‘The Brand Gap’ – Marty Neumier
A truly inspirational insight to the design impact of logos & packaging – a must read for all those about to start their own business! Marty Neumeier explores what it takes to stand out as a business and get those sales sky rocking.
I was intrigued with Neumier’s insistence to stand out as a business was to be different and surprised with how many companies are afraid to do so. “Creativity requires an unnatural act.” He mentions MAYA – the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable as stated by industrial designer Raymond Loewy. To achieve originally Neumier explains that companies need to leave their comfort zones but most do not due to the ‘fear of stupid’ – the zag. “The nail that sticks up gets hammered”.
Any person trying to name their business with a new quirky remember-able name can relate to Neumier’s statement “Most of the good names are taken.” An incorrect company name can transform a products appeal enormously and sacrifice immense profit. A name should be “distinctive, short, spell-able, pronounceable, likeable, portable, and protect-able.” ‘Smuckers’ for example is all of the above.
Neumier describes business names as either low-imagery or high-imagery names. High-imagery being more memorable creating vivid pictures that aid recall. Low-imagery being names that are not memorable – they usually utilise Greek & Latin root words. Zeiss for example is a high-imagery name, it references glass, precision & technological superiority.
Neumier’s boldest statement within this text is that “Logos are dead”. His reasoning is branding. He believes branding is not about stamping a trademark, its about managing relationships between the company and its constituents. He also states that logos are a product of the printing press ( an element of the past). I disagree with Neumier here, I believe that you can also identify logos online, through TV & live events. For example the ‘triple J’ logo is easily recognisable at music festivals.
Packaging is as important as the company’s trademark, in a supermarket environment it’s the determining factor for sales. I believe that this still holds true for online sales, especially if the packaging is still presented to the buyer, for example protein supplements still display the packaging online and within many advertisements. I would define packaging for online audiences as not only the graphics on the product, but the company’s entire website. It is a packaging within itself, the buyer is going there to consider purchasing the product.