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Logos vs. Faces • Science Tells Us Which is Best

So you want to create an identity for your business? Science tells us which type of images work best.

HINT: It’s not the ones most people use.


Let’s talk about how we – how our brains perceive images, words, messages.

And how that affects us when it’s time to set up our marketing, our advertising and our branding.

Neuro-scientists have established pretty conclusively – beyond any doubt – that the human brain / mind / psychology reacts to faces much more positively than to things.

Babies as early as two-weeks old show a marked preferences for faces over things.

Now, before you guys jump in and say, “awww, that’s only true for females rather than males…” No, that’s true for all – both genders – from the beginning.

It is true that males prefer “Things Over People” more than females do.

But across the board, the human brain reacts – even if it’s at a subconscious level – to images of faces much more positively, much more strongly, and much more predictably than the human brain responds to abstract ideas.

So how does that affect us?

I was looking at a potential client today that needs to update their branding. (Now I’m not going to go into what branding is and is not.) Let’s just talk about the kind of thing that they currently have.

Currently, their brand is this very abstract, geometrical, obviously very-high-tech – I don’t know – series of embedded letter “L’s”, it looks like.

Nice colors. I mean, the colors are not terribly interesting. But that’s kinda of tertiary significance.

The primary significant that you want with your imaging is something that is arresting to the eye and utterly unforgettable and completely identifiable and unique.

And they’re nowhere close to that.

Secondarily is what the image actually contains. And tertiary is the colors itself.

These folks have an extremely abstract logo. And what their brand is – is anybody’s guess. So they clearly do need help.

Were I advising them – if they hired me – I was gonna say, “Look, the first thing you’ve gotta do is, you want your image to be something that people instantly relate to. And the human brain instantly relates to faces.”

And in addition to faces – layered on top of the face itself – is a personality.

What we’ve gotta do primarily – number 1 thing – is we’ve got to connect the idea of a personality with a face and character – connect it in the minds of your target audience – with you.

So when they think about YOU – Mr. Company – what they think about is – they think about a person.

And it doesn’t have to be You the CEO or You the Founder, or You even The Spokesperson.

But they’ve got to have an image – a facial image – and a personality that they feel good about, that they can connect with your offering. Whether it’s a service or a product or a company or a club.

People will remember a person with a personality – with a distinctive look and distinctive, relatable personality – long after they’ll remember some sort of abstract image with – you know – well-designed fonts and colors and geometric logo. Those things just don’t have the same kind of cognitive power that faces and personalities have.

When it’s time to create that image for your offering – whether it’s a company, a product a service, whatever it is – rather than going first to the people who design abstract images and they worry about color, think about giving a face and a personality to your offering.

That can be someone who stands for the offering like Colonel Sanders stands for KFC. Like Jack the Clown stands for Jack-in-the-Box restaurants. Like the Geico Gecko stands for Geico Insurance.

But it’s got to be something with a recognizable face. (There’s sound neurological reasons for that.) And a personality that we both relate to and admire.

Remember, if your audience doesn’t feel it, they aren’t gonna love it.

See you tomorrow.

How Do You Create Brand Loyalty? Step 1 is…

How Do You Create Brand Loyalty? Step 1 is…

How Do You Create Brand Loyalty? Step 1 is…

How do you make sure your message gets out into the world? Well, it starts by being memorable.


Do you guys remember when Donald Trump was running for president and he said “We’re gonna build a wall.”

Now why did he do that? Was he really gonna build a wall?

Well, maybe. Maybe not. We don’t really know.

But what he was doing in that precise moment was this: he was putting in people’s minds an image – a concrete image – of what?

Of a wall.

And why did he put that image there?

Well, because first of all, this particular group of people was very, very interested in what they perceived as the problem of illegal immigration.

Now, if Donald Trump had said, “I see that illegal immigration is a problem,” that might have resonated with them. But it wouldn’t create an image in their minds.

Human brains run a particular way. And one of the things that’s very effective when you’re trying to communicate an idea to somebody is to attach that idea to an image.

And that’s what Donald Trump did with this “I’m gonna build a wall” image. It put this very concrete idea of a wall and connected it with the idea of “we’ve got to stop illegal immigration.”

It’s not enough to just have the idea, he created the image.

You’re gonna be completely forgotten without concrete images attached to your idea.

Now, has does that relate to you in becoming someone of influence in your marketplace?

Whatever product or service or offering that you have for your marketplace — It may be awesome. It may be world-changing. It may be the best thing since sliced bread. But unless it’s one of the handful of ideas that people are instantly going to grasp – like “cure for cancer” – unless it’s one of those, then you’re gonna be completely forgotten without concrete images attached to your idea, your offering, your product or your service.

Now by far, the very best image that you can ever attach to your business is a face.

We are drawn to faces much more strongly and powerfully than we are drawn to any other kind of object.

Faces particularly.

The very first step you’ve gotta take to make yourself, your brand, your offering, your service, your product – whatever it is that you’re trying to get out into the marketplace – the very first step you’ve gotta take is to connect that thing to a face.

That’s step number 1. We’ll talk about step number 2 next time.

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