Brands need to make more of visual identity

Alan Mitchell wrote compellingly about the crisis in marketing (“Damn the blast…”, MW October 14), and it’s easy to spot the multitude of campaign-led marketing strategies that fall foul of his “sledgehammer” approach.

As the touchpoints of brand with consumer multiply, so does the potential to turn people off, if you fail to be relevant to consumers in every communication. Yet marketing communication failing in this consistency is, quite simply, not brand communication. Easy though it is to apply the terminology of branding to all kinds of campaign-led marketing, good, brand-led activity still works and is distinct – we know it when we see it and, more importantly, we feel it. It is simple, clear and emotive. Think of Apple, think of Heinz, think of Land Rover, think of Nurofen.

Ironically, where we increasingly do need a “sledgehammer” approach is in the visual identity of our brands. A strong visual identity used effectively and not as a badge slap is a powerful tool, providing a vital stepping stone between those carefully built up emotions and the brand itself. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Don Williams

Chief executive

PI Global

London W11

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