An Experiment in Dynamic BrandingBy LABS — March 4, 2013 - 3:03 pm
Lately there been a noticeable trend in what has been coined ‘dynamic’ or ‘fluid’ branding. Branding, up till now, has generally involved the defining of a brand through an identity system that establishes rules around visual elements of the brand. The goal is to create a brand that is recognizable through repetitive elements and consistency. This is something that will remain regardless of how branding evolves. However, there has been a trend of opening up these brands to incorporate a degree of fluidity. This allows logos and brands to incorporate outside elements into their branding while still keeping the familiarity of the brand. The question we had is why is this trend occurring?
“The consumer now appears to believe that the brand should earn its public attention the way all of us must. Say boring, repetitive stuff and you suffer the punishment that every bad conversationalist faces. First, we ignore you. Then, we exclude you.”- Grant McCracken
Firstly consumers view of brands has been dramatically shifting largely through technology and the influences it has on our behaviors. Choice is being put in the hands of the user for them to relate to, and consume, what they want, when they want to. As a result, brands have to shift their focus and develop trust with their potential customers. By developing smart ways of using the plethora of communication platforms available to them today, they can offer greater benefit to a customer. It’s no longer good enough to state that you’re the best in class, you have to openly expose how and prove it to customers upfront.
This openness is what has been affecting branding because the transparency of a brand creates a conversation with a user. They can see the changes and reactions to what is happening to that organization. Whether the changes are positive or negative the frank exposure of what is happening is generally going to be seen as a positive thing. This trend towards transparency has started to expose what we in LABS would call true dynamic branding, where organizations are allowing their brands to be affected by uncontrolled factors.
This was the approach we took when developing our own brand where we firstly developed a system to represent the group and the attributes of the team. We then took that brand and allowed it to be influenced by factors outside of our control in order to expose the dynamic nature of the group and that fact that, in a group dedicated to exploration and discovery, every day can be different. The result is a brand that we can use to represent team members and projects in completely individual and unique ways, while still keeping the recognition of the brand.
As we move forward we will be looking at how far we can push the flexibility and randomness of the inputs affecting our logo system. Exposing it to activity as random as noise levels within our working space, data transfers occurring over wireless access points or even the general mood of the group on any given day could yield intriguing results. There is no doubt that consistency and repetition will always have a place in branding. The degree to which a brand can be truly dynamic will be drastically different from one organization to the next, but it is a trend we will continue to watch and hopefully influence in new and dramatic ways.