brand signature 3
brand signature ideas 3
brand signature 1

We Design Your Brand Strategy

Have your brand stand out with a unique and memorable brand signature 

Create a unique brand signature to avoid obscurity

Obscurity is the most common ending to brand design efforts. There is only so much a logo can do by itself to project your business and avoid this from happening!

Your logo will find its way onto website, ads, brochures, videos and many other spots. Designers will place your logo with lots of other logos, with a rainbow of colours, plentiful numbers of typefaces, and an unmentionable volume of images and graphics.

This is where your unique brand signature comes in. You want to turn your brand into something special by tapping into their creative instincts and ignoring the sounds of the madding crowd.

A unique brand signature is a creative catch phrase, visual or sound treatment that stakeholders instantly associate with your brand.

It might be something that is suggestive of your personality and purpose.  At the very least, and most importantly, it has to be memorable. 

Some interesting facts

It takes consumers less than 10 seconds to form an opinion about a brand based on its visuals.”

A well-designed logo can be recognized up to 55% faster than a text-based logo.

Studies show a 5% increase in sales for every 1% increase in brand awareness.

The 100 most valuable global brands generate an average of 11% more revenue than their competitors. (interbrand)

Create a unique brand signature to avoid obscurity

Brand signatures can break conventional rules on what works in marketing and yet still deliver the results!  Here’s an example.

In 1956, a troubled creative working for ad agency Davidson Pearce Berry & Tuck was handed a brief to make tea exciting for Brooke Bond PG Tips. After a morning of working up some ideas and getting nowhere, he decided to take a trip to a Zoo. He came across the star attraction at the the time, the newly arrived chimps—and an idea was born.


Why not have chimps lead the campaign?  Did it have anything to do with tea? No. Did it project the brand personality?  No.  Was it suggestive of the product or the value the product would bring to customers?  No.


But it worked. Dressed in human clothes the moneys of Twycross Zoo became lovingly known as the Tipps family with their voices often provided by celebrities. The first Brooke Bond PG Tips ad was broadcast on Christmas Day 1956, recreating an elegant tea party in a country mansion.  It ultimately became the longest-running TV campaign in British history, with the chimps recast successfully for new generations in new formats, eventually finding their way to become glove puppets!

This example is counterintuitive to every bit of brand, marketing and advertising theory known to man—which makes it all the more interesting that it worked so well.  The point about this story for me is that it just shows how impactful memorable visual images can be for brand success.

Outreach and advertising in the social media age is congested

Artificial intelligence and automation tools are swamping popular outreach channels like social media, web, and email with millions of new pieces of content daily.  All of this content is finding its way into one gigantic global digital marketplace, where everyone is competing.

In our social media age, it’s essential that you design brand communications to:

1. Be easily identified as coming from your business.

2. Be memorable by standing out.

Inspiring examples of memorable campaigns

There are many great examples of campaigns that have managed to span the test of time and stand out. Do you remember:

The Nike JUST DO IT swish and catchphrase?

The catchphrase ‘Shake n Vak puts the freshness back’ of the  original Shake n Vac TV advert?

The jingle for Guinness Dancing Man as of 1994?

The catch-phrase ‘Australians wouldn’t give a Castlemaine 4X for anything else’ from the Castlemaine XXXX TV lager advert of 1985—funny because it never came from Australia in the first place, but the British associate lager with the Aussies.

The Compare the Meerkat advertising campaign on British and Australian commercial television of

ComparetheMarket.com—a clever play on words that became the brand of the business through its popularity. It helped the company to became the third-largest price comparison website in the UK.

The 118118 droopy moustaches boys. 118 118 is the UK telephone number for a US owned directory enquiries provider. Its marketing campaign designed by advertising agencies WCRS and Brazil, featured two men wearing items of clothing with 118 and two parallel red stripes on it. The campaign ran successfully for a decade.

You want your brand communications to follow in the footsteps of this creativity.

How to design a unique visual signature

First, think about your formatting options. It could be a visual, a catchphrase, or a jingle.

While you could look to find a catchphrase or tune that your audience will remember, I expect the most likely medium for your brand communications will be visual images. This is because, sometimes, having sound on your device is less convenient for the recipients of your messaging.

Your audience using social media will look through their media feeds hunting for a first impression that is remotely interesting. Only then, will they hang around.

You will want that first visual impression to instantly identify your brand – hence why we call it a unique signature.

To design a unique and memorable visual signature, you will need to consider all of the building blocks I describe in more detail now.  These are:

Artistry
Information design
Design fashion
Typography
Colour and imagery
Technology
Device form factors

Get in touch to discuss your brand signature.

Artistry

To really stand out in a global social media and digital streaming market, you have to achieve a higher level of artistry than your counterparts.

When I say artistry, I mean just that.

