What's even crazier than the massive amounts of ads we see everyday, is the ability that we have to see a logo and know what it's representing within a second. When I was walking around campus looking for brands, it was amazing how I didn't even have to think about what the logos represented. I would see a brand, like the Swoosh and immediately write down Nike. I would see three lines on a shoe and think, Adidas. I would see two golden arches and know it was McDonald's. These logos are SO familiar to us, they almost become second-nature to us. We don't even consciously have to process in our minds what we are seeing, we don't have to decipher what these symbols mean, we just know. These types of logos are super effective because they have become easily recognizable, unique, and universal. Basically, if you didn't recognize the Nike Swoosh, people would think you were from another planet, that's how ridiculous branding in our society has become.
Another interesting aspect of branding is what we associate that particular brand with when we see it. For instance Wal-Mart, some may think, "inexpensive", others may think, "ghetto." The most critical aspect of creating a brand is that when people see it, they associate positive feelings with it. I know that I have bought the well-known brand at the grocery store, even though it was more expensive. When I'm looking for sneakers, I tend to buy only Nikes because I have been pleased with every single pair I have had. But it's more than that, I'm sure I could find great shoes in other brands, but my loyalty lies with Nike. Why? I'm really not sure. I guess I think they are cool. How did I come to this thinking? Probably good advertising.