Brand identity. As a business owner, it’s likely you’ve heard this phrase thousands of times over, as it is quite an integral component of any successful business. In fact, compelling brand identity is so essential, that it can even influence product sales and profitability. That’s to say, it is certainly something designers must consider when developing a new product. Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the function of brand identity in product design, including what strategies industrial design companies utilize to seamlessly incorporate branding into a product in a manner that is both organic and, most importantly, effective.
What Is Brand Identity?
Before we can get into what brand identity can do for a product, we first have to understand what it is at its core. In a few words, brand identity is the way in which a business chooses to present itself to the market. It is composed of 6 elements, including business name, logo, tone, color palette, typography, and any other miscellaneous graphics or visual aids used for branding purposes. These elements work in tandem to create visual cues that reflect the principles and mission of a business. Additionally, once a business has “found” its brand identity, a comprehensive style guide is made that essentially lists every approved color, logo, font, and so on.
Let’s take a look at some examples. Colors such as red, orange, and yellow are proven to encourage feelings of hunger, which is why many fast-food restaurants incorporate these hues into their logos and packaging. On the other hand, green is commonly used as a marker for businesses with eco-friendly values and practices because it is associated with nature. Font styles convey different messages as well, for instance, serif fonts are often likened to credibility, tradition, and knowledge whereas script conjures feelings of luxury, high quality, and femininity. Ultimately, these various elements of brand identity are simply the building blocks that form a business’s ‘personality’ when pieced together.
Brand Identity And Product Design
A compelling brand identity can do wonders for a business in various measures, however, in this blog, we’re focusing specifically on its relationship with product design. Here are 4 ways brand identity can help boost your product’s overall sales and profitability:
1. Increases brand awareness- Consistently incorporating your business’s name, logo, colors, and fonts into your products can help drive brand awareness. How is this useful? Brand awareness relates to how well-known your business is among end-users, and higher rates of brand awareness typically lend to increased purchases overall. This is because end-users feel more comfortable purchasing a product from a business they recognize and already know is credible over one they’ve never heard of before.
2. Separates the product from the competition- Brand identity can also play a role in distinguishing a business from its competition by functioning as a type of identifier. That is, it allows customers to quickly differentiate which products belong to your business and set it apart from a sea of similar products, thus increasing the chances of a potential sale.
3. Represents certain values- Generally speaking, customers enjoy supporting businesses that align with their own personal values. For example, individuals that are animal advocates are more likely to purchase from businesses they know do not utilize any animal testing. In this sense, brand identity is useful because it can signal to potential customers the beliefs and missions that a business is run on.
4. Increases customer loyalty- Loyal customers are largely more inclined to continue repurchasing from a business they trust rather than taking a chance on a business they’re unsure of. In other words, brand identity reinforces that trust by subconsciously reminding end-users that the product in question is one they’ve purchased previously and already know to work well.
Integrating Brand Identity Into Product Design
As industrial designers, we are well-versed in the importance of brand identity in product design. That’s to say, uncovering ways to best incorporate a client’s brand identity guides much of our creative process. In fact, here are some industrial design services your firm may perform to achieve exactly that:
1. Consult with the client- No one knows a business’s brand identity better than its owner! For this reason, plenty of industrial design companies will ask clients to send them their style guide to get a better sense of the brand identity they will be working with. Additionally, rather than badger clients with constant questions, this also allows designers to easily reference the guide throughout the entire process in case they have any inquiries regarding colors, fonts, and so forth, thus allowing for a quicker design process.
2. Perform market research- A style guide is a great start when it comes to integrating brand identity into products, but market research is what can truly elevate a design. That is, style guides specify what color pallets and fonts to use, but research reveals the best possible combination of elements to yield desired results. For instance, say a business uses 4 different logo variations, but which one should their industrial design team choose to include in their product design? By using market research such as focus groups and questionnaires, these designers can actually ask the market their opinions on the different logos, thus narrowing in on the optimal choice for the product.
3. Test prototypes among end users- In the same vein as the previous point, once industrial designers have developed several prototypes, they may choose to bring in end users to test the products. Here, they can ask these individuals how they perceive the aesthetic look of the design, including elements pertaining to brand identity. If it is found that the use of brand identity is not quite functioning as desired, then industrial designers can reference the testers’ insight to make any necessary changes and edits to the design.
Brand identity surely plays a role in the success of any given product as it encourages end-users to make stronger connections with their purchases. That is why it is incredibly crucial to regard this concept when designing a new device- so customers can easily recognize which products on the shelf belong to a business they want to support. Luckily, industrial design companies like our team at DesignStein Studios are adept at fusing brand identity into their designs to create products with a cohesive and compelling aesthetic. To learn more about brand identity and product development, give us a call today at 714-375-4846 to schedule your consultation.
This blog is brought to you by one of the top industrial design companies in California, DesignStein Studios.