Brand Design, Brand Marketing and Brand Psychology

Brand Exhibiting: Anchored in Anthropomorphism

Posted by sarmistha tarafder on Sep 18, 2019 5:56:17 PM




Let's face it. It might be your brand but you no longer own it.


Brands today, are going through tectonic shifts. It is no longer defined by the constraints of the boardroom, all neatly packaged and rolled out as a fixed set of ideas. Sure, you might have a brand message. But that is not your market position. Your market position is what your customers feel about your brand. It is constantly being manipulated and motivated by the users of your brand. Your brand reality is challenged in every product, package, interaction, platform and architectural spaces. At every touch points you are now tasked to provide memorable moments that delights and deliberates. In his book, The Soft Edge, Rich Karlgaard, refers to the emotional connections as Taste. To achieve the right taste profile for your brand, Karlgaard says, “True taste kindles a products’ emotional touch points.”


So, how do you DO this?


The short answer: Design a Journey of Memorable Encounters.

"A journey is a story that lives inside the users' minds. As such it cannot be "delivered," it can only be influenced and co-created." Stories are what creates memories. And memories are those bits of information that stirs emotions. Deeper the emotion associated with the event, the longer the shelf life of the memory.





As humans, we are hardwired to connect emotionally with everything that we encounter. 

"Some connections are commonplace and pass unnoticed, while others define our mood, the way we perceive others and ourselves and, most importantly, the way we will remember the experience itself." This ability for people to connect emotionally with everyday things and/or ideas is called anthropomorphism, the attribution of human characteristics and behaviors to an object or an process. (Greek anthropos,"human being"; morphe,"shape") is the attribution of human form or qualities to that which is not human. 


"Anthropomorphism is the doorway to connect emotionally with people and, the quest to positively influence this mental process is the quest of design itself." 


exhibitor show


At ExhbiitorLive 2019 our door way to the hearts of our target audience (trade show managers and marketing consultants) was through the theme 'Trade Show Jungle'. We know tradeshows are messy and magnificent  at the same time. We handle all messy mismatches of logistics while you get to strategize and design your while you  anchor and engage your clients in your booth space.

It’s a Jungle out there!
We know how wild and crazy it can be but Skyline is here to help guide you through it and tame the wild beasts along the way. Stop by our exhibits at the 2019 ExhibitorLive show in Las Vegas and experience a safe haven away from the chaos and craziness of the show. We recognize the challenges exhibitors face while navigating the wilderness of the trade show jungle and provide solutions along with services that will minimize the possibility of being eaten by the beasts of the trade show jungle… in short: we tap into anxiety and fear and we make loud proclamation: “we got your back.”


HubSpot Video



In a technology driven world, where we are obsessed about the latest gadget and hanker after the coolest gizmo, design a 3D environment where people can come, play. Give them a cause to hang out with your BRAND. Give them an immersive experience that will stir their emotions and embark them on a journey of successful brand recognition and brand interaction.


Strategize a theme around your design. 'Morphe' it with 'Anthropos' qualites.

This is the time to do it and distinguish your offering with it.




Your design should be a connective refuge for all the disconnected feeling that is pervasive in our technocratic 'Speed Society'.

According to a recent study by Cigna, nearly half of Americans report feeling lonely frequently or always and only 53% report having daily meaningful in-person social interactions. Nearly one in four people say they rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them – compared to one in ten 30 years ago. 


In a culture hooked on 'speed' the challenge is, that in an absence of meaningful customer experience, brands are differentiated on the basis of price as opposed to the actual service. On top of that, since technology competes with the human side of business, your product "teams may run the risk of decreased output quality, project ownership, and overall innovation capacity." 


The AdvantageS of Building a Brand Based on EMOTIONAL Connectedness


According to a study by IBMIX, there are 6 attributes that will help companies stay relevant and make good 'brand sense' —

"top performing Belonging Brands grew their revenue at three times the rate of lower performing brands over six years and saw market share gains up to 10 percent higher than low performing brands."





Start with these 3 questions?



WHO. Who is my fit audience?

You can never build a meaningful connection if you do not know them. For example, if the age of your target audience range between 25 to 55 years old, their emotional entanglement and their practical precepts as to what makes a car compelling is vastly different.


KEEP IN MIND:  Your customers do not fit into simple, tidy classifications. Segmentation has tremendous power to drive marketing and operations—from channel management to product development to service design. But segmentation research often relies on demographics, purchase behaviors, and dollars spent to identify and quantify the value of different customer groups. These criteria are rapidly losing their meaning in our world of increasing lifestyle diversity and cultural fragmentation. Get to know the emotional ligament that ties your audience that will help you navigate the WHO, WHY AND HOW of your marketing.






