When small brand details convey great meaning

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When you unpack what “heritage” means for a brand, you need, as a semiotician, to analyze the tiniest details like the difference between “since 1851” vs “established in 1851” in a logo 🙂

-> Have you ever wondered why some brands choose in their logos the word “since” while others opt for the word “established”?

After some research, you realize that the word “established” or “EST” is used on brands that play mainly on nostalgia. It says that the brand changed its category at a certain time, it conveys the idea of “original” and “genuine”.

Take the brand Dockers as an example: “established in 1986” as mentioned in its logo, the brand changed the khaki category by changing the way men dressed. Today, it speaks mainly to nostalgia-loving millennial consumers.

On the other hand, the cosmetic brand Kiehl’s chose the “since 1851” option in its logo to clearly refers to the apothecarial history of the brand when Mr Kiehl opened its first family apothecary shop in New York in 1851. With the use of “since” rather than “EST”, the brand chooses to highlight its history, tradition and know-how that are also graphically translated with the handwriting typo of the family name and the “’s” indicating the former family ownership. “Since 1851” in the Kiehl’s logo connotes a long history and an apothecarial tradition that are still alive today in the brand values. With the use of “since”, history is still very much alive in the present time.

Choosing the right word in a logo is not a gimmick, it can have a large impact on brand perception in the long run.