Leveraging Symbolism Beyond the Logo Itself

Leveraging Symbolism Beyond the Logo Itself

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Over time brand symbols take on a meaning and come to represent brand equity when brands don’t have the luxury of full explanation or expression. The symbols convey at a glance the totality of the brand to familiar audiences, as well as serve as an invitation to the uninitiated to discover more. Companies like AirBnB, Nike and Nestle leverage their corporate identities as symbols that embody and represent the strategic positioning of each respective brand. But there’s no need to limit symbolism to formal logos. In 1915, Coca-Cola designed a proprietary shape for its bottle—the foundational packaging for their core product—to convey the uniqueness and distinction that sets them apart from other purveyors of soft drinks. Drinking a Coke in a classic contour bottle enables consumers to admire, touch and drink from a container rich in a 100 year+ tradition. It’s a symbol that’s so proprietary that it became only the second package in history to be awarded a US trademark back in 1960. Not a message in a bottle, but a message that is the bottle!

Even when brand packaging isn’t its own registered trademark, it still can leverage the power of symbolism. If a consumer brand seeks to assert quality, it needs to have quality packaging. If the packaging is just average, the company risks having consumers conflate the quality of the packaging with the quality of the product. Few companies understand this concept better than Apple. The company creates an iconic sensory experience through its packaging that communicates the brand without the use of words or a logo — or even the product until the packaging reveals the treasures that dwell therein. Apple creates its packaging to be as visually appealing and satisfying to the senses as the device inside. Every box enjoys sturdy materials, elegant minimalist color, clean, simple and direct design that signify the Apple experience ahead for the consumer.

iPhone Packaging

The idea of integrating symbolism throughout the customer experience even extends beyond visual components. In BMW’s pursuit of “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” the company thinks as hard about sound as they do about sight. Before they ever make it to the showroom floor, BMW doors undergo numerous refinements not only to make sure they open and close properly but to ensure each door makes the “right” sound to reflect the quality of the car. While BMW could make a car door that is close to silent when shutting, BMW knows there’s value in a certain type of “thunk” that symbolizes a well-constructed automobile.

2018 BMW 430i

What are some of your favorite ways brands use symbolism to reinforce and build their value?

Now It’s Your Turn
FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Brand Strategy, Brands, Corporate Culture, Employer Branding
CFOs Don’t Know How to Dress

It’s all too easy to focus on keeping up rather than standing out. Like CFOs who don’t know how to dress, you risk you blending in with the herd. We all know the downsides of focusing on securing a reservation at the hottest restaurant, wearing the right clothes and surrounding yourself with the kind of […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Culture, Employee Engagement
Using Organizational Structure to Build Collective Corporate Culture

When thinking of ways to inspire and enlist your workforce, some focus first on the flashy perks like higher salaries, work from home policies and generous PTO benefits. Others weigh into the corporate perks arms race of amenities like free food and massages. As important as compensation and workplace amenities can be, organizational structure also […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Culture, Employee Engagement, Employer Branding, Organizational Development
Symbolism Lessons from Peru

Travel is always enlightening. By stepping out of the ordinary routines of our everyday lives, we’re able to gain a fresh perspective on the day-to-day concerns and troubles facing us back home, returning refreshed and inspired to begin anew. But individual travelers aren’t the only ones who benefit from a traveler’s mindset. In an increasingly […]

Learn More
Corporate Culture, Culture, Employee Engagement, Organizational Development, Strategic Branding
Lessons in Leadership Driving Company Culture

As the post-Covid return to work builds momentum, leaders are faced with a myriad of workplace challenges both familiar and new, including managing supply chain shortages, talent turnover, recruitment and maintaining consistent communication through sometimes fully remote workplaces. Aligning multiple teams and people around a unified corporate culture is always difficult work, and conflicting leadership […]

Learn More

Ready to talk about how your brand and culture can do more for your business?

Let's talk
Let's talk