As we know the world is cluttered with brand design—logos, messaging and collateral in myriads of shapes and colors that reach out to grab our attention pretty much wherever we look—especially in today’s never-ending onslaught of interconnected and multimedia communications.
Every brand must put its best foot forward but let’s face it, a lot of the brand design is a visual assault failing to tell us anything interesting about the product or service on offer and certainly failing to communicate something that might lead you to say “This one is different and speaks to me” – the acid test for brilliant design.
So it’s just a question of turning to readily accessible online design tools such as Adobe, Canva, and designing away, right? Wrong. Thinking about the message you want to tell should take at least as long as the time it takes to design your brand’s look and feel. You may think it’s a creative process but first it’s an intensive strategic process. Your brilliant company needs an equally brilliant brand design that ushers it to the front of the line in the consumers mind—not just a mindless moniker or slapped-on design.
And more than anything you need to spend time thinking about creating a “Why” brand that promises a profound and important role in your customers life as opposed to a “What” brand that is no more than the sum of its features and attributes. Sure, “What” brands are functionally useful but “Why” brands form deep, long-lasting bonds with customers and therefore create life-long, loyal relationships—which for you the brand owner translates to repeat purchase and secure revenue streams
So, what’s the trick to “Why” branding—rising above the tumultuous sea of design in today’s increasingly colorful, tech savvy, design-everything era? Whether you’re crafting a new brand design, revamping old assets, or just looking to learn, we’ve got you covered with our 5 principles of Brilliant Brand Design, to keep you squarely on the right side of fantastic.
- Infuse your design with strategy. Just as you need an over-arching brand strategy to develop, design and sell your products and services, you’ll need a clearly constructed strategy for design, too—one that delivers sheer aesthetic pleasure, sparks customers’ imagination and inspires a “gotta have it” feeling. Where does the design process begin? The answer: All design begins with strategic insights into human emotions, behaviors and beliefs, and accelerates them in design to drive both brand and business value. Start by asking “how can my product or service improve the quality of my customers life” and you are on the road to a “Why” brand.
- Make your brand design distinctive. Your brand design must be not only good to look at, and have rich, immediately obvious meaning. It also needs to be sufficiently different from the competition to be immediately recognizable. If the category is customarily blue—as 80% of the brands in the world are—check out orange! Brilliant design differentiates so you stand out from the crowd while challenging the prevailing aesthetic and telling a great story. Then every design asset of yours must be infused with your strategy to advance the plot to own the category you’re in.
- Catch the Zeitgeist. While it’s vital to avoid a “look” that will be out-of-date next year, it’s also a critical to tap into current trends and tas What experiential design will engage your customers? A bright, breezy spirit to chase away reality, or a more solemn feel that better reflects the gloomy times? It’s important to imagine design that will attract and engage your customers on a visceral, contemporary level—and to constantly innovate and keep up. Societally sensitive brand design enhances brand relevance and engages audiences in a warm embrace with the brand that through thoughtful design communicates “I am the brand for you”.
- Be authentic in your brand design. The “What” of you brand—its features and functions—are not unimportant, it’s just not what you lead with. But whatever you promise as a “Why” brand must be credible. So if you want to communicate “simplifying life” your product or service better do that. Similarly, your brand design should be a genuine reflection of your company’s strategic and competitive goals. It should act as a visual metaphor for your core strategy. If you’re going for a wood-paneled look to convey a sense of tradition, then you’d better have been in business for a very long time. By the same token, don’t make the mistake of trying to bathe an established and fundamentally unchanged value proposition in the Fountain of Youth. You’ll just lose credibility. Authentic and responsible design is no longer optional in today’s world. Brilliant brand design is credible, environmentally conscious and influences audiences to make sustainable choices.
- Future-proof your brand design. While few own a brand design as iconic and enduring as IBM’s shade of blue, or Nike’s swoosh, it’s vital to look into the future when it comes to brand design. Don’t fall for a fad or execute to a short-lived trend. This is especially true if your range of products or services will expand in the future. If you’re a pizza business thinking of expanding into burgers, your design needs to be more than a pepperoni slice. But, of course, it’s more subtle than that. Fads come and go, but great design is timeless. It matures and becomes more distinguished with age. The best way to approach brand design is strategically and for it to flex with you into the future.
History shows that approaching your creative design strategically will fuel your brand’s zig to the category zag while constantly flexing and adapting to changing trends. Drive with strategy—as Ideon does—and brilliant, creative design will follow.