Taking Your Business Brand to the Next Level

April 24, 2009 by  Filed under: Branding 

I am sure you have heard about the need to create a brand or special image for your business. Your brand is the image that your customers think of when they think of your product. Have you ever studied the brands of larger corporations? When you take a good look at what large companies are doing with their brands you get a better understanding of what it takes to get your image out in front of your prospects. 

Since I have been a small business owner since 1995, I have learned a lot about creating a brand for my business. I understand that your logo, your images, your colors are all part of your brand. I have also learned that I should be putting my brand on all my marketing materials. However, I don’t think I really fully understood the extent of branding until a couple years ago.


I was working with a team of developers and designers to create a brand new web application for Adidas. Many people know Adidas’ brand to be black and white with three diagonal stripes. Everything my son owns that is Adidas is black with white stripes running down somewhere on the item. For example, he has black warm-up pants with 3 stripes running down the sides of the pants. His soccer cleats are black with 3 diagonal stripes across the outsides of the cleats.


But when the design team for this web application put together a black, grey and white design for their new application, Adidas croaked. Apparently, it wasn’t the look they were going for. Come to find out, Adidas has another piece to their brand that includes colors. It is brilliant actually.


The design that Adidas finally agreed on included a certain shade of blue with bubbles everywhere. These bubbles or circles were the shape used for their buttons, their link spacers, their website effects and their background frames for images.


I was curious about all these bubbles.


One day I was shopping for my daughter and noticed a connection. She picked out a package of socks she wanted. They were pastel with dots, or bubbles, all over them. One of the pairs was light blue, the exact blue we were using in the web application. I noticed on the packaging that they were Adidas.


It was then that it hit me. When Adidas is using colors that are outside of their black and white, they use these bubbles instead of the stripes. After all, sometimes black and white just doesn’t work, especially if you are a girl. I walked around the store and sure enough everything made by Adidas in the girl’s section was pastel with bubbles on them. This was ingenious branding in action.


I walked over to the boy’s section. Everything made by Adidas over there was black with white stripes.


Going back to the website design

Once we launched the new web application and made it public to the world, I noticed that Adidas had also modified their main website. To their website they added many of the same look-and-feel features that are in the web application. This helped to streamline the branding in action and help their customers make the connection between Adidas and their new web application.


Other features


Adidas even has a signature font that they created for their use only. They use this font everywhere. The exact color of blue that people see on one application has been carried over to every web page they own. The buttons made with a bubble has been carried over to all web pages as well.


But I was still curious about all those bubbles. What happened to the stripes?


The stripes are still there, but they incorporated the bubbles into their brand as well. By studying their sites, I realized that the bubbles are really representations of balls. In many cases they are bouncing along an image or a page. The stripes seem to represent performance or speed while the bubbles are representing the balls that their customers are using to enjoy their sports while wearing their Adidas clothes.


Check out the Adidas website. Notice that every single thing they sell has their brand attached to its design. EVERYTHING!

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