Thursday, 22 September 2011

Swapping International Organisation: Project Brief

The convergence of social technologies, a renewed belief in the importance of community, pressing environmental concerns, and cost consciousness are moving us away from the old top-heavy, centralized, and controlled forms of consumerism toward one of sharing, aggregation, openness, and cooperation. We now live in a global village where we can mimic the exchanges that used to take place used to take place face-to-face but on a scale and in ways that has never been possible before. The inherent efficiency of the Internet, combined with its ability to create trust between strangers, has created an unbound marketplace for efficient exchanges between producer and consumer, lender and borrower, and neighbour and neighbour, with no middlemen in between. This ideology is called Collaborative Consumption, a big shift from the 20th century, a time defined by hyper-consumption; to a 21st century age of commons.

Yet, social networks are an indispensable part of our lives; we are sharing our personal pictures, hours of videos or politic opinions at online platforms. In this manner, my original idea was to create software that will connect all the networks we are using into one common platform and channel people to swap or share their experiences, time, objects, events and many other things. In order to make a radical difference and speak to a larger audience, I am treating this project as a campaign with a complex structure.

Better Than Ownership
We are communicating in new ways. We are more connected to each other more than ever before and it’s opening a very real and new mode of possibilities. The Internet is now truly global, you can use it to send your mother flowers or a computer virus, in every case it changes the way our society speaks and swapping is the language. As it often is revolutionary ideas are not so distinct at the surface but if you look passed that it is a complex system interconnecting every single element of the brand concept with accessibility to everybody through variety of medias. With swapping we aim to create a two-way dialogue and change the perception of consumer and the brand to consumer over the brand. Together lets create a new system called Swapping…

Design Objectives
The proposition for the project is to develop a fresh solution, which will help people get awareness about hyper-consumption. Therefore, I am designing an identity for Swapping, to make this abstract term more tangible, place it into our daily lives and give it a real brand value. In this manner, what I am trying to communicate is the trend of the 21st century, collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer revolution based on trust because I strongly believe that this ideology is not temporary and it will help us to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Target Audience/Market
I decided to separate the campaign into two main sectors, which are “individual” and “retail”. The Individual component of the campaign is at the centre because the main purpose is to offer a practical, culturally appropriate, scalable, and sustainable solution that will create a chain among people. And the retail sector is going to be a part of private companies CSR policy and a platform that will support the campaign and make it more accessible for individuals. Moreover, each sector will have its own design elements and business plans in order to address them properly. To expand my research and see what I am dealing with, I put together a survey of social network users, which gave me clear focus of my target audience. According to online activities, age groups, ethnics and language, I divided the individual section of the campaign into three different age groups. Moreover all the age groups have different interests and they all require different treatment. Consequently my target audience ranking is the following:

a. Individuals
a.1. Generation Z 12 to 17
a.2. Generation Y 18 to 40
a.3. Generation X 40 to +62
b. Retail - Local & Charity Shops

There is no similar campaign focusing on collaborative consumption, so far. Authors, sociologist, ecologists and economist have produced the research related to the subject, and despite it’s great potential, it has not been developed as a design communication concept until now.

Design Elements
The deliverables will be developed during the research, however the must haves are the following:
1. Branding, a catchy identity for the abstract ideology.
2. Launching campaign with printed promotional materials.
3. Interface design - to connect social networks to each other.
4. Booklet that will explain the ideology and introduce people to the brand.
5. Packaging design, for both individuals and shop owners.

Project Plan
I produced, analyzed and developed my research and branding during May, June and July, and tested my concept on target audience. Currently I am concentrating on developing Swapping deliverables. Moreover, my plan is to finish my project around 25th of August to be safe because the printing process might take more than I have planned. Consequently, the whole Swapping project will be ready for submission before the deadline.

For More Information
Swapping Research.7

Swapping Research.6

Swapping Research.5

Swapping Research.4

Swapping Research.3

Swapping Research.2

Swapping Research.1

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