Brands: local commodities in an international market
January 28th, 2013
January 28th, 2013
Today’s world seems smaller than ever, as boundaries have become virtually nonexistent and distances are no longer a problem, for the farthest of continents can be reached within a click of a button.
Within this global movement we notice that the MENA region is visually adopting a culture different from its own for the sake of being global.
Design is a visual reflection of society and its culture. In this day and age, we are bombarded with visuals that are similar to western graphics, lacking cultural identity and visual differentiation. Many designers in the region, in their quest at creating a global image, tend to imitate the west as a result they end up with a product which is a combination of shapes and colors that has no relation whatsoever to the organization, product, society, people or the land.
Global distinction and success is not achieved by being a mirror image to a successful western visual, but rather by being intrinsically different and having a unique identity.
In graphic design every time we mention the terms identity, corporate identity, brand, logo, symbol, … etc. we always have in mind some kind of a graphical symbol or typographic symbol representing some small or large firm local or international. A successful identity does not necessarily imply a high quality brand but rather a brand that is perceived well by the audience. It is all about perception.
Brands stick to our minds and create an image, a memory or an everlasting impression. Brands establish a relationship, a connection with the customers until they become part of them. Many people are even loyal to products which they have never actually tried. This is simply because such brands have earned a place in their mind and heart.
A good identity is one that communicates and interacts best with its audience.
Many businesses have unknowingly established a confusing identity. They have allowed architects to dictate building design and signage, advertising and design by another outside source, website by a web developer, and content strategy by a community manager. This lack of coordination has in more than one way damaged the brand image and identity.
Nowadays it takes more than a memorable corporate identity to leave a good impression. The symbol, however, is secondary to the system in which the symbol is constantly applied. A weak symbol applied constantly is more effective than a great symbol used inconsistently. What is worse than a bad corporate identity is a confusing one. A good corporate identity program can increase the market price of a company’s stock, improves employee morale and create an image of a company with good taste, good products and good management.
In order for an organization to identify if it needs rebranding it must ask itself a set of questions. Is it being perceived well, how are its competitors being perceived, is the brand achieving well, what does it want the communication to achieve and is it doing so, what are the current market problems and threats? How far is it from becoming loved?