I recently read Seth Godin's blog entry entitled "Your Brand Is Not Your Logo." Seth has got it right, the logo is not the brand; the story is the brand, the feeling customers get is the brand, the logo is just an emblem to help you remember the feel you get from the brand.
Look at Nike's swish; one of the simplest emblems possible ... I mean come on it is just a swish; but it is easy to recognize and connect with and it provides a great emblem to reconnect with the brand.
I think Pepsi or Best Buy or any of the large brand corporations out there are having a hard time trying to figure out why people connect with their product and consequently they simply spin their wheels working on the external facing components of their brand. And since they have these huge budgets they have the resources to expend chasing non-core branding tasks.
We are launching a new company (see the edgi blog to take a look at the birthing process) and we had to decide on our logo. But instead of thinking about pure aesthetics (I did want it to look good), I thought of the story. What is edgi about? It is about getting to a place where you don't know the outcome (see the definition on urban dictionary). It is about being on the edge. It is about igniting conversations. Once I had our story (and the story can go on); once I understood what tribe will be interested in connecting with us, we could quickly devise a logo:
Is it the perfect logo ... no. But is it a good emblem that will be easy to remember and associate a story with as we grow our brand ... I believe so.
So the question is ... as you create a new anything (division, product, company, brand, personal persona ... think about Seth's head on his books and web sites, that is definitely a recognizable logo) think about your story. The story should drive the logo. But just remember the logo is only an token, a take away, a talisman that your customers can use to quickly connect to the feeling your brand ... your story gives them.
See you on the wire
- Steven Cardinale