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Branding is a long term process and one of the best investments a company can make if done correctly.

Let's look at some examples of what not to do before we get into what to do, eh?

Tropicana Packaging Redesign- While plenty has been written about this massive failure already, in my opinion, Tropicana changed way too much too fast and in the process lost their identity. It was with good intentions to modernize and revibe a historic brand, but instead of making the packaging stand out from the parity juice containers, the new design looked just like everything else on the shelf to the point that loyalists couldn't even locate the big orange it was once known for. They muted the color cues so the flavors identifiers were lost, making the shopping experience less efficient and a greater time investment.

Pepsi Redesign- Pepsico is having a field day redesigning all their iconic brands to look updated and futuristic. I don't know if they're overthinking it or just in a panic to compete with Coca Cola, but either way the huge changes, which supposedly are well thought out and meaningful are looking rushed, desperate and lacking depth.

My main criticism is that you can't force history upon yourself. You aquire it over time from years of consumer trust. The Arnell Group is trying to explain that by rotating the logo, aside from making it look like a smiley face (cheesy, early '90s?) that it reflects the symmetry of the Golden Ratio in famous historical elements such as the Mona Lisa, Parthenon and Gravitational Pull. Umm need we remind you this is a carbonated soft drink? What happened to light, young, fun? Wasn't Britney Spears their spokesperson last year? Changing what you stand for so drastically at the drop of a hat is a huge branding misstep, it confuses the customer and creates a real lack of self-awareness.

Branding 101:

Define Your Brand and Why It Matters

The fundamental purpose of branding is to give companies a unique identity and story behind the company's values. Brands personify organizations, products and services by giving corporations personal and emotional attributes. Customers identify brands with expectations such as trustworthiness, authenticity, vitality and reliability so it is very important to deliver those promises on every single purchase and interaction. Customers usually associate only one or two main attributes to a brand, thus making it more of a immediate response. It’s an emotional, sensory understanding of who a company is, rather than an intellectual, rational memory of a tagline or logo.

Proper brand positioning can ensure that people perceive a brand in ways that achieve organizational objectives. Diligent brand management can move people from considering the brand (when they have specific needs), to preferring the brand, to purchasing the brand, to being loyal to the brand, to enthusiastically becoming a spokesperson on their behalf.

Studies have shown that an organization's two most important assets are its people and its brands. Typically, most of a company's financial value results from its brand asset value, which often far exceeds the value of all of the company's tangible assets.

A brand is much more than just a logo. It is the sum total of a corporate identity (logo, colors, paper stock, identifying graphic material, etc.), all marketing materials, public relations, employee attitudes, and every customer touch point and interaction, whether one-on-one or via the web, print, or broadcast media. It’s how employees answer the phone, how easy the website is to navigate, how quickly staff responds to customer service, the tone of the copywriting, and even how a store smells. It is the sum of every experience anyone has with a company. Since negative experiences are much more memorable than positive, branding must be done right to set a precedent for growth and corporate development.

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