By: Amanda Hoang
How can a color on a logo help differentiate one brand from another? How can a single character in a brand make its entire identity so unique? Something as simple as the color or font in a brand’s logo could help a consumer associate with it in a completely different perspective. A logo can either be used to set it apart from others or cause it to be associated with another. Staying consistent with elements that have been established is key to a long lasting, famed brand identity. When building a brand, this is something important that you need to think about.
Creating an Identity
Creating stronger brand elements such as name, terms, signs, symbols and design will help prevent consumers from associating the identity with another brand (Ward, 2020). These elements are the basis of building a unique brand identity. You wouldn’t want someone accidentally associating you with another brand that has no credit for your work. McDonald’s has one of the most unique brand elements in color combination and symbol design. One color won’t always get a consumer to associate a brand right away with it. Unique color blocking makes it easier to distinguish one brand from another without any words. McDonald’s is easily recognizable even without the actual brand name on it (Ward 2020). The famous golden arches make the brand’s logo notable.
The combination of a brand’s element helps consumers differentiate one from another. This is why there is a strength in brand consistency. Maintaining consistency throughout brand platforms and advertisements is key to expanding a brand. The logo, colors, typeface are main elements to a brand’s identity and must not be changed. Unless a company is doing a refresh or rebranding for a specific reason, there shouldn’t be any major changes to identity elements.
When having a brand as huge and well known as Coca Cola, you have to stay consistent in branding. The brand has always had a very established color and typeface. In 2011, Coca Cola partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to develop an “Arctic Home” campaign for Christmas (Ward, 2020). Customers were getting confused distinguishing between regular caffeinated cokes and diets. Customers were frustrated and complaining about the change in tastes of the drink. This was a placebo effect because by removing the infamous color in their logo, their consumers could no longer associate their products with their brand. The change in color had lost consumer’s association with the brand and cut their identity cues short (Ward, 2020). It is essential for a huge brand to remain consistent in well known associations.
As seen from Coca Cola, not staying consistent with the brand elements that you started with could diminish the hard work you have put in. Brand identity is how a consumer associates products with a brand. Coca Cola received so much backlash and complaints from the public. It wasn’t just about not liking a new color. There were repercussions and accusations of the “changed” taste. There were also issues in inconvenience when searching for the product at the store. A brand must not divert from an iconic element that makes their brand distinctive.
When starting a brand, one must be particular in choosing elements that have rarely or never been done before. Individual brand elements such as “logos, taglines, colours, jingles, characters, images and pack shapes,” all make-up a brand’s full identity (Ward, 2020). You wouldn’t want to copy a competitor or be associated with a brand that could potentially do your brand harm.
Gucci and Chanel’s logos are examples of dangerously similar typefaces. These two companies are both considered top high luxury brands in the world. They are incredibly famous in the same industry. Because of the similar logos, there could be some accusations that one company is stealing product ideas from another. Having such similar logos in a sharing industry is not a great idea. It could confuse customers on what products belong to what brand. Advertising and marketing could be made harder because the brand would have to be extra careful in not copying too many ideas.
Before you start a brand, make sure to really think about what you want your brand to stand out for. Will it be a color? A symbol? Think about how every element in your brand will have to stay consistent among all the future advertising and marketing that will be done. Elements that are unparalleled to any competitors will help a brand stand out. If you want to build a successful brand, make sure to start off strong with special elements to begin building an identity.
Ward, E. (2020, March 2). Building a unique brand identity: measuring the relative ownership
potential of brand identity element types. Retrieved September 12, 2021, from