Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

Design Your Brand’s Logo, Catchphrase, and Name to Have Even More Impact

Design Your Brand’s Logo, Catchphrase, and Name to Have Even More Impact 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

When many people think of CPG branding, they think of brand logos, names, and catchphrases. Even though there’s so much more to successful branding, like merchandising, distribution, packaging, and positioning, it’s the logo, name, and slogan that are most memorable.

After designing what has become the world’s most recognized wine brand, we can speak for hours about these 3 cornerstones of a CPG brand! What did we learn on our way up that made Barefoot Wine such an iconic brand?

Well, for one thing, most of what’s behind the Barefoot logo, name, and catchphrase were created to address particular conditions that already existed in the market. They weren’t some kind of isolated artistic masterpiece. We were extremely limited by the marketplace, and we understood that we didn’t have much freedom. Now, we recommend that our clients thoroughly understand the mindset and environment of everyone in the market distribution system even before they come up with their “cool idea.”

In our case, and in the average CPG’s case, our logo, name, and catchphrase were created to emphasize these below realities:

1. Poor Lighting. Unlike your backlit phone screen, stores are lit with blue casting light from above (because it’s not expensive). Your brand may be completely unlit in the back of the shelf, where your first products have sold off. This restricts your options to shapes and colors that can be noticed in poor lighting. Unlike you and your buddies who could think your idea looks “cool” 12 inches away on your phone screen, your customers could be 5 feet away!

2. Physical Packaging. Your logo and brand name exist on a physical package with its own topography—not on a sheet of paper or a screen. We placed our label on a rounded bottle. This way, only a small part of the label was actually legible in its stationary position. Despite our labels being 3.5 inches wide, just over 2 inches across could be read without rotating the bottle. Boxes, display racks, and blister packs have their own unique limitations.

3. Short Attention Spans. If you’re lucky, you’ll only get a couple seconds to make an impression. Your brand is one of thousands trying to catch the attention of all buyers. For example, your consumer could be confused by all the choices in the store, unable to pick out your brand, or be walking by so quickly that they don’t even see it. Or, maybe they just forgot your logo and/or brand name altogether.

Before we finished the Barefoot Wine label design, we gained “friends in low places.” This isn’t to speak badly of these guys, but instead to praise them. They gave us the realistic and honest insight that only stockers, warehouse people, store clerks, and truck drivers can. Through their experience, they knew what worked and what didn’t—and why.

Here’s the advice we offer our clients about logos, brand names, and catchphrases:

1. Your Brand Name. Make it in simple English, no longer than 3 syllables, and make it relate to your consumer. Make sure it’s easy to pronounce, easy to read, and, most importantly, easy to remember. It should create a mental image and a feeling that people will relate to and identify with. Pick a name that’s related to your product. Think about the feeling they’ll get from using it, or a special attribute. We picked “Barefoot” because of the original winemaking process that involved crushing grapes with bare feet. Plus, being barefoot evokes a fun, recreational image.

2. Your Logo. Make it simple, impossible to forget, and have it mirror your brand name, if at all possible. Your logo should be sharp and clean. Avoid vagaries and curlicues. Consider the surface it will be applied to. Think about the position and lighting where it will be displayed. Make sure it’s completely legible from 4 feet away. Leave plenty of white space on the label around your logo. If possible, make it an everyday, recognizable object so it seems familiar. We went with the image of a bare foot, to mirror the name.

3. Your Catchphrase. Make sure it persuades your customer to buy your product by inducing a positive feeling or solving a problem. Perhaps it has to do with the feeling consumers get when they use your products, the way they use them, or the benefits and results of your brand. It should be short and sweet. Aim for a double meaning, or try creating a rhyme. Keep it fun! And make sure a unique aspect of your brand is conveyed. Try to keep it under 10 words—shorter is better. Use an identifier—“Ants Be Gone” or “Everyone’s Favorite!”—or use a call to action or conjunction. We went with “Get Barefoot and Have a Great Time!”

When creating your brand’s name, catchphrase, and logo, don’t forget the marketplace’s strict limitations. Recognize and understand these limitations before you raise it up on the flagpole!

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