As branding itself plays a major role in the design all over the time, my aim with this article is break it down and define it in simple language and explain how UX/UI design plays a vital role in branding digital products.
If I am correct, the first thing you encounter in your mind when you heard of term 'branding' is that a company's brand logo or you may simply hooked-up by it's the visual presence and value in the market. For example, let's consider 'Google' where they build their logo that represents "the ways people connect to their products through numerous devices" Is that the first thing comes in your mind by simply looking at its logo.
Not just google but, consider other well-established companies like apple, facebook and even start-up's like Airbnb. Do you experience of their service simply looking at their logo? and of-course as these aspects also play very important role in communicating the brand identity of the product but, there is much more in establishing a right foundation and creating a unique brand identity, and these may vary from traditional to digital mediums, in creating the brand experience to end customer, but the foundations are the same. So, as you walk through this article I will try to evaluate the basic foundations of branding including its core components, use cases and why a product need to be branded.
As I mentioned above that a branding just isn't a company logo or representation of its visual appearances like color, typography, and other graphical elements but also, it ensures the product’s reputation, values that reach the customer emotional state and expectations making the whole experience memorable, consistent, meaningful and obvious to use in which most importantly, a brand should respect the customer loyalty at first place.
Branding has been around since 350 AD and is derived from the word "Brandr", meaning ”to burn" in Ancient Norse language. And as there are different use cases of branding I will be trying to define it with the present digital era.
A well thought corporate branding helps the company or product to stand out from the crowd by telling their unique story with what they offer and how they were different, and it's a tool of influencing the choice and decision made by the end customer. Simply put, branding is not what you say it, rather it is recognizable by the customer.
There are several components comes under this category, But for now, let me define the three of the core components named visual, tone and behavior.
Visuals are the graphic elements used to communicate the brand which are a logo, typeface, images, and other graphic elements of a common style guide. Visuals primary goal was to ensure the product is aesthetically looking good following the right Ul guidelines.
The tone is beyond the visuals in communicating to the brand uses, from a simple text on a website to the targeted advertisements in a manner it tells the same story using by different mediums or platforms.
Brand behavior should match their promise in providing their service. I believe that this is what the product owner or head of an organization should always have in their mind in reaching their end-customer expectations in establishing brand identity. As this component is visually represented with interactions like animations and transitions in a website but more importantly it needs to be proved with the physical actions as well where it can serve the customer loyalty.
Particularly, as most of the branding done digitally in 21st century companies like google, uber has already established their brand guidelines as a go-to solution by building a entire design system, which tells their unique story and also stays consistent using core components of branding which helps in communicating to their customers with online and offline medium.
In an overcrowded and sometimes overwhelmed digital environment as the user is always busy in navigating through his daily tasks, UX/UI plays a major and powerful tool in creating the meaningful brand identity of a product.
Remember, branding is a complex process, mainly because its success or failure is determined by your customer's reactions, trust and sense of belonging to the act of doing business with you.