Branding in Motion, Life in Movement
Its 2021, and COVID19 has been a part of our lives for the past two years. Stay at home notices keep coming along, and to escape the pandemic we seek comfort in our screens.
Now the minute I say screens, the one brand that is synonymous with that, is Netflix, the source of all our comfort. But this goes beyond Netflix, we all communicate with each other in today's ages of big screens and small screens with motion, whether it be through memes, animated GIFs, message videos, message effects, Instagram Stories or video calls. Oh, the endless zoom calls which have become such a staple in our daily lives.
Give a magazine to a child, born beyond 2010 or even earlier, they would probably scroll down to get to the next page, ask them to make the hand sign for a call, they would use a flat palm against their ears (no thumb and little finger outstretched in opposite directions against their ear!). Our billboards on the roads are digital, changing shapes, images and colours as we drive past on our finally 'free' highways. Taxis like Olas, Lyfts and Ubers have ads playing in more screens, and our malls are inundated with digital signage.
Static is old, motion is today.
Some forward thinking companies are looking at pushing the boundaries of our experiences. In 2019, South Africa Tourism Board pushed the boundaries of virtual tourism by having a website that had virtual reality and allowed you to view the destinations in all it's glory. The Hotel Industry is experimenting with multi-sensory marketing, including smells and tastes, that follow the traveller throughout their stay in their premises. Of course, this was before COVID19, but that's not to say these unique marketing experiences have not been executed, and successfully so.
So talking about motion in branding and marketing should be so yesterday, and it begs the question, why aren't more brands making this a staple of their branding or marketing offering? We've ascertained that brands behave, they have their own brand personality, so how much better is it for a brand to have a signifier motion that is associated with them, that makes them stand out in a crowded marketplace of semi-static brands?
A Brand behaves in space
A brand behaves in their own space, whether it is their category, the medium of viewing the content, online space, or in the space they are trying to hold their consumer's attention. Motion used to be thought as something that only the cool brands could implement, but it shouldn't be so.
Motion by far is one of the most interesting tools that enable a brand to stand out from a crowded digital marketplace. It makes them significant, it makes them unique. And motion doesn't need to be relegated to motion graphics, it should be a part of the user interface, especially with your consumer using a plethora of applications to do their day to day tasks. Imagine an application which has motion firmly entrenched in its core look and feel, wouldn't that capture your attention?
It's really simple, anything that evokes a stronger emotion is the key to making brands more significant in their customer's lives. When things are static, they lack empathy, they lack meaning. Motion is the one tool that can make an application empathetic to their customers, or a bank meaningful to their consumers. The end result of incorporating motion into your brand's identity makes every communication rich and emotive.
From a User Experience perspective, motion can bring flat elements of any application to life, whether it is playful, or built with a sense of communicating purpose. Motion is the one aspect unfortunately ignored by most brands, probably because they have never considered it. With every technological jump, brands and marketers look at incorporating those elements to make emotions more powerful and more stickier.
It's simple, the brands that stick in your memory, and that you connect to, are the ones not firmly rooted in tradition, but are willing to explore new and innovative ways to make themselves more purposeful to their customers.
And hopefully motion identity is now on their agenda.