WHY. Why should they care?

You can preach them about the 7 benefits that your product carry. That will not make any difference, unless you are DIRECTLY addressing their pain points.

However, if you are reading this, you are latching on to an emotional aspiration, and you have the prowess to pull if off with the art of seduction.

In the multi-award winning Old Spice spot, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” was a superior marketing move because it launches your inner desire to work towards a 'idea'. It is pleasing for both the sexes. An interesting note: 60% of men’s body washes were actually purchased by women. (P&G research)


HubSpot Video


KEEP IN MIND: Your customers do not fit into simple, tidy classifications. Harness Eros as a tool of Seduction. After all, seduction does not care about segmentation. You see, for the Greeks, Eros was not an action. He had nothing to do with the devolved pornographic of our times. The son of Aphrodite, Eros was capable of of intoxicating all beings with an irrational, manic energy. "His role in literature was quite precise: to shape pothos (desire) into kharis (gratification)." His preferred environments were gardens, which were in many cases imagined to be populated with nymphs and naiads. His job was to to unite bodily experience with metaphysics through an ambiguous, quasi-magical communion.


And seduction loves ambiguity. Because, ambiguity helps you become a porous brand — weaving into different sections of your industry and catering to different needs of your people. "As Plato describes in his Phaedrus, there is no separation between ‘forms’ and ‘the body’ in the sphere of Eros: both worlds are united through the dualistic ontology of sex as both an activity and an idea."



WE WANT WHAT OTHERS WANT —  To make seduction work for you, build a reputation that precedes you. Get going with these ideas to create conversation that will add panache to your brand offering.

"Few are drawn to the person whom others avoid and neglect; people gather around those who have already attracted interest. To draw your victims closer and make them hungry to possess you, you must create an aura of desirability—of being wanted and courted by many. It will become a point of vanity for them to be the preferred object of your attention, to win you away from a crowd of admirers. Build a reputation that precedes you: If many have succumbed to your charms there must be a reason."

Robert Greene's "The Art of Seduction"


MANUFACTURE A NEED, OTHER THAN YOUR PRODUCT — Of course, you are a master in your craft when you tie your product with the challenging needs of our time. Case in point — Tableau molds data to play a meaningful role in the crusade against homelessness.

"A perfectly satisfied person cannot be seduced. Tension and disharmony must be instilled in your targets' minds. Stir within them feelings of discontent, an unhappiness with their circumstances and themselves. The feeling of inadequacy that you create will give you space to insinuate yourself, to make them see you as the answer to their problems. Pain and anxiety are the proper precursors to pleasure. Learn to manufacture the need that you can fill."

Robert Greene's "The Art of Seduction"


MAKE AN EFFORT TO ENTER THEIR WORLD — You can only enter their world when you get to know who they are.

"Most people are locked in their own worlds, making them stubborn and hard to persuade. The way to lure them out of their shell and set up your seduction is to enter their spirit. Play by their rules, enjoy what they enjoy, adapt yourself to their moods. In doing so you will stroke their deep-rooted narcissism and lower their defenses. Indulge your targets' every move and whim, giving them nothing to react against or resist."

Robert Greene's "The Art of Seduction"



HOW. Show Them Your Magic

"We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible." 

It is age of 3D printing and customization at a mass scale we need to sprinkle magic dust in what we do and how we weave our words. ❝Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.❞


"During the summer, the folks at NovaScotian Crystal open up the factory to enable tourists to watch how craftsmen blow glass. By showing these visitors the magic, the company has an easier time selling them crystal pieces."


In a virtual age, design your exhibit in such a fashion that houses the how of your business. Showing how you make something is magical, so create a space and design and give people a tour of it. Often times, if you are a SAAS company (software as a service), you show the end result of your product. Partner with companies that use your product and highlight the way they make their how. Use story telling and metaphors to weave your spell...

See how software companies are turning parts of their business and flirting with marketing's darker arts. They know if they fail to attract and spell-bind people, they will loose the battle.





KEEP IN MIND: Your customers do not fit into simple, tidy classifications.

Yet, they have all experience spell-binding focus. It is when you become lost in the moment, loosing track of time and the world around you, completely focused on a person, a message or an act.

