The Power of Brand Elements

For most startups, their logo will be the most visible brand element, since it will probably be displayed on your website and most social media posts. In the early stages of your business, there is no downside to displaying your brand name and logo multiple times, but this story is about evolution and long-range planning.

In this article we will talk about what Apple is doing and planning for the rest of the decade with their brand communications and how a market dominant brand can ignore common rules and set new trends.

First Proof

Picture of the 1st Generation iPhone

Apple has never written the name “Apple” on any devices or loading screens of any hardwares.

Starting the iPhone journey back in 2000 with just an apple on the back, while everybody had Sony, Ericsson, Blackberry written big on the top of their devices… All in the spirit of simplicity and thinking differently.

Second Proof

A photo of the 2021 M1 iMac without the Apple logo

In 2021, Apple released the new iMac. Yes, that iconic desktop for all minimal design and creative lovers has NO more apple icon on the front.. Why? Well, that is because the shape and the designs are all patented and it is unique enough for anyone who knows something about computers to know that this is an Apple computer

Third Proof

A mockup of a Mac Mini with a Display with a Forbes article about Apple removing their logos.

Apple announced that future Apple Stores will no longer have any signages, logos or wall signs at their storefronts. Imagine that, an all white and gray store with long wooden tables, and a few shiny devices for display. What a bad-ass move to say; Everything we do is unique enough, so that we don’t need to display conventional brand elements anymore”..

A concept Apple store without an outdoor signage

How understanding this can improve your own brand

When we learn online about building a brand, brand trust or creating an identity, you will most likely hear about owning a color, a font, a style, or maybe a certain “jester” kind of brand personality, but there are many more things that will shape people’s perception of your company.

The design of your product is somewhat obvious but also consider the way every Starbucks Barista takes your order, or every Ikea store has the same walkthrough layout in their stores, anything and anytime a customer interacts with something related to your company, you get to make it a memorable moment for them.

If you operate in a rather “less sexy or plain” industry, let's say a law firm, think about ways to engage with customers, in your lobby with a thorough welcome message from your frontdesk, in a free consultation, or with tips on how to compare lawyer’s rates and legal fees. All of these elements (physical, emotional, and visual) will shape your brand; the more the better, even if you have no plans to remove all your logos from your building. It is absolutely crucial that all these actions are genuinely for the benefit of your customers without a secret sales message hidden within.

A brilliant example of making boring things exciting

When Webflow, a Saas tool to build websites, launched their own learning portal on their website they didn’t just create learning videos but they built characters, made it exciting and entertaining to learn their software, and included their audience inside their learning materials. Nowadays, their learning videos have become a Youtube hit and even stars like Ryan Reynolds are commenting and interacting with the Webflow teachers… What a way to drive your brand love!

How to determine strong brand elements?

The most affordable option is to literally ask your customers and get feedback. If you want to do so in the form of a survey, think about giving something in return for their time.

If you ask naturally and honestly, you will be surprised how many people will give you a warm, heartfelt, and honest answer. 

Maybe think about it in different categories;

Although these may vary from industry to industry, getting an extreme contrast to other sections is usually a good indicator for taking action in any way.

An Artwork symbolizing invisible brand elements, designed by Gohan Strategy

Branding is a feeling

To sum it up, as soon as you’re starting to invest into branding, marketing and PR of your startup or company, do not put all your eggs in one basket, but try to map out the customer journey and blend in a few “feel good” moments during each touchpoint. An aligned approach like this will be considerably more memorable than any process from a corporate handbook.

We hope that many of you can remove your logos in a couple of years!

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