Posts Tagged ‘branding’

The swoosh logo :: just leave it

April 1, 2009
The Nike logo: from humble beginnings to universal recognition.

The Nike logo: from humble beginnings to universal recognition.

Nike adopted the swoosh for its logo in 1971. It’s symbolic, it’s iconic, and it’s very appropriate for their business. (And was designed by a college student, btw.) So what is it about the swoosh that makes so many decision makers want to use it for their logo? It’s everywhere. And no one uses it as well or as meaningfully as Nike.

A new swoosh for Capital One. But WHY?

A new swoosh for Capital One. But WHY?

It seems that both big and small companies in all industries think a swoosh logo is also right for them. Take Capital One for instance. What does their new swoosh say for them? That they’re fast moving? Is it an orbit? Does it intimate forward thinking? Truly these are not unique concepts, even if that is what they’re thinking. How about coming up with a logo that distinguishes them from the competition? One that focuses on their key strenght(s).

I have to wonder what motivated each of these companies to adopt a swoosh logo. Did they see swoosh logos everywhere and figure that was the thing to do? Did they subconsciously “copy” the swoosh from one of the few companies that use it successfully (Nike, Intel)? Did they see it as hip or trendy or otherwise worthy for their compay’s most valuable asset — thier brand?

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How To :: Create Customer Confusion

January 6, 2009
Does this go in the fridge or the shower?

Does this go in the fridge or the shower?

I saw a coupon for this product this weekend and immediately thought, “Since when did Dial start making yogurt?”

It’s not uncommon for companies to branch out into new markets. Really, what company today doesn’t sell bottled water? So it’s not unreasonable to think that The Dial Corporation, known best for soap products, would create a dairy product. Yogurt is a popular food item after all, and businesses need all the revenue they can get. And vanilla honey yogurt sounds delicious!

But once your initial confusion subsides, you’ll see that this is, in fact, soap! No, it’s not yogurt at all. It is soap with yogurt in it! Genius, right? Perhaps. But the package design, while pretty, is confusing! How many consumers will think (as I did — a packaging and graphic design veteran) that Dial has gone into the yogurt business and buy this thinking it’s edible? Of the people who buy this thinking it’s yogurt, many of them (most I hope) will figure out that it’s soap before ingesting any. (The bottle is really a standard body wash bottle.) But what about the hand full of consumers who, for whatever reason, don’t figure out their mistake before trying some? What about the few who will actually consume this product? Can eating soap make you sick? I don’t know but I’m sure I don’t want to find out.

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