Room to Breathe

by Dustin Britt    January 6, 2012

Great branding is more than repetition. Great branding is more than repetition. Great branding is more than repetition.

Disciplined adherence to strict branding rules; logos applied to as many surfaces as possible always in the same manner; experiencing a brand in the same way over and over again – these used to be the rules that equaled unparalleled strength in a brand. Today the rules have changed. Great brands are nimble, and yet still focused – flexible, and yet still dogmatic. They allow for the consumer’s voice while still influencing the conversation.

Coke did this in style when they embraced a user-created Facebook page as their own (rather than shutting it down, crying copyright infringement). Coke maintains brand guidelines that keep three core elements intact – the red, the script, and the contoured bottle shape – and then leaves room for expression and variance.

I love a recent article I read by Fast Co. that puts it this way – ‘Branding Is About Creating Patterns, Not Repeating Messages‘. Marc Shillum went on to say:

Consistency in human behavior is not derived from repetition alone; it is about the formation and recognition of coherent patterns…Patterns are the way our brains perceive actions, thoughts, memory, and behavior to ultimately inform belief. They allow for differences while creating a whole.

Brands still need consistency, but in a consumer-driven era where a brand’s every action is on public trial – that consistency needs to be expanded to include room for expression.

Relevant brands breathe.

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