Currently viewing the category: "branding"

Gmail inbox

Gmail logoVery bizarre. My Gmail inbox felt unwelcoming, almost macabre this morning. Took me a while to realise that for some reason the Google logo at the top left had become a black-fingernailed version of its formerly childlike self. No more proof needed of the impact of colour on brand identity! Still can’t work out why this has happened though.


CBS Outdoor campaign 2012

I like the visual appeal of this poster campaign running on the Tube at the moment. Silhouettes of animals made up of little London landmarks. However, it makes no sense to me that it’s a campaign for CBS Outdoor, with the head-scratching strapline “Outdoor by name. Urban by nature”. I struggle to see any but the most superficial connection between brand, strapline and execution.

If only they had done it for the Zoo instead. Eye-catching animals and urban landmarks would make sense in that context. Oh wait – looks like Toronto Zoo got there first.

Toronto Zoo polar bear poster 2009


When trying to talk intelligently about brands, I always find myself in two minds over whether to refer to Apple, Coke and Nike. On the one hand they are so constantly and so casually dragged into any uninformed conversation on the power of brands that it can be hard to take seriously yet another eulogy/rant about them. On the other hand, they are indisputably masterful at this branding game.

Perhaps the way that we should think of them is as a type of shorthand for what branding can achieve, a marker to help guide other brands’ performance. Not as something to mark the outer limits of branding, but to point beyond themselves, to light the path for others. Don’t imagine that your brand can be as good as Apple, Coke or Nike. Imagine that your brand can be even better than them.


Red Bull in HollandStopping at a service station off the E19 in Holland, on our way to see the tulips at Keukenhof, was astonished by the clear preference of Dutch motorists for Red Bull, which took up much of the drinks display. More than Coke.


125 years of brands

A big anniversary year this year for some big brands. “Celebration” is clearly the obvious positioning to go with; closely followed by “looking backward, looking forward”.