These days, brand owners and management teams have become exceedingly creative in coming up with ways to reach and expand their target audiences. With the advent of social media and an entire generation of digitally-native Gen-Z’ers emerging, there are more channels to reach a target audience than ever before. Brands like Dollar Shave Club, Airbnb, and Starbucks are taking huge strides with sweeping digital marketing campaigns to induce excitement and garner new customers; not to mention the avalanche of beauty and fashion brands that have taken advantage of Tiktok’s direct-to-consumer platform, in which marketers can nail down exceedingly specific segments of buyers to suit their brands.
While all this innovation makes for a robust marketing toolkit, there is one tried-and-true aspect of branding that must never be forgotten or allowed to fall to the wayside: simple, beautiful, and relevant design. In the commotion of today’s intense advertising landscape, it is easier than ever for brands to get caught up in the race for the best Superbowl ad, TikTok campaign, or email newsletter, but all that is for naught without an iconic design that consumers will identify with, display in their homes, and flaunt in their daily life.
A good example of design-based branding is the brand eos. Co-founded by the ingenious innovator Craig Dubitsky, eos made a huge splash in the lip balm category due to its never-before-seen round structure, which was designed to be easily felt in the characteristically deep, cluttered handbag of its target user. Soon after its launch in 2006, eos amassed an organic and reputable celebrity following, which has naturally expanded into an invigorated and loyal international consumer base in the years since.
Based on eos’s resounding success, Dubitsky seems to have an implicit understanding of just how much consumers crave beautiful design. As consumers, we perceive ourselves by the brands we buy, wear, drive, and tout. As Dubitsky teaches us, even everyday household brands to which a degree of aesthetic attention is paid have the ability to generate the coveted “pass-around factor”—we feel confident to share these with our tribes.
Dubitsky is also one of the minds behind Method soap and cleaning products, as well as the hugely popular Hello dental brand. These brands all have something in common – they champion gorgeous, innovative design, and time and time again, they attract huge audiences who are willing to try something new in exchange for a little more luxury in their lives.
Thinkers like Dubitsky will continue to achieve brand success in the midst of a competitive advertising world, even in the most crowded markets. This is because design is the most foundational cornerstone of branding, and unlike niche marketing, it unifies, rather than polarizes, audiences. Beautiful and effective design is a consistent and undeniable draw for consumers, so if you need a “brand boost,” before investing in an expensive advertising campaign, first make sure to ask yourself if your design is memorable, covetable, and simply beautiful.