Bright logos in a sea of dull things

The other day, as I was driving through a bleak suburban stretch of malls, parking lots and highway on-ramps, I was struck by the power of a good logo. The logo in question, a big bold letter on a bright blue background, flooded the area with a sense of possibility and made me want to shop at the mall it was touting. That, to me, is the power of a good logo.

We often hear that logos and brands aren't the same thing. Logos are the graphical representation of a brand, but do not contain the promise, experience and offer of a company's brand. A brand, of course, is built up over years. It shines when all of a company's pistons are firing properly (from the person who answers the phone, to the quality of the product, to the news in the investment section of the newspaper, and so on). It seems sometimes that in saying these things about brands, that we relegate a logo to some lesser place, say piston 7 of a V8.

My experience viewing this bright letter on a blue backdrop, in a drab location where there are many shopping malls to choose from, shows that this is not entirely the case. That bright letter had value. The shops in this mall, I said to myself, must be of a higher calibre than those across the street.

If your logo is the face of your brand, would you not want it to have the effect of this big bold letter? I believe in times where the economic news sometimes seems as austere as the area I described, a bold logo can provide a competitive advantage, a call to action that inspires and invites your target audience to engage with you (and not with the other place, that has a lesser logo).

I've since gone to the mall in question, and it is of a higher calibre than the one across the street.

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