How some of the biggest global brands use design to add value

How some of the biggest global brands use design to add value
Brands, Branding Absolute - Gateshead

Every year businesses spend millions on developing the design of their brand and as a result aim, through this outlay, to increase its value. As stated by Martin Sorrell (CEO of WPP) when discussing the necessity of companies investing their money into branding, he agrees that ‘this is the thing companies have to do to survive and prosper’.

This year’s release of BrandZ’s WPP report clearly demonstrates a correlation between the time and money spent on design, and an evident increase in a brand’s value. Three brands which have been identified within the top ten are Apple, Google and Coca Cola. These brands clearly exhibit the benefit of design on a company’s value.

Apple, which was valued by BrandZ as worth £160 million, aims to portray the image of sleek efficiency and ease; an outcome which is reached through thorough consideration of design. The iPhone which sold 74.5 million units in the first quarter of this year alone, epitomises the importance of design as the phone is able to symbolise what apple as a Brand stands for.

By continuing to place great emphasis on design, a role which has been carried out by Sir Jonny Ive since 1997, the company has been able to continuously create products that set the standard of modern design and leave competitors nipping at their heels. By branding themselves as a company that revolves around a concept of effortless style it allows their products to slot easily into most modern day individuals lives and as a result appeal to the masses. Without this focus on design, Apple would not be anywhere near as successful and would certainly not have been labelled as the world’s most valuable brand.

Google has become much more than just the most commonly used search engine. as it works to develop the self-driving car, a smart watch, Google Glass headsets and many other products. Google has demonstrated an appreciation of design as last November they began working with Gecko, a product design consultancy, who now oversee the design within Google’s various projects. Therefore the company has clearly focussed on the design of their products and have identified it as a key element which adds value. Google, Like Apple, have managed to create a name for themselves that projects an image of ease. Therefore as a result they use design to make this prominent within their products as undeniably there is nothing with more ease than a self-driving car.

Coca-Cola, which sits at number eight on BrandZ’s WPP list, recently launched a new “one brand strategy” in March of this year. Through this strategy the company has created a cohesiveness between all Coca-cola products that allows the brand to be recognisable and iconic. Coca-Cola as a brand clearly appreciates the importance of design as a senior executive has said that ‘If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.’

Coca-Cola’s Vice-president of Global design, James Sommerville also identifies the importance of design as he claims that ‘iconic brands in 100 years will still be born out of something that’s very simple, real and part of life’. This opinion is consequently expressed through the use of design within the Coca-Cola brand.

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