At the start of second year what better way to begin than revisiting one of my first posts from last year. I am currently signed up to a Brand Busting course at UAL as part of my CTS studies to throughly extend my knowledge on this ever changing field of design.

In the past branding was strictly visual; the obvious aspects of a company that everyone could see and identify. Whether that was a logo or an advert or a jingle from a tv commercial, they were physical features. Designers nowadays would say this is a very 70’s traditional and static approach to branding.

2017 looks very different. We live in the “modern age of technology”, but what does that really mean? It means that brands now no longer compete for recognition as it is not enough, they compete for mindshare. In a world of constant interaction and discussion with the rise of social media and careers such as blogging and YouTubing, the need to radiate positivity and success for a brand is more important that ever. Mindshare means that when consumers subconsciously talk about a brand in their day to day life they ultimately promote the product/brand and do the job for them. If a brand has a successful reputation through consistency, success, innovation and trust then it can grow and expand to dominate its market.

So how can a brand build reputation? A brand must appear to be human, living, thinking, feeling and demonstrate this to its consumers. Key features of a brands guidelines now include the brand values, personality, promise and concept. All these underlying aspects allow a brand to feel approachable and meaningful rather than a money making machine. (Although don’t be under any illusion that this isn’t the main goal of any business. If their good doing’s can take centre stage then we’ll happily give them our money.)

It is important to create a story for a brand, which will encourage authenticity and the consumers need for more than a basic product. When we buy a product we buy into more than just the physical object, we buy into an idea and a philosophy that we identify with and believe in. It is as if we become part of the family. Like anything we stay if there is consistency and a brand story can allow a company to consistently have a strong message and way of portraying themselves to the outside world. In Wally Olins book titled Brand New he considers the RyanAir brand as they have a very explicit story. They are who they say they are and nothing more. They promise cheap, convenient short haul flights and so everything else that is associated with RyanAir is also cheap, basic and to the point!

Branding is a feeling. If a brand was a person it would have likes, dislikes, morals, a family and friends, hobbies and skills. These are the attributes that in the business we call brand values, personality and promise. Everything that makes a brand appear like more than a money making machine and ultimately trick us to thinking they care.