Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

How to make the most influential marketing decision: Developing a creative brand identity

It’s no secret that brand identity is at the core of modern-day marketing. It plays a pivotal role in how a given company markets its products and expands its consumer base, thus being crucial for generating sales and increasing profit.

As CEO and founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos famously once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”. And you do need to give them something creative and out of the ordinary to think about.

Choosing the Right Logo

A successful brand image starts and ends with a memorable logo that sets the company apart from competitors and delivers a strong visual message about what it stands for. After all, it is argued that the human brain can process images about 60,000 times faster than it processes words – which means that a logo will go a long way into our minds even at a fleeting glance and will stay with us much longer than any corporate manifesto on why we should prefer a specific product.

This is why logos often play with subliminal messages that underline the services offered. For example, the famous FedEx logo sports a “hidden” arrow between letters E and X, which signifies movement and forward direction – and reassures you that the company is constantly on the move to deliver your goods with speed and precision. Amazon has chosen an arrow-shaped smile for their logo, which is a hidden message in itself, representing customer satisfaction. Yet a closer look reveals a second layer of thoughtfulness that went into the design: the arrow also connects the first and fourth letter in Amazon’s name, therefore signalling to potential customers its purpose to sell every product from A to Z.

Let Pop Culture Carry Your Brand

Yet brand identity is so much more than just your logo. It is about the overall image that you want to send across and most of all it is about bonding with your target audience and retaining their loyalty. 64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they keep a loyal relationship with a brand, while almost half of Americans expect brands to know their desires and needs and enable them to discover new products or services that suit them. In other words, consumers tend to prefer brands with a familiar face and associated with things they already know and like.

Enter pop culture. There is nothing more pervasive than popular cultural trends – and they make for a successful marketing campaign, to boot. A study revealed that out of 345 marketing campaigns examined, 28% of the most successful relied on pop culture references. This does not necessarily mean building the whole brand around a pop culture item, but cleverly associating services or products is a creative way to break into previously uncharted customer territory. For example, apps available on Google Play regularly capitalize on pop culture, such as the latest Minion Rush game, while online gaming regularly turns to more established pop culture themes to attract new players, such as new bingo sites featuring designs based on Monopoly or the popular TV show Deal or No Deal.

Say It with Colour

Lastly, creative branding means considering aspects of the brand identity that are not usually in the forefront – and yet weigh heavily on consumers’ choices. Consider colour, for example: according to research by the Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo, 92.6% of those interviewed said that they mostly take into account visual factors when purchasing goods and 84.7% said that colour accounts for more than 50% among the various determinative factors when choosing products.

There are countless examples that spring to mind which prove that the right colour choice may increase brand recognition – according to research, by roughly 80%. Just consider the Starbucks green or the Coca-Cola red. Customers associate different colours with different attributes: orange is seen as creative and friendly, white is associated with innocence, red with excitement and passion, and blue with trust and smartness – in fact, blue is the most popular company logo colour, which comes as no surprise since 42% of people cite it as their favourite colour.

So whether we are talking establishing a brand identity from scratch or relaunching a brand’s image, the important thing to keep in mind is to be creative. Thinking out of the box and knowing where to focus in developing a brand image is key for a successful result that captures consumers’ minds and hearts – and, more importantly, their shopping habits.