Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brand Cosmetology: Skin deep or true value?

The logo is not the brand. Most of us know it. Still, we obsess with what I refer to as brand cosmetology - the theory, design, color/placement protocols etc., of the logo and other brand expressions.

“Thou shalt not place the logo anywhere, except in its lawful recommended position” admonishes the Brand Guideline book.

The question is - who really cares? Customers are not going to look at the blue of your logo and think “That’s a reliable company”. Employees are not going to look at some imagery on your website and say “Wow! They are innovative. I will join them”. Business partners will not see your award-winning logo design and say “That’s a bold, innovative company. We’ll do business with them”. If you have carefully chosen green or yellow to convey something, the customer is still going to see red in a moment of poor experience. A shift in its recommended print position is not going to jeopardize brand loyalty.

Still, brand cosmetology swallows up precious time, money and energy.

What If -

1. We re-deploy our energies to where the brand truly resides – in the experience of the customer?

2. We re-order the Brand Rule Book to simply focus on the non-negotiable principles of customer value?

3. The Brand manager says – “We don’t mind where you place the logo in the ad. But you better not mess with customer experience”?

4. We say no to spending millions of dollars on designing or re-designing the company logo?

5. We do not explain the logo form or color rationale and let each brand experience convey the real story?

6. We do away with the text and theory and let proof points demonstrate our brand value?

7. What if we talk less and do more?



  1. A logo is nothing more than a company stamp. The brand is your logo plus so much more added to it. Take one logo and add a cup of marketing, a cup of business acumen, stir in plenty of ripe and rich customer service, add 2 handfuls of blood sweat and tears, mix it all in well with a strong belief in your product/service and cook it all in a well managed and structured environment. After a number of well run years you will enjoy seeing your brand evolve. But don't stop there! Make sure you have plenty more handfulls of that good ol blood, sweat and tears!

  2. The brand recipe indeed... well said !