Raising the Standard: How can motion help brands to stand out in a noisy world?

By Lewis Nolan (BGN’s motion guru aka Senior Motion Designer) 

 

With more of our lives spent on screens, there is an ever-increasing amount of noise as more businesses and brands look to compete for our attention.

In this ever-competitive environment, how can brands cut through the clutter to ensure they stand out and grab our attention? The answer is through motion….

And at BGN, we are on a mission to make motion an essential asset in a brand’s toolkit. A ‘must have’ not just a ‘nice to have’.

Why? Well firstly because we are instinctively drawn towards animated content but also because video and motion is such a powerful tool to succinctly tell a brand’s story in an impactful and engaging way. Imagine your brand’s distinctive assets coming to life and moving.

And the other big benefit of motion is that it is flexible. It can flow through all of your key touchpoints from website, social media, ad campaigns, mobile apps, etc…

There are many different ways brands can use motion and we wanted to pick out six of our favourites from the last few years from a range of different industries that we believe really raised the standard.

 

1. Showcasing a new launch/re-launch

JKR – Burger King

When an established brand such as Burger King does a full rebrand, it’s a big deal. And the need to promote it well and show it off to your clients and customers is essential.

Motion allows audience to digest a lot of information into a short amount of time. From digital to print, burger wrappers to dinner trays, storefronts to tone of voice, every element can be highlighted and amped up in equal measure to give your audience a true introduction to the future of your brand.

 

2. Making data engaging

Vucko – Spotify Wrapped

With an abundance of dry and dull data out there, Spotify’s Wrapped found a way to prevent listeners from having to read through lengthy paragraphs of content and instead made each user’s listening trends feel engaging, personal and playful.

A design style that features diverse combinations, is adaptable for all devices and with plenty of flexibility to tailor to any listener’s unique results.

 

3. Breaking down sensitive or misunderstood topics

Animade – AIDS Map

The stigma around HIV led to widespread fear of the disease in the 80’s and there still remains a culture of ignorance and misinformation surrounding it.

Animade’s challenge was to raise awareness and demystify this topic. Motion was the perfect tool to deliver this message clearly and concisely with a minimal style to keep it appropriate to the subject matter.

 

4. Guiding users through a complex process

Gunner – Google Home

Guiding people through a process can be long winded, tricky and let’s face it boring to say the least. From onboarding new hires or guiding users through a new system update, these are essential but often arduous tasks.

For Google Home Set Up, motion was used to enliven and visualise the process, keeping users engaged as well as reassured they are on the right track. These seamless loops depict each stage, keeping them clearly distinct from each other, retaining a sense of progress.

 

5. Conveying your brand’s purpose & mission

Tony’s Chocolonely

Many brands have an interesting story to tell and a strong ethos behind their business. For Tony’s, their admirable mission is to reduce inequalities in the chocolate industry, and this comes through across all of its touchpoints from their product, their packaging, their comms and even their annual advent calendar (with one chocolate missing!).

Motion is an effective tool to truly bring to life the brand’s personality and ownable assets to really jump off the page and grab attention in a way that a long-written manifesto couldn’t. In this instance the motion style is as chunky as their chocolate and as brazen and bold as their message.

 

6. Creating emotion through storytelling

Giant Ant – TED – Countdown

As part of a series of environmental explainer videos to raise awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis, TED leant into engaging motion graphics to to do the job for them with the help of a compelling voiceover by American actress Kristen Bell.

The videos help to explain and simplify certain elements of the climate crisis and visualise them as translatable metaphors, along with a clean art style and radiant colours that brighten and heat up as the story unfolds.

 

So there you have it, six ways different brands are using motion to tell their stories and news to engage and stand out.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how we can help you use the power of motion with your business or brand. We have our own in-house motion team who are always eager to discuss with you ways and opportunities to bring your brand and it’s stories and news to life.

We’re BGN, a brand led design and creative agency and we help ambitious brand set the standard in their space.

Setting the standard for FMCG websites for alcohol brands

 

 

By Ryan Stockall

Many big FMCG websites are flat and functional. Even in traditionally high interest and engaging categories such as alcohol where brands go heavy on emotion, attitude and personality, we are mostly presented with lacklustre and transactional websites.

Bigger brands often still rely on their wide distribution, shelf standout and traditional advertising as a way to drive sales and engage with users.

