Logos don’t matter anymore, experiences do!
You might cry, but I’m a designer! I don’t care about experiences… But as a brand designer today your job should be creating experiences, not just a logo-led brand. Creating an experience still involves making a recognisable set of elements, but they should all be of equal importance playing a vital role in the visual expression of a brand.
It’s not only television channels such as MTV or Nickelodeon who warp, squash and alternate their brands. Multi-nationals such as Coca-Cola have embraced this with communications such as the fountain of youth. No longer is Cola-Cola about their logo, which they warp and crop, it’s about a series of elements that are combined and played with to great effect. The bottle form, the color red and more often than not a sense of scale are now equally as important as the logo, which in the past was carpet-bombed across applications. But this isn’t the brand anymore; the elements just help you recognize a series of linked brand experiences.
Imagine if Muji made a bank? You could be able to visualise the whole experience with ease, from the cool air conditioning as you walk through the large glass doors, the scent of the candles in the air, your footsteps on the pine floor, the helpful members of staff in their utilitarian clothes, the simplicity of the leaflets and signage. The comfortable waiting area with plush gray sofas, the effortless simplicity and clarity of your bankcard. You may argue that this is replacing one retail experience for something similar and you’d be correct, but there are brands which already extend this concept much further, from diving out of a plane, an all night rave, snowboarding down a mountain or sponsoring a football team. Welcome to the brand world of Red Bull.
The Red Bull brand is built from connected experiences, not a consistent and rigid set of brand guidelines built around the singular use of a logo. Building brand recognition this way, in a brand landscape which stretches from social through to packaging (with many touchpoints in between) seems outdated in a world where brands strive to be more human and therefore should react to experiences and conversations around them rather than ploughing through life with the same monotone personality.
I don’t know of anyone who has ever been happy to describe a relationship with someone as consistent. People want excitement, spontaneity and new experiences with the people and brands they care about.