I suggest creating a setting, not just putting a table with product on it.


In the trade fair, we prepared a display design using feminine concept. First of all, for our main tribe, we use some colours – hot pink, baby pink, black and white – to emphasize feminine and chic style. These vivid colours are helpful to catch customer’s attention as well as explain our concept. Also, we use flower shaped decoration to arrange our products. It makes our atmosphere more beautiful and decorative. Our display design also have story, a medicine. Because the product uses a mustard oil which has some medicinal function, we try to symbolise this function in our display concept. Therefore, we made a medicine box and the name of medicine is Enamel London. On the box, there is a caution and usage for the medicine, “Take daily, anytime you want”. It can be a tip for our customer when they use a product. In the tablet hole, there is a product. When a people see our display design, they think that it is a kind of medicine. However, inside, there is a cosmetic product. It is helpful to make some impression using reversal meaning. Also, it emphasizes that you can bring Enamel London all the time like a tablet box because it is small, handy and convenient to use. To highlight the meaning, we use a phrase, “It is time to take medicine, Enamel London”. Many customers look at the phrase very interestingly and ask many questions to us.






To sum up, I tried to develop some abilities by considering 4 fields, branding, storytelling, marketing and visual merchandising. I have thought that colour strategy is really important to make an identity for the brand and company. In our business, colour strategy is an essential step for developing the work. We tried to keep the Marketing Aesthetics for all the process. Using a design method for marketing and branding provides opportunities for organizations to appeal to customers; therefore, it is necessary to let customer have a visual experience.







Brown, T. (2009). Change by design, New York : Harper Business


Cova, B. (1996). The postmodern explained to managers: implications for marketing. Business Horizons39(6), 15-23.


Law, D., Wong, C., & Yip, J. (2012). How does visual merchandising affect consumer affective response?: An intimate apparel experience. European Journal of Marketing46(1/2), 112-133.


Schmitt, B., & Simonson, A. (1997). Marketing aesthetics: The strategic management of brands, identity, and image. New York: Free Press.


Sen,S., Block,L. G., & Chandran, S. (2002). Window displays and consumer shopping decisions. Journal of Retailing and Consumer services9(5), 277-290.


Lecture data


Presentation file by Catherine Morel “Marketing Session” (11th October 2013)




Advertisement, Enamel London

Available at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AQNhOB48pw


Web data


Visual.ly , “The psychology of Colour”

Available at : http://visual.ly/the-psychology-of-color


Fast Company



Mace WordPress



Colour Theory#2_Faber Birren

Psychological meaning of Colour by Faber Birren


From / imgfave.com

From / imgfave.com

He was a practitioner in colour industry, not academic scholar. However, he dealt with various kinds of colour experiments and case studies to make the theory about colour physiologically, visually, and psychologically. Birren was a prolific author producing 25 books and scores of articles in a variety of venues from peer-reviewed journals to high-circulation popular magazines, which allowed him to leave a permanent legacy of his work in colour through his successful career (Yale university library, no date). In fact, this book is focused on the reaction of people when they face a colour. Thus, Faber barren mainly analysed colour preference and personality from his practical research. He prepared a series of abstract colour studies that had same design but featured different main colours. Then, he made his subjects of experiment react to express between strong likes and dislikes. He accumulates the results and built up a library of references and case histories. Finally, he analysed the meaning of individual colours, even the feeling or situation of subjects. He made 10 categorises from the research and it has full meaning because he considered more specific signification of the relationship between colours and reaction of people.



Colour Meaning
Red Impulsive, possibly atheistic, sexy, quick to speak his mind

Emotional, brave

Pink Protected, recall of youth, gentility, affection, innocuous.
Orange Social colour, cheerful, luminous, and warm rather hot

Irish character

Enviable good cheer and with the unique ability to get along with anyone

Yellow Good mind and intelligence, creative, innovation, wisdom

Symbolised cowardice, prejudice, persecution introspective

Yellow-green Comfortable, relaxable, neutral
Green Nature, balance, normality, civilised, conventional
Blue-Green Sophisticated, well dressed, charmingly egocentric, sensitive, refined.
Blue Colour of conservation, accomplishment, devotion, deliberation, introspection.

Cautious, steady, often admirable, full of love and patience

Purple and violet Elegant, Luxurious, royal, sensitive, artistic
Brown Colour of the earth, sturdy, reliable, shrewd, parsimonious, classic, stable



Visual Merchandising

Creative Marketing Area, Visual Merchandising.

As a part of retail marketing, visual merchandising has been considered as a popular topic in the related industries and there have been many kinds of studies on this. Generally speaking, visual merchandising includes window display, store design, and arrangement of products.



