All is fair in love and war. And apparently marketing. Judging by those cases in which the branding team came up with ideas that in retrospect should have been analyzed more carefully. To say the least… If not abandoned completely. Perhaps these cases are just mistakes. But that would make them pretty inexcusable mistakes for a professional marketing team. Especially since we’re talking about big name companies. And especially since a superficial research on the words or images chosen would yield sufficient information to give anyone with common sense pause.
Or perhaps they are not mistakes at all, but rather tongue-in-cheek intentional decisions. Or more ominously: yet another Illuminati conspiracy where they hide their intentions in plain sight! Whatever the case, the choice of branding is unfortunate when you take into account what the company sells and what symbolism in the logos or words is. In this article, we’ll deal with just 2, more than eloquent examples. We’ll start with the Starbucks logo meaning which still baffles many to this day and then move on to the Versace logo meaning.
1. Starbucks Logo Meaning
The Starbucks symbol on every cup of coffee that the company sells is a stylized crowned woman with long hair, that incidentally covers what appears to be her naked top half, holding … two … fish-like, scaly things in each hand. That’s probably what anyone who sees it for the first time would describe it like.
But connoisseurs (or those who wanted to dig deeper into the Illuminati plot), refer to it as the Starbucks mermaid or the Starbucks siren. Leave aside the fact that mermaids and sirens are a different kettle of fish (pun intended). Seriously, just Google it. Or ask a mythology buff friend.
What Is the Thing Behind It?
The point is: what the watery hell is the Starbucks logo meaning if it features a mermaid for selling coffee? Is their coffee watery? That’s not a good endorsement. Is their coffee the favorite beverage and energizer of Triton, a merman Greek God, son of Poseidon? That would make a bit of sense. Though convoluted. But the sad historical fact is that the Starbucks logo meaning is in fact non-existent. It’s just a bad marketing choice that screams “Almost random! Vaguely connected”.
Allow us to explain. When Starbucks was in its early years and not the world’s biggest supplier to the millions of coffee addicts it is today, it was looking for a logo. And since they are from Seattle, a nautically themed logo was desired. Because back in the 70s Seattle was most famous for its sailing.
Ergo, according to the mysterious logic of the Starbucks logo maker, let’s slap a mermaid on the cup. Hey, that’s nautical. Ain’t it?!
An (Un)Inspired Choice
Never mind that this particular Starbucks logo meaning (“We come from a town with a strong nautical tradition!”) has no chance at all of coming to the fore of a consumer’s mind when he/she sees the logo for the first time. And that he/she is more liable to think your ancestors were Greek and you were raised on stories of mermaids. Or a host of other just as random meanings.
Also, the fact that the (original) mermaids (of ancient Greece) were described as vicious beings that lured sailors to their death with their beauty (not their voice! those were the sirens; ask your mythology buff friend again), doesn’t help either.
Say, you mean you’re marketing a product that will make me take leave of my senses to the point of death?! And that happens to be coffee? Which is everyone’s favorite addiction to ignore considering an addiction?! Gee, swell. Gimme 23 cups. For starters!
But There’s a Catch
And here is the catch, my friends. What if that was the whole purpose?! What if they blatantly practically shout in your face, via the logo, that once you go Starbucks you never go back?! If that doesn’t spell Illuminati… then we’ll keep trying to find other stuff to connect them to (you didn’t think we forgot about them, did you?!).
Worth noting is the consistency of the branding. Because the current Starbucks logo is not the original Starbucks logo. Meaning that when they changed the logo, they could have opted for something else.
The original one was based on a woodcut of a mermaid from the 16th century (with bare breasts by the way). So when they modernized it, instead of changing it completely, they kept the mermaid (without bare breasts, sadly). Which means they really really like it. And in all these years, they didn’t catch up to any possible contradictions or undesirable trains of thought between product, symbol and message sent.
2. Versace Logo Meaning
The Versace symbol is just as confusing as the Starbucks one.
In case you aren’t part of those that can spend on an item of clothing more than the average bear spends in a month, or in case you haven’t had the interest to even look at the forbidden clothes store as you pass by, or on the internet, you probably don’t know what that symbol is. We are talking about the Versace Medusa.
That’s right. Let it sink in. One of the most famous most expensive designer clothes store in the world, which should promote its clothes as attractive has Medusa for a symbol. Time to promise yet another beer to your mythology buff friend (which you probably won’t honor, tsk tsk) if you don’t know who Medusa is.
Another Mythological Reference
As you’ve found out from him/her, or as you very well know, Medusa is a character in Greek mythology. She was a mortal woman so beautiful that she caught the attention of the sea god Poseidon. And by caught the attention, I mean passionate love inside the temple of Athena.
Sounds good so far, right? You’ve got the attraction, you’ve got beauty, you’ve got clothes being torn off. Ok, maybe that last part is a bit ambivalent. Well, it goes downhill from here. Because it turns out Athena wasn’t so happy with their actions so (since she couldn’t very well pick on the god, duh!), turned Medusa into a thing so hideous that one look in her eyes would turn any living thing to stone! With living snakes for hair, scaly skin, claws, and other fun features included. Yikes!
Now let’s put it in context. The Versace logo meaning is…? That the clothes will make you, like Medusa, insanely attractive at first, only to turn hideously repulsive later on? Or that the clothes will bring the wrath of wisdom upon you?! (Athena was the Goddess of wisdom; see what I did there? wrath of wisdom? as in you shouldn’t wear them unless you’re a really out there hipster?).
Beats me. The Versace logo is even more confusing than the Starbucks one. It’s downright counter-intuitive. And counter what a clothes store should be aiming for.
But, hey! That hasn’t stopped Versace from turning into a company with many wealthy customers worldwide. Maybe it’s reverse psychology at its finest…