Friday, July 15, 2011

Brands & Symbols

The problem with brands is they give us a false sense of security and confidence.

Yesterday, at BloggyCon, Debba Haupert from talked about branding your blog. I understand why someone would want to brand their blog. I get the power of branding. But is it the only way? And do brands hurt our sense of self education?

We are all taught that we are busy people. Graphic designers are told that they should design for a 5 second attention span. So they churn out huge, attention-getting headlines add a few emotional pictures and tell us why something is the greatest ever in under 5 seconds all while connecting to their brand.

I'm not saying that companies shouldn't have the right to highlight all the pros of their products and none of the cons but if we as a people would stop being so darn busy they wouldn't have to resort to watered down, loud marketing.

I guess it's a chicken and egg kind of thing. Which came first: uber-condensed marketing or people's short attention spans?

But I think it's turned into something more. Brands are symbols and humans love symbols. Symbols are an easy way to communicate a lot of meaning in a short time. How do you feel when you see the Walmart logo? How about Target's Bullseye? For you readers out there, how do you feel when you see your favorite publisher's logo?

Symbols like logos can mean many different things to many different people. Which is why logo design and branding are so difficult.

I get it, I really do. But I keep wondering what would life be like without logos and branding? What's the alternative? Is it possible to not have a branding phenomenon?

If humans could slow down would branding loose part of its magic?


  1. Fantastic post! I freely admit I used to be all about the labels, ok, I still get giddy for certain brands, but I agree, I'm tired of having things flashed at me constantly to get my attention. If I really want to know your store/product etc., I'll find you, believe me!

  2. Hi Nonmom, I'm glad you got this post. I felt like I was a bit off the wall and unfocused. Glad I made some sense.

    I agree with you: just tell me about your product. Let me know why I should buy AND let me know why it may not be for me. Most people will be able to figure it out.