I have long thought that logos serve a dual function.
The Beacon – for newbies seeing a brand logo for the first time, it serves as a beacon…identifying the landmark and inviting passersby to investigate.
The Window– for experienced users, it serves as a window into the tapestry of ideas, thoughts and emotions that constitute the brand’s equity and, hopefully, appeal.
Here’s an example. Most Americans driving by a neon sign for Super Duper Weenie, if they see it, will think “hot dog joint” and perhaps stop in for a bite. This is the beacon effect. In contrast, for anyone living in Fairfield CT, home of Super Duper Weenie, this logo is already incredibly well known. It conjures up associations of fabulous hotdogs, incredible fries and an authentic welcome from owner Gary Zemola. This is the window effect.
If you want to see the early stirrings of logo power (as seen through the eyes of a 5 year old) check out the video below. And don’t neglect investing in consumer experiences that drive the power of your brand and your logo over time!
I’m not talking about Stevie Wonder here. I’m asking you to think about that very private, quiet, creative place in your mind where you go to imagine things – memories, mental geography, story lines, loved ones – the place you go to reflect on things when eyes are closed.
Imagine a new kind of brand communication – brand experience really – that speaks to this private part of your mind – bypassing verbal appeals and speaking directly to the non-verbal core of your imagination. Powerful stuff – a new language really – and some forward thinking brands are learning how to do it.
Consider the campaign for Legoland UK resorts – agency gurus installed tiny pigeon-sized Lego billboards around London and invited passers-by to tweet #legolandminibreaks with a photo if they spotted one. Alternatively, watch to video (attached) describing an experimental brand installation for Absolut India. These efforts bypass all the normal filters we consumers throw up, and speak directly to our inner vision – powerful stuff!