When we see logos, we immediately think about our own feelings and opinions of what’s connected to that logo. The brand of the company the logo represents. The three logos above all have associations that, when we saw them, we immediately recognized and had feelings about, whether good or bad. Each of the three are polarizing as well. I know people who are Apple fanatics and people who absolutely refuse to buy anything Apple because of the association it has with “Apple culture”. The same with Starbucks. I chose Sears because I felt their logo was more recognizable than the Wal-Mart logo. Even though Wal-Mart definitely has its own associations that are mostly negative, a quick search reveals several different varieties of its logo and I admit I wasn’t sure which one was the actual one. When I see the Sears logo, I immediately begin to get a headache because whenever I go into a Sears store, my eyes immediately glaze over and I feel warm and uncomfortable. Years of accompanying my mom to Sears when I was too young to explore the mall on my own.
I’ve been interested in brand culture and brand identity for a little bit now. I find the idea of brands fascinating. That one image or logo can be worth millions or billions of dollars. Most people can’t tell the difference between , and a lesser-known brand of pop yet the knowledge that what one drinks is one of the two top ones vs. a no-name brand is almost reassuring to the drinker. Tack the logo of one of those on an item and immediately, its in-store cost can be doubled without question.
Comparing Tim Hortons and Starbucks, for example, if someone went to Tim Hortons and was told the price of their drink was $6, they’d probably never order it again. Yet, most people who are familiar with Starbucks are okay with paying that much for a single drink. It comes with the brand. If Starbucks suddenly charged $3 for a latte and $1.50 for a coffee, they might lose a lot of customers. It’s much cheaper, sure, but part of the allure of places like Starbucks is that the cost of what you order takes into account the actual item, the experience and the brand associated with it. We expect to pay more at certain places because of the reputation. A Starbucks coffee costing $3 isn’t as reputable as a $6 latte.
Moving beyond actual products and into public figures, musicians rely on brand power to sell. The image of a band or a singer can mean a lot for their potential audiences.
Each of these artist logos are recognizable, whether by the name itself or because of the logo. The Rolling Stones one in particular because it is one of the few examples of a band that uses non-wording as its main identifier.
Another example that comes to mind regarding branding is Kanye West. For his last three album covers, there was no identifying feature, logo, or name, on them that indicated they were his, yet they all sold quick well based on his name alone. That’s the power of a brand.