Developing meaningful brands through effective intelligent design

A meaningful brand is defined by its impact on our personal and cumulative wellbeing, as well as its functional benefits. There is more to branding than just coming up with a name and badge (logo) to identify a product, service and organisation. Thanks to the internet we can reach out globally. Therefore, we have to understand or adapt to different cultures to create strong relationships connected to brand association. 

Brand associations are made through various visuals:

1. Pictograms (e.g. McDonald’s famous golden arches) or
2. Wordmarks (e.g. Coca Cola)
3. Use of colour
4. Use of typefaces (recommended 2-3 max)
5. Tone of voice
6. Use of photography

This is where larger companies build ‘Brand Guidelines’ also known as ‘Corporate Guidelines’ keeping a level of consistency locally and globally. These are used among fellow graphic designers and artworkers like a bible. Throughout my career I have developed them and followed others, I’ve used them exactly as it implies a ‘guideline’ there isn’t any reason it should hinge creativity in what is being worked on, to keep on evolving and growing the brand.

Brand associations are also made through customer journeys:

1. Communication (first impressions)
2. Before, during and after a sale is made
3. Quality of service and product
4. Experience (what benefits them)
5. Leaving a lasting impression and building trust
6. Services that go beyond a brand’s core remit

This is an important investment in people, time and deliverables. The role of communications is to educate, inform, entertain, inspire, reward and help, while great content is a great driver of personal wellbeing and therefore meaningfulness.

Brands that go beyond the product and make a positive, tangible impact on what matters to us, gain a greater share of our lives. These brands are rewarded with improved attachments and deeper audience connections, which in turn, helps reinforce trust.

Personal Benefits
(save time, life made easier, peace of mind or happiness improvement)

Collective Benefits
(community, workplace, ethical or environmental)

Functional Benefits
(quality, category leader, safe & responsible)

Audiences have now become media platforms in their own right. It’s more important than ever to effectively engage them so that they will drive your brand’s values, messages and loyalty, recommendation and ultimately, sales. 

Our 21st Century world is full of content overload. Digital platforms are, posted and uploaded on social media and websites and apps which are creating persona’s for potential sales. Only brands that shape more meaningful connections with people will prosper.

In a client meeting I was once in, a Marketing Director once said “People buy with their eyes” I have never forgot that, it is so true. If you put the same product in 2 types of packaging for example let’s use Twinning Tea and have one on the shelf in their branded pack and the same Twinning tea bags in a supermarket value pack and then shelved them at the same price, which one would you pick?

The better something appears the more we increase its value.

Case Studies of branding will be put on my website in the near future, I am working on it. Watch this space…

You can view my work here

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