Monday, 18 April 2011

Brand Design, and the Power of Perspex

Yesterday morning, I rolled out of bed and stumbled bleary-eyed to the bathroom to "ablute", as one does.

Opening the drawer to grab the toothpaste, I noticed a spare toothbrush in mint condition squirrelled up the back behind the usual bathroom paraphernalia. 

Now, my regular toothbrush was right there at my fingertips.

There was nothing wrong with my regular toothbrush; it was reasonably new and in good condition, and it would have made perfect sense to grab that one instead.

But I didn't.  I bypassed my regular toothbrush and grabbed the new one.

What possessed me to do that?  Simple, really: It made me feel happy.

When I was a kid, we were one of the few families in the neighbourhood to have a backyard swimming pool, and this made us popular with our friends.  It also made me popular with a certain girl on whom I'd had a massive crush since third grade.  Every now and then, this girl would agree to visit with my other friends on the promise of a swim in our pool.  I considered this a perfectly reasonable trade in exchange for the opportunity to see her in a swimsuit, and the chance - as remote as it was - to brush up against her as we swam past each other.

After every blissful session in the pool, my mum would call all of us in to the kitchen for a round of ham sandwiches and a glass of lime soda. Happy times.

Now none of this came to mind when I chose to use that new toothbrush yesterday morning.  All I knew at the time, was that the sight of that toothbrush suddenly made me feel happy.

It took a few moments to realise that it made me happy because its bright green transparent handle had the same light qualities as a glass of lime soda. 

Pretty abstract, eh?

So why am I telling you all of this?  Because it demonstrates a simple fact of human nature:

Despite our ability to engage common sense in every choice we make, we quite often succumb to spontaneous behaviour triggered by a subliminal, abstract feeling that occurs at the sight, sound, smell or touch of a simple object.

And this is the potential power of a logo.

Of course, you can't hope to design a logo that instantly triggers endorphins in all who see it, but you can certainly adopt a strategy of customer relations that ensures your market has a mutually satisfying relationship with your business, and at the same time ensure that your logo is always present during that relationship.  The effect is not immediate, but the longer your business maintains operations, the greater persuasion your logo will have over consumer behaviour due to that emotional recall.

The key is not to try too hard to create the greatest logo in the market, but to ensure that whatever logo you have is always present while your business is engaging that market.

...And, for the record, I hate lime soda.

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