‘Happy New Year’ — a simple, concise and heartfelt message. But, as most of us return to work this week to be faced with hundreds of messages to plough through, do we feel empowered by the written word and its mediums or are we becoming overwhelmed by a constant stream of blah, blah, blah?
Technology has supposedly made communication easier but, for example, texting and twittering rely on a very concise mastering of language if our message is not to be misconstrued. And the same is true when it comes to brands. Brand chatter has never been louder and, in a world where we are now more likely to buy virtually rather than picking up the brand in the hand, language in naming, as a descriptor or in a visual sense has become even more integral to brand understanding, attraction and success.
Trends in naming and language come and go just like everything else: ‘Tap Water’ and ‘This Works’ are masters of ‘doing what it says on the tin’, ‘Benefit’ is master of the brand narrative extraordinaire whilst ‘Innocent’ and ‘Philosophy’ expertly brought back of pack copy to the front and used design to impart knowledge…Language has become an extremely important package design tool but we need to not fall into the trap of an over-reliance on words or a mimicking of someone else’s words. Rather we need to create and develop a distinctive voice – visual and written — that not only perfectly fits our brand truth but that is refreshingly unique and that can be adapted and grown over time.
Although not (yet) come to market, the Applefit range of bra packaging designed for a project by US student Tiffany Shih is a genius packaging concept. Inspired by a KBG commercial which asked men about their partner’s bra cup sizes by simply stating whether they were an ‘apple, orange or grapefruit?’…Structurally and visually it breaks all category norms in a stylish but playful way and perfectly marries the written and the visual to create a new lingerie language– well, I don’t need to spell it out for you. It just speaks for itself.
Look – and listen. Don’t just have your say – find your voice and create your own language.