A click of the mouse
In my previous post, I looked at what a brand involves, and demonstrated that it should be a coherent and consistent whole in order to succeed and grow your business. Here, I want to show how a brand works to reflect the personality of the business and to target a specific set of potential customers.
There is a world of choice out there when it comes to brand styles. It makes it hard for you, the small business, to make a decision about the direction you want your brand to take. Being true to your personality is important, but I am about to illustrate how one particular brand, with clearly defined values and personality, has nonetheless been presented in several different styles, each likely to attract a slightly different audience.
I’m wondering whether there’s a bit of a theme starting, but after the elephant last week, I seem to have found a case study involving the elephant’s arch nemesis, the mouse. Still, you’ll be grate-ful I didn’t go for cheese puns…
The Cheese Shop is a family owned delicatessen in central England. Its main selling point is years of cheese expertise and this has led the shop to win accolades for its excellence. The main offering is British cheese, but there is a selection of carefully edited continental cheese and other deli products.
The current logo is semi-circular and has a quirky mouse that makes it feel fun and friendly. But it is possibly a little dated and doesn’t represent the luxury and quality of this artisan outfit. A Nottingham based design agency set the task of rebranding the shop as the owners wanted to keep its heritage and friendly image, but bring the brand up to date. Many graphic designers rose to the challenge, and here are two approaches that were taken.
Solution 1 came from designer Jess Moorhouse, who proposed a modern fresh design for the brand. The hand drawn circle represents the artisan nature of the product and the fact that it’s made with care and love. The circle mirrors the original shape of the uncut cheese, but the patterns reference the variations in slice size. The typeface is playful but solid, illustrating that this is a friendly business with strong foundations and the colours are vibrant, pulling on traditional purple and green to show heritage but bringing them up to date with a brighter tone. This take on the brief might appeal to a slightly younger customer than the original logo.
Solution 2 came from Charlotte Estelle Littlehales, who wanted to sum up the brand as friendly, welcoming and straightforward with a retro typographic design, screenprinted onto various papers and fabrics, to show off the handmade and personal nature of the shop. She also included a mouse as a reference to the original logo, adding a touch of humour. In a variety of fonts, with lots of information to get people talking, the overall effect is organic and rustic, potentially appealing to the artisanal food lover.
I won’t comment on which I think works better, but you’ll obviously be attracted to one approach more than the other, which is one of the most interesting things about studying brands. The Cheese Shop has a hard choice – the bold modern change that will open them up to a new set of customers or the redefinition of their artisanal roots that will gently please the majority.
Ultimately, it is you who defines the personality of your brand and the appeal you have to the people you want to sell to. This makes pinpointing who you are and what image you want to show the world one of the first parts of the branding process. Next time, I will take you through the exercise of defining yourself but in the meantime, have as gouda week as you can. Forgive me. The mouse angle might have been better after all…