You need to consider how visual impressions can tell the story of your brand. This could mean creating original art, photography, music, Information design, 3D visuals—whatever it takes.

Sometimes you can get lucky and find a creative agency that can think outside of the box to bring you a unique digital signature without you having to pay big bucks, but it’s unlikely.  None of this stuff comes cheap.

Investing in ‘more unique’ will pay off in the long run, because yours will be the only brand with that signature.

Information design

The practice of presenting information in a way that fosters an efficient and effective understanding of the information—information design—has never been a showy topic.

It’s a subject pioneered by academics, and to some extent it’s fallen out of fashion as print has slowly ebbed away, displaced by small mobile screen sizes as the most common form of information distribution.  Nevertheless, how you present information matters. It can also create a competitive advantage. A big element of information design is layout, but another is storytelling.

You can drive better results from your communications if you consider information design principles and use them to make your story easier to read and understand.

The principles and methods found in information design extend beyond the subject of visualisation. Experts will begin with a focus on the reader and their information needs, to then draw on their knowledge of storytelling, the use of structure, layout and logic patterns to help readers easily absorb content.

It’s about providing the information your audience needs when they need it, in a layout that encourages attention and knowledge transfer.

Design fashion

Design is a fashion – which means it changes over time.

To keep your visual designs fresh and on-trend means reflecting the current design norms that your audience is getting accustomed to seeing.

When Apple launched its iPhone, it’s simple, clean and crisp marketing style forged around simple, friendly language and lots of well-lit product images on lots of white-space really did cut through.  Not every business has the marketing budget of Apple, and unless you do, swimming upstream against the tide is rarely a great plan.

It’s worth considering how close to steer to the current design fashion. Embrace the current styles and you may find your brand communications age quickly, ignore it and you might stand out for all the wrong reasons.

Typography

Fonts and typography matter. Choosing the right font can bring personality to your messaging. Bolder fonts can help to amplify headlines—and some fonts scale better than others.

Before Steven Jobs made Apple what it is today, he took a course on typography. It was that course that led to the fantastic creative font choices found on Apple devices even today. Later in life, Jobs stated how impactful those typefaces had been to differentiate the first Apple desktops from their IBM rivals.

You will want to consider your use of capitalisation too.

Numerous studies conducted since 1914 suggest that text written all in capitals is harder to read than sentence case because people see words more easily by their contours.

Simplicity is normally best.   Yes, it’s great to have interesting fonts, but when the font typefaces are not supported by all of the target devices you expect customers to use, the only thing to be done is to embed fonts in content pages.

Embedding fonts takes up more data memory… which slows the build of pages… which reduces the customer experience!

 

Colour and imagery

When designing brands, every aspect of how visual imagery will project emotions needs to be considered. As individuals, we see brands and look to draw out an emotional context to them in our minds—and even a colour pallet can set the mood. 

According to experts in colour psychology, and how colour make you feel, red is associated with passion, aggression and importance (think of a red carpet!), while orange is seen as playful, cheap and energetic and yellow is considered happy and friendly, but a warning just the less!
In addition to colour, you need to think about the type of images and graphics you are adopting in your campaign.

Selecting the wrong image or graphic can convey your brand as youthful, old fashioned, overly friendly, conservative, unimaginative, too creative and risky, even biased in a positive or negative way towards a topic, or particular political, economic or social group.

 

Technology has become a creative landscape

With advances in artificial intelligence and use of CGI and 3D, there are many technology-driven ways of projecting brand that have never been done before.

You can take your audience into a virtual world, hang with your product off a ceiling, or literally walk a tightrope across a luna landscape!

 

Device form factors

The device form factors that people will be using to access your media is another thing to think about.

Brand marketers have to think about how their messaging will be presented on any number of screen sizes and orientations these days. 

They have to consider how the beautiful page they’ve created for a wide-screen digital TV will re-create on a vertical Smartphone smaller than a notebook. 

Studies suggest that we hold our phones vertically an almost universal 94% of the time, whether banking, chatting, calling, scrolling our news feed or – indeed – viewing videos.

When using pretty much any social media platform, vertical (portrait) imagery and video functionality is available and expected by your audience.

 

Closing thoughts

BILL GATES rightfully said:

“The problem nowadays is people don’t know how to want what we make.”

Commerce is a balance of demand and supply, and for centuries industry has focused on making products more plentiful, better, more affordable, more desirable.  In the last decade we have entered a period in history where creating demand is more critical to business success than creating gadgets and widgets.  Let’s be honest, yery few products and services are in short supply. 

Even if you do have a unique story to tell, nobody will hear it unless you can attract an audience. 

Creating demand is all about marketing.  It’s also about building a visual brand signature that stands out.  If you want to succeed—and not have your business brand languish in impoverished obscurity, as so many of your competitors inevitably will—then you need to take it seriously.

 

Get in touch to discuss your brand signature.