As a part of my postgraduate studies in international business management, I had to undertake a module in corporate governance, responsible business management in particular. While the module stretched in length and breadth of elixirs when it comes to running a business, the concept of brand identity caught my attention. Talk about brand identity and the first things that come to the mind are the colours, designs and other visual elements that enhance the product value. To be honest, as customers, you and I would go for a product that is not just of importance to us but is aesthetically pleasing- we look for characteristics on the mere wrapping that they’re enclosed in to stand out.
As children, we’ve all, at some point or the other, have found ourselves glued to the tunes of the jingles that roll in as advertisements and familiarised ourselves with the symbols of our much-loved brands. However, little did we know that these ‘symbols’ aka logos that seem so enticing to us are manifestations of a lot of thought that goes into the background.
Now, we may have also pondered upon as to why certain brands italicise their names, while others prefer to indulge in a great game of fonts even when it comes to providing basic information about the product. What looks like child’s play to us has a lot of behind-the-scenes in the making.
So the question is, how important are the logo, labelling and packaging to any brand?
The logo, label, packaging (what I refer to as LLP- Not to be confused with Limited Liability Partnership) forms the quintessential components of the Brand Identity Pack. Fancy term? To put it simply, it is an all-encompassing bundle including the logo, typography, label, packaging etc that you would need to work on, if you want your enterprise to be known and make a mark in the industry.
When it comes to ideating your brand identity, take into consideration everything that is crucial to a business, not just yours. Understand the value of your product, not just in monetary terms but in terms of what role it contributes to society- Is it for recreation? A daily essential? A luxury item? No matter the category it falls into, take some time to introspect. This is when research comes handy. You must have had a business plan or at least a few ideas when it came to actually running your business.
Let’s first talk in terms of the logo. You don’t have to be a graphic designing school graduate. Neither do you have to master Adobe Photoshop on your own. Illustrate whatever comes into your mind related to your product. However, half-knowledge is dangerous. Just because art is subjective and creativity cannot be judged doesn’t mean the design looks something deemed as unfit for the society. Look for inspiration on the internet, push yourself to make it different. Doesn’t have to go overboard and lose the basic essence of the brand. While designing does win accolades, remember, your end result is increasing conversions and revenue for the business and not just bagging awards and letting them get dusty on the shelf. Let the logo speak for itself and give out a precise message. There’s no concrete definition of what is a good logo but a bad logo would be something that would leave your audience confused with its extra-vibrancy or extra-dullness, or perhaps something just absurd.
Why is the logo so important then?
First impressions are often long-lasting, culminating into the best or worst impressions. Your logo is the face of your business, and has to reflect the work of great planning and it’s even greater execution. No two brands would have the same logo, and if they’ve, it would then be a case of copyright infringement.
Next comes the label. What is the purpose of a label? In a couple of words, it stands to provide information. It can state the name of the product to instructions on how to use it to cautionary information, contact information and everything under the sun as long as it is relevant to the business.
Why is the label so important then?
Labels are crucial. You may not find much luck with the logo if it is poorly put into action but labels can either make you or break you. It’s pivotal in marketing (Remember the 5Ps of Marketing? Product, price, place, promotion, people) This label of yours contains information about the composition of the product, the place of manufacture, and perhaps the price. It is a standalone element in terms of promotion to the right people aka your target audience. Use it as stickers, or paste it as a mailing tag on a parcel, labels are of utmost importance. You need not be reminded of stories flashing on the news channels which look no less than horror on how incorrect labelling have sidetracked products, resulting in defamation suits and huge losses.
What should an effective label contain then?
Like the logo, it should be clear and crisp. Let it signify your brand, with legible texts packed with complete information. Check for the correct names, description, grades and tests wherever needed as well as the contact information.
Last but not least is the packaging. The basic function of packaging is to encase the product and protect it from getting damaged owing to the exteriors. However, it’s much more than a simple wrapping. Alongside being aesthetic, packaging has undergone a wide range of changes, with biodegradable or recyclable packaging basking in the limelight. Marketing is all about how well you can grasp customer emotions and sell and with this, the colour of the package tends to sway customers- Surely you wouldn’t want a dull monotone claiming space amongst your possessions? Keep in mind, however, that dull monotone doesn’t always translate into dark colours. In the world of marketing, bold is beautiful and dark is elegant, of course, if utilised in a good way.
Sounds simple? While idealising and designing may not seem to be quite a feat, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Remember, everyone may be able to design but only a few are blessed to get their creativity to life. The end product has to breathe, to convey a message. While each of these elements can be copyrighted in their own right, the overall design that encompasses the three can be also registered as a trademark.