Watches, they amaze me … and so does Switzerland. As a teen, I would visit my auntie with my brother every other year. Being a Londoner, I found the country strange. So many rules, from recycling to not being able to make noise after off-peak evening hours, or else face eviction from fellow Swiss neighbours. But all these rules is what makes the country boast an economy amongst the best in the World.
As a young university graduate, I wanted to know the secret to the “Swiss Made” formula. When you think of products from Switzerland, you think of luxury, advanced, tailored with precision – bold products with a high emphasis on quality, or QUALI+Y as I like to call it.
Let’s take watches as an example – there is three ingredients to a luxury Swiss watch: Design, Quality, and Typography. Design of course is critical, once your design is noticed by the masses and becomes in sync with the latest fashion trends, you’re onto a winner. Quality is obvious, but I bet typography raised your eyebrows. Yes, typography is the icing on the cake. If you look at all the biggest and most expensive brands, they all have unique typography, and they always mix it with another different font underneath. In graphic design this is called font pairing, or, fonts that marry with each other.
There you go people – the secret to a luxury brand is Design + Quality + Typography … thank me later!
To stand out, one must differentiate. You might have a great product but not a perfect one. The cherry on top is down to 5 key things, and the department store Harrods has this on lock. In the marketing context, these 5 key things are known as the 5 senses.
I have worked for Harrods three times during my studies, and each time was a blessing. But the last time I worked at Harrods, I was also doing my masters and paying my tuition fees at the same time. Till this day, I have never achieved what I achieved then, it was so stressful yet super rewarding when I graduated. God is great!
During my studies I decided to base my Dissertation thesis on Harrods, with the question, “How does Harrods use Experiential Branding to enhance Consumer experience?” to conclude:
Harrods = BLISS:
B – British … heritage meets cutting edge
L – Luxury … is the new premium, it’s not always expensive
I – Innovation … is always at the forefront of retail trends
S – Sensational … the greatest store on earth
S – Service … to make every customer feel special
The first step to branding is engraving belief. If you don’t believe the potential your brand has, then who will? You see, the destiny of a brand should be affection and that begins with you. You have to be the first person who will love your brand, as love is a brands best friend. The quest of a brand is love, whilst destiny – affection, I said it once and I’ll say it again. However, an idea is simply just an idea, but then you must garden your brand until it blossoms.
For a brand to flourish, it must indulge and act upon customer feedback. On another note, a brand that is nostalgic will always thrive. Remember, persistence is instrumental to a great vision and it’s down to you to carry your vision forward. The road to a successful brand is differentiation. To enjoy the cream, you must satisfy your customer, it’s that simple. Things will get tough, however a brand must find its silver lining. The most successful brands are fluent in loyalty, as the bounty of your brand is customer loyalty. To enhance your brand, you must protect customer loyalty, it’s the core of your brand value. The ultimate fortune for a brand is brand loyalty. Your brand should be centred with love and coated with loyalty.
A brand will only blossom when its purpose is sincere, so you cannot make things up. You must be original and genuine. A vital part of branding is emotional branding, how consumers become emotionally attached to products or services – such as apple. Your brand must have the ability of changing peoples’ lives. Story, purpose and love are the perfect ingredients to stir an affectionate brand. Note, brands have feelings too – they need love just like flowers need the sun.
To conclude, your brand should be modest in expectation and honest in strategy. Whereas employees must harvest your secrets for brand longevity. Every brand must carry a scent of creativity. Ideas ignite brands, but only critical action makes dreams come true. Words can be just words but they can also be a melody to your brand, so take the above advice however you want it, but just remember emotional branding, google it at least … it certainly changed my life.
An irresistible brand contains a variety of ingredients, the main being its story. Some stories are timeless, others are nostalgic, whilst few are exceptional. In the very first page I wrote the following, “we believe that each brand has a story, if it doesn’t then this is a marketing crime,” so yes, I am very serious! One could say, a brands story is the melody to growth – a bold reminder of the past, influencing the present and its hope of the future.
We all know that without words there is no story, however without creativity there is no interest. Stories must also be simple to understand, so that they can be remembered and retold. In relation to branding, the message must be fundamental to the brands roots, defining its purpose and appeal to the masses. The challenge as a marketer arises when there is no story, much is the case with clients that have start ups. This is when creativity is tested, but there is always a seed to be found if you truly question the dots, then connect them to create a picture – mindfully.
To conclude, the human mind loves stories – from books, films, music, or real life experiences, everything has a story. Ever since we were old enough, stories have had an impact on us because we all have our own. That is the special thing and this also true with branding.
Art also exists in typography and searching for fonts that pair well together is a quest, but once found it is a magnet to the eye. The infusion of serifs with sans serifs is crucial, however not all are destined to blossom. It takes experimentation along with taste to establish a connection, and the result – a contribution to art.
I was first introduced to the big brands of today whilst working in Harrods. From Prada to Gucci, each one had their own unique typography. It was apparent that fonts are instrumental to their success, sending its own message of elegance. I wanted to know how they created these ripples of creativity?
After a year of studying fonts through books, blogs, & articles I began to experiment. The result being 7ofParis.com – positioned in two words “Renaissance Couture” with the aim of selling affordable luxury. However, the challenge I found was using fonts for clients. A perfect example being a construction company. It would not have made sense if its slogan was in fashion typography, so we chose the rather simplistic Helvetica.
To conclude, each font must be in sync with the direction of the business as it is critical in creating your brand image. It can engineer your brand to victory, but only if you know your stuff! That is why, I respect graphic designers. They are truly modern day artists.