the logos of brand

Lo·gos (lô’gôs’, lŏg’ŏs’) n.
In Christianity, in Saint John’s Gospel, especially in the prologue (1:1-14), the creative word of God, which is itself God. Also called Word.

Even without the theological hermeneutics marketers are keenly aware of the powerful creative potential of brands, and of their public face, the logo. But brand is much, much more than simply a logo. Brand is the sum of all the associations a person has for your organisation. It is what your organisation is worth to them, it is the value of the “idea” of your company, more than the reality. The business world knows this, ordering the value of the largest companies in the world with reference to the power of the brand. When things go wrong, when the associations are re-formatted, or re-ordered we see an impact on the value of a company. When the Challenger space shuttle exploded in 1986 the stock market reacted by devaluing the companies involved in manufacturing the shuttle (interestingly wiping the most value from the company which manufactured the faulty O-rings blamed for the tragedy, even before the fault had been found, or rumoured). Brand relates to how much we trust a company. Brand is how much we care. Consider whether it would make a difference if we all woke up tomorrow and Apple, Microsoft, BA, HMV, Pepsi, Guiness had all ceased trading, and been replaced by different companies all offering exactly the same products. Would it matter? Imagine all of the players and staff of your favourite sports team suddenly moved to a local rival, where would your alegiance lie? Fewer and fewer transactions in our life are simple. Value is everywhere. People select products not only on features, but also on a rich set of associations. Think of the products you are most passionate about and try and decide if it is just for what they offer “on spec” or is there something more, something behind that, which although not spoken out loud people are aware of.

Its strange but the pervasiveness of brand in our psyche means that as marketers we have a powerful tool that doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do with what our organisation does – but is probably more affected by how we do it.

For the next few months the articles will be continuing to focus on constructed meaning. I will develop a metaphor of brand creating a world for your organisation. This is a world that the user/audience/customer can come and live in for a while.

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