A company logo is an important aspect of any effective marketing model, I can bring up brands like Coca-Cola, Mercedes, or Nike and I can be nearly certain that any person I am talking to already has a visual of those logos in their head. Living in a technological based world that puts emphasis on visual stimulation especially in branding, it can seem like the logo is the most essential aspect of marketing.
But, in reality, the logo is only half of what makes a marketing campaign effective. The messaging the accompanies a logo stands as the harder-working, under-appreciated, other half of marketing. In a sense, a branding message is the structural foundation behind an otherwise shallow logo. Without an effective and nearly addictive message, a purely visual message is ineffective. So, let’s take a look at your favorite brands and the messages that have pushed them to the top.
Let us start with the holy grail of American fast food. McDonalds is characterized by it’s high yellow arches that stand brilliantly over remote towns and urban metropolises alike. For some, McDonalds brings reminders of childhood commercials featured on Disney and Nickelodeon showing a big friendly clown offering plenty of useless but, at the time, seemingly necessary toys all packed into a “happy meal”. But every commercial, every visual representation of McDonalds is almost always, without fail, accompanied by their classic “dun dun dun dun dun, I’m Loving It.”
In this way, McDonalds intuitively appeals to our emotions or pathos. The company carefully selects words that have positive connotations like “happy” “love” “super” place them strategically within their slogans, messages and menu items alike. Customers, after hearing these messages emboldened with positive and familial messaging, build a subconscious affinity for the restaurant.
Subaru has stood as one of the more effective car campaigns in recent years. For anyone watching, the company message is quiet clearly geared towards families looking to purchase safe vehicles that are guaranteed to keep their loves ones from harm. Subaru’s message is effective not just because it appeals to families but also because it has the safety ratings and years of proof that validate it’s message. Validity is one of the key ingredients in a successful message because it allows the customer to trust your company. Without a trustworthy platform, companies are bound to fail.
Nike is another effective powerhouse of marketing. Their classic Nike check can be seen on seemingly anyone and everyone no matter age, fit, gender, etc. Nike’s marketing is so universal that it is nearly guaranteed that if you were to ask anyone wearing a Nike product what the company slogan is they would respond quickly “Just Do It.” The message is simple, only three words, but endlessly powerful. Their slogan is a call to action in and of itself but not to buy their products. Instead, Nike has focused it’s slogan on encouraging and inspiring self improvement from their customers without bringing their product directly into the picture. While the message may seem indirectly connected to Nike itself, it is actually a roundabout way of first, encouraging customers to be the best version of themselves, and second, reminding customers of the company that stood behind them in the first place. In this way, Nike has messaged itself as not just an athletic wear company but as a lifestyle and a personal motivator.
The companies with the most effective messages and advertisement campaigns are those that appeal to customers on a personal level. They utilize positive messaging that does not directly describe their product but instead describes how the customer will feel or behave with the help of their product. In this way, effective messaging is essentially based in human action. These powerhouse companies have taken a step back from their product and looked at real people and real lives and showed how their products should necessarily be integrated into a happy, successful and love-filled life. Overall, branding and messaging is not about the company. It is about the masses. The people. The families. The future.