“To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”
I am an iconic brand, the symbol of a fabulous tale.
I am timeless and I share the founding myth at each of our meetings.
I am the pounding sound of a Harley, the uncontrolled mastication of Hollywood chewing gum,
the annoying and secretive sparkle of Coca Cola
or the outrageous positivism of a Nike shoe with a waffle sole.
I live in society, a society built by men and yet I’m the Doc Martens at the feet of Swinging London’s counter-culture, the Clarks in the footsteps of Flower Power.
I am an iconic brand and I’m the only one.
THE EXPERIENCE OF MYTH
Iconic brands work in similar ways. Beyond their visual identities there is a world made up of the mythical, emotional, engagement, qualities to maintain with consumers.
The Foundation Myth
The founding myth defines the DNA of brands. It’s Steve Jobs and Apple assembling their first computer in their garage. It’s Bill Bowermann using his wife’s waffle pan to invent the waffle soles for NIKE, and the dreamlike Marilyn who gets ready for bed with a drop of Chanel No. 5.
Iconic brands transcend their primary function. The emotional dimension plays a predominant role in the links they weave with their consumers. “If you have a body, you are an athlete”: Nike accompanies the athlete in surpassing oneself in a heroic and modern representation. On the basis of an initial promise of hydration, Evian is a source of eternal youth.
A Designed Image that is Unassailable
Brand originality leads to strong identity cues.
The Burberry pattern, the proprietary shape of the Coca-Cola bottle, Apple’s rounded rectangles. Adding to that, the Bauhaus style of the Alessi coffee maker, the radical structural modernity of the TIZIO lamp, the industrial character of the LC2 chair. And more trivially, the Laughing Cow triangle, the NIKE Air System, the iconic HEINZ bottle.
So many identity cues.
Controlled design detail is one of the founding pillars of iconic brands.
Iconic brands are immersive experiences into emotional values. . “I don’t do fashion, I am fashion,” remarked Chanel. Their flagship stores take you to the heart of the brand and each experience is even more hypnotic, more addictive with the mastery of cohesive corporate cues.
A vital lever for the iconic brand is connecting with the cultural environment. Think of Campbell Soups and Andy Warhol where a brand becomes popular culture. Starbucks has become a global icon, playing a powerful cultural role in local communities: “one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time”.
Brands & Communities
To imprint the values of the brand in the collective unconscious makes them positive in communities. The “Nike’s Women Run” is a positive and friendly race drives the search for challenges and self-realization. For their part, the RedBull Games become essential
get-togethers for people who connect with the energy values of their favourite drink.
WHY IT’S INTERESTING
After all, beyond marketing opportunism, the values of strong brands can be positive.
The power of brand culture can become an anchoring point for current and future generations. Getting across ethics and responsibility will be the next challenge for iconic brands. Ensuring their timelessness will be the source of their success.
Vincent Viard, Structural designer