What is Brand Meaning?
The best brand meaning stand for something: a big idea, a strategic position, a defined set of values, a voice that stands apart. Symbols are vessels for meaning. They become more powerful with frequent use and when people understand what they stand for. They are the latest form of communication known to man. Meaning is rarely immediate and evolves over time.
Brand Meaning drives creativity
Designers distill meaning into unique visual form and expression. It is critical that this meaning is explained so that it can be understood, communicated and approved. All elements of the brand identity system should have framework of meaning and logic.
Brand Meaning builds consensus
Meaning is like a campfire. It’s a rallying point used to build consensus with a group of decision makers. Agreement on brand essence and attributes builds critical synergy and preceeds any presentation of visual solutions, naming conventions, or key messages.
Brand Meaning evolves over time
As companies grow, their businesses may change significantly. Similarly, the meaning assigned to a brand mark will probably evolve from its original intention. The logo is the most visible and frequent reminder of what the brand stands for.
A nation’s flag begins as a design. Distinctive colours and shapes are chosen for their symbolic meaning. The flag is unique and dramatically different from other nations. Seeing the flag arouses feelings of pride, passion, or disdain. Logos are the same, this is brand meaning.
Symbols engage intelligence, imagination, emotion, in a way that no other learning does.
Nike was named after the Greek goddess of victory. Nike’s logo, an abstraction of a wing, designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971, was meaningful to a company that marketed running shoes. In 1988 Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign become a battle cry for an entire generation of athletes. When consumers see the “swoosh”, as it’s called, they are inspired by the bigger idea to live the slogan.
Apple customers quickly become brand zealots. When they see the Apple logo, they think innovation and delight. The logo, designed by Rob Janoff in 1976, is an apple with a bite out of it a friendly symbol of knowledge, and as lore has it, a symbol of anarchy from the PC world. The original logo was filled with rainbow stripes, but now it is a simple one colour icon.
When the Mercedes Benz log was originally created by Gottlieb Daimier in 1909, it consisted of a simple depiction of a three pointed star that represents the company’s ‘domination of the island, the sea, and the air. Now this brandmark stands for first and foremost for luxury and for the fastest cars on the road. The symbol has been dramatically simplified over the last century and remains highly recognisable.
Mitsubishi stands for quality and reliability and embodies a 130 year old commitment to earning the trust and confidence of people worldwide. Protecting the trademark, designed by Yataro Iwasaki, is a top corporate priority. Each diamond represents a core principle, corporate responsibility to society, integrity and fairness, and international understanding through trade.
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