Google has a fun game called Quick Draw. It’s an experiment in which we (the entire global society) can help teach a neural network to recognize doodles. The more we play and draw, the more the machine will learn how to identify a specific object. To date, there have been over 15 million players who have doodled over 50 million drawings. Drawings of cakes, bees and broccoli are included in the 345 categories. You can play it here.
The game got us thinking about recognition and branding. Think of visualizing the financial industry the same way we think about the 126,608 drawings of broccoli on Quick Draw. The world has expectations of what broccoli looks like, just as they have a perception of what financial services companies look like. But not all broccoli drawings are the same, as shown below, some stand out, some look more like actual broccoli and some, not so much. Your brand should stand out too, yet also be recognizable as financial services, as opposed to the travel industry, or any other industry.
Another branding parallel with the Google AI game is consistency. In the Quick Draw data pages, under specific items (like bees), the drawings are generally consistent; a bee has stripes, an apple is round, a hose is long and thin, etc. The game defines the item by how consistent the drawings are.
In our own voluntary, non-scientific experiment, some of us at Optima Group equate bees with stripes.
Strong brands are consistent in their look and tone throughout all media, making them always recognizable and trusted. In fact, it could be argued that consistency is what makes a brand visually identifiable and unique to a company. For example, if a burger place had a big blue sign saying it was McDonalds with no yellow arches, we would be suspicious. McDonalds has consistently taught us what to look for when craving a Big Mac.
Take a look and try the game, it’s a lot of fun—and you’ll be helping train a neural network!