We’re believers in the idea that a brand is much more than a logo. The logo is a visual centerpiece, but a brand identity extends beyond this one visual mark to incorporate color, typography, form factor, look & feel, etc. (And of course, the true meaning of “Brand” extends beyond these visualizations into message, promise & expectation – but we won’t dive into this here)
To further this idea, British retailer Selfridges has put together a fascinating experiment: they recently unveiled a unique shopping experience called “No Noise”. The premise is simple: to give consumers a rest – particularly after the consumer-madness that is holiday shopping – from all of the “brand noise” that we’re constantly surrounded by, they partnered with several key, world-wide brands to create & sell limited editions of products that are logo-free.
Well-known brands such as Beats by Dre, Levi’s, Heintz & Yves Saint Laurent have created special “de-branded” products for sale, online and in-store (as part of their new “Silence Room” initiative), yet each product and package is immediately recognizable. Of course, seeing Levi’s jeans for years with their iconic logo has reinforced that image in our minds: removing it just means we, the consumers, fill in the blanks ourselves. This recognition just wouldn’t work if these brands & logos weren’t incredibly familiar to us as consumers, and embedded in our general consciousness.
It’s really a brilliant, if not a bit controversial, study in the power of branding, and a shrewd move by the participating retailers: they’ve created limited-edition, sought-after collector’s items in the process.
Even more interesting is that the “Silence Room” concept is actually a re-launch: founder Harry Gordon Selfridge first implemented this idea in 1909, where shoppers could “retire from the whirl of bargains and the build up of energy”.