There is far more to branding than visuals, as branding delves into the overall experience everyone has with your company. Branding involves the five senses and sometimes a bit more if you consider memories and what’s left for your imagination. We may think of branding as what we provide to represent us, but it’s also the experience we leave behind — out of sight, but not out of mind.
Let’s say your company has invested a decent amount of time and money on branding, but your efforts are not returning the projected objectives or goals. The word “rebranding” starts coming up, but what does it mean? Essentially, rebranding is crafting a new identity based on very specific objectives or simply changing or editing the message, visual identity, voice, and overall nature of the experience you desire customers or clients to experience when they interact with you. Rebranding is basically a makeover.
Recent expansive rebrands from the likes of Admiral and Bird’s Eye have seen the return of old characters, The Admiral and Captain Bird’s Eye, for a new generation of consumers. Is this clever marketing, playing to our nation’s love of nostalgia? Or are these rebrands missing a trick with a new and somewhat savvier target audience? You could question whether some brands are beginning to rely too much on the previous generation’s love of old favourites to persuade a new customer base. So should brands be concentrating so much on what has worked in the past instead of reviewing what is attracting new audiences here and now? But then again, if it still works and the brand is still successful, why try and change it?
Eighties brand Vitalite, recently rebranded as a dairy free alternative to butter, in order to target the growing dairy free population in the UK. This is a good example of brands moving with the times, appealing to the customer’s changing wants and needs. Another great example of this is Lego. Once on the brink of bankruptcy, with a new generation of children disinterested and after new and more exciting toys, the brand cleverly repositioned itself as, not just a toy brand, but essentially a retail brand. It started diversifying its product portfolio to appeal to a generation interested in rich media, making the jump into movies and video games. It even began to partner with other brands to elevate its product further, a risky decision maybe, but one that has seen it catapulted back to the top of the list of toy chest staples.
Because audiences are constantly changing, brands need to recognise that what may have worked 10 or 20 years ago isn’t necessarily going to work now. Constantly assessing your brand strategy is a vital part of good, and clever, brand management. The new millennial audience is not only savvier than previous generations but also sceptical and more aware of marketing ploys.
This could mean that British businesses could attract more customers and decrease spending by opting for monochromatic tones in their branding.
The study revealed that out of the 1000 UK adults surveyed, 65% take greyscale branding more seriously than branding with colour. Associated with sophistication, authority and grandeur, black is perceived to be more formal and powerful. Its use in the branding of many successful companies worldwide reiterates this. Furthermore, only 24% of the people surveyed take primary colours seriously, and even less (11%) take secondary colours seriously. Logos featuring secondary colours and red may even become more expensive in the long run as they are printed using a combination of CMYK – the four inks used during the colour printing process. The research also found that brown, yellow and orange should be avoided in company branding as the data revealed that consumers favoured these colours least.
Additionally, a previous study carried out by Fast Company claimed that 90% of client and consumer judgement is based on visual perception, and that 80% of consumers say colour increases brand recognition. CartridgePeople.com spokesperson, Andrew Davies, said, “It’s very interesting to explore the psychology of colour and the emotive perceptions that each can stimulate with individuals. Colour psychology is widely used in business on an international level, even though it is not an exact science. First impressions are made in the first seven seconds of meeting someone and this needs to be kept in mind when constructing a brand, too - it is often the first thing a client or customer will see. The research has highlighted black as the best colour for UK businesses to use in branding - but obviously whether or not companies act on this entirely depends on the audiences they are targeting and their brand values.”