Branding a Relationship

When you think of your favorite brands, there is often a very specific relationship that we all have with them. Perhaps you favor a specific brand of soft drink because it’s what your parents or grandparents exposed you to first growing up. Maybe the brand represents a product or service that was important to you during some key period of your life like the make or model of a first car or that particular frozen meal that got you through college that is comfort food now.

Regardless of the specific story, it’s likely that when you think of those brands, you feel a strange sense of ownership and, in some cases, familiarity. If it can be said that brands are like people with personalities then those same brands can almost be like friends to a consumer.

When you’re DEVELOPING a brand, however, it often falls to you to be the one trying to create those relationships in reverse. As designers, it’s often our job to reverse engineer what a brand needs to feel like to evoke that specific relationship our clients require. Of course, when a brand’s relationship with the customer is based, at least in part, on memories and personal nostalgia, there’s little that can be done to effectively manufacture that.

That said, it isn’t impossible. From a designer’s standpoint, there are several key factors one can utilize to help to evoke those feelings that often require a bit of introspection. We look at our OWN experiences and relationships with brands to see what elements are the ones that trigger the emotional reactions we want. There is, of course, no real formula to speak of here as it’s very much something based on emotional reactions.

So from a creative standpoint, figure out just what goes into those emotional connections. Fonts, colors, and imagery that evoke the personality of the brand can go a long way to start with. Auditing the brands you have the closest relationships to see what factors they share is another factor to understand, though ultimately, it will come down to expressing the brand truthfully so that your customers and potential customers will connect with something honestly.

Smart branding can be used to open the door to what feels like a familiar and positive environment and that can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Written by Blog Contributor: Dee Fish