In his business memoir "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz describes the role of merchants in unlocking a product's "magic." As he writes:
"We take something ordinary and infuse it with emotion and meaning, and then we tell its story over and over and over again, often without saying a word."
Schultz is also, in many ways, describing the process of creating the logos and iconography behind a brand: you take elements (colors, shapes, lettering) and arrange them in a way that instantly conveys, without much (if any) explanation, the core of what you do and how you want your customer to feel.
Our first reaction to most things is visual; it is said that 80 percent of our brain is dedicated to recognizing visual stimulus. While a brand's visual identity is not the brand in its entirety, it is nonetheless a vitally important building block in the brand's identification and communication.
Branding is a Creative Process
It's more than a logo. You have to dig deep to find the meaningful differentiators for your brand. Doing this correctly takes an investment of time, effort and money. It is an iterative process that gets fine-tuned until it takes on a life of its own. Through usage, it begins to transform and develop.
What is the Substance Behind the Brand?
Given the increasing sophistication of consumers, you can't dazzle your audience with empty promises. Effectively conveying the brand without words hinges on one thing: authenticity, or finding the expression of the real you. But coming up with the "soul" of the product is much easier said than done.
The logo offers emotion and meaning and a promise of what to expect. When designing a logo system, we endeavor to unlock your brand's magic, and its most fundamental value.
Brand is an Experience
A distinctive brand is a visual and behavioral style; it delivers a better way to see your world. It embraces the authentic expression of the culture, and creates a lasting impression in the minds of its viewers.
The brand system is a complete personality with a voice and an attitude, along with a value proposition and the ability to deliver what the consumer expects. It presents a relationship that your audience can depend on and look forward to. It is consistent in all the right ways while also offering surprises and rewards, which makes it all the more fun and satisfying.
Janet Odgis is the President and Creative Director of Odgis + Co, an award-winning certified woman-owned design firm based in New York City. For 30 years she has worked with some of the world's most prestigious corporations reinventing ways to define and express their brand. We Make Business Beautiful.