Thesis defense of Itsaso Gonzalez Ochoantesana


Thesis defense of Itsaso Gonzalez Ochoantesana


Thesis defense of Itsaso Gonzalez Ochoantesana

Title of the thesis: “BRANDUX: Metodología de evaluación para la mejora de la consistencia de marca, aproximación estética al diseño de touchpoints”. Obtained the SOBRESALIENTE qualification and the CUM LAUDE mention.



  • Title of the thesis: “BRANDUX: Metodología de evaluación para la mejora de la consistencia de marca, aproximación estética al diseño de touchpoints”.
  • Thesis directors: Daniel Justel Lozano, Ester Val Jauregui
  • Court:
    • President: Dr. D. Rubén Rebollar Rubio (Universidad de Zaragoza)
    • Vocal: Dra. Dña. Maria Paz Morer Camo (Universidad de Navarra)
    • Vocal: Dr. D. Aiur Retegi Uria (Universidad de Deusto)
    • Vocal: Dra. Dña. Inge Isasa Gabilondo  (ORONA EIC)
    • Secretary: Dr. D. Ganix Lasa Erle (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)


The brand is a strategic asset capable of generating emotional bonds with its customers and positively influences their behaviours and thoughts. To do this, brand values need to be properly embedded in all touchpoints throughout the customer experience. In this sense, semantic transformation is positioned as the process that helps designers codify and transform values into tangible touchpoints.

However, brand values embedded into touchpoints leave room for ambiguous interpretations. This ambiguity leads to a Brand Gap, which occurs when brand intention and customer perception do not properly match. Thus, the research carried out in this doctoral thesis explores semantic transformation processes, how the Brand Gap emerges from those processes and methodologies to evaluate it. 

The literature review highlights the lack of adequate tools, methods and methodologies to help designers evaluate the Brand Gap. This review allowed us to infer a semantic transformation process based on three phases (Brand Strategy, Design Strategy and Touchpoint Design), and to define a new methodology that identifies the inconsistencies in the third phase of the semantic transformation that give rise to the Brand Gap. A methodology called BrandUX was therefore created, based on the following theories: Customer journey map (Curedale, 2013), Design disciplines (Abbing, 2010), Design format analysis (Warell, 2001), Design layer model (Abbing, 2010), Product deconstruction (Warell, 2001), Matriz de características de marca and Reisner's theory (1990). 

BrandUX introduces a structured step-by-step approach that (i) guides designers through the analysis of brand features, (ii) evaluates inconsistencies and, (iii) proposes actions that reduce these inconsistencies and therefore, the Brand Gap. This methodology includes 6 phases, 10 templates and 8 support tools which can be used by novice and expert designers from any field. 

Two sports related websites where used to test the effectiveness of the BrandUX methodology. These websites were analysed by both novice and expert designers comparing the BrandUX methodology and the Design Format Analysis (DFA) methodology. The results showed that BrandUX helped the designers identify a greater number and diversity of design features than DFA. In addition, novice designers were able to produce a more detailed and indepth analysis of the Brand Gap when using the BrandUX approach.