It isn't easy to build or sustain.
And it must appear absolutely effortless.
know what we mean?
If your goal is excellence, then we suspect you already have uncommon respect for the art of image-management and its vital role in building a strong brand.
Have you ever wondered where image actually begins? For example, who made the decision to create a singular color for Tiffany – and why robins' egg blue? Why is Cartier red that particular shade, and what is behind their signature panther? What thinking was behind the Hérmes bright orange? Why FedEx purple and red? Why UPS brown?
It isn't only about color.
And it isn't only luxury brands that give this immense thought. It's about personality and a pragmatic commitment to sticking with it through years of visibility. Think about businesses that impress you; what imagery or color comes to mind? Not many, right? Businesses who think at that level are hard to come by.
Apple. Do you think of fruit – or do you see a graphic with a bite? How did Apple become the world's most valuable brand? It isn't because of a single element. It isn't just a new gadget – it's how it will change life. It isn't just a logo or a color palette or a store. To them, it's about breaking through with a fierce commitment to consistency and elegance in an ordinarily inelegant "tech" world. They are consistently delivering product excellence with every touch point – from the product experience itself to the boxes to their stores, their instructions, their genius bar, their website. Apple customers responded through decades of time, and are passionate about their products; none of this happened by accident.
NIKE. The image is seen in just about every sport under the sun – not a single word is visible. That said, their slogan is remembered more than almost any other brand in the world. Just do it became a business culture, and that culture permeates the world of sports. Not a color to be found. It's about the swoosh and what it stands for. But Nike must be careful with its power – internal culture matters; so does external associations. Are they doing “it” wrong? Not necessarily; but reading the room and messaging to their enormous markets must be done methodically if they are to protect the power of the swoosh.
When you think Google, do you think of a single color? How about a single graphic? Nope. Google business is an ever-changing engine of activity. That position both reflects the constantly changing world of information and in their always-changing home page logo. They don't take themselves too seriously when we see them for the moments they help us direct a thought, find someone, or otherwise get plugged in. And sometimes they simply make us smile.
How memorable you are isn't just one decision that's made at the consumer marketing end of the spectrum; it's an over-arching commitment to making decisions from an endless number of choices. Your business personality is about texture, pace, space, words, photography, size, frequency, events, people, sensations and yes, color.
With mass information has come the opportunity for mass marketing, mass manufacturing and mass consumption. Brilliant businesses and uncommon brands punch heavier than their weight in strategic ways that can be refreshing, unexpected, thoughtful – and are always memorable.