How To Make Your Brand Stand Out By Blending In

We live in a world completely saturated with logos and advertising. They’ve become so common, that the general public often tunes them out. The question is, how do you make a potential customer look twice? Movie directors entice audiences to see a movie twice by hiding hidden details in their films you’d only notice upon a repeat viewing. It might surprise you to learn this, but marketers do the same thing.

This isn’t the much maligned practice of subliminal messaging, flashing a brief image on the screen to influence the audience on a subconscious level. Instead, this is hiding important symbols in plain sight that reinforce your brand identity.

Here’s an example:

Photo by: Tostitos 

You’ve probably seen the Tostitos logo hundreds of times. You’ve likely even bought a couple of bags, but you may have never noticed the two figures sharing chips and salsa. This is the subtle type of marketing that doesn’t leave the customer feeling manipulated. Instead, upon seeing it for the first time, they’ll likely smile to themselves and think “that’s clever,” and next time they’re at the store and see a Tostitos bag, they’ll likely spend a few extra seconds looking at the logo to spot the figures again.

Branding like this makes use of the first principle every writer learns, “show don’t tell.” For instance, let’s say you manufacture cars. You want to immediately convey to potential customers that your vehicles are efficient and reliable with every part working perfectly together. You could have a tagline that conveys these ideas, but a better option would be to design the logo to be a testament to that message. 

Photo by:

This is the kind of visual messaging that can set your company apart from competitors. It reinforces your brand essence while treating your audience with respect. Play actors have an old saying, “When an amateur wants people to pay attention, he shouts. When a professional wants people to pay attention, he whispers.” In an environment where the public is bombarded with advertising every day, sometimes the way to stand out is by blending in.

The Innovative Advertising design team, under the direction of agency Creative Director Jeremy Ballard, understands and is well versed in industry trends at the forefront of our craft. Saved by SPOT is a brand the agency developed for Globalstar, a telecommunications company that provides GPS trackers and safelight communications devices to keep outdoor adventure-seekers safe and connected. In the following example, he and his team worked to incorporate a hidden “S” masked as a simple radar signature.

The original brand mark above was recognized by a distinguished panel of judges, earning a Gold Addy award in the extremely competitive logo design category at the American Advertising Awards 2020 show in New Orleans. Jeremy Ballard said, “This is the type of no-limits effort you get from our team. No matter the budget or the size of the client, all our work is a sincere and honest attempt to set the bar and push the limits of design to national/global branding standards. We believe this is how to build brands that endure.”

Innovative Advertising is a full-service marketing firm and digital advertising agency, with offices in Greater New Orleans and Nashville. We partner with B2C, B2B, and non-profits to create completely original design, digital, advertising, public relations, and media solutions. Following a disciplined approach, our team conducts analyses and optimizations of these cross-platform brand development efforts to create sound marketing solutions with demonstrable results.