Brand design is deeply connected to business growth


Social media logos printed on paper [Courtesy]

What comes to mind when you think of brand design? If it’s specific logos and colors, you’re on the right track! Having a unique and aesthetically designed brand allows a business to hold a distinctive position in the market amid fierce competition. So it’s disheartening how the concept of brand design is usually thrown around to mean completely different things.

First, good brand design has some sense of continuity between all of the business assets that come into contact with your clients, customers, or consumers. In this case, continuity means how your identity, symbols, and other elements of your brand or product are extended and applied to communications, marketing, and digital assets.

While continuity enables brand characteristics to be applied, it creates expectations and emotional attachment on the part of consumers. When this aspect is watered down, it creates confusion and/or sometimes leads to rejection. A good example is when a product mockup of Arimis was widely shared on social media and there was an outcry from consumers for the brand to retain its original brand identity (although the source of the product mockup was unclear). This means companies with clear and consistent brand designs have more impact on audiences because people know exactly what to expect from them. When there is a need to change your brand design, you better be sure that it will improve brand attachment and loyalty.

With continuity and consistency in mind, now comes flexibility. Brands go from humble beginnings to big investments. It’s crucial to remember that businesses age over time, while consumer behaviors and preferences change from generation to generation. Conversely, it is true that old-fashioned trends can emerge, spiced up by trends of the modern age.

There is a thin line between flexibility and consistency. More than ever, those who care about quality design need to recognize that agility cannot be ignored while keeping the core brand intact. It’s no surprise that companies like Nike have invested in research and innovation to keep tabs on current footwear trends. Nike’s “Air Force 1” of the early 80s maintained its consistency while designing shoes for all generations. In the year 2000, after 16 years of research and development, Nike launched a cushioning technology – Nike Shox which is widely and intelligently applied even by its rivals.

When done well, brand recognition is usually strong, retaining old ones and attracting new customers or even talent.

Brand design and advertising go hand in hand. It just means that if you want good or better advertising results, you need a great brand design solution.

On the other hand, smartphones have created an opportunity for smaller spaces on the design side. With today’s population primarily accessing information via handheld mobile devices and the increase in smartphone usage, this means outdoor media will decline. Therefore, design for mobile devices will thrive. App and website developers will need to respond to consumer behavior and preferences for information and content consumption.

Louis Gathara is a brand designer at zeti creative.

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