With so many well-designed products on the market boasting stylish and recognisable branding, it can be tricky for product designers to make theirs stand out. But that’s what makes new product launches so exciting for Marketing Zone, the thinking behind bringing a new product to life with a brand of its own.

In our quest for innovation, we’ve looked into the theory of anthropomorphising. This involves designers using shapes that humanise the way the product looks in a way that’s emotionally appealing and in keeping with the image of the brand.

A recent study by The Journal of Marketing looked at using cars and mobile phones, to see how customers interpret ‘facial’ expressions from product shapes. Their study on cars showed that the most favoured combination among consumers is an upturned or friendly grille and slanted or aggressive lights. Would having a ‘friendly looking car’ encourage you to make the purchase?

The jury’s still out for us on this one. But Motorola humanised their smart phone in a recent advertising campaign, portraying the phone to its customers as a companion at work and as part of their social group at home. And Google’s Android robot character gives their Android apps more appeal, so it’s definitely worth investigating.