Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Chanel No. 5 Lesson

On brand/logo association...

"Do we all love the Nike logo because it’s inherently a great logo or do we love it because we’ve had good experiences with Nike shoes? How about the FedEx logo? The Apple logo? Chanel No. 5?

Michael Bierut tackles this question in his great piece The Mysterious Power of Context over at Design Observer. He uses the example of how the word CHANEL is written in a very plain, sans-serif font that is quite boring on its own. But placed within the context of a Chanel bottle and our experiences with the perfume, the logo becomes powerful.

Bierut suggests that we love the logos only after we’ve become accustomed to them, saying that it is the context in which we engage the logos that matter. I think Bierut is exactly right, and so in the tradition of the Del.icio.us Lesson,, I’m going to have some fun and call this the Chanel No. 5 Lesson. The Chanel No. 5 Lesson is that we have to experience something before we have strong feelings about it: that experience precedes branding.

Our first contact with a logo, if for a brand we aren’t familiar with, has little associated context. Therefore, we have no associated feelings with the logo and we won’t react strongly. We might react a little bit, but whatever our feelings about it will soon be overwhelmed by any direct experience. As our context changes over time, as we use the products and associate our experiences with the brand, then our feelings about it change as well. Bierut says:"   continued ...   (Via Bokardo)


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