I was interested to see that I am not the only one that thinks this. I recently picked up “The Real Business of Web Design” by John Waters. He had a useful discussion about what he called Logomania saying “he was amazed at how much money was spent creating and protecting logos that don’t really mean anything”.
Logos were first meant to be symbols of trust. When you bought a coke from Coca-Cola, you trusted the product and the branding characteristics associated with it. This carried on with successes such as Nike and Starbucks. Their ads didn’t even show their products, but rather tried to capture the attitude of the brand.
The web seems to have done something strange to branding. I wonder how many people focus purely on their name, domain or logo as their brand, but don’t realize that their entire site is now their brand.
The website communicates the essence of the brand, its not a broadcast medium, its an interactive one. If you want to be associated with quality customer service, you can’t have a static site, you need rich forums where customers can experience your brand 24 hours a day, regardless of geographical location.
A great example is Joomla itself. Ask people what they associated with community. This is what the brand of looks like.
So what should you do? How can you communicate your brand? You need to think of what characteristics you want associated with your identity and then create a web site where your visitors can experience them.