So, what’s Vine? It’s a Twitter-owned mobile app that lets users create and post up to six-second video clips. Basically, its video creation meets stop motion animation meets mobile flexibility.
What does this have to do with branding? Well, when you think about it, a lot that can happen in six seconds. And, for that matter, resourceful companies can dynamically show off their brands in this free, easy-to-use, instantly-social platform.
Tips and Tricks We’ve Learned So Far
- Keep it simple. This is easily the #1 bit of advice for Vine. It’s best to stay with two to three concepts in one video. And do your best to stick with clean transitions.
- Really think about what you’re filming. Is six seconds of a MetLife blimp flying through the air all that compelling? Does it tell a story? Not really. Once you think through the story you want to tell, use your video to make it come to life.
- It can be quite awkward at first. Holding your finger down on your iPhone screen while keeping it steady and making sure you capture what you want…is, well, a bit of an art form. Don’t get frustrated. Just know that it may take several tries before you perfect your vision.
- Guess what? There’s audio, too! And audio can really add dimension to your videos. (Or detract from them, so pay careful attention to ambient noise while you’re filming.)
Tips and tricks aside, companies shouldn’t use Vine just to jump on the bandwagon. If there isn’t a clear purpose for your account, then don’t do it. Addison Whitney has just started exploring Vine (check out our first video [with audio!]), but if we play with it for a month or so and we don’t feel like it’s effectively building our brand, then we’ll learn from our experiment, move on and focus on what works for us.
We’ll leave you with a few of our favorite Vines so far. They’re inspiring creativity while building their brands. Good stuff!
- GE: Over the years, GE has created an incredible social media presence and its Vine account is no different. This particular Vine is a done exceptionally well, and shows science in a beautiful, practical way.
- Urban Outfitters: This Vine from Urban is a bit more playful, but the rest of its account is worth perusing as well for unique ways to leverage your product portfolio through Vine.
- MSNBC: This Vine gives a quick snapshot at a day in the life of MSNBC. It’s a neat inside look at the network’s goings-on.
- BuzzFeed: The BuzzFeed brand is notoriously tongue-in-cheek and this Vine articulates that sentiment perfectly.
“The ‘uninvited redesign’ has become a fixture on the Internet over the past few years. It perpetuates the perfect symbiotic relationship between designer and audience: People love seeing what Wikipedia or Microsoft might look like in the hands of a genius, and designers love stretching their legs without the burden of a real client or brief.” – FastCo Design, August 2012
The uninvited redesign is something you could say we all do on some level. Those of us with any interest in branding and/or design pick apart almost any brand we encounter and think about all of the things we’d do differently to make it just a little bit better. And that’s where it ends, for most of us that is.
But the uninvited redesign has become a trend in the design and branding community that some of the most recognizable brands have become the subject of. An uninvited redesign occurs when a designer takes a brand and completely redesigns it to their liking without any contracts, financial obligations, and lastly, no solicitation from the client for the redesign. These are the greatest aspects of an uninvited redesign; there is essentially no pressure and input from the client; so designers are able to simply focus on the design and aesthetics of the brand without much regard to anything else. And what you end up with is a beautiful representation of all of the “could be’s and should be’s” for the brand. And boy, some of the uninvited redesigns that have been spread throughout the design community (Wikipedia, Microsoft, and American Airlines for example) are really pretty and have caused a clamoring for these brands to change.
So, before we go any farther let’s do a quick recap of an uninvited redesign: non-binding, zero cost, unsolicited, no pressure, and no client feedback. Sounds great if you’re a designer, doesn’t it? But what if you’re one of these brands that have now been subjected to seeing idealistic designs of your brand plastered all over the internet? You probably feel very differently than the designers that are knocking at your door to make all of their beautifully crafted changes.
If you’re a designer you’re taking a look at these brands through rose colored glasses so it’s relatively easy for you to say it should look this way or that way, but one really important thing that is missing is strategy behind those designs. Designers are critiquing existing brands without consideration to brand equity, strategy, longevity of the design, or solid research to warrant drastic changes. But if you’re someone who is responsible for said brands you don’t wear rose colored glasses, you’re faced with reality. Unfortunately for brands they have to navigate through all of the calls-for-changes that are near constant on the internet and make decisions for their brands not from an idealistic standpoint but from a business conscious point of view. Going through a complete redesign, especially for major brands, takes a lot of time and money and must have a sound business reason behind it – and no, because it looks pretty is not a sound business reason.
Making a decision about a complete redesign requires research and a proper strategy. It is easy to hear critics from all sorts of outlets calling for a redesign of your brand, but make sure you take the time to perform the necessary steps and have the foundation for both a proper and successful redesign. Once you’ve laid that foundation and have decided that a redesign will best position your brand for long-term success it will then be time to make it all come together through a well-defined and planned design strategy.
