Identifying Brands by Design Alone
What are some products that are so uniquely designed, that the omission of any distinguishable logos has little to no effect on people’s ability to correctly identify the brand? Hummer and Volkswagen Beetles are two products that come to mind. Here are a few others:
Sure, this may be a more archaic model of a Blackberry, but it demonstrates the unique features that make the phone so recognizable. Before the ubiquity of smartphones, this classic Blackberry served as the blueprint of their design. During the 2006 season of Survivor, a contestant found a piece of wood shaped like the mobile device and pretended to send and read emails by using an imaginary scroll wheel.
In the first picture, Pringles canisters are lined on shelves in a manner that the brand name and logo are not visible. Pringles promotes the fact that it comes in a canister as opposed to a bag. This innovative packaging helps give Pringles a pop culture uniqueness that prevents the brand from being just another salty snack indulgence.
When it comes to maple syrup, Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Buttersworth are staples at the breakfast table, but the distinctive bottles help make the brand all the more memorable and fun.
The oft-imitated and parodied VitaminWater bottle solidifies the importance of package design in establishing a brand’s identity. When Glacéau sought to patent the VitaminWater bottle and go after rival companies imitating its design, the company pointed out how consumers may get confused and purchase the wrong product. In a roundabout way, the lawsuit pursuits demonstrate the effectiveness of fictionalized product displacement.
The above image shows the TicTac brand name, but the transparent plastic case that houses the 1 1/2 calorie mints is part of its branding.
Little Trees is notoriously protective over its trademarked tree-shaped air freshener. Even though the product may be well-known to car owners, Little Trees is not exactly a household brand.
Brown uniforms and brown delivery trucks are synonymous with UPS.
Although its design has been modified several times, the iPod, along with the accompanied white earbuds, remains a highly identifiable product.
Like many other Apple products, the iPhone has garnered iconic design status and is capable of promoting the Apple brand without any hint of a logo.
OREO COOKIES & POST-IT NOTES
Even though both Oreo and Post-It are visually identifiable, they are proprietary eponyms and often equated with their cheaper, generic imitators. The above examples, with possibly Little Trees being the only exception, maintain their brand identities and meanings.