The Design Management Institute has a very interesting article by Guido Stompff, Senior Designer at Océ Technologies in the Netherlands, about the concept of an ‘embedded brand’. An embedded brand is “a brand that derives from the deeply rooted, often unconscious paradigms, values, and beliefs of an organization that will will manifest itself in many subtle ways within the products.”
In simpler terms, Stompff talks about the creation of a brand where the design of a product, among many other things, somehow reflects what the organization holds as its guiding principles or base values. For example: how do all the graphic designers, interaction designers, software engineers and engineers involved in the process ultimately create a product that is remarkably well-aligned with the brand message, especially in a multilingual, multicultural world? Stompff utilizes E.H. Schein’s perspectives on organizational culture to study the issue, and says that an embedded brand corresponds to what Schein says is the third level of organizational culture: the basic assumptions or underlying beliefs of what the organization is (the other two are ‘espoused beliefs’ such as mission statements, and ‘artifacts’ such as dress codes or products).