Branding Through Interface Design

A web design creates on laptop.

When it comes to branding, it’s easy to go overboard with making sure that your brand has a prominent presence in all of your interactions with prospects and customers. It’s probably a better idea to find the right balance so that you don’t let the brand overshadow other important aspects of your interactions. However, one area of branding that companies often seem to overlook is their interface design. Whether it’s an app, actual product, or website, companies often go with a standard presentation and primarily focus on the functions and features.

First, why is having your brand come through in the interface design even important? After all, it sounds like an unnecessary use of a marketing budget. That may be true if the intent of promoting the brand through the interface is to make sure that users are constantly reminded that they are using your brand’s product. And while that is somewhat necessary, the goal should be focused on providing an excellent experience for your users.

There has be substance if you’re trying to brand with your UI design. The primary goal should be to make sure that the user interface is designed well. You want everything to be easy to use, intuitive, organized, and maybe even fun. By designing a great user interface, users will have a great experience and want to come back again to use your product. Naturally, they’ll start to become aware of the brand.

You want to focus on delivering a great experience and then making sure that users are aware of the brand. This can be done better by providing a unique experience. The uniqueness of the UI will make users take notice that it is a brand specific product they’re using. Examples of this can be seen in the app marketplace. There are many similar apps, but the apps that have the best UI and UX are the ones that become popular and often get the opportunity to branch out into other products under the reputation of the same brand.

While it’s not a direct comparison, another example of branding through interface design can be seen in electronics. Apple has a distinct UI in its products (particularly its iPhone), and customers have come to recognize and favor its distinct design. It only makes sense that the impact of design on physical products has a strong parallel to apps, websites, and more complex platforms.

So if you want to make an impact with your brand through your product UI designs, you have to go back to the drawing board and focus on creating a great UI. The goal should be to create a great UI first and then design around that to stamp it with your unique brand identity. From there, you can try to make improvements to maximize the user experience.

Obviously, it’s ideal to take your brand’s unique visual characteristics and try to instill them into the design. Sometimes, it’s easy to do, and sometimes, it’s difficult to align your core brand to the goals of the product. In the latter case, you may want to create a new brand for your products, like how a unique product brand is created if the core brand isn’t impactful enough or relevant to the target audience.