Creating magic is not easy. Yet, it is the easiest way of captivating people with a product, service, organization or idea. The outcome is a voluntary and long-lasting allegiance that is mutually beneficial. In other words, it is the magic key to the perpetuation of your brand — it is the pristine form of sales and marketing.


HubSpot Video


At Exhibitor 2014, Skyline showed the magic of how a 10' display comes to life with the push of a button.





So what does this all mean for you as a brand?


It means that you have to take a holistic approach towards brand brand exhibiting. It means you must see the big picture as well as having an eye for the detail. You must be inspired by a singular vision and understand that every interaction with your brand should strengthen this vision. Because, the new battleground for brands exist in the hearts and minds of the users, you must ensure that every brand encounter is user friendly and user motivated.

Your brand is made of tangible and intangible pieces. Your exhibit design is the tangible piece of your brand. It is the ultimate marketing tool to draw attention and command the course of your business. Design your booth such that it is a collection of memories, "to try, to buy and to inspire." It is the ultimate destination to experience your brand.

"A brand that captures your mind gains behavior. A brand that captures your heart gains commitment"


❝The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.❞
Kahlil Gibran

Here is, to your magical 'Anthropos'. Until next time.😀


Topics: Trade Show Exhibits, Brand Marketing, Exhibit Design, Tradeshow booth design, Trade show booth, Brand Design, Brand Exhibiting, Brand Perception, Sarmistha Tarafder, Trade Show Marketing








concerns of millenials


ABOVE — THE Anthropomorphism BAROMETER OF YOUR TARGET Audience

Get prepared for your GenZ audience. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.


 5 qualities of anthropos brand




Fond memories fuel a desire to bring the past into the present. Below, Polaroid made a 3D sculpture of their camera and film packs, reminding us the steps in technological innovation


evoke nostalgia for your brand





Our technocratic culture is becoming more playful, driven by generations 'not ready to grow up yet' and Boomers are desiring an active and
enriched life. Think of certain words when you design your exhibit to be youthful. Elaborate on those words to help you design the parameters of your exhibit design.

For example:

ELASTIC — "The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time." 


ENERGETIC — In our 3D reality, energetic displaces the passive. Super ambitious goals tend to unify and energize people. It makes people think and believe in doing the impossible.


ELECTRIC — "Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit."



Above: Spanish designer, Hayón also designed a range of clothes and accessories to use with the scooter, which were displayed around the installation, including a series of helmets and a jacket with multiple pockets so you don’t need to carry a bag. “We tried to understand what the Citysurfer was about,” he explains. “It’s the idea of having something that allows you to move in the city with a certain kind of freedom.”






Allegiant  groups form organically around specific interests, causes and brands. (There is a reason why the sun did not set in the British Empire.)

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”




In the book Tribes, Godin makes a distinction between crowds and tribes. He says that crowds are tribes without leaders and without communication.

Most companies market to the crowd – not to the tribe and that is a mistake.


booth design for the technology skill platform

Above, the exhibitor encourages his tribe in a team sport. This way, he disperses knowledge about his product and increases the participation of his tribe.


1. You begin to build your Tribe by making an effort to enter their world.

2. You tell your story through inspirational nuggets. (blogs, pocasts, webinars) and they begin to resonate with you.

3. They “like” you or not

4. They interact with you – and you interact with them.

5. They are the beginning of your tribe.

And a funny thing happens.

These tribe members find other people that are also members of your tribe and they start talking.

They spread the word to even more people that don't know anything about you.

And pretty soon you have a tribe of your own.






You are pitching to fantasy seekers. They are bored with the ordinary and the mundane.

booth design based on comic book

"A brand is not built overnight. Success is measured in decades, not years. Markets may change, but the essential characteristics of your brand should not." They may be given a new slant depending on the prevailing culture of the brand tribe but the essential characteristics should be consistent. Above Illustrations and characters based on cartoon characters of the comic books that hooks the attendee at the deep
sub-conscious level.







The word is often tossed around, rarely enacted upon. Authenticity is understanding your brand purpose so that you can align people around a common purpose. Purpose defines the unique gifts people bring to the challenges of your brand expansion. It is through PURPOSE your brand ambassadors (booth staff) can align others with their purposes in order to create positive impact.


vertical brand value


"This is far more important than focusing entirely on achieving success in metrics like money, fame and power, yet ultimately produces sustained success in those
metrics as well."

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About the Author:

Sarmistha Tarafder is the co-creator of brands in 3 D spaces. Always, in pursuit of essence and enchantment, mind and mystery, myth and matter!