It has typically been smaller, challenger brands without the big distribution or marketing budgets who have really made the most of their ‘owned’ media such as websites and social channels to raise awareness, drive engagement and in many cases directly sell their products.

At BGN, we are big believers in the benefits of having a great website for powerful storytelling and as a way to engage customers and potential customers beyond what your pack design and a piece of advertising can achieve.

In this article, we’ve pulled out five alcoholic drink brands that we believe are setting the standard in the digital space and how.

 

1. Telling a product story well

Hardin’s Creek (www.hardinscreek.com)

The Hardins Creek site is all about taking the users on a guided journey to explore past, present and future product ranges. With a limited amount of pages, each section of the site is there for a reason. Not over loading the user with unnecessary information it provides just enough to hook someone leaving them with a desire to know more.

 

2. Creating a fully immersive journey

Pasqua (www.pasqua.it)

Pasqua is very clear about the fact it is not selling ordinary wine. So their website is equally not ordinary to match. The site pulls out all the stops and takes people on a user led experiential journey to uncover more details and create that feeling of luxury.

 

3. Bring to life a ‘brand world’ multi-sensorially

Valdoca (www.valdoca.com)

Every restaurant, hotel, etc has its own smell, style and sound that fits their aesthetic and brands are often the same. Valdoca is a great example of a site bringing to life as many of these sensory elements as they can in a digital setting. From the smooth jazz playing once you land to the art direction of the photography and just how the site glides you seamlessly through the content.

 

4. KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid)

Pillars (www.pillarsbrewery.com)

It is not only uber premium and luxury brands that should invest in their websites. Pillars does a great job at simplifying, helping users easily navigate the different parts of their site, and still managing to create a clear sense of personality with some lovely small details and finishes.

 

5. A reason to come back  

Ette (www.ettespirits.com)

One of the main metrics for a successful website is ‘time spent on site’.How do we keep users on the site for longer? And how do we encourage people to come back again? There are many different tactics brands can use to help this from gamification, a members page with updating offers, events and exclusive new, articles and in the case of Ette really simple recipes.

 

So there you have it, five ways different alcohol brands are raising, elevating and pushing standards with their websites.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how we can help you raise the digital and web standard with your brand. We have our own in-house digital brand designers and website developers.

We’re BGN, a brand led design and creative agency and we help ambitious brand set the standard in their space.

Setting the Standard in Petcare

 

A Crufts winner that was different to the standard, a typically cringeworthy Apprentice episode to create a new dog food brand (Pro-Paw anyone!?)  and a trip to Pets at Home to research hamsters has led to us thinking and talking about the pet category in the BGN studio more than normal.

 

And I am sure, we are not alone…

The pet food category is incredibly attractive and there has been significant investment, activity and a flurry of new product innovation and new brand challengers popping up over the last few years.

 

There are plenty of reasons to envy this category….

1) It is huge.
The global pet care category is estimated to reach $255 billion by 2027.

2) It has high engagement.
People love their pets like babies so they really invest in what they buy as they want the best for their ‘fur babies’ and will spend a lot of money.  The desire for premiumisation within this category isn’t just a pipedream.

3) It is considered relatively recession proof.
People would rather economise in other areas than change and risk upsetting their pet’s routine.

4) It has a constant flow of new category buyers.
First time pet owners are prime to be influenced and educated and develop their own set of habits in the category.

5) The category follows human trends which make it more predictable.
If we look at broad wellness and food trends and even wider at other cultural trends, we can see the same reflected in pet a couple of years down the line.

6) Brand is critical.
The role of brand is significant within this category and positioning and design play a really important role to tell your brand story.

At BGN, we help brands to define and set the standard in their space. Be that to lift the standard, create a new standard or even to challenge and disrupt the existing standards.

So we have looked at eight brands within the pet care category who we believe are doing just that and what the implications are for other brands and sectors…

 

Setting the standard in DTC: Naturaw

With a premium ready meal look and a brand that carries this visual identify consistently across all its touchpoints from its website to social feed, this raw dog food brand is visually impressive, the food lives up to expectations and it is also a B Corp business to boot.

Used by our co-founder Antonio for his pooch Rosa he says “I am a big advocate of raw food for dogs but as it is raw the food isn’t necessarily something you can compete on, so then design and brand becomes a key differentiator. And Nuturaw is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to that”.

Implications:  Borrowing codes from other categories is a great avenue for inspiration. What is the future of DTC and how can you use this channel to leverage your proposition?   

