Why Successful Branding Is A State Of Mind [Partner Content]

Why Successful Branding Is A State Of Mind [Partner Content]

A graduate from SVA’s Masters in Branding describes how the program changed his attitude about himself, work, and his relationships with others.

Dory Carr-Harris, PSFK
  • 15 february 2013

Branding may seem superficial from the outside, but further scrutiny reveals that it may actually foster personal and professional development.  In the latest installment of PSFK’s School of Visual Arts (SVA) Alumni Series, recent graduate Zachary Lynd, who recently completed the Masters in Branding program, discusses how he was able to change his self-perception, and how he forged connections with companies and people, through his studies.

Branding is certainly not a modern notion, it’s centuries old. Why do you think this is such a unique area of study that is now gaining traction in both the creative and business worlds? 

I think for one we are just giving it more structure and vocabulary. Simply put: we understand it better and therefore more people are beginning to grasp its importance. If you want to include centuries of human behavior in the definition then I think it has to do with just that, culture. Today’s world is evolving rapidly and I don’t just mean for brands or markets. Obviously we are heavily influenced by new technology, but we are also dealing with serious issues around our resources and the planet; at the same time we have more transparency and collective knowledge. It’s coming together to shape culture and behavior in interesting ways. Companies have to find a true vision and strategy for why they exist and then position themselves in the midst of many changing paradigms; branding will help them not only understand the landscape and their unique propositions, but build for a future that is quite unpredictable.

What is one common misconception about Branding that you think people have, or you had, before entering the program?

That brands are logos and logos are brands.

Many graduates of the Masters in Branding go into different fields of strategy. How did the program change your approach to business and brand strategy for small and large businesses?

There are many ways to approach any problem. The program is essentially an opportunity to learn how some of the best minds in the field approach, or have approached, projects of different magnitude or in different markets. I didn’t leave with a golden formula or approach, I just have a more confident individual interpretation of the problems or opportunities I see for a client and I have built a better arsenal of approaches to help us meet our objectives.

How has having a Masters in Branding helped you to further your career?

The program shifted my personal attitude about myself, my work, and my relationships with others. The work I did in school and the risks I took in my thesis earned me a lot of maturity and clarity. I don’t know where I would be had I not gone, but I am thrilled to be doing what I do the way I do it, and the program was most certainly a catalyst in my journey.

What was the greatest challenge you faced while enrolled in the Branding program? How did you overcome it?

Trusting that this was going to help take me toward my ultimate goals. I got my hands dirty.

What do you feel is your most valuable experience or memory to come out of the program?

Spending Tuesdays with Matteo Bologna on a personal thesis project, and co-authoring a book with Debbie Millman, those are great memories. But what was really worthwhile was that I got to spend everyday with a group of people who became my new inspiration and pushed me to do my best work, that is what I consider to be my most valuable experience.

If you had to offer one key piece of advice to interested applicants, what would it be? 

It’s about what you put into it. The learning is your responsibility, so if you’re ready to dedicate yourself and you come with an open mind, then the rest has already been taken care of.

The Masters in Branding at The School of Visual Arts is a one-year Masters Degree program that examines the relationship between design and strategy, the power of design thinking and the decision-making processes of design and business. They are currently accepting applications until February 23rd 2013. Please contact: J’aime Cohen for more information or Apply here!



IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Related Expert

Jose Fresnedo

Design and Art Direction

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Food Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Food Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

Op-Ed Yesterday

General Electric: Lighting’s Impact On Sleep Is More Than The Off Switch

Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products at GE Lighting, uncovers how lighting technologies can affect our sleep cycles

Brand Development Yesterday

The Story Behind How LYNK & CO Created A Car Brand From Scratch

Head of Design Andreas Nilsson describes which values were most influential in determining the identity and design direction of the new auto company

Travel Yesterday

Architect’s Design Presents A Radically New Approach For New York’s Penn Station

The firm of Vishaan Chakrabarti has envisioned a bright community and travel hub in the heart of the city

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: Building An All-Encompassing Performance Suite

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats on the partnership opportunities available in health and fitness

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Fantasy Game Responds To Each Player’s Emotions

The card battling venture measures responses through a Bluetooth clip to adjust the experience accordingly

Luxury Yesterday

Carry A Map Of NYC On A Handbag

The bag from Bottega Veneta has been designed exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate New York City

Technology Yesterday

Roaming Robots Crawl Around Your Body To Do Small Jobs As You Go About Your Day

A new concept wearable developed by researchers at MIT and Stanford are fully functional bots that live on your clothing

No search results found.