17 Responses to “Don’t waste your money marketing your business like this.”

  1. Shannon W. November 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    I did actually say ‘the pepsi logo’ but I’m a) disinterested in hockey and b) aware this is a marketing blog. None of that, whatsoever, nullifies your argument.

    A logo is largely a self-referential recognition piece. And yet we (organizations and the people who market them) are strongly & inexplicably wedded to the idea of their importance.

    Thanks for the perspective.

  2. Doug Brown November 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    I would say self-reverential Shannon. 😉

    I believe companies have an emotional connection to their logos and that’s where things come a cropper. Emotional decisions never really pan out in marketing. Thanks for reading and offering your thoughts!

  3. Anthony Sanna November 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    A logo is a bookmark that remInds me where I left off with a company. If I have seen the logo before, I remind myself of the last engagement I had with said company. If I’ve never seen it, I often tune it out. Unless you give me a reason to know what or who your company is about, I’m not going to bother working to find out.

  4. Doug Brown November 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    That’s a neat analogy Anthony: the logo as personal brand experience bookmark. I like it. Further complicating the matter is the cold reality that logos can be quite invisible because the environments in which they are brandished are more interesting visually then the logos. The “reason” you speak of is the benefit piece. A logo accompanying an appealing benefit is never invisible. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  5. Stephen Dawe (@thedawe) November 24, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    I like the bookmark analogy as well, but if there were a statement or an experience attached to that logo, something I could grab onto or even align myself with, then that bookmark splits the pages of a great story I can be an ambassador for rather than simply becoming part of the book I don’t go back to or talk about.

  6. Doug Brown November 24, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Absolutely right Stephen. There is no narrative to get involved with, just a push from the advertiser with no reward attached, so it doesn’t build on anything. Which is why they are so easy to ignore.

  7. James mulvey November 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Great opening sequence. Good post.


  8. josh November 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I commonly look-up a company just from seeing their logo in a sponsor list for an event. Whether I make a purchase or not, it enabled me to find out about them. Awareness is marketing in my book.

    Here is a story I am not particularly proud of. When I was a teenager I desperately had to have Air Jordan sneakers. There were plenty of comparable sneakers on the market but without that Air Jordon logo on them, they were not “The Real Thing.”

    Instead of going into stuff like the brand equity on this I’ll save everyone the marketing jargon and simply say it’s a matter of authenticity and identification. A logo’s core functionality lies in it’s ability to be immediately recognized, copyrighted and protected. It serves to identify and authenticate. If you offer a truly exceptional product or service, the value and trust is identified and authenticated in your logo. If that’s not a marketing tool, I don’t know what is.

    Yes simply putting your logo at a sporting event is push advertising, but isn’t that what is intended? The cost associated with this is so high that the message is clearly “We’ve Hit the Big Time”. It’s more about ego than effectiveness.

  9. Doug Brown November 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    > James, thanks for the comment. Did you note the logo on first glance?

    > Nice to have a contrary point of view on the blog Josh. You are obviously speaking from your experience as a consumer too, so it will be heartening for businesses who are shopping their logo to know that someone is receptive! Because you’re in marketing, my guess is your sense of logos is somewhat more interested than the average punter. I personally believe the ubiquity of logos means they all get ignored to the same degree.

    Push advertising is never in the interests of the audience, so the intention is probably misguided, although clearly businesses will continue to do it. The metrics on it are hard to gauge. Again, thanks.

  10. josh November 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Thanks for hosting a place for discussion Doug!

  11. Anonymous December 1, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    @Josh… I know the feeling, but is there any chance you had to have them because someone else had them first? Further, it’s extremely likely that role model bought them because they saw Jordan himself advertising them on TV… it’s just not the same argument.
    The swoosh logo gave you status, but it wasn’t the attractive part of the product. Like Anthony mentioned, the logo was the “bookmark” for you and your social circle. The attractive part of the product may have been the role model you saw wearing them.

  12. Brandon Wright December 1, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    ^^ oops that was me, didn’t mean to stir w/o accountability

  13. Josh Nychuk December 1, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Yes Brandon the logo did not sell me on the shoes, it authenticated them.

  14. Doug Brown December 1, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Good conversation. Here’s my take: A logo usually becomes synonymous with the values and personality of the brand. In some cases – and Nike is a good example, because it’s an aspirational brand, built more around emotional than functional differentiators (god, did that just come out of me?) – the logo itself is enough to prompt brand awareness. In my experience, brands have come to expect this sort of return, because of their myopic, self-centred view. Look around an NHL rink board: Telus, McDonalds, Chevron, Goodyear, Bell, Sony (Sony Canada actually…) – these are not status brands and so their belief that their logo will motivate you to a positive impression is misguided.

    Therefore, in my opinion, it’s actually a waste of money.

    Nobody goes into any medium looking for advertising. But great advertising can wrestle their attention away from the content of the medium, be it news in the newspaper, programming on TV or the hockey in a rink. Logos don’t do that because they aren’t great advertising.

    Thanks Josh and Brandon for stimulating my brain!

  15. Brandon Wright December 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Thanks for the insight Doug. Gotta keep those synapses firing. 🙂

  16. Anonymous December 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    What I don’t see is the photo credit… Jeff Vinnick perhaps?

  17. Doug Brown December 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    I’d be very grateful to know the name of the photographer. It’s a remarkable photo but I found it online without a credit to it. I’ve gone through Jeff’s work online but can’t find this one.

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