 

 

Setting a new standard for communications and positioning: ManyPets

Many Pets, a pet insurance brand, could just have focused on reminding us how expensive a vet’s bill can be in their quest for owners to sign up for insurance. Instead, they took a playful approach to set a new standard for comms in a traditionally functional and transactional category. ‘Insure your happiness’ is a highly impactful campaign built around the insight that owning a pet improves our mental and physical health.

Implications: How can you shift the focus of your category on its head to a more emotive and positive benefit? How can you stop people with intriguing visuals and headlines? 

 

 

Setting next level standards for own label branding: Kindfull (Target US)

We love this simple yet beautiful design from the US which is Target’s own label brand Kindfull but you wouldn’t know it to look at. Most own label brands tend to copy the dominant category codes and conventions, so it is refreshing to see this brand have its own distinctive identity. Kindfull bravely uses white too but still manages to retain a premium feel.

Implications: how can retailers raise the standard for their own label to differentiate rather than copying the standards? 

 

 

Setting bold standards: Solid Gold

There has been a shift from photography to illustration in pet over the last few years as we have seen in other categories. There are many forms of illustration from the wholesome Lilly’s and Forthglade to the cartoon-like Good Boy treats brand, but we think US brand Solid Green has taken illustration to a different level. Like a psychedelic dream with bold and vibrant pattens, it certainly doesn’t play into the simplicity design trends we increasingly see but you can’t ignore it on shelf, in your cupboard or in your social feed.

Implications: How do you dare to be different in a way that you can’t fail to be seen? How do you take a different approach to a category standard or convention, in this case illustration? 

 

 

Disrupting the category standard: Crave

When Crave came out in 2017, it seemed to gain lots of listings quickly. Being owned by category leaders Mars certainly won’t have done it any harm but it genuinely looked different to anything else on the shelf. Those large menacing eyes almost seemed to follow you. In a busy cluttered category, this level of standout and creating something different is clearly important to stop shoppers. But did it appeal to a big enough group of pet owners? Post Covid, there are still a few listings in store but it doesn’t seem to have the presence it once did.

Implications: It is critical to be distinctive in a competitive market to attract new shoppers but there still has to be a good level of interest to drive penetration and the product must also live up to expectations. 

 

 

Identifying a way to enter the category based on the standards you bring from other categories: Multiple fashion and consumer brands

Barbour pet collars, doggie fitbits and our own client Slumberdown making pet beds, there are plenty of ways non pet brands are getting in on the action of this lucrative market by using their own standards. This feels like a big opportunity for non-food pet categories like toys, accessories, grooming and beauty/wellbeing (Neom dog stress relief candles would be amazing!) but also for traditional pet food brands to extend their brands too across sector.

Implications: There is so much opportunity for non-pet specialists to enter the pet category bringing with them their own category credentials and equity. 

 

 

Setting a new standard for brand stretch: (and great pack navigation): Pooch & Mutt

Not one to have a favourite… but there really is so much to love about this ‘good mood food’ pet brand from the simple but clever logo, the colours and the stripped back benefit led copy that really help navigate the packs.

However, of all the things that Pooch & Mutt are doing well, their brand stretch from traditional food into supplements and functional treats and even poo bags/accessories is to be applauded! On their website you can shop by needstate to create a bespoke bundle of products to help. I think this shows the desire to create a holistic pet brand created around the brand promise. We expect to see more stretch from this brand in the future.

Implications: Brand stretch to other segments allows your brand to be seen more and build a broader equity. Where can you credibly stretch? 

 

 

Consistent use of their distinctive standards: Felix

Of course, we love to look at what challenger brands are doing as there is always so much going on but the established brands still dominate the volumes share of category sales and Felix continues to be highly successful. And whilst Felix the cat may have evolved over time, this valuable brand asset is still highly recognisable and used across all assets. In the most recent visual identity they play a role front and centre of pack looking at you directly which we know is a powerful visual tool.

Implications: Protect and amplify your brand assets over time despite the temptation to drop them for fear of being dusty and old. Respect their worth, evolve them accordingly and put them everywhere….  

 

 

So there you have it, eight ways different brands are raising, challenging and lifting standards within a category.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how we can help you raise the standard with your brand.

We’re BGN, a brand led design and creative agency and we help ambitious brand set the standard in their space.

 

A sorry, not sorry, shameless photo of our BGN pets…