A Brand Invented By Kids, Locked Down By The Crowds

This morning, Xische attempted something completely untried in the design thinking process. Here’s how the story goes: Our friends at Alchemy Films ran a project last week with the students of GEMS World Academy in Dubai, teaching them film-making with Flip cameras. The project was to showcase each of their lives through short features. These videos would then be shown to children from underdeveloped areas in Bangladesh as part of another initiative. The project needed a brand name, identity and a website. We decided to experiment and challenge the way typical branding gets done.

Step 1: Design Thinking

Our chief and creative director Danish Farhan talked about the branding process a little bit with a fun take on the Apple vs Microsoft philosophy of design thinking. (Catch this video if you want to see what an iPod packaging from Microsoft would hypothetically look like!)

Step 2: Word Ideation

Danish then went on to split the students into 3 groups, each tasked with coming up with words that they thought encompassed their experience during the project, what it meant to them, what they thought it would achieve. The students then narrated the words, explaining their wonderful reasons behind each word choice. Some of the their acute thinking even had their teachers baffled — in an awesome way!

Step 3: Discussion & Elimination

Once a full range of drastically different words were up on the board, the students then went on to debate their choices and eliminate words with repeated meanings, or ones that were just not ‘brand name’ material. Words with potential tagline ideas were stacked aside. Once the words were shortlisted, students then nominated color palettes they thought ‘felt’ like the project should be associated with. Colors were voted and shortlisted.

Step 4: Brand Identity Design Options

Our teams are going to work entirely to the children’s brief and come up with a dozen naming ideas, and brand visual palette with draft ideas for logotypes. This will be hosted on the project’s Ning website for closed-voting. We will invite the students to rate them based on how close we came to their vision.

Step 5: Crowd-sourced Finalists

The short-list of voted brand identity ideas will then be posted on Facebook and open to public voting on Twitter, making this project super interesting because it had children conceiving the brand, shortlisted and directing our conceptualization, and let the general public pick their favorite.

Stay tuned for more as we progress. Big thanks to the teachers at GEMS World Academy, the super cool bunch at Alchemy Films led by Heather Grace, and most of all to the students that inspire us to ask questions grownups never dare to ask.

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