• Transform magazine
  • May 26, 2024

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Brands are everything, everywhere, all at once

Landor Headshot

Jovan Buac is the executive director of marketing and growth EMEA at Landor. He offers readers three simple rules that he applies in his work when designing brands to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding world.

Everything, everywhere, all at once isn’t just a movie title: it’s the perfect encapsulation of the reality we build brands for. In a world with no off-switch, and an increasingly porous boundary between the physical and virtual, unlike decades past, nowadays brands never sleep. Gone are the days of the static logo that lived almost exclusively on a supermarket shelf, or above a store front.

Today, brands must be fully dimensionalised for every channel, every audience, every sense, every occasion. All the damn time. They must deliver experiences that are designed for global scale, and yet feel deeply, intimately, but not intrusively personalised. It sounds impossibly complex, and a nightmare to manage. Here are three simple rules that we apply when building multi-dimensional brands for a multi-faceted, always-on world.

Iconicity 

In an immersive, multi-sensorial world, branding needs to be as simple as; you see it and you know it; you hear it and you know it; you smell it and you know it; you feel it and you know it. By focusing on a small but powerful set of potentially iconic assets and sensorial experiences, we can create brands that cut through the noise. It’s not just about a big and bold logo. It’s about creating brands that sing to the senses. Take Kellogg’s – the irresistible sound of the cornflake crunch, the snap, crackle and pop, the instantly recognisable colour combination of white, red and green. These are simple interventions, but often built up over many decades of ruthless repetition. This singularity allows brands to be bolder and braver. This was the case in our Kellogg’s masterbrand redesign; to behave like a leader, we cropped the logo script and wrapped it around the pack. To be iconic, you need the swagger. 

Instinctiveness

We shouldn’t over-intellectualise either. Because however much we tell ourselves we’re in control of our faculties, we all know that, deep down, our system-one, irrational brains are in the driving seat. To hack our decision-making systems and become truly no-brainer choices, brands need to appeal to our most primal, emotional instincts. Our recent work for LeShuttle taps into exactly this – the human desire for freedom, exploration, doing it your way. We created an identity that tapped into movement; never standing still. Why should a brand that transports you to places look static? This is where the senses can play a role too – touch, taste, smell, sound are often overlooked shortcuts in branding. But ones that we believe are truly necessary to appeal to our emotional instincts in this multi-dimensional world. 

Individuality

Like humans, brands should not shy away from their oddness. In a world where any algorithm will tell you to conform, difference is worth a hell of a lot more than relevance. The brands that attract attention are going to be the ones that step outside the norm and capture the fleeting attention. I love that a Ferrero Rocher chocolate is sat on a paper doily. It’s odd and makes no sense. I love that I can’t spell Häagen-Dazs, let along pronounce it. It’s weird and different. I love that McDonalds create adverts about how late-night revellers mispronounce their products names after a few too many pints. It’s real, it’s human, it’s not polished perfection and above all else, we respect authenticity. Brands should have fun, let their hair down, be good when they need to be, be silly when they can be. When was the last time you chatted to someone at a party who excited you by being boring.  

Like us humans, who are evolving to be everything, everywhere, all at once, brands are no different. They too can be multi-sensorial beings. Let’s liberate them for a multi-dimensional future.