The Relationship Between Design and Brand Strategy

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Brand Strategy | 0 comments

There’s a saying in Spanish I sometimes heard when I lived in Costa Rica. “Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.” Roughly translated, “Even if the monkey is dressed in silk, it’s still a monkey.” While the saying is quite funny, the more profound meaning is still valid. Who we are inside, as a person, can not be covered up or changed by our exterior appearance. I like to think of this as an almost perfect example of the relationship between design and brand strategy. I think of design, the aesthetics, as the outward expression of a brand. 

Brand Strategy Looks Inward

A business that has undertaken a Branding effort has worked hard to define the answers to three questions: Who are? What do we do? What makes us different? The answers to those questions help define the brand’s core—explaining things from the obvious nuts and bolts to the emotional, such as the business values and mission. 

Once a business has defined brand elements, the next hurdle is “How do we communicate our brand to the consumer?” That is where design steps in.

Design, The Visual Communicator

I’ve seen a variation on Ogilvy’s rule of advertising that applies here: “There are no dull products, only dull brands.” His original quote is, “there are no dull products, only dull writers.” The example of the monkey dressed in silk at the beginning of this article comes to mind here again. The most outstanding design in the world can’t make a dull or aimless brand succeed in the long term. 

A good designer will know to ask specific questions to understand better the product, the brand, and the business and may deliver a successful design that resonates with the consumer. In the short run, a design-as-you-go system may work for your business, but for consistent results, a brand that knows who it is and what the end goal is will continually have better results. 

An excellent place to start is to read our previous article: “Seven Questions That Reveal If Your Business Is On The Right Path.” It’s a quick three-minute read that will undoubtedly help you and your business.

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