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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding by Mac Cato

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13
Chapter 2
The Two Mega-Categories
of Global Branding
Naomi Klein’s No Logo: Taking Aim at the
Brand Bullies, Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food
Nation, and Robert H. Frank’s Luxury Fever
are but three of a slew of anti-branding
books published over the past few years.
Their collective argument, perhaps most
dramatically characterized by Klein, is that
global corporations are “cocooning” us in
M
ost of the great global brands, of both the societal and commercial per-
suasion varieties, succeed because they are so emotional and personal.
Branding is essentially about appealing to our need for personal identity.
Who am I? Where do I fit in? How do I best target my hopes and manage
my fears? The choices we make to address these psychological needs, from
a menu of branded societal and commercial belief systems, constitute the core of our lives
and motivate the actions we take.
Definitions:
GLOB AL SOCIETAL PERSUASION B RANDS:
Powerful belief systems, usually represented by highly recognizable names, icons,
symbols, or stories, intended to invoke strong emotional responses and motivate
commitment and action by others.
GLOB AL COMMERCIAL PERSUASION BRANDS:
Widely recognized identity systems represented by stories, intended to evoke
emotional responses strong enough to consistently motivate the sale of commercial
goods and services.
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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding14
Citibank is a universally recognized bank with ATMs all
over the world. (Design: Paula Scher, Pentagram; Photo:
James Shanks)
Farm Boy’s striking identity demonstrates the level of
graphic sophistication required to successfully compete
with well-known international retail brands. (Design:
Greenmelon)
a “brandscape” and offering us a “Barbie
world for adults.” Books like this have had
some positive impact. Most corporations to-
day are much more sensitive to their societal
responsibilities and attempt to balance their
good talk with good actions.
No Logo disciples claim that brands are the
pathways of manipulation between compa-
nies and consumers. But the truth is, people
like and need brands. Brands, for both com-
mercial and societal persuasion purposes,
simplify choices, promise authenticity, and
provide pleasure, interest, and a sense of
identity. Today, it is the consumer who de-
cides a company’s fortune.
A Paradigm Shift
Is the negative questioning about the im-
portance of branding actually topical in this
world of increasing global convergence? Isn’t
our addiction to branded goods and services
a natural and generally positive factor in
our lives? What does Klein say about global
commercial persuasion brands that include
a societal “call-to-action” in the positioning
of their businesses and their corporate brand
identities? British Petroleum merged with
Amoco in 1998 and simply became BP. After
a series of other Amoco petroleum acquisi-
tions, the BP logo was redesigned, and the
tagline for all BP products became Beyond
Petroleum. General Electric, one of the
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15The Two Mega-Categories of Global Branding
ABOVE: Xerox recently introduced a dynamic new
logo and a full global identity program to signify the
company’s diversification into new business areas.
(Design: Interbrand)
RIGHT: The design of the Ambi Pur packaging
creates an aura of freshness within the bottle.
(Design: DesignBridge)
Starbucks pioneered a new experiential coffee shop concept,
developed a unique business concept, and created a distinctive
brand identity for its global retail system. But it’s much more
than coffee and lattes: Starbucks has successfully created a coffee
shop with a social environment experience that brings customers
back time and time again. And the company’s commitment to
societal issues, such as its support for fair trade coffee, adds
considerably to the brand’s high regard in the minds of its
customers. (Design: Starbucks)
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