Distinguishing your Brand and Products is No Fairy Tale.
True originality is difficult to achieve. When it comes to products, logos and branding that are entirely unprecedented, they are few and far between. Your company can outsource to a white shoe Madison Avenue PR firm, source bespoke fabrics, create unique designs but that does not assure relevance to a persnickety public.
Iconic brands are a cultural phenomenon that inspire unbreakable loyalty in their following. Greater than its products or services, an iconic brand identity has such a strong influence and reputation within an industry that it needs no introduction. Nike Swoosh. Golden Arches. Prancing Horse.
Iconic brands, whether subliminal or overt, are experts in psychological marketing. These are businesses that have spent years developing a unique identity that advocates ideas and concepts that resonate with the people they want to sell to. As iconic brand identities play an important role in their consumer’s life, they enjoy a huge degree of brand loyalty — often beyond the likes that any other company can achieve.
While the features of iconic brands are not necessarily set in stone, most industry professionals agree the following elements are the cornerstones to create relevance: strong cultural roots, unique imagery and identity as well as a compelling story.
Let us see how this can occur quite haphazardly. The New York coffee mug.
The iconic “We Are Happy to Serve You” paper coffee cup was introduced in 1963 by Leslie Buck of the Sherri Cup Company in 1963 to appeal to many Diners owned by Greek immigrant businessmen. At its height, more than 180 million of the distinctive blue-and-white Grecian-style cups were used in New York City every year.Anyone who has ever gone to a New York City diner or street vendor knows this Greek-inspired design. Why does it create such a visceral reaction to our emotions?Now, class, lets apply what we have learned.Strong Cultural Roots: In a post WWII, pre-Starbucks world, that daily Cup of Joe at the diner was an imbibing imperative. Relatable to both the blue color worker as well as the striving professional, that simple cup of coffee in a bustling City was an affordable and necessary luxury. Lets also add to the equation that NYC was then an entry point to many immigrants as well as business newcomers, the global reach of this simple “brand” becomes notable.
Unique Imagery and Identity: Successful design is often simple, elegant, and functional. No matter how symmetrical and charming the design, if the thickness of that cup was too thin, it would scald your hand. Too thick, and it would be weighty. Beauty often finds that Goldilocks Zone.
Compelling Story: The image of a bustling NYC; whether it be a handsome couple of strangers kissing at the news of the War’s armistice, a crowded Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the scene of a crowded ticker tape parade after your Team’s successful championship run — we all have a NYC story. Usually, that experience was preceded by a cup of coffee in an anthora mug.
In today’s digitally-connected environment, it’s easier and as efficient than ever for companies to establish lasting connections with their target audience through social media campaigns. Many of the best and most iconic brands in the world spend a huge amount of money on their social media efforts, to cultivate strong communities of happy and satisfied customers. Its your product. You know what your clients need.
Luigi Rosabianca of Shield Advisory Group