Memorable logos, striking colour schemes and high-quality popular products to boot – many of the world’s biggest companies have built their empires upon a successful brand image.
Whether it’s fast food or football kits, a brand is nothing without a level of instant, almost subconscious recognition, which is why you seem to see them everywhere you go! Here are some of the key selling points which typify the world’s most recognisable brands.
The first thing which jumps out at you on the shelves is the colour of packaging. A brand can live and die on the colours it’s used to represent itself, and the best ones have made sure they’re appealing enough and can send the right message to customers in an instant.
A striking colour scheme like the red-and-white employed by Coca-Cola and Nintendo allows these brands to leap out at you from amongst shelves packed with competitors. The cooler use of blue-and-white in respective close rivals Pepsi and SEGA immediately suggests an alternative however. For one thing, the use of primary colours immediately registers with consumers, even before you’ve decided what sort of drink to go for, or the type of game you want to play.
In a time before we got our daily dose of news updates online, advertising was limited to little more than newspapers, which meant brands were forced to compete to be the most eye-catching on the printed page. Just as we scan the shelves, what we do here is scan the contents of a newspaper page to decide what to read and what to ignore. We’ve upped the tempo because of online media, so even with print, we’ll be drawn to what says the most in the least amount of space, which is why the simplest content can be the most effective.
Brands like Nike retained that simplicity even as their options grew; first to television and then onto the internet. And one need only say the words ‘Golden Arches’ to describe the most enduring fast food brand in the world.
Some things never change – and the most memorable brands know this, which is why you’ll continue to see the same core elements at the heart of every one of their logos. As times have changed and design trends drift in and out, some brands have attempted drastic design changes to suit their refreshed strategy and target audiences; the original Apple logo wasn’t actually so much a logo, as it depicted Sir Isaac Newton under the tree, moments before the apple of inspiration is said to have struck him on the head. (Apple would go on to release products under the Newton name.) Once the move was made to simply depict an apple, all the simplicity and most of the consistency remained – from striking rainbow colours which lasted for over 20 years (showing off Apple products’ advanced graphics) to the sleek, beautifully-designed symbol we see today, reflecting the equally strong focus on product design which has seen Apple become one of the world’s true tech titans.
Best of all, while reading this article, you probably wouldn’t have even needed the image prompts to visualise the brands we’ve discussed – if that’s not a sign of an iconic brand then we don’t know what is!
What brands do you think have stood the test of time?