Deconstructing ‘Brand Language’

As markets become complex and the competition is intensifying, traditional manners of keeping the brands alive and talking to its consumers are being challenged.

In this dynamic environment, corporations, who have a broad and diverse portfolio; operating in a number of different categories with a series of product offers designed for varying customer needs…, a well-devised strategic approach gives clarity on portfolio roles, and chalks out relationships between the masterbrand and the child brands.

This leads to a mutually beneficial, optimal relationship both for internal portfolio management as well as external image perceptions

Dynamic environments, ever changing consumer needs and evolving brand portfolios have given rise to what is called a ‘Brand Language / Visual Vocabulary’. The nomenclature has its origin in alphabets : combinations create different words albeit in the same language...

The language approach essentially can keep the two entities in a constant comfortable dialogue; offer a non-restrained adaptive behaviour to the brand as an entity.

It facilitates innovative and optimistic solutions to inspire millions of consumers and employees and enable them to effortlessly live the brand. It can be designed to help deliver the brand experience across touch-points,while maintaining consistency and clarity about what it is and the expression of its promise.

Based on principles devised from the brand positioning and strategic pillars the Language has ‘building blocks’ like Creative Catalyst, Key Visual Gesture, Colour Palette, Tone of Voice, Image Style, Illustration Style, Brand Specific Symbolism, etc.

DY Works helped create Brand languages for Godrej & Boyce and its child brands: Godrej Construction, Godrej Material Handling, Godrej Tooling, Godrej Electricals & Electronics, Godrej Storage Solutions, etc.

Using the ‘Godrej’ Masterbrand promise of ‘Brighter Living’ as an anchor, DY Works helped the sub-brands with their strategic positioning, and creating future-ready unique visual expressions.

Simple, modular, the Language acts as a visual narrator across entire gamut of communication making each dialogue from the brand easy for its consumer.

A bridge which would help these brands move from the staid and commonplace B2B to a energized and vigorous B2B2C; from cold, drudged business vertical to a living, breathing brand. Thanks to its ‘Brand Language

Prashant Shingade, Associate Creative Director, DY Works, prashant@dyworks.in


How Packaging communicates a Brand Refresh

I had a journalist from Business Standard call me to ask - why do you think they have done this hoarding - in a plaintive voice. She had already asked many marketers, brand strategists and other sundry thinkers; and no one seemed to be able to give her an answer.
I confessed to being stupefied myself! What I told her is that when Fair & Lovely radically changed their packaging, they needed to tell the consumer about the change.
When Rin changed to Surf,consumers needed to know of this seminal change. But when 5 Star changed to more-of-the-same-5 Star, there seems no need whatsoever. Indeed, if you put the old and the new packs side by side, you really have to play the "Find the Differences" game.

New packaging rejuvenates brands. Makes them fresher, younger and more relevant.They make the competition look old and not 'with it'.' It is also an opportunity to correct old flaws and build great brand assets.The new 5 Star packaging under-whelms - specifically on two counts.
The first:The logo covers only about half the pack. This is an impulse category - and it has to shout out to consumers. The entire real estate of the pack could have been used for the branding. And dwarfed other wannabes on the retail shelf

The second:The cross-section of the 5 Star bar has been dropped to show some drippy caramel. Consumers want to know what a product looks like when they are asked to put it in their mouths. Whether toothpaste, biscuits or chocolates. The cross-section is critical to cuing the unique 5 Star experience. Dropping it is dangerous.Brands - like people, grow old, atrophy and die - unless continually rejuvenated. A pack change is the most visible aspect of brand rejuvenation and is an opportunity to appeal to younger consumers entering the market. "New 5 Star packaging underwhelms "
Those readers of this column old enough to remember the launch of the ICICI bank will remember it as the challenger brand that shook up the bureaucratic world of banking. From long lines in a crowded sweltering branch, and endless waiting for a peon to carry your cheque from one cubicle to another before a withdrawal could be made, there came a banking experience so customer friendly and literally so much cooler, that an inertia-prone, low-priority decision of choosing your bank and going through the hassle of transferring your bank account, suddenly became top priority. That was some 20 plus years ago.The same bank has grown in size and done very well. But today, the service and ambience it offers is hygiene for the industry. And the same challenger brand appears old and fuddy duddy to the younger consumer. It is time for ICICI to rejuvenate the visible face of the brand. Otherwise, it could see its share eroded to challengers offering a fresher experience.

When Dabur embarked on a rejuvenation exercise close to a decade ago, it faced the same problem. How does a hundred-year-old brand become relevant to a younger India? And so, the old banyan tree was replaced with a younger fresher tree, the iconic Vatika packaging single handedly redefined hair oil as a category and over time a slew of old and new products made the brand relevant to the Gen X consumers. The rejuvenation helped Dabur stand up and be counted. And the rest as they say is history

Alpana Parida is currently President of DY Works (erstwhile DMA Branding) and was previously marketing and merchandising head for Tanishq. The author can be reached alpana@dyworks.in


Adding a refresher variant to the flavours of Taj Mahal tea

Brand Task:
The Taj brand team wanted to add a variant called Taj Masala to their Flavored range, which was designed by DY Works.
The variant needed to blend with the range architecture but yet be recognizable as a distinct variant.

Brand Solution:
We worked on two aspects one being a distinct color which will be the cue for Masala and the other being the ingredient story, both being the core design elements.
The orangish yellow color was selected since it best represents masala flavor and also it wasn’t used for any other variants in the range.
We crafted the design to maintain consistency with the previous packs while differentiating with the help of ingredient shot and the pack color.The entire range needs a uniform look and feel , & Taj Masala seamlessly fits into the range
The BOP was in line with the rest of the range educating the consumers and giving the required information and other mandates.

Contact: Mumbai:+91-022-40406767 Delhi:-1-91 11 26548089 


Domex : The Master Blaster

Brand Task:
The HUL Domex team wanted to communicate its new product feature i.e it turns from white to green during usage. This new product feature leads to perceptions of efficacy in the minds of the consumer.
To make the pack more engaging and informative, but not cluttering the packaging.
Brand Solution:
DY Works studied the product (toilet cleaner) category and found out that Domex is the most de-cluttered pack in the category. However the messaging hierarchy was amiss and communication cues were weak.
Some insights that DY Works gathered from the consumer research were implemented for the packing graphics as well .Like the brand identity and the core pack color (blue) were retained as the consumers identify with it. Further we decided to showcase graphically the Indian and western style commode which was clutter breaking in itself for the category.
We explicitly worked on the layout of the pack ensuring a systematic messaging hierarchy and to be able to highlight the new product feature via an active green formula (nomenclature) depicted by scientific mnemonic which works well with the imagery of the brand, ensuring its core claim of killing all germs dead.
We followed a balanced approach in designing the pack since there was a need to communicate the functional benefits upfront and thus it was a mixture of core facts and aesthetics.

Contact: Mumbai:+91-022-40406767 Delhi:-1-91 11 26548089