So our logo discussion got a little heated a few weeks ago — strong takes can be polarizing. We ended our piece with a broad-strokes takedown of brand logos (looking at you, gigantic polo horse) worn purely for effect, a stance I still stand by. But even in the hottest of takes, nuance still exists.
Many brands spend time creating a world where their products exist, and that world, when conceptualized correctly, resonates with customers. The strongest brands create enthusiastic and loyal adherents to its principles, perspective, and mission. Like a great novel, it allows people to affirm their own lens and build a ‘like-minded’ community.
The strongest of brands (or at least the ones with the strongest sales performance) create a universality in the exclusivity. For example, there are millions on Jeeps on the road today — hardly an exclusive club. Yet owners still connect with other owners through a simple act of acknowledgement known as the ‘Jeep wave’. Owners see themselves in other Jeep owners; they assume that the individual driving the Grand Cherokee next to them purchased the vehicle for the exact same reasons they purchased their own (utility, comfort, badass off-roading capabilities, etc). Rational thought indicates that this is ridiculous to assume, but yet we still do.
When there is a authentic connection with a brand, the brand has done their job by bringing people together to create a community around a product. And that community, however commercial the result, resonates.
So whether it is a club logo on a polo or a patch on a hardcore winter coat designed for climbing mountains (that you wear to brave a rainy, 40 degree day on your way from your car to the office), the connection you have to that symbol, and others wearing it, is real. And there’s nothing vapid about that.
Big 👋 to all the other Jeep owners out there.