Creative Product Branding

Better Branding for Better Products

Axe – Make Love not War

February 11, 2014 | by GiDesign | 0 comments


If you’ve read much of what I write you’ll know that I am certainly not a fan of companies/products like this, however…

I have to give credit where credit is due.  Be warned, you may just get the urge to buy the product.

Axe’s marketing team has managed to created one of the most compelling video segments of all time (imo). It grabbed my attention right off and sucked me in. I was actually feeling a bit sentimental despite my resistance to big marketing and the fear of inevitable disappointment that often comes when I know that somebody unscrupulous is likely behind it.

That said, I was more disappointed to find that it was coming to an end. I wanted more, and after it was over I was immediately plagued with ideas and visuals for a lengthier version. I’m compelled not to run out and purchase a plastic bottle of chemicals to release into the air, but instead to write them a long heartfelt letter urging them (or whoever is responsible) to put down the plastics and break into the feature length film industry. This kind of material could and should be used to steer the public away from mindless consumption, not head over heals into it. I realize that it seems as a brand designer and marketer that I am shooting myself in the foot with these kinds of statements but in fact I am finding there is plenty of money to be made helping eco and nutrition conscious people launch real products. I’m fairly confident that we will see more and more effort in this direction.

back to Axe; I am currently under the impression that Axe/Unilever has their own in-house marketing department that is fully capable of this level of production. But I am digging deeper to be sure of this. If i find that they are using an outside firm I will amend this article.

Go ahead, you know you want to watch it again.



Saul Bass

May 8, 2013 | by GiDesign | 0 comments

Today Google is honoring one of my all time favorite Artist/Illustrator/Designer/Filmmakers Saul Bass.


Saul managed to introduce an entire style of Art & Design into the worlds of film, branding and fine art. A style that was all his own and has since resonated throughout these industries though countless other artists to come.


Saul has created staple corporate logos that have permanently branded themselves into our minds.

the_50_best_movie_posters MD_BassS_GoldenArm_640

Also famous for his films, movie posters and animated title segments. Oscar winner with many other achievement awards along the way.

Sorry this article is lacking and short lived, he deserves much more. (can be found all over the net) Back to work for me…….






Dr. Bronner’s

February 5, 2013 | by GiDesign | 0 comments

Many of you know that I like to focus predominantly on branding Ethical, Eco Friendly and/or Clean & Conscious companies. So it wont surprise you to learn that I like to read up on them as well. The Dr. Bronner’s Brand has a powerful story, full of ups and downs but also a great payoff and a happy… well no end in sight it seems.

Netflix has a great documentary summarizing his trials and successes. If you truly aim to clean up your footprint their products are a must. All Fair Trade, Organic and Bio-beneficial with a powerful message attached.


Dr. Bronner’s product branding is a perfect example of a company that has left the general design consensus in the dust. They successfully break several of the industries “design don’ts”, continuing all along to climb in sales and popularity. My favorite conversation to have with new clients is the all too familiar “importance of brand slash color”. At this point there really is no need to continue down this path. All rules are out the window.

Provide the public with an outstanding product and they don’t care what color it is.

In fact when you get creative with your packaging and consider how it will fit into its environment you will no doubt get sales based on that alone. Face it we’re all guilty of buying things because the package brings an element of flair to our living space. I mean really, nobody wants this sitting on their bathroom sink…


So why strive to compete with packaging that’s only designed to get your attention at all costs? Would you like to be thrown into a drawer as soon as your product makes it to its final destination? Or would you rather occupy valuable living space and bring a sense of pride to your buyer’s home?

Dr Bronner’s has managed to nail the growing trend for “industrial living space design” decades before it was cool. fortunate mistake?

Mike Luke – GiDesign & Marketing, Northern California.


January 14, 2013 | by GiDesign | 0 comments

If you are here reading this you’re probably thinking something needs to change.  Change is good, “it’s the only constant” if you don’t change, well… you know what happens.  But what is it that needs change?  What exactly is the difference you need to get to your “next level”.  Maybe you’ve created a great look already.  Maybe you’ve made a pretty good attempt at leveraging social medias. Maybe you’ve made your product or service available and obvious to your target market. Or maybe you don’t quite understand who your target market is. Are they aware of you? Do they understand you? Do they see a place in their lives for you? These things are often difficult to grasp from where you sit.

Branding + marketing is as simple as that. You have something you are proud of but for some reason the rest of the world doesn’t seem to agree. Well chances are they do they just have no idea you exist. Oftentimes real, usable products go unnoticed due to simple things like obscure presentation and or meaningless placement. You might be inclined to think that you don’t need a great brand campaign if you’ve got a great product. Well that might be so if you are willing to wait for the world to market it for you. The problem with that is most people are actually spending their money on the most successfully marketed product at any given moment. Few actually spend the time really thinking about whether or not they need or have use for it. A great product is a great thing and especially when it’s a noble one. But sadly we are still in the habit of buying based on the best looking logo / package / motion graphics etc, throw a shapely female in the mix and its all she wrote.

So now you ask…

Where should I place my budget? Where can I spend my x amount of dollars to get the absolute most potential out of this branding thing you speak of?

Well what is this product or service? Is it a consumable? Does it require assembly? Does is have a narrow target market? Defining characteristics can play a dynamic role in the way you present it to the public and can have a powerful impact in the way the public receives it.

Creative Product Branding means just that. It doesn’t mean hiring the most expensive designers money can buy. If it did it wouldn’t be very creative would it? Contrary to past beliefs people actually respond favorably to simple things like… a narrow cardboard sleeve wrapped around the product with just enough surface area to place a clean logo and pertinent information. On one hand creating less overall waste but more importantly costing much you much less than previously budgeted for. I especially like this new trend and feel that it shows a sense of creative enginuity and compassion for the environment.

From a brand/marketing professional’s stand point I can tell you this will actually prove to make the people in my industry less and less revenue in the way of severely minimized collateral costs as well as man hours. But I’m happy to move in this direction if it means people get their product in front of buyers and our living environment gets a much needed reduction in the way of “one use” packaging waste.

So there’s that, but now where do you put it? Websites are good but although they are crucial early in the process I believe that they can be useless without a few other supporting factors. What good is a website if nobody shows up? And when they do, how did they get there? What percentage of them got there because they are actually interested? And do they belong to the correct market?

I guess you can tell what the theme is here…

Your product is unique regardless of what it is.

There are simple characteristics about every product that will allow for a different approach. Unless of course it is a cookie cutter derived from something previously successful. But then where’s the fun in that? And if so chances are you’re not reading this article, as you already have a great example of how to spend your time and effort.

My interests lie in the innovative products launched on a dime and destined to change the world. I love a project that possesses the opportunity for the use of truly creative branding, packaging and marketing. And of course, a sucker for people with the passion to risk it all.

Mike Luke – GiDesign & Marketing, Northern California.