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Brand Identity – Better Recognize






The Elements

Step through the yellow arches, take a bite out of an apple, and unwrap a green straw. Do you recognize which brands these elements come from? I’m sure at least one is immediately triggered in your brain. Those are elements of successful businesses with a strong brand identity. McDonald’s, Apple, and Starbucks are three of the biggest names on the planet. Brand identity, along with having an awesome website, will put you ahead of the game. Today, we’ll be chatting about brand identity. To find out the importance of having a website, check out this post.


What is a brand identity?

A strong brand identity system starts with consistent, well thought out logos, colors, and typography. A common mistake made is when people overlook how important the consistency part is. Billionaires had to start somewhere too. For example, McDonald’s originally had one location in San Bernardino, California. It was initially a BBQ restaurant concept failure. They reinvented themselves as a place to quickly get burgers, fries, and beverages with little to no wait back in the 1950s — enter fast food. Sure, back then, they didn’t have digital marketing agencies. What they had was the milkshake master, Ray Kroc. He was a business and marketing genius. He realized that brand identity and consistency was of the utmost importance. Without his vision, they may not have become one of the largest franchises in the world. He made sure that burgers, buns, fries, and beverages tasted just the same in Alaska as they did in Alabama. McDonald’s now has over 35,000 locations, selling over 75 hamburgers per second!


McDonald’s logo evolution in a timeline
Just about everyone in the U.S. today has eaten at McDonald’s at some point in their life. McDonald’s was established in the 1940s; they grabbed life by the balls in the 1950s; then went viral in the 1960s.


Keep re-inventing

Brand identity doesn’t stop once you assemble a successful business. It never stops. Successful brands are always reinventing themselves. Apple is one of the world’s industry leaders of mobile phones. Their identity can be found just about everywhere. They have re-designed their logo seven times since the 1970s. Just because you have a logo and some colors picked out, doesn’t mean, “You are set for life.” If you don’t keep current with trends, people may lose interest. Things can become dated. If you take a look at the photo below, you can see how Apple has always re-designed their logo to keep up with “what’s in.” I think they nailed the current — clean, modern minimalist — styles of today. Imagine, buying a computer or phone with the original black and white logo, with Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. I probably wouldn’t have bought their products with that logo on it.


What if Apple kept the original logo? Would they have made it this far on tech smarts alone? Would you purchase this iPhone?


Development is key

Brand development doesn’t stop with reinvention or a great up-to-date logo. Starbucks has conquered the nation using effective branding, combined with the most addictive legal drug in the world. Caffeine. The FDA reports that more than 80% of American adults drink it daily. It makes you wonder what sets them apart from every other coffee shop out there. Does it taste better than the rest? To me, it doesn’t (actually I think it’s kinda burnt tasting at times), but I still go there often. You can throw a rock and hit a coffee shop these days. The fact of the matter is one coffee company towers above all. By now, I bet you can see where I’m going with this. Starbucks’ brand identity is so consistent that you feel right at your local spot no matter where you are grabbing a cup of Joe.


You don't even have to see the logo to know it's them. Anytime someone sees the iconic green straw, you know it's Starbucks.


Is this where you would like to see your brand one day? We would be more than happy to be the ones to get you there. Take the first steps with us. View some of our featured projects here.

Written by

Noah Gordines

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