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What Is Up With Modern Branding?


Gone are the days of brand familiarity. Instead, we see modern-day branding that is just bizarre and totally unrelated to a product or service. I mean come on. Some recent branding I've seen just makes entirely no sense.


Instead of creating some sort of brand affinity and resonance with consumers, it just creates confusion.


There is no theme or storytelling that is being done with modern branding and it's just so sad because there is so much potential. I always loved good branding. Ever since I was a child, I can remember loving Lisa Frank. I didn't love Lisa Frank because I knew about the company or the founder herself. I loved Lisa Frank because of the vivid colors, the artistry of the packaging, and the story that it told. Lisa Frank was the epitome of being adventurous, creative, and bold. From the instant that you looked at an illustration, you can tell if it was Lisa Frank or not. Not only that, but the brand learned the art of being able to mimic their style into things that kids loved including backpacks, lunch boxes, and stationery kits.


As I got older, I realized that I was drawn to brands that had strong branding. Another one that I love is beauty bakerie cosmetics. The entire line was founded by a phenomenal woman, Cashmere Nicole, who has an awesome story that you should read. But, what originally drew me to the brand was the packaging. Everything about this line of makeup goes back to one concept and that is baking. The line has strong ties in the kitchen with whisks, bowls, and icing being on the forefront of the packaging. From the moment you go into Ulta or Sephora, you know which section is for beauty bakerie.


So if so many brands have had success with strong branding, why have we been seeing modern branding getting lazy? I'm not saying all branding is lazy because by no means is that true. But, I have been seeing a lot of up-and-coming new brands that are targeted toward Gen Z, become lazy in their branding.


This might be controversial, but one brand that I think is the biggest perpetrator of this is Kylie Skin and Cosmetics. And yes I'm talking about the mogul herself, Kylie Jenner. If you take a look at her branding for Kylie skin and Kylie cosmetics, the branding is entirely centered around her. We don't see many highlights of the product but a highlight of her with the product as a secondary focus. It's usually her at the forefront of all of the imagery with her either holding a product or using it. We don't see how the product is highlighted outside of having this identity tied to its founder. This is a stark contrast to other Beauty companies owned by celebrities including Fenty Beauty and Rare Beauty. Those cosmetic companies do a great job of differentiating themselves from their celebrity founders and they make sure that the product is at the forefront at all times.


Another perpetrator of this lazy branding is The Addison Rae fragrance. For those of you who don't know, Addison Rae is an influencer who got her start on Tik-Tok. She has gone on to become an actress, singer, and now the founder of her new fragrance line. If you take a look at some of their images, it just rings lazy. There's no real story behind the brand and it just seems like packaging and images are chosen at random.


Both of these women have incredible backgrounds with huge fan bases. If marketed correctly, they could take it a step further. It's important that these modern brands, especially those that are founded by celebrities or people who have large fan bases, do not become lazy in their packaging because at the end of the day while names associated with products sell, what really drives revenue and really has ROI is the product itself.


So, for all my branding and marketing professionals out there, let me know what you think of modern branding in the comments!


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