“Don't confuse Branding and Design
As we have seen earlier, a brand is the result and design is one means
of achieving this result. Branding is about managing the customer
experience and creating the desired
feeling that we want the customer to feel when in contact with the
brand. Design is merely the method through which some of these results
will be achieved. Intelligent use of color, shape, words and photography
will convey and reinforce a message, a feeling. However, designers are
not always involved in the whole branding picture. Leaving designers in
charge of a brand is a little like leaving a fashion designer in charge
of a catwalk show. The clothes may be beautiful, but the make-up, music
and overall organisation may be a disaster. Designers will manage the
brand's image from a visual point of view. Please note that the brand
goes beyond image and function; it encompasses the overall buying
experience of a consumer, from shop layout, to background music, to
sales manner etc...”
This extract of Dos & DONTs of
branding in Taiwan explains clearly the main difference between branding
and design but also points out a recurrent problem: Designers are not
necessary involved in, or at least informed about, the brand strategy.
A mistake? Yes, if we consider the importance of the designer for the brand.
To communicate, to provide experience, to let people have the right feeling, and by extension to exist, a brand needs design.
It is difficult to separate strategy and design: a good positioning,
strategy will be nothing without a good execution from the designer, and
at same time, there is little chance for a brand to be successful with
good design and no strategy.
To deliver the right feeling, designers need more than a brand position.
They need to understand what are the goals, what emotion the consumer
feels or need to feel when he is in touch with this brand… Designers
need to live the brand, and participate in the strategic conversation can only
Integrating design earlier can also help to have a different
approach and inform brand people about new technologies and so coming
with more innovative solutions.
If you want to know how much the
design can influence a brand, just have a look at the second most
valuable brand in 2012. Since the iMac’s success , Apple made the
choice to keep the same leading designer, Jonathon Ive, on every major
product like ipod, iphone and ipad.
Would Apple have been successful without consistent design?