In a previous post we detailed a few of the ways in which brands sometimes fail. Typically, these situations happen over a long period of time, and usually because you (the designer) haven’t been keeping things in check. As such, we felt this topic was important enough to warrant yet another post. The strength of your branding is the difference between marginal sales and total success, and if you aren’t careful, you may quickly find yourself toeing the line near the red tape.

  1. No Long-Term Plan: Short-term solutions may drive sales immediately, and in this sense, they tend to make your designs look good. However, do you also have a plan to extend the life of the brand beyond the next few years? If you don’t you’re selling yourself and the client short. Like setting life goals, you should always be thinking about what’s next for the brand, as well as where it’s likely to be going in the next few years. Plan for this, and where possible, design for it to. Work the direction directly into the product, and always try to grow alongside the market with these designs.
  2. Going Against the Brand: We see this a lot with large companies that aren’t as in-tune to what their customers actually want. Still, the principle is the same across the board. Your client’s customers look to the products you design with certain expectations. These expectations have got to be met, otherwise the customer isn’t very likely to stick around. A good example is New Coke, which was meant to replace the name Coca Cola. This was a terrible idea, and the reason is simple: The brand Coca Cola came with a very large amount of prestige, recognition, and trust. When the designers behind this rebranding decided to change the very core of the brand, customers reacted harshly, criticizing it and above all else, refusing to buy it. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth: Know what your customers like about a brand, and then try to cater your designs to those expectations.