This afternoon I passed no fewer than 4 trucking company vehicles all sporting corporate logos that had a swish icon. They were either horizonal or vertical, red or blue. I’m sure if we check back with each of these companies, none of the images existed before Nike and their swoosh became synonymous. I imagine none of these companies realize that being a follower does nothing to strengthen their brands but rather strengthens the leader because of the similarities of image.
A lot of business people think wrongly that if they use a swoosh in their logos they will be on their way to fame and fortune. Let’s face it, Nike has worked very hard since it’s beginning to develop a brand that builds a strong active relationship with it’s customers. Their icon could have been a box – it is the association in the customers mind that is important. As Nike grew, it’s icon came to represent it. Much as Target and Apple are doing. Because of the reputation Nike has built, the association with the swoosh icon is strong and has cache because of it. Not the other way around.
Develop your brands to “Lead not follow.™” Differentiation is the goal, with it come the rewards.