Logos are everywhere, they invade our life like ants protect their hill when it’s invaded.
If you ever make the exercise of counting how many logos you see from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep and close your eyes, you’ll be surprised -or not- by the thousands you noticed, and many you didn’t notice but were there, like the Big Brother, watching us.
Right here in my desk I have around 25 logos spread all over the surface, if I unlock my mobile phone and check the home screen, I’ll see another ten just in the first screen.
But Logos are not enough when it comes down to building a Brand. Yes, they are important and a mayor part of it, but they’re not everything.
When in 2010 “The Gap” introduced their “new logo”, attached with a letter from Gap’s Brand President explaining the reasons, internet went crazy. The new logo was not (at all) well received, and after a few days of holding to their decision of still using the “new logo”, someone at The Gap realized their Brand was speaking. And they went back to their traditional 20 years-old -back then- logo.
Technically speaking, a brand is a design, pictogram, word or a combination of all these, that works to create an image that makes a product different from the rest.
Philosophically speaking, a Brand is the result of a mix between a lot of things and factors, and all of them contribute to its existence inside the audience’s mind.
But there’s a key factor that most of the time will be outside our control, you can have a great logo, a great product, the greatest performance, features, design, and everything to your knowledge is great, but may be, and just may be, audience ignores it, it just doesn’t gets into the consumer minds, and then, there’s no brand at all.
A Brand is communication, it’s an idea that receives a message and transforms it into what the transmitter wanted, or even better, what the transmitter didn’t know that needed, but always wanted.
communication process has to be, as Jakobson would say, with the minimum amount
of noise possible in the middle of the channel.
There’s always noise, you just can’t avoid it.
Why I think “Brand Speaks”?
Simply because audience is part of “Brand”. At some point, the brand seed was implanted in audience mind, it grew in them, and now even you don’t like it, speaks for itself.
Brand is an idea, but unfortunately it’s not bulletproof.
Nike is always a clear way for everyone to understand why you need to listen what your Brand is saying. There are a lot of examples, but I’ll focus on two -or three-.
In August 2016 due to a constant racial politics debate, an NFL player “took the knee” while U.S.A Nathional Anthem was being played before the start of a game, the knee-bending was a bold and revolutionary act. Some could say it was disrespectful and it’s perfectly understandable, however, the player wanted to send a clear message to the country, and it was listened. Whether you like it or not, this act “went viral” for both positive and negative reasons.
A few years later, in August 2018, Nike tweeted a social media post with the copy “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” With Colin Kaeperniks face, announcing he was going to be Nike’s 30 years anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, and a few weeks later, they sent the campaign out.
Another year later, preparing the audience in an anteroom for the upcoming Women’s Football World Cup being held in France, Nike just went out bold again and launched an inspiring “Dream Crazier” campaign starring Serena Williams, where they show a quick resume of, historical extraordinary achievements, women conquered in sports. You’d say, “like if we didn’t know”. Well, sometimes it looks like so.
And finally for the World Cup, they just went “all in” again (Sorry Adidas), and released the “Dream Further” campaign, where they focus the attention on girls, inspiring the younger audience to dream what they want to be, and go for it.
This corporate decisions are just bold, and Nike likes, breathes and feeds on boldness, they just want to be bold, risky, go for everything or not go at all, the athlets they sponsor and represent are never “just good at sports”, they know there will be haters (sorry again Adidas) and they just, don’t, care.
But more than that, Nike has experience in communication with their audience, they’ve somehow accepted their audience is part of the brand, and they embrace that idea, using all the channels they want, and doing it effectively.
Nike made itself a culture, Nike it’s the culture.
Because Nike, talks to the brand.
Just do it