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In order to build a successful business, you would automatically assume that the most important factor is your product. The thing that, when it all boils down, you are left with at the end. The thing that people go to you for. But while that may be true, there is something else that is equally, if not more, important: your brand.

Don’t believe me? How else do you think that Instagram has emerged as a major social network, without most of its users realizing that it offers a service that is essentially no different from (and perhaps more limited than) that which is offered by Facebook or Twitter. Instagram built its brand around exclusivity, and created something that made people think that they needed it. The service now has more than 50 million users, despite having only been launched at the end of 2010.

Here are some examples of other companies who have mastered the art of telling their story through good branding:

Google

Google’s logo is simple and fun, representing perfectly the exact image that Google wants to convey. Although it appears to be nothing more than the company’s name, much more is conveyed from underneath the surface. The colors, while seemingly random, were chosen with a specific purpose. Designer Ruth Kedar said, “we ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.” (source)

Apple

If there was ever a title for “king of branding,” the winner would certainly be Apple inc. The Apple logo has become more desired than any other logo, and the Apple brand is one of the most popular and fashionable brands in the world. No company garners brand loyalty like Apple does. And the logo has an interesting story behind it. The original Apple logo was a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under the famous apple tree. This evokes Apple’s central mission to come up with something groundbreaking and different. It also evokes another essential part of the brand, that Apple is quick to integrate into their stores — the Apple “genius.”

Nike

The famous Nike swoosh tells us much about the company’s story. The shape of the mark evokes speed and efficiency, and a tidy design. It also represents the wing in the renowned statue of the Greek Goddess of victory, Nike. Even the name “swoosh” is derived from a material used to make Nike shoes. The Nike logo is so iconic that the company can create an entire ad campaign without inserting any part of their brand — shirts, shoes, signs, mugs, banners, you name it — save for that famous swoosh.

FedEx

FedEx has won multiple awards for its logo, which was designed to tell the story of its company in the simplest way possible. The logo is simple and pleasing to the eye. It creates the image of a company with whom you can trust your important packages. The subtle arrow in between the “E” and the “x” give the impression of speed and efficiency, as well as forward motion, which is what you want in a shipping company.


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About Author:

Robert Cordray is a former business consultant/entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. He is currently breaking through to the life/business/career coaching realm, with advice for startups and business in general. If you can't get a hold of him, he's probably on the beach with his beautiful wife and three kids.