10/23 | Opinion
Leaning into the weird and wonderful – what makes your brand iconic?
It’s officially ‘spooky season’.
Aside from the countless pumpkins littered across housing estates and front gardens, there are many iconic makers associated with the Halloween season.
Ghosts and ghouls, witches and broomsticks, candy and sweets, and pretty much anything orange and black. The supermarket shelves are also brimming with ‘Halloween’ themed goodies. If you had travelled from a different decade, you’d quickly be able to decipher which month you’d landed in!
So, this month we thought we’d celebrate what makes brands iconic with a nod to some of our favourite Halloween horror movies. These films are celebrated not only for their storytelling but also for their ability to etch themselves into our memory. Much like these cinematic masterpieces, brands can strive to achieve iconic status through strategies and design elements that leave a lasting impression.
The lone red balloon. Or the chainsaw dripped in blood. I’m sure that even non-film buffs can quickly identify the film title from these markers alone. So weird and yet so wonderfully done, these graphic representations of the film helped boost the film’s popularity and add to the iconicness of these titles.
So what exactly makes a brand iconic?
The iconic brands we know, love and recognise are masters of consistency. They maintain a uniform voice, style, and message across all touchpoints, whether it’s their website, social media, packaging, or advertising.
Just like Coca-Cola’s signature red and white branding that has remained virtually unchanged for decades. This consistency builds a sense of trust and reliability among consumers. When they see the familiar colours and logo, they instantly associate it with the brand, which makes it memorable and iconic.
Simplicity is at the core of memorable branding.
Just as the ominous simplicity of the red balloon in ‘IT’ sends shivers down your spine, branding with clean, uncomplicated designs are more likely to be etched into our memory. It’s the added connotations of the movie and its promotion that add to its power.
In the commercial world, Apple’s logo, which is a simple apple with a bite taken out of it, is minimalist yet instantly recognisable worldwide. A clutter-free, straightforward design makes it easier for consumers to remember and identify your brand.
Iconic brands do more than sell products or services; they tell a story and forge emotional connections.
Storytelling is an extremely powerful tool to help you lean into what makes your brand unique and iconic. A slogan or value that sets you apart from competitors in a similar space. ‘Dove’ quickly became iconic in the skincare space after they championed inclusivity and individuality through campaigns that spoke to ‘everyday people’. This helped to build trust and an emotional connection with audiences who felt understood by them, and a part of their community.
The emotional connection created by iconic brands ensures that consumers not only remember the brand but also become loyal advocates.
Yes, consistency is key. But iconic brands can evolve and adapt with the times.
Just as classic horror films continue to captivate new generations with new marketing campaigns and branding strategies, brands like Disney have managed to stay relevant by adapting their content. Staying current while preserving the core essence of the brand (yes, that warm fuzzy feeling) ensures that it remains in the public eye and continues to be iconic especially as new generations become your audience.
Visual elements play a crucial role in making a brand iconic. Going back to our theme of horror films, we always think of the white mask worn by Mike Myers in Halloween as an extremely memorable marker of the movie branding.
The same goes for some of the world’s most iconic brands. The golden arches of McDonald’s and the Nike swoosh, for example. All are globally recognised symbols. These visuals are carefully designed to be unforgettable, making it easy for consumers to identify and remember the brand in a crowded marketplace.
Halloween is a holiday phenomenon. But there’s a lot to be learnt from the iconicness that surrounds the theme of Halloween, and how its iconic branding permeates the entire month of October rather than just the 31st!
Becoming iconic and instantly recognisable should be an objective for any company focused on building a brand. By cultivating consistency, simplicity, emotional connections and memorable visuals, brands can leave an indelible mark on their audience. Take a cue from the iconic horror films that have stood the test of time, and create advertising campaigns that resonate this Halloween season and beyond. After all, being memorable is the first step to becoming truly iconic in the eyes of those you want to get noticed by.
If you’re ready to start creating an iconic brand (don’t worry, we’ll leave Halloween out of this one), just drop us a line.
You might also like to read: Establishing human connection in your brand