The end of branding
The end of branding? In pursuit of the perfect design for business, the best visual display of the company brand we often forget about what lies at the heart of any visual solutions is the very essence of the brand and its character. Julie Cucchi in the publication of the CEO Refresher warns against the straightforward identification of the brand and logo.
Julie recently fell into the hands of an interview with the developer of several well-known brands aimed at the youth, who said that since the spring of 2010, the year he is going to stop any effort aimed at the development of “his” brands. “That’s all, no logo!” he said, and the decision to “stop branding” was very similar to someone’s desire to stop drinking. “I felt very uncomfortable in this whole business branding and brand identity,” he continued, “I’m generally not the type of person who buys something from the review on brand”.
Easy to feel that such statements can seriously thrill the owner of the company involved in brand consulting. And the excitement really was, but not because such a view reflects a meaningful change in the “Zeitgeist”. What is striking is that someone, devoting much time to the creation and promotion of several successful brands can be so deeply deluded as to what, exactly, is branding. And as to what he actually is not.
In the above interview, the developer essentially equated branding to creation and public display of the logo. And this identification was in the nature of speculation, random the actual harmful judgments and erroneous conclusions, which is called a synecdoche (substitution of a whole part). The harmfulness of such reasoning is that it encourages top managers and marketing Directors to forget about the need to care about the brand holistically in relation to all internal and external operational aspects of the business that define the brand, regardless of whether he has a logo or not.
Now try to imagine that a company like Starbucks has completely removed their logo and corporate emblematico with all their coffee shops. How quickly, going to one of these establishments, you will realize that you came just in Starbucks? Picking up an iPhone or MacBook without the logo, you will know that this Apple? Going related eyes to the coffee shop in the main office of Google, you will not be surprised, easy to recognize who it belongs to.
As consumers, employees and even business partners, we intuitively know that the “essence” of the brand in the experience we receive in communion with him (emotionally, financially, physically, etc.).
Like people, brands have a unique and defining “nature” of how they behave in the world. Some of them are with bessom arrogance, some of the cultivated altruism. Some almost blatantly and very clearly formulate the purpose, some insecure hint. Some brands are democratic and inclusive, others are encouraged to izotonic host, and rely only on the members of the club.” Some brands choose highbrow tone of voice, others prefer to tell a juicy and sweet tone. Some brands are so ergonomic that communication with them only brings joy, others ridiculous and annoyingly non-intuitive. Some brands are proud of the service that they provide for regular “star” customers, others – how their passion for exceptional financial performance creates a high turnover among the indignant customers. And no, the logo does not convey in full measure these important nuances of brand identity.
Marketing professionals know that the logo of the brand, as well as other visual assets – this is the ultimate expression of the “soul” of the brand. But first define “pillars”: the values, principles, behavioral setting, what we believe. If all this is properly and carefully defined, carefully articulated and applied with deliberate sequence, then the brand will stand even if you remove the logo.
Returning to the “professional” who believes removing the logo, we can say that he is doomed to one of two possible situations – or his brand will continue to delight its customers and to live without the logo, once again confirming that it is determined by many other factors, or it will fail, which only show that in the development of the extraordinary experience when dealing with the brand has invested considerably short of the intellectual and volitional efforts. This last option is fastest way to “stop branding”.