Fascination brands – but why? We are surrounded – bombarded, even – by logos and brand names, until we barely even take notice of them, at least consciously.  On billboards, flyers, social media, banners – you name it – brands are everywhere. But some of those logos and names are more powerful than others. The underlying secret: How they make us feel and what we personally perceive.

From name to visuals, verbiage, and colors, a brand needs its own identity in order to resonate with consumersus. And ultimately, we feel drawn to a certain brand over and over again – yes, we even become loyal – because of what we associate with it. But to achieve that, brands have to work hard. And, when investigated, the process of developing  brand identity and creating impact is incredibly fascinating.

Fashion Designers – Creating Identity

Jimmy Choo Store

A peak into designer Jimmy Choo’s store – a fashion icon – Barcelona, Spain

When you hear “brand”, many of us might first think of fashionClearly, we all recognize that we gravitate towards certain designers because – what? Yes, we associate them with quality, style, and, lastly but most importantly, our own social identity. Fashion designers have become icons – and we want to be like them.

Their lines are by no means cheap, but for many, the clothes are worth the price tag. And the “tag” is ultimately what defines us, makes us look part of a certain social class that we feel we belong to. There’s no shame in that – it’s a mere fact. Clothes and shoes are a means of identity. By the way clothing lines are marketed, a specific group of people that want to or do identify with exactly that– the classiness, luxury, coolness, or edginess a designer line exudes – is targeted. Brand over “no-name” – because we are creating our own identity and want to embody a certain lifestyle. A certain piece of clothing or pair of shoes are of great value in this regard.

The importance of logo into today’s fashion is un! be! Lievable! – Karl Lagerfeld

Especially in fashion, “design thinking” is crucial. This is why certain fashion brands such as Jimmy Choo are so popular: They study what the customers want or need, their lifestyle, and how they want to feel. With great, long-lasting quality as well as a presentation that makes the potential buyer identify with the article of clothing, the phenomenon of “fashion designer success” becomes clearer.

Monopoly of Sports Brands – Representing Values

Nike Swoosh

The infamous Nike Swoosh that has become the image for fitness and lifestyle – Los Angeles, CA, USA

Apart from the social identity, the reliability and trust we associate with a brand is invaluable. Who are the people behind a brand? What do they embody? Are the products high quality, durable? Our conscious perception of a product evolves from its features and the service that comes with it. On a subconscious level, it’s how it makes us feel.

[A brand is a] collection of associations in the mind, both conscious and unconscious. – Daryl Weber

We think we are rational, when in reality, we are not. In fact, we are driven by subtle influences on our subconscious. And that is astounding to think about. Isn’t it sort of beautiful, though, that, for once, our subconscious takes over?

Take the example of Nike: from merely shoe company, it is now a fitness and lifestyle brand – and almost the face of “active living” itself. This brand has taken over the athletic market. They work with famous people that we look up to, that inspire us. Seeing them wear Nike products ultimately, whether we want it to or not, makes us think that “If I wear this, I can be just as good” – or so the story goes.

Moreover, they are capturing values in their brand image that are appealing to a large audience: victory, achievement, innovation, healthy living. And we trust this brand to invent revolutionary new products that keep reflecting those values. Hence, innovation and evolution, giving us what we really want – or really making us think what we need – is also an important part of making us loyal followers of a world brand. And the same goes for technology brands such as Google or Apple, for instance.

Signature Scents – Evoking Emotions

Guerlain Perfume

Window display of a signature perfume by Guerlain that, once used, transports us back in time – Paris, France

Stop and think for a moment about the important role scents play in evoking emotions – we have all experienced this ourselves. It’s almost magical how a whiff of a perfume, or a certain scent, carried on the breeze, will transport us back to a specific time and place – and to the emotions we were feeling.  Marketing for perfumes such a Guerlain captures exactly this symbiosis of scent and positive experience in life. It evokes emotions, emotions we all want to feel, again.

Design elements […], the look on a model’s face, the lighting, the music […], can all have drastic effects on how [a] brand is viewed.

Fascination meta-communication. How does it make us feel and connect with our personal experience that we had with a product or, here, scent? Once we have used this particular brand product, this will most likely be our “go to” brand because of what we associate it with. And ultimately, as our senses are engaged,  and positive emotions fill us, a positive brand image is created

Fascination brands will remain, because they have identities; they move us; they are part of who we are.