Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Simply Marketing

Here's a quick quiz: how many of the brands can you name based only the logos below?

Unless you're a complete moron, you went 4-for-4...or maybe 3-for-4; Reebok has never been the same since Frank Thomas passed his prime.  All four brands represent shoe/athletic wear makers, yet none of those logos have anything to do with sports, shoes, or clothing.  Taken out of context, three of the four symbols are completely meaningless.  We've got a curvy check-mark, three parallel stripes, and three non-parallel stripes.  At least New Balance used something recognizable and went with an acronym logo, but let's face it, none of these are particularly memorable.

Then why was it so easy to recognize all of them?  Because over the years, these companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and endorsement deals to turn these nonsensical symbols into powerful reminders of the brands they represent.  Nike alone has spent an unfathomable amount of money sponsoring Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi, Ken Griffey Jr., Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant, and countless other athletes.  Call me crazy, but wouldn't it make more sense to create a brand and a logo that were immediately recognizable and memorable, regardless of the size of your ad budget?

There's one incredibly simple rule of marketing that even the most uneducated businessperson can understand: sex sells.  So why not make your logo a sex cell?  One company finally got it right:

You're eyes deceive you not; that's a giant sperm on the side of that shoe, courtesy of Gravity Defyer, a small but up-and-coming player in the footwear market.  The brand name is rather misleading--the logo would suggest that these shoes were made for swimming, not flying.  But take another closeup look at that logo...it's pure genius:

Gravity Defyer doesn't have to spend a dime on advertising; who could possibly forget a shoe with an oversize sperm on the side?  No money wasted reminding consumers what the brand stands for.  And how could these not be a hit in the marketplace?  Athletic men want manly shoes, and what's manlier than a giant man seed?  It's definitely worth the time to browse the company's website, where you'll quickly see that Gravity Defyer is 100% serious about its products.

Nowhere on the site will you find a funny story or any kind of explanation for the unusual logo. The company offers shoes for both men and women, with a full 30-day money back guarantee (and yes, in case you were wondering, even the women's shoes boldly sport the big swimmer on the side).  You can get your sperm in any imaginable color--black, white, yellow, red--you name it.  And Gravity Defyer offers products spanning every segment of the footwear market: athletic, casual, sandals, and dress shoes.  There's no better way to dress to impress for that big job interview than lacing up a pair of black dress shoes embossed with sperm.  You might get hired, you might get sued for sexual harassment, but either way, you'll make a lasting impression.

Mark my words: it's only a matter of time before Gravity Defyer footwear starts to catch fire and threaten the big players in the market.  The company is already the annoying little rock in Nike's metaphorical shoe.  I ask you this: which logo does a better job of conveying Nike's "Just Do It" slogan?  And you might as well start counting down the days until athletes start jumping ship and signing with the new guy.  After all, given Tiger Woods' track record, wouldn't the world make a lot more sense if he were strutting around the golf course with a massive sperm logo on his hat?

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