Category Archives: Big Questions
I don’t know if this is a marketing ploy or stunt (although I assume it is) but it doesn’t half look out of place. Firstly, they’re not particularly evocative; it doesn’t grab the eye and whisk you over the mental pond to the land of steaming grills and Christmas movies. Secondly, and this maybe over the top, it is right next to Birmingham’s biggest landmark and symbol.
So is Birmingham, we’re not New York (yet) but we have unique landmarks and a distinctive culture. That means we no longer have to rely on basking in the glory of other cities. Our re-invention from industrial powerhouse to cultural and creative hotbed in little over 10 years is remarkable, and there is a genuine community and life force growing within the city.
I’m probably wrong, they’re probably a littlebit of fun but I think Birmingham has enough of a grounding and culture to not need to decorate our town with trinkets from New York or Paris.
Good branding is the best marketing tool in the world, full stop. McDonald’s doesn’t make more money than Michelin star restaurants because the food is better, Coca – Cola out sells all wines and spirits despite tasting like fizzy acid. But they are branded to perfection.
The colour red is almost enough to evoke one to go sprinting to the shop and buy a coke – hell just look at the M key on my keyboard makes me feel like eating a handburger. But why is it that those brands that are so distinctive, why did I pick those two brands as examples rather than any other; is it the marketing that got them so recognised or is it the brand themselves?
Answer: Well obviously the industry is important; the biggest brand in the world will always invariably be a food and drink product as they will always be in demand. A strong, iconic, simple brand allied to clever and saturated marketing is the recipe for success.
Sadly that is easier said than done otherwise we would all be doing it.
We at Big Cat ran a small workshop on branding; all non design staff were given a brief and charged with creating a brand that would have a sound rationale and an eye catching design. In short, the company was a wood varnish owned by a Finnish company who had previous experience in saunas.
Some of the results were interesting, with some ideas being better than others but it was an interesting exericse. It seems obvious to make a brand aesthetically pleasing and uber simple but when put in the position, most people over complicated rationale and design trying to cover too many bases, and almost everyone went down the ‘Ronseal’ macho route.
Here is the winning the design – A nice simple design, incorporating the Finnish-Finish link with a nice extra being the application brush.