The great logo debate reared its ugly head in our office again this week. There’s almost a fear of making a final decision. We’ve re-hashed this argument several times the last couple of weeks, so I thought it merited one more look here as well.
Are you putting this much thought into your logo? Then you’re putting too much.
It seems that the more money you spend on marketing, the farther away from reality you get. Case in point, Mercedes Benz, who recently announced a major change in its marketing strategy. Are you ready for this?
From now on the famous three-star logo will be separated from the name Mercedes Benz. The logo now must always appear at the top of the ad, and the Mercedes Benz name at the bottom of the ad. In addition, the star logo will be transformed from a three-dimensional visual to a two-dimensional shape.
Why? The company says the change reflects a “more sharply focused brand positioning” program begun last year. The new positioning reflects a new corporate mantra, “The Star always shines from above.”
Nope, I’m not making that up. Check the link for yourself.
Holiday Inn is putting a great deal of money in a rebranding effort. About $1 billion dollar’s worth. Whenever you see the word “rebranding” you know there’s a new logo coming. I mean, you are not going to spend that kind of money and not get a new logo in the deal.
And for $1 billion it better be good. So here’s what’s coming to replace the old one.
I know that they didn’t blow their entire wad on that logo (at least I hope not). But if you followed along with our recent riff on the importance of logos in branding, you know that this is probably all Holiday Inn needed.
Note to Holiday Inn: We would have done it for you cheaper.
Small Businesses Are Doing It Too
It’s easy to find examples of this type of behavior from big corporations. But this happens on a local level too. I’m going to show you two logos from the Waco, Texas area (my town). Imagine in your mind what they mean to you. Then I will reveal what they represent to the organizations that created them.
Here’s the official explanation: This logo is comprised of several components to send a message. The Suspension Bridge continues as the principal graphic element in the logo, but it is more stylized and suggests motion. The bridge is a metaphor for connections and symbolizes water, represents transportation and commemorates our heritage. The logo also includes three panels suggesting a bar graph with an upward trend and growth. Green was chosen for the text (of the organization) to represent growth, the economy and our environment.
The logo belongs to the Waco Chamber of Commerce. Last year, the city and the chamber got a new slogan: Waco We Do. That, of course, means we need a new logo.
Please understand that I’m not criticizing what the people on the inside think the logo means. But I’ll bet before you read the explanation of the genesis of the logo, none of that stuff crossed your mind.
This logo was designed to convey the concept of three parts comprising a Baylor Business Education: theoretical learning, experiential learning and values. The emblem is a globe form, which signifies the global nature of a Baylor Business education.
Did you get that from looking at the logo? The logo belongs to the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. I have degree from Hankamer and I think it’s a fine school. But no one outside the brain trust of the University is going to decipher that meaning. I would be surprised if the brain trust even knows.
I don’t really have a problem with any of these logos. The deal is that no one, outside of your committee or focus group that thought up these explanations, will have a clue to those meanings.
So if you think people will look at your logo and see “fluid connections with upward growth” you are deceiving yourself. If you want these explanations for your own internal use, go right ahead. But I think you are spending way too much time on that. You just need a simple visual that relies mainly on a unique font presentation.
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