A lesson in brand identity from the Prada Foundation

Jan Carrington at Fondazione Prada

My visit to the new permanent Milan venue for the Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) affirmed to me the importance of having a clear brand identity, and how it can be communicated.

Fondazione Prada, co-chaired by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli since 1995, is an institution dedicated to contemporary art and culture. As a private foundation, without the Prada logo on the foundation’s façade, I could still discern the essence of the Prada brand throughout my visit.

Why was that? Considering this after my visit, these core areas for a successful brand identity stood out:

How does the visual message convey the core values of a brand?

Prada is about expecting the unexpected, a visual message that is truly translated at Fondazione Prada!

How does colour create mood and ambience?

And what impact does colour have on the senses? Moving from space to space, one encounters the same tones of grey; to me this is very Prada, and a perfect backdrop to focus completely on what should take centre stage, in this case the exhibits.

How is congruency achieved?

In every area of Fondazione Prada, from the architecture to the staff uniforms, I could detect compatibility with the message the Prada brand conveys to me.

How does a brand create impact?

Fondazione Prada gives a very different experience at the end of the visit – a vintage-style café with lots of bright colour.

This lesson in brand identity confirms to me the importance of an authentic brand, whether a personal brand or corporate brand. What does an authentic brand look, sound and feel like, and how do you communicate yours?

I’ll leave you with a quote from Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli.

“Careful observation of and curiosity about the world, society, and culture are at the core of Prada’s creativity and modernity. This pursuit has pushed Prada beyond the physical limitations of boutiques and showrooms, provoked an interaction with different and seemingly distant worlds, and introduced a new way to create a natural, almost fashionless fashion.”
Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli

If you’d like to explore how to create and communicate your personal brand, please contact me for more information.