Brand Strategy: What’s in a Name?

Together with packaging design, a brand’s name is perhaps the most important factor influencing brand personality and perception. But with only 26 letters to work with, chances to create a name that’s short, memorable, distinctive – and legally available – are low. No wonder then that finding nomenclature has become somewhat of a science.

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Brand Guidelines vs Creativity

Some are very comprehensive and cover everything from logo usage to type style, website layout, and editorial tone. Brand guidelines – also known as brand standards, style guides, brand books, even brand bibles – are an essential tool to help design a successful brand. They specify how the different elements of a brand work together to form a brand identity. They help make sure everyone involved in the making of a brand is looking in the same direction.

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Emojis in Brand Messaging ;-)

They started out as keyboard character combinations to help bring meaning and emotion to the online chat rooms of the late nineties. They’ve now evolved into a full crowd of pictograms able to convey specific non-verbal meanings and some of the most complex human emotions. Like it or not, emojis are taking over text-based communication. And the Oxford Dictionary’s selection of “Face with Tears of Joy” as Word of the Year 2015 is the ultimate confirmation these small-scale images are here to stay.

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When Nostalgia Sells

Using past memories is a powerful marketing strategy. It brings us back to an idealized past where life was easier and simpler. On packaging, retro artwork not only serves to express the brand’s heritage, it also helps kick up its perception of authenticity and quality.

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Brand Naming: When Bad Names Make Good Brands

Creating new brand names is no easy task. Names have to be short to be remembered and distinctive enough to break through the clutter. Looking for potential negative connotations is best-practice as no global brand manager wants a name that means poop in a relevant language. But are all bad names, or names with some negative association, an automatic no-go?

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CONNECTED PACKAGING: PACKAGING THAT “DOES”

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a text from your fridge reminding you to get milk on the way home? Or an app that turns the light on and controls the temperature of your living room remotely? What about a toothbrush that tells you when you’ve brushed long enough? Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) – that ecosystem of internet-connected objects that interact with one another –, this is now a reality. Not only in home appliances but also in healthcare, public safety, transportation, or retail. And because of the increased availability of printed electronics combined with real-time cloud software, IoT is quickly giving packaging a chance to be interactive, too.

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Three Takeaways to Drug Branding

Imagine that your job is to maximize value and revenue for a brand whose name can’t be pronounced on the first try, whose packaging can’t reference a single product feature or benefits, and - above all -, a brand that can’t be promoted to its end users directly.

 

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What Happens Behind the Lens – A Closer Look at Food Styling

Soap-covered lattés, plastic ice cream, paint-coated strawberries – hardly fitting descriptions to make your mouth water. Or are they? Meet Dominique, ARD DESIGN SWITZERLAND’s chef-turned-food stylist, as he lets us in on some of professional food photography’s most unexpected tricks.

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How to Kill Brands (And Bring Others to Life)

Competing on the shelf is tough. And for parity products like breakfast cereal that go after similar segments, it’s even tougher. That’s why packaging design is really the last and the most critical influencer on the buying decision continuum. Miss that opportunity to showcase your unique value or benefit – be it ingredients, flavor or price - and your consumers will likely reach for a more relevant option. Even your mascot’s engaging stare might not be enough to persuade them.

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Effective Brand Communication – It Starts with the Color

What’s the name of the orange airline? How about the red cola? And the blue one? If you are asked to think about a purple chocolate bar, what brand comes to mind? Because our brains process it faster than any other visual information, color is an essential element of brand communication. Those of you contemplating corporate identities or packaging design, this post is for you.

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When Water is not Just Water: The Branding of Commodity Products

I recently took my team out to the local restaurant to celebrate the win of an exceptionally difficult pitch. We are regulars there so we usually all get the business menu. When one of the teammates ordered her beverage, I was amused she settled for tea after the waiter told her he didn’t carry her brand of water. “Doesn’t water taste the same no matter what brand it is?” I asked. She replied in the most serious tone, “No, I just can’t drink anything other than Evian.”

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Coca-Cola ‘Life’ – Confusing?

Ten years after the launch of Coke ‘Zero’, the Coca-Cola Company is introducing Coca-Cola ‘Life’, a low calorie version from stevia extract. The name is short, memorable and easy to say in a majority of the world’s languages. However it might prove inconvenient and downright confusing.

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PACKAGING THAT STARES BACK

The findings of a recent study led by Cornell University suggest that cereal box spokes-characters who make eye contact with consumers have a higher incidence of improving brand trust and brand connection thus influencing choice. And sales.

Gender crossover – beer for women

Brands that have traditionally been directed at a male audience are now launching various alternatives intended for women. And vice versa. This is especially evident in the cosmetic industry, think of Axe.

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