Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video Branding 1950 to today, part of Branding for Designers.
- After 1950, television became the dominant advertising tool. This forced companies to focus less on the written or spoken word for radio and more on a visual medium. Images became king. With the introduction of the internet and now mobile communication, imagery is the primary way we communicate as a culture. Companies quickly understood the importance of a unified visual message. The brand message was critical to differentiate from the competition.
That message had to be consistent every time the audience interacted with it. The rise of advertising also made the core brand message important. Campaign ideas could change to maintain interest, but the brand center, or brand DNA, had to stay the same. Volkswagen's campaign during the 1960s is a great example. The brand message tells the audience that Volkswagen is alternative, and made for people who value independence, not status.
The ads change copy and imagery, but never change the main story. In the 1990s, as the internet's use expanded, many brands ventured into websites with less than spectacular results. As a new medium, the rules weren't clear. Many brands simply replicated their ad campaigns online, and since the consumer already had that information, nobody cared. Today, every company, from a small restaurant to a Fortune 500 corporation, understands the importance of a website as a communication tool.
The most successful use their website not as a duplication of the printed matter, but as a way to dig deeper into the brand. With the current expansion of mobile media a clear brand message is even more critical. A brand must remain consistent in its message, whether in visual form on a poster or the text on a Twitter feed. Branding is far more complex today than it was in 1950. The vehicles to communicate may be more complex and constantly changing, but the job is still the same: determine a strong, clear, unique, and compelling message for the brand.
And use every opportunity to promote that message.
- The history of branding (pre- and post-1950)
- The elements of branding
- Conducting research
- Solving problems and presenting solutions
- Creating logos and identity systems
- Building a visual system with color, typography, and more
- Communicating branding with manuals and vision books