Brands «no-logo» and debranding. Yes or no?

Lately there is a trend towards simplification in the world of brands what we call «debranding». I commented on it in the post about the latest rebranding or logo changes, and I also mentioned it talking about the trends of naming new brands.

Previously, creating a brand was about adding complexity to your image. Now, it seems that brands want to go unnoticed, transmitting a «I am who I am and nothing else».

During my teenage years, clothing from the big brands was almost like billboards with logos that occupied all the fabric. In contrast, nowadays what is fashionable is to buy the T-shirt at the stall of the cute beach market.

Are we moving into a world without logos?

Simply said: no.

I don’t believe in the «no-logo» in a generalized way and I don’t think it’s going to expand or trend. If you don’t have a logo, the brand representation is going to be the name, and you run the risk of someone writing it in Comic Sans. :’D

I find this «no-logo» trend only applicable for very small shops or the typical Spanish ‘Bar Paco’ of the neighborhoods (which are the ones that have the best tapas), where they are more concerned about being able to retire soon, than having a brand strategy.

However, the trend on products of almost any category (electronic, fashion, food…) is rather towards minimalism. Today we give much more importance to the different design of the products (whatever different means).

For example, before, all backpacks had practically the same shape. Now there are countless designs, all very different. And those designs are the ones that allow us to identify the brand, no matter if they have or not the logo in a visible place. Some examples:

In the same way, it has happened with water bottles. Before they all followed a fairly standard design, while now there are folding, flat, glass, bamboo, silicone, with filter, with an app that tells you how much you have drunk… making them super recognizable, even if they don’t have a logo.

The problem is that one design is iconic and recognizable until other entities replicate it. Even if the design is registered, it will never be fully protected. There are dozens of companies on AliExpress ready to put any logo on any of these products. So as a brand or business, I also see the logo as a self-protection tool.

That’s why I think that no matter how recognizable the product is, we can’t get rid of the logo. After all, the logo lets us know that the product is of a certain brand, and that makes us at the same time recognize its quality, its price, its values, etc… things that society also likes to show. Why else are millions of Starbucks cup photos shared on Instagram, but not so many cups without any logo? However minimalist we think we are…

There is also an audience that is addicted to logos and brands, and has the need to show them (perhaps to prove who they are and what their status is). But if we continue down that path we enter on a topic of sociology that can be too broad (and interesting).

And what’s with debranding?

It’s basically that tendency to «unbrand» the brands. It is the simplification of logos and the image of the brand in general. Why does it apply? Normally to give greater personality to the brand and make it transmit its values for itself through what it is, and not what appears. In fact, haute couture brands are applying it more and more.

An example of a seemingly «no-logo» brand that applies «debranding» is the great Muji. I’m saying it’s apparently «no-logo» because, although it does have a logo, it barely shows it in its products. This is another case where the design itself represents the brand.

But even if the product itself doesn’t carry the logo, the bag you take it from the store does, as well as the label or possibly the packaging. With this I justify what I said above: the design of our products can make us sufficiently recognizable, but we cannot leave the logo behind.

As with Zara, its products usually don’t carry their logo visibly either, but it’s still on the label and bag…

Although my personal preference is to use products with small or hidden logos, if I buy a product that does not carry a logo anywhere, the feeling it gives me is that it comes directly from AliExpress.

In conclusion: it is not necessary to make the logo the protagonist of the product, but it is necessary to have it and use it. Whether it’s to protect the brand, differentiate it, or position it.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *