As a brand strategist, transparency and honesty make my life a whole lot easier, offering me a greater opportunity to be effective. If a product has a legitimate purpose, a reason for being, we can tease it out, talk about it and celebrate it.

Being transparent about your offering, taking part in the education of consumers, or even repositioning a product (from ‘healthy snack’ to ‘healthier confectionery’, for example) will help build customer trust and pay dividends in the long term, even if there is a short-term hit.

It might be confined to sugary beverages at present, but the potential implications of the UK Soft Drink Industry Levy for all food and drinks brands are hard to ignore, as health campaigners push for a wider rollout of legislation and consumers wise up to the fact that sugar is sugar whatever you call it – naturally occurring sugar, fruit sugar, honey, rice syrup et al.

My horologist father once told me about how you can tell if you are in a good clock maker’s shop: the hands of the clocks for sale are all set at ten to two – the clocks are smiling.

This was the central truth behind the idea of the Amazon logo which I created as a young designer at Turner Duckworth in San Francisco. Amazon was taking on the established booksellers, offering more choice, lower prices and greater convenience. It was making people happy.

In our previous post we looked at the value of brandmarks that last. We saw how rarely this is achieved with many brand’s logos changing fairly regularly, diluting recognition and trust, wasting valuable resources, and missing out on the opportunity to further build their tribe.

Good logos come from purpose driven design but what is otherwise known as ‘form follows function’ is nothing without the second part of the equation, which in simple terms is the people involved…

The most successful brandmarks stand the test of time. Look at Coca-Cola which has barely changed in 120 years. Contrast this to Pepsi which has been transformed roughly once every 20 years. Is it a coincidence therefore, that Coke’s market share is roughly double Pepsi’s, or does it reflect a brand who have drilled down to their true essence including capturing this in an effective logo.