TV is a tough business, and the competition for both viewers and advertisers is cut throat. After all, they’re the two factors in keeping a station afloat. So with the ever-growing popularity of DVR, online programming, social media and an impressively long list of channels, the cable landscape is changing. And with that so too have the networks’ branding challenges.
Cable used to be defined by clear-cut niche programming and stations that replayed old movies, and syndicated sitcoms, but to keep up with each other the lines have blurred, and original (not to mention more diverse) content is starting to pop-up on cable networks at every click; which is exactly why networks are feeling the need to rebrand and reposition their brands more than ever before.
There is a growing list of channels overhauling their identities, but let’s take a deeper dive into these three examples below and see what they did to help set their networks apart from the competition.
In May 2012 TV Land the original station for those of us who love old sitcoms introduced an updated logo and new tagline “laugh more,” both of which were developed to broaden the TV Land brand and the programming it offered.
The logo speaks to the modernization of channel, and showcase that TV Land is about combining acquisitions and creating original sitcoms – all intended to make you, that’s right, laugh more.
E! Entertainment, one of the original purveyors of pop culture gossip (and everyone’s guilty pleasure) announced at their April 2012 upfront presentation that they would be introducing an updated logo and tagline. The new logo and tagline are intended to speak to the fact that E! has always been the epicenter of pop culture, and that the network’s next chapter is all about never letting anyone go a minute without their pop culture.
E! is also looking to rebrand itself on air by introducing scripted series and adding to its already existing reality and documentary series.
Of the three examples, Comedy Central’s rebrand is certainly the most drastic and has the best story to tell. Their old logo, the globe with buildings coming out of it, was hard to adjust into the digital age. One blogger wrote that the old Comedy Central logo was “like showing up in a Hawaiian shirt at a Fortune 500 company.” The old logo no longer fit the identity of the channel nor did it reach their younger audience.
The new logo, a “C” tucked inside an upside “C” bears a striking resemblance to the copyright symbol, which some have said shows the new Comedy Central logo subtly suggests that they’ve got a lock on laughs. Clever and funny, don’t you think? While at first glance this logo may not seem to capture what Comedy Central stands for, I bet now you might think differently.
In a society driven by the importance of looks, package design is vital when it comes to brand image and is the best chance to make a sale based on looks alone. How many times have you been faced with a decision between two different products and let your decision fall on the design of the product or its packaging alone? I know I have been guilty of this more than once, which led me to consider just how important package design really is.
According to Marketing Week, up to 70% of purchase decisions are made in stores and are heavily influenced by package design and marketing. Product design involves form and can be used for a variety of functions. Some of these functions include differentiating your product from your competitors, giving a physical aspect to your brand’s personality, and to serve as a brand identity tool so that consumers are able to recognize it anywhere. Also, for many consumers bonding with package design marks the beginning of an experience with a brand and can spark product loyalty. The design of a product can be a very powerful marketing tool, argues Mike Smart, design strategist for Design Council. “Design gives form to the idea and the role of the designer is very much to understand and position themselves between the ideas world and the physical product on shelf. Designers have a focus on the craft of making something but maintain the integrity of the research behind that brand.”
One of the best examples of successful package design is Chanel No. 5 perfume. Now in its 90th year of production, Chanel No. 5 is the best-selling fragrance of all time all thanks to its classic and timeless bottle. The most important aspect of the perfume, the bottle, has remained largely unchanged since its conception in 1922. Back then the bottle was actually made of delicate crystal and featured a rounded top. But that container proved to be much too fragile for shipping. It was then that Coco Chanel made some modifications to the neck and stopper of the bottle. Her idea was to produce clean, simple lines and to feature the perfume itself with a translucent bottle. The simple white label with black type, which has also remained unchanged since 1922, it is a strong representative of simplicity and functionality.
Not all brands have been lucky enough to experience the same success as Chanel and are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to get a leg up on their competition. Package designers have recently taken into account how popular social media has become and have started to integrate it into their packaging. In the United States you can now use an iPhone application to scan a special barcode on the packaging to receive information about the product. Previously brands were limited on what could be put on packaging by its size. Now, these barcodes will direct consumers to Facebook, Twitter, or others sites linking them directly to promotions, comments, reviews, as well as inviting real-time feedback.
Are you able to recognize your favorite products just by their packaging alone? Whether it’s the bright red and sliver of a can of Coca-Cola, the sleek and modern design of Apple products, or the distinctive styles of your favorite automotive brand, package design is among the first things that consumers notice about a potential purchase. For many brands package design is the deciding factor on whether or not their brand stands out or fades into the background.
Contributed By: Nicole Juliano