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Branding : How a company reaches people

This is an amazing article I found after I shared with my current employer Milestone Australia a presentation on Branding.

I was trying to explain to the owners the difference between Logo Design and Branding - I used McDonalds and Nike as examples - I actually hand drew their logos badly on purpose and asked them if they knew what they were, they did. BUT! I replied thats not their logo its a badly drawn M - it was a effective presentation. It showed the power of a logo when there are emotions and memories connected.

I wish I read this article before my presentation as it describes it perfectly.

Logo Design vs. Branding – what’s the difference?

by William Beachy at GoMedia

“Everyone knows what a logo is. It’s that shape companies use to represent their company; like Nike’s swoosh, McDonald’s golden arches (M) or Starbucks green mermaid. But what’s branding exactly? Branding is a more holistic perspective of how your customers experience your company. While a logo is only a small simple mark, a brand includes every single touch-point your customers have with your company.

Let’s use Nike as an example and consider the differences between a logo and a brand.


Nike’s logo is the swoosh. It’s a nice clean simple shape that represents motion and speed. The name Nike is derived from the greek Winged Goddess of Victory. It’s very nice, but it’s just a mark – a simple shape.


Nike’s branding includes its commercials, sports celebrity endorsements, product packaging, store design, product placement on tv and in movies, sponsorships, in-store graphics, hang-tags, the music in its videos, the design of its website, print ads, product photography, technology, and on and on and on…  It’s every touch point you have with Nike.

Unfortunately, this is how many business owners think a good logo design works.


Step 1. A potential customer sees a logo.

Step 2. If the logo is ‘good’, they have an emotional and intellectual reaction. They instantly know what the company sells, and they know it’s awesome!

Step 3. They decide to purchase the product or service.

Naturally, if this is how business owners think branding works, then they would expect to have a strong positive emotional reaction when seeing a new logo concept for their company. But they don’t. Almost all business owners upon seeing a new logo design for their company do NOT have a strong emotional reaction. And since they don’t, they assume the logo design is bad. After all, they have a strong positive emotional reaction to the Nike logo! That’s what makes it a good logo. Right?


So, if the logo itself doesn’t trigger a positive emotional reaction, why the heck do I get so excited when I see the Nike logo? Here’s how it really works:


Step 1. A potential customer sees a logo.

Step 2. If the logo is familiar to them (such as Nike’s swoosh), they will instantly remember all the experiences they’ve had with the brand – the commercials, your experience owning Nike products, seeing your hot neighbor wearing Nike clothes, the packaging, the way your friends talk about the brand, celebrity endorsements, etc.

Step 3. These memories trigger the emotional and intellectual response. Yes! I know this company! I know their products, and they’re COOL!

Step 4. They decide to purchase the latest pair of Nike shoes.

As you can see, the logo is only a visual queue to the brain to recall their experiences interacting with the company (also known as the ‘brand’!) The memory of the brand experience is what triggers the emotional reaction!

So, back to the business owner and the new logo.  This is how their experience looks when looking at their new logo.


Step 1. A potential customer sees their new logo design.

Step 2. They do NOT have any memories tied to the new mark.

Step 3. Because they have no memories, they do not feel ‘excited’ or enlightened in any way.

Step 4. They fire their designer.

Now, let me just clarify something. I don’t want to suggest that all business owners instantly hate their logo design and fire their designers. But this is certainly a challenge that designers face when working with business owners – particularly those who have well established brands. Companies with well established brands have many years of experiences with their logo – creating strong emotional attachments. Hopefully this knowledge will help you understand why you’re still clinging to your old logo and not upgrading to a new, better one.”*

All images and text Source: https://gomedia.com/zine/insights/difference-between-logo-design-and-branding/

Benjamin Wolfgang