When you see a familiar logo, what comes to mind? Recognition, your personal experiences with the products associated with that logo, and perhaps a bit of nostalgia? What you have experienced is the most basic power of a brand. Brand recognition. After all, that is precisely what a logo is for. Companies want you to recognize their products at a glance. But branding is more than a logo.
Consider this, when an individual travels and is deciding what restaurant they want to eat at, how do they decide? Let’s say the choice is between a Greek place, McDonalds, Chinese, and an upscale restaurant they have never heard of. Almost invariably, the choice will be McDonalds. That’s not because McDonalds is superior to the rest. It’s familiarity. The individual knows exactly what McDonalds has to offer, while they have never been to any of the other places. People are far more likely to choose something they are familiar with over something they are not.
Building a brand is not easy. It’s not just recognizing the brand, it’s everything that’s associated with the brand, good or bad, whether it’s deserved or not. In other words, reputation.
Throughout one conflict, a certain region of the world become extremely dangerous to be in. Soda companies pulled out. Except for Coca-Cola. When the conflict was over, no other soda companies could get a foot hold in that region ever again. Coca-Cola had achieved an extreme level of brand loyalty because that region’s personal experiences of Coca-Cola were better than any other soft drink.
Having a brand name repeated puts it in a person’s head and keeps it there. The longer it stays there, the more familiar it becomes. And once again, people gravitate to the familiar. A bad reputation has the opposite effect. At first. Over time the negative associations fade away, leaving only familiarity with a brand name. A simple logo, by itself, does not have that sort of power.