At this time of year, it’s customary for bloggers and other industry pundits to look back at trends in the business — and extrapolate what it all means for the future.
Well, it’s been quite a year at Partners & Harrison, with lots of new projects and the addition of high profile clients like American University.
In the branding business, every year brings its share of insights. Here’s what we saw in 2015.
1. Digital technology continues to shrink timelines — everyone seems to be working on speed dial. And in some cases, 24/7.
2. Websites and microsites are becoming increasingly visual and cinematic. Large, visceral photography and video have become the norm, with copy being kept to a minimum.
3. Packaging design is getting more creative (in terms of form factor) and visually appealing as more and more companies realize the importance of brand design in influencing consumers’ buying habits at the point of sale.
4. Corporate responsibility and citizenship seemed to dominate many campaigns thematically this year. Consumers want to know what companies stand for as much as what they sell. (This year’s Super Bowl contained a plethora of socially-conscious advertising. A few standouts were Coca Cola and Dove.)
5. Experiential marketing — the growing importance of brand experiences and their emotional component — remains a dominant trend. We truly have entered the “human era” of branding and marketing.
6. And of course, the upcoming presidential election is dominating all forms of media — social as well as traditional.
Well, that’s the year as we saw it. Here’s to new exciting trends and clients in 2016. It’s still a fun business — and one that’s constantly changing.
Photo: Jim Hickcox (Creative Commons)
We read an interesting article in Adweek a few weeks ago.
Research by Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford who investigates sensory perception of food, has determined that consumer perceptions of the taste of Pringles were actually altered by how fresh or stale the chips sounded. In further experiments, Spence discovered that product packaging influences taste perceptions, as well.
A failed packaging experiment for Coke involved a limited edition white can — designed as part of a fund-raising effort for endangered polar bears. The can was discontinued because consumers complained that Coke had changed its formula and the “new product” didn’t taste as good. Which wasn’t the case at all. It was a new can, not a new Coke.
The takeaway here: Color palettes, packaging, product shapes — even product names — can make or break your product. Design is more important that you might think. So choose wisely.
Your choice of a logo may not determine the life or death of your business, but it will certainly provide a visual cue into the culture, values and behavior of your brand, which may in fact act as a springboard to gain customer recognition. Every day consumers come face-to-face with countless logos. However, few are unaware of the impact these visual icons are making through subconscious messaging.
A logo gives consumers an instant impression of your brand, so it’s critical to develop a design that’s not only dynamic, but captures your brand’s vision and strengths. In many cases, a logo may only have a few seconds to tell a story, which can make creating one the most difficult aspect of the branding process.
As you begin the process of turning the image of your brand into a commercial reality, we suggest considering these four characteristics:
1. Is it unique?
Does the logo design remind you of someone else’s? Having a strong, distinctive logo identity will not only show how different you are, it will set you apart from others in your industry and make your brand more memorable.
2. Can it be described?
If you want to generate word of mouth around your logo, people have to be able to talk about it – therefore, it must be easy to describe. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to describe. We recommend playing around with bold and clean-cut techniques and foregoing the overcrowded and busy designs.
3. Does it suit your purpose?
When developing your logo, it’s important to identify what you want it to accomplish. Are you looking to persuade? Capture attention? Create awareness? The purpose of your logo will depend on the type of business you have and the effect you want to achieve. Your brand’s personality — the characteristics of your company — can help you figure out the typeface and colors that are most appropriate for your business.
4. Does it suit your target audience?
It’s important to look at the demographics of your target audience when determining the style and tone of your logo. If you have a business aimed at targeting men, you’ll want to think about incorporating strong designs with a macho edge. Likewise, if you’re targeting women, a delicate logo with subtle colors might be something to consider.
Looking to create a new logo for your brand — or to come up with something to replace the existing one? Contact us. We have a wealth of experience creating award-winning logos for major brands in a broad range of industries.