McD’s new packaging.

January 9, 2016 / Branding
mcdonalds packaging design

McDonald’s has just rolled out new packaging. It’s simple and bold, with big type and vibrant shades of purple, orange and magenta that push the company’s color palette beyond the traditional red and gold.

It’s part of a comprehensive effort by new CEO Steve Easterbrook to transform the Golden Arches into a “modern, progressive burger company.” The company is also in the process of revamping its menu offerings and other aspects of the in-store experience.

McDonald's packaging design

The packaging re-design was a team effort by several designers who were handpicked from several of McDonald’s agencies worldwide—an unusual approach for such a high profile branding assignment.

Definitely more contemporary in its approach, the new cups and bags feature the Golden Arches prominently as well as the slogan “I’m lovin’ it.” The stated goal was to make every item a “billboard for the brand.”

Will the new packaging help reverse McDonald’s recent sales slide? Who knows? As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, packaging and the in-store experience definitely have an influence on how consumers perceive a brand.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Have a packaging assignment you need to tackle? We’d love to help you.


Photo Credit: McDonald’s 2016

Mastering Logos and Their Impact.

November 1, 2015 / Branding, Design
logo design

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.

Branding is bonding.

August 12, 2013 / Branding

A homemaker will only buy Hellmann’s mayonnaise  — or a Kitchen Aid dishwasher. A young executive won’t settle for anything other than an Audi A6 parked in the driveway. And a fashion-conscious thirty-something will go out of the way to find a particular Michael Kors handbag or pair of Tory Burch sandals.

The most effective branding these days is bonding. “Consumers are integrating marketing and brand information into their social identity,” says Art Stewart, a Boston-based brand strategist and professor at Emerson College. “They’re looking for alternative validations for identifying who they are, and are looking to identify others by the way they use those same products and services.”

And this makes perfect sense. After all, strong brands have distinct personalities and values. Customers find something in them that reflect who they are or want to be — and the type of people they want to hang out with.

A recent survey we conducted for a potential coffee client showed that while the majority of respondents preferred the taste of other coffee, they preferred Starbucks for the overall “experience.” If we probe deeper, what they’re saying is that carrying a cup of coffee with a green mermaid has a certain caché, as opposed to, say, Dunkin’ Donuts.

So what if you’re an emerging brand? How do you build that caché — and create a strong identifying bond with customers?

Don’t be afraid to “go out there” with a strong belief or a social cause you champion.

Seek out strong opinion leaders and get them to try and “like” your products (and even be evangelists for them). Don’t be afraid to do something a bit “out there” to attract attention — as long as it’s appropriate to the values of your brand.

And finally, when you attract brand loyalists, reward them — with incentives, loyalty programs, and an overall fabulous customer experience.

Bonding takes great care but it can reap immense rewards.