The Anatomy of Humbug. Most refreshing and intelligent after all those 25 Secrets Of Highly Successful Halfwits And How You Can Join Them business books.
On Paul's website are links to more articles, including one originally published in Admap March 2014, entitled, simply Brand = Image. This is a provocative title, as 'Brand Image' has become a dirty word - or phrase - for those of us in the industry. Why have something as ethereal as an image when you can have an Experience or a Platform?
Anyway, the article starts with the creation of what was to become the Nike logo, which earned its creator all of $35 initially. The point is made that maybe it's neither necessary nor desirable to start building a brand from a 'brand essence' definition in words. Many brands start with a visual image, which becomes imbued with meaning via the stakeholders of that brand.
Why does this work? Let me drag out my ancient copy of Man and his Symbols (see illustration above.) In this, Carl Jung states:
What we call a symbol is a term, name or even a picture that may be familiar in daily life, yet that possesses specific connotations in addition to its conventional and obvious meaning. It implies something vague, unknown or hidden from us.
Many brand symbols or logos seem to arise by chance - Paul Feldwick cites the Dulux Dog and the Andrex Puppy - rather than via a conscious process. Chance, yes, but intuition and serendipity also play a role. I have written about a couple of my favourite brand symbols here and here.
Paul talks about the strength of images: they are polyvalent, meaning they carry a multitude of meaning.
I wonder, especially in this global world, whether brands would do better to find a 'one symbol equity' rather than a 'one word equity.'