According to a book, Visual Merchandising and Display(2012), the display person can usually control the color against which merchandise is shown. The background colour is important because it can either add to or detract from the color of the merchandise presented. Understanding the effect of colour on colour will enable the display person to select the proper settings for the merchandise and the store’s image.

The role of Visual Merchandising*

In addition to selling actual products, display or arrangement can be used to introduce a new look, idea, or a fashion trend. Display can be used to educate ethe consumer concerning what the new item is, how it can be worn or used, and how it can be accessorized

Stella M. (2013)

Stella M. (2013)

The visual merchandiser may create a display that stimulates, tantalizes, or arouses the shopper’s curiosity to such a degree that he or she is “challenged” to enter the store and wander through it, even though the shopper is not motivated by the displayed.

*Referencing at “Visual Merchandising and Display(2012)” by Pegler M.






Creative Leader, Youngsong Martin

Her Creative Leadership, Aim at a Niche Market. 


In 2001, Young song Martin opened a shop for offering a rental service of table and chair clothes. Actually, the field, Linen design, is made by her. Before she started to do a business in this design, there was no one who did the business in America. She found the blue ocean which nobody discover and she decided to develop this business as a niche market. According to her interview, she said linen design is similar with fashion design because linen design is making a dress for table using some clothes like a fashion. Linen is a fabric which she has dealt with; thus, she was familiar with designing linen. She started to develop a new business area using linen.

Haslam, S. A (2013) insist that there are 4 elements for a model of leadership; context, followers, power and transformation. In that, transformation is related to making some change or challenge for a new field. As a leader, Young song has tries to develop her field and opened the business market. She can be a creative leader by aiming a new market which nobody makes real work.


images (1)



Leaders are Creative Problem Solvers.


When she opened the company, she did not have enough money for promotion. Therefore, she made an idea, which give free service – decorating and making unique style – to some wedding magazines. She set a table wear, chair cover and flower accordance with a specific concept. Because the design is not common as well as beautiful, sales of the magazine rose suddenly and many customers started to order their own wedding style for the party. The start is just for free like a volunteer work; however it can be a trigger for promoting her name and the company, Wildflower linen. It is like a win – win strategy for her as well as magazine company. After that, her company makes a new trend for event culture and leads many big events for famous celebrities including Hollywood stars. Finally, she has some opportunity for directing worldwide events such as Oscar and Academy awards.

If she did not have any idea and long-term view, it was difficult to make a successful outcome. In addition, she can make a great team for business by participating in various activities at first. Her long-term view is related to the vision for her business. In other words, she has a vision for letting people know about the event design using special clothes design for tables and chairs. By developing her vision into a real action, she can have big asset for her future as a leader. To do the “creative problem solving” as a leader, we should take action first by enhancing our own vision (Byrne et al. 2009). Young song makes a new chance for her business by solving the problem creatively and taking active actions.

Another reason that having a vision is important is, vision affects employees’ perception of organization. Criswell (2010) said that vision content and vision articulation give all employees, colleagues, and other stakeholders a powerful image of how good our organization is and how skilled we are as a leader. It can have an effect on making trust. Sharing a same goal and vision, all members join forces and try to co-operate the work. Like a Young song, when she and her company have some difficulties and face the uncertainty or ambiguity in which they operate, creative vision can be a driving force for all members including a leader not to be shaken. From the start of the business, her vision has been a strong asset for all.





My Mentor for Creative Leadership

The example of a creative Leader, Young song Martin


Young Song Martin is an owner of a company, Wildflower Linen. She is a designer and entrepreneur who run her high-style rental firm into prominence in the domestic and international special-event industries. According to information from the company, much of the media attention has focused on Young song’s trend-setting influence throughout the special-event and wedding field, whose leaders have hailed her for redefining the concept of rental linens by offering extensive lines of couture-quality tablecloths, chair covers, napkins, table runners and décor accessories. Actually, she began her career as a fashion designer after studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. Later, she found out her interest in decoration and fine dining with her expert knowledge of textiles and fabrications; thus, she started to run a business for creating the special-event decor rental business, Wildflower Linen.

Since founding the company in 2001, Young song has grown it into a preferred source nationwide for celebrity event planners, leading hotel and catering executives, discerning organizers of corporate and social functions, and the hosts of gala weddings of all sizes (Wildflower Linen webpage, 2014). The company, Wildflower Linen, mainly produces table and chair covers for special events and make a profit by giving rental service. After opening the firm, the profit has increased steadily and finally achieved beyond 1 billion dollars. Main customers of the company are some celebrities, such as Elton John, Oprah Winfrey and even Mishal Obama from White House.



