Creative Branding: The Conclusive Guide for 2021

Kapil Vaishnani
by Kapil Vaishnani  |  10th Apr, 2021 in Branding

As brands grow, they change, evolve, and reinvent not only themselves but also their branding strategies and techniques. The pandemic has made this change even more poignant for two reasons – the world was already poised for a paradigm shift in the digital world with the advent of AI, ML, and IoT. The Covid lockdown situation accelerated this advent and drove everything and everyone online. So, whether you are branding or rebranding, this conclusive guide from LitmusBranding a branding agency in Ahmadabad is for you.

Has Branding Changed?
Every brand design agency knows that branding is the process of creating an identity of your business, so that not only is it easily recognizable but stands out among other similar businesses – that hasn’t changed. What has changed is –

  1. The competition is even more intense as more companies emerge
  2. Almost everything and everyone has moved online
  3. Everyone is competing for visibility within the same cyberspace
  4. Standing out – differentiation – has become that much more difficult

So, to answer the question – branding – the concept – has not changed but the way it is done – the strategy or process – has changed.

What does branding look like in 2021?
To understand how branding has or will change; we must look at how the various elements of branding have or will change. Let us examine each one

  • Identity –

    Since the new change is all about keener competition and differentiation, your identity must be as unique as your logo, message, value or any other element of your brand. This means you must get more creative in your logo design and other visuals – both on and off the internet if you want to be consistent.
    Take a look at creative branding trends 2021.

  • Image –

    Your brand image is the idea that people develop or create in their mind about your product or service. Benz for instance is associated with luxury while Maruti and Hyundai create visuals of a low maintenance vehicle for daily use. Again, while the concept itself won’t change, branding agencies will have to get more creative in a brochure and catalogue design to create just the right impact.

  • Positioning –

    Positioning is all about your target audience. It defines the markets and segments where you want to push your product or service. Nike for instance positions its brand for serious athletes. The millennial embrace online buying; the pandemic has driven digitization to remote corners of the world. So, if you want to position your brand properly in the new decade, you will have to focus more intensely on your digital marketing efforts.

  • Personality –

    The personality of your brand is reflected in the emotions it evokes in your consumers and the pandemic has triggered a trend of becoming a friend in need – inspiring greater CSR. Here are some innovative examples(source)

    1. Lifebuoy – Wash hands properly with any soap
    2. Coca Cola – Today, being apart is the best way of being together
    3. McDonald’s – The only hands touching your food are yours
    4. HDFC – Maintaining Social Distance, yet being near you 24/7
    5. Pidilite – Kal ke mazboot jod ke liye, aaj thodi doori maintain karona
    6. Ola – Your support matters – For all drivers across cabs, autos, and taxis drivers across India.

  • Equity –

    Brand equity is the value of your brand. It may be fiscal value – such as your revenue or market share – or intangible value for your customer. Apple is a classic example – both for fiscal value and prestige. If you want your brand to outshine others in the industry, enhancing its value for the consumer will be paramount in future.

  • Experience –

    You might describe the brand experience as the consumer’s buying experience – from the time the consumer is attracted to the time be begins using the product. UX becomes extremely significant when you go online because online stores lack the ambience of brick and mortar. But they do have the advantage of convenience. Most brands and their brand design agency are enhancing online brand experience to lure customers. Unboxing videos are trending on YouTube and brands are leveraging this.

  • Differentiation –

    Differentiation is how you stand out in a crowd. It is perhaps your USP – that one thing that makes your brand and product different from others. The Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is the only brand that offers a shave on a subscription(source). This unique idea became their differentiator. While DSC offers a great overall brand experience – both before and after purchase – their subscription idea took off with online consumers – they started as an online-only brand. Yet they felt the need for a physical footprint – which speaks volumes about the future of differentiation – not all markets, generations, or consumers like to buy online.

  • Communication –

    The message your brand delivers through its content, advertisement, brochure and catalogue design must be effective and consistent. Communication that evokes the right emotion and reaction converts faster. Emotions were at their peak during the pandemic and they will continue to rule the roost in the new decade. Pathos will therefore play a significant role in 2021 branding. Amul nailed it decades ago, with its situational advertisements and The Taste of India tagline. So did Surf Excel with Daag Ache Hain.

  • Gap – 

    This is the gap between what you promise and what you deliver. Keep this gap to the minimum – if possible ensure that it does not exist. Transparency will be paramount in the next decade – and perhaps thereafter – as will honesty. So make sure your branding and advertisement do not promise the moon.

  • Extension

    Your brand extension is how you and your organization expand. Nike for instance started by selling sports shoes for athletes and later expanded into sportswear and accessories. While Nike went with a companion product – selling sportswear with shoes – brands may extend in different ways. Nescafe – originally a coffee selling brand – extended its unique flavour to chocolates, biscuits, and milk supplements.

LitmusBranding – a branding agency in Ahmadabad – hopes that you have found this guide on creative branding helpful. Do write or call in with your questions, queries, and requirements.

Kapil Vaishnani

Founder - Chairman, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
Kapil Vaishnani founded Litmus in 2001 to water his passion for creating brands. Kapil’s a creative brain hitched at business. He firmly believes that focused communication is the key and it must carry a purpose that serves both brand and business. Simplicity is Kapil’s power gear that has shaped some of the prominent brands in India and globally. His passion-filled sportsmanship with multi-disciplinary talent is brimming with experience of 20+ years. Talk sense and he is all ears.