The Importance of the Meaning Container

The Importance of the Meaning Container



One of the most misunderstood parts about branding is the logo. Maybe it’s because we’re around them 24/7, but many people believe their logo is their brand; and any conversation about a “brand” usually drifts toward the colors, fonts and “feel” of a logo.

While the logo is the most remembered tool in your company’s marketing-arsenal (which is a HUGE reason to spend the cash and have a professional design your logo), it has no intrinsic value. By itself, it is just a grouping of letters, symbol or mark. Think of Nike’s logo. Do you even know what a “swoosh” is? The only way a logo can have any real value is when it embodies meaning. The creation of this meaning is the work of branding…which is work that happens long after a graphic designer sends a finished logo file.

Let’s talk about how that meaning gets interjected into a logo.



The best way to think about your logo is a meaning-container. It encapsulates your brand’s unique meaning and communicates it to the market. When meaning is present, people instantaneously attach a set of thoughts and feelings to that logo. It’s from this perspective that those in your market form opinions and beliefs about what that logo means to them.


People don’t care about what you do. They care about how you make them feel.

As people associate feelings with, and attach meaning to, your logo – they are not considering the entirety of your company. They are not thinking about market conditions, supplier relations or the quality of your support staff. Because your customers have limited views, they associate your logo with the experiences they’ve had (or what they heard of others’ experiences) with your company. As a direct result of those encounters, they attach thoughts, perceptions and beliefs directly onto your logo. Simply put, good experiences form good thoughts, perceptions and beliefs, which form positive associations with your logo and company.

As you move forward in your branding journey, please keep this in mind; for your market, your logo is a meaning-container. When that container is unpacked, it’s up to you to determine what feelings and thoughts are discovered. Of course, you can’t control everything. But, you can enhance your brand by improving how the customer experiences your business.


Here are a few questions that will get you started building that meaning into your logo:

1) When the market views your logo, what are your top 5 associations (thoughts/feelings) you want them to have?

2) If you were your own customer, and you just completed a sale/job, what feelings would you have about your company?

3) What are three ways you can make the customer’s experience more meaningful?

By addressing these three questions, you’re on the right road to not only building a meaningful logo but a memorable brand as well.