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Is Your Logo Important? McDonalds Vs. Zappos

February 22, 2013 | Branding, Design Basics

As a follow up to my last post setting out to define some of the terms that are used within conversations about branding, I want to give an example of brands that have a logo that is central to their entire brand, and another who has their brand much more defined by other elements.

As I started out saying in my last post, there seems to be an ongoing argument about how important a logo is to a brand. Is your logo the same as your brand? Is a logo a part of your brand? Is your logo completely inconsequential to your brand? I would answer that it depends on what you’ve done with your logo along with other elements that make up your brand.

McDonalds: Logo is mission critical to their brand

McDonald's logoWhen I ask you to envision and define the McDonalds’ brand, I would guess that the famous golden arches would be one of the first things that comes to mind. McDonalds is a company with such as a strong and recognizable logo that the symbol can be shown without the words and billions of people around the world know what it represents.

When I grabbed this logo file from their web site, I noticed their name wasn’t included with the golden arches. In fact, their name is not really anywhere prominent on their home page.

Zappos: Logo is not as important as intangibles

Zappos logoWhen I ask you to articulate Zappos‘ brand you are much more likely to start with terms like incredible customer service, and free shipping even on returns. Their logo is not very distinct or compelling, in fact it’s a bit amateurish looking. However, it is the promise of great service and easy returns that creates confidence in buying from them. This is what builds their brand.

How important is a logo to a brand?

A brand can rely on a powerful logo, or it can be a powerhouse without a strong logo. This is why the words brand and branding can be confusing. We always recommend that our small business clients start with a great logo (I think that’s why they hire us). You can and always will be building the all of the other pieces that form your brand.

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4 comments

  1. Zion | February 25, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Personally, I prefer a company with a nice yet simplistic logo. It actually attracts me and makes me trust them more. I believe that if a company does not take their logo seriously, then I would definitely conclude that they have awful service. That’s just my opinion though. A great logo could go a long way, honestly speaking.

  2. Emily Brackett | February 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    @Zion, thanks for your comment. I agree that that a well-designed logo can be a signal of a well-managed business. It’s not always so, but there are definitely correlations.

  3. Jean | April 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    A logo will be powerful when you have meanings in it. With meaning logo is just a sign and it can’t be a brand identity. Therefore most important thing in a logo is the logic behind it. In this scenario your shared points are very important and effective to learn about the technicalities of logo designing.

  4. Emily Brackett | April 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    @Jean, Great input, I agree.

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