 From a fashion designer To a Linen designer

Young song Martin and the company, Wildflower linen can be a great example for the creative leadership. At first, she was a fashion designer. She made her own fashion brand; however, she had lived as a housekeeper for a long time. One day, her cousin asked her for designing a wedding ceremony. She wanted to make a unique and different party design because there was no special design for a table except for white clothes at that time. She wore linen on the chair and decorated with some posh dishes and flowers which are not used often. The design was so beautiful and refined; thus, the reaction of all people in the party was tremendous. That was the moment that she found a new field of her design. She decided to develop party design as a niche market. Her challenge as a party designer began with that time. She has tried to make a styling which can be satisfied with a person who holds the party as well as people who participated I n the party. For the design that everyone can enjoy, she is making her own fields.


About Creative Leadership

Creative Leadership

In the face of changing market, the definition of leadership has been changed more and more. At first, leadership focused on direct management. In other words, leader should have some skills to push his members into a better way for their goals, for instance a forceful director or decision maker. As time goes by, ideal image of good leader have changed focusing on the relationship between members. As we learned in the lecture, the relationship means that one person influences the behaviour of another person or people. In the group work, horizontal and equable relationship has been more important and many article researched the outcomes from the group under the good leader. Recently, another concept of leadership has stood out in the all process of work; it is creative leadership.


Creative leadership has a very broad term and many meanings and interpretations. According to a book, Creative Leadership (2011), it is the ability to deliberately engage one’s imagination to define and guide a group toward a novel goal – a direction that is new for the group. Many experts have discussed a new leadership in the new society by considering a more creative approach to leadership.



Opinion on the Creative Leadership.


Creative leadership is a kind of new thinking way for original opinion. Recently, as the method of design thinking has stood out in the many area for business, people think it is very essential to make an innovative approach to solve a problem. Creative leadership begins from the innovative approach. Creativity means a process of leading some changes. When leader help the individuals and organizations by inducing to make productive change, creativity is a core leadership competence (Puccio G.J et al., 2011). According to the book, there are many kinds of definition on the creative leadership. However, I think these two things are the most important elements for that.


*  Understand the need for creative thinking in today’s complex workplace and therefore seek creativity within intent

*  Create a compelling vision focused on attaining a productive opportunity and possess  the foresight to identify the most significant challenges that must be addressed to achieve the vision



First of all, for the creative leadership, it is really important to have a creative vision as a leader. Understanding the need for creative thinking can be related to have a creative vision because a leader can have an effect on all members. Criswell (2010) assert that if we want to be an effective leader at any level, we should pay more attention to vision. Creative vision can affects member’s perception and behaviour of organization. Second, the creative vision can make an outcome by attaining a productive opportunity. More important thing is that this opportunity can be a trigger for finding and developing a new market. Leading a new business, which is not developed by anyone, can be a basic step as a good leader. Using the vision, leader has an insight for developing successful outcome in niche market. Finally, from the creative vision, people can be a real leader in a new business.


Trade Fair in Kingston Hill

In this semester, we had twice trade fairs for our product, Enamel London. So, we made specific display design to communicate with our customers. We want to stress our product’s benefits as well as the brand concept.

IMG_5251 IMG_5270



In the trade fair, we prepared a display design using feminine concept. First of all, the tribe of our product is mainly a woman between 25-35; thus, we use some colours – hot pink, baby pink, black and white – to emphasize feminine and chic style. These vivid colours are helpful to catch customer’s attention as well as explain our concept. Also, we use flower shaped decoration to arrange our products. It makes our atmosphere more beautiful and decorative.


Our display design also have story, a medicine. Because the product uses a mustard oil which has some medicinal function, we try to symbolise this function in our display concept. Therefore, we made a medicine box and the name of medicine is Enamel London. On the box, there is a caution and usage for the medicine, “Take daily, anytime you want”. It can be a tip for our customer when they use a product. In the tablet hole, there is a product. When a people see our display design, they think that it is a kind of medicine. However, inside, there is a cosmetic product. It is helpful to make some impression using reversal meaning.

Also, it emphasizes that you can bring Enamel London all the time like a tablet box because it is small, handy and convenient to use. To highlight the meaning, we use a phrase, “ It is time to take medicine, Enamel London”. Many customers look at the phrase very interestingly and ask many questions to us.


As well as the design, we also try to focus on sales pitch. We explain our product’s medicinal effect on a nail and it is really effective for getting a new deal. In addition, we give the customers who order the product in trade fair 20% discount. It is essential point for our sales outcomes ; thus, we are planning another promotion and discount events from now.