11th March 2020

The Museum of Brands

If you think about visiting a museum in London, what springs to mind? 

The Natural History Museum, The British Museum, or perhaps the Science Museum? 

The Museum of Brands is not an obvious choice, but I recommend planning a visit as this trip down brand memory lane is more than worthy of a couple of hours of your free time. 

It’s situated in an unassuming street in Ladbroke Grove, and the bright visual welcome of illustrations on the building wall of familiar household products sets the tone for what awaits inside. 

Going back in time 

The museum presents temporary exhibitions, talks and workshops that will examine the role of brands in history and their influence on consumer behaviour.

Start by walking through the Time Tunnel showcasing 150 years of brands, packaging and advertising through the permanent exhibition created by consumer historian Robert Opie. 

Wandering through the Time Tunnel, it was fascinating to see the familiar brands through the ages recognised from childhood and growing up. There were the staple foods and ingredients we all still have in our kitchen cupboards today as well as the crazes that every child simply had to have for their next birthday to keep up with their friends. 

Keeping up with the consumers 

Many brands have undergone multiple rebrands over the decades with clever campaign execution to keep them appealing to their target audience. You may not always be a fan of the actual design choices, but you can’t argue that some brands really understand the need to consistently adapt to audiences that are endlessly growing and changing.

Let’s take McDonald’s, for example. The golden arches are probably one of the most easily recognisable logos in the world. Those famous arches are what tied – and still tie – all the varying aspects of McDonald’s branding and marketing together. 

Whether you’re a PC or a Mac user, there’s no denying that Apple is one of the most successful brands of all time. Since its beginnings as a humble start-up in a garage in 1976, Apple has very quickly evolved into the corporate giant we know today. The secret weapon? Steve Jobs’ uncanny ability to understand his audience and adapt consistently strong marketing tactics for that audience.

The Apple I computer released in 1976 was the company’s first product and was accompanied by a manual with an illustrated logo to represent the new Apple Computer Company.

The Indian-ink drawing for the original logo was created by Ron Wayne, the third member of the small start-up company. At first, Steve Jobs kept this version which is understandable after reading the history of the logo. However, when the company began work on the Apple II computer, Steve Jobs allegedly advocated that a more “stylish” logo would improve the company’s sales.

Thus the rainbow apple logo was born later that same year. This new design saw a new era of Apple marketing.

Apple took its brand to the next level again in the 1990s “Think different” campaigns, “which were more focused on brand image than specific products.” Although the logo hasn’t changed that much since 1998, the brand obviously has. 

Why does it matter? 

We could go on with several more examples of brands that have evolved over time, but what struck me when reflecting on my visit to the Museum of Brands is that to keep a brand front of mind with its target audience, it has to move with the times and maintain its appeal to customer needs.

At Uniquity we work with some wonderful brands, some who have been in business for decades and some just a handful of years. It’s not always about brand identity revolution, but sometimes evolution is the key to keep your look and visual appeal fresh and reflective of the service you offer today. 

Why not talk to us about refreshing your brand? We’d love to see what we can do for you.

Chloe George