Recently, a Facebook mission statement logo that was intended to be for internal use only (at least that’s the story we’re told) got some press, and now, it’s making its way across the web. I saw it, and like many others, I have an opinion on it.
To me, the Facebook mission statement logo shown in this post represents everything that’s wrong with branding. Now, I fully understand this logo isn’t intended to represent the brand but rather the mission statement of the organization, but shouldn’t the two exist cohesively?
My view on branding is one that supports transparency. If you’ve been reading my content on Corporate Eye and across the web (or in my books), then you know that already. With that in mind, a visual representation of a business shouldn’t be convoluted or require a decoder to understand.
A brand promise, image and message should be clear. What is the one word that your brand owns in consumers’ minds? That is your brand’s position relative to its competitors. It should be succinct and easy to understand without a flow chart, graph, fishbone diagram, or logo filled with images and arrows. This applies not only to the logo your business uses externally, but also to internal physical representations of your brand. If your brand promise isn’t clear to your employees, your most powerful brand advocates, then you’re in trouble.
From my perspective, if someone on my marketing creative team suggested this type of logo to represent any aspect of my brand and business internally or externally, I’d move them to the market research and analytics department. They’re skills are not being utilized to their best advantage.
I’m curious to hear some more opinions, not so much about the specific Facebook logo, but rather about the concept of over-analyzing branding and missing the boat in terms of not understanding what a brand is really about and how best to communicate that to employees and customers. What do you think? When you see a brand or marketing message explained using intricate diagrams do you wonder, like I do, if the message has any chance at success?
Perhaps it’s because branding is, fundamentally, a very emotional concept. It seems like a disconnect when you try to put branding concepts into gant charts and histograms. It seems like the entire purpose of branding is lost when you see it represented by a flow chart.
You can check out a video about the mission statement logo featuring Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg below:
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