And I think to myself,
what a wonderful word.

Engage. Inspire. Motivate.

Let us engage you on a journey through a world of creative, inspirational storytelling that motivates us to expand our minds, build on our experiences and humanize the branding process.


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<p class="has-drop-cap">More so than the Big Mac, the Egg McMuffin, or those famous fries you just can't keep your hands off, the most iconic part of the McDonald's franchise and brand strategy as a whole is the "Golden Arches." Sure, their signature selections such as those above, Chicken McNuggets, the Filet-o-Fish, or even those delicious McDonald's hot apple pies are known and loved by millions across the globe. However, every company and brand strategy must start somewhere, even one that today that boasting over 3,600 individual restaurant locations with a strong, visible, successful presence in over 100 countries worldwide. </p>
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<h3><strong>Table of Contents</strong></h3>



<ol><li><strong>Introduction</strong></li><li><strong>Refining and Defining a Brand Strategy</strong></li><li><strong>Two Golden Icons are Born</strong></li><li><strong>Brand Strategy for a New Look: "Speedee" Comes, and "Speedee" Goes</strong></li><li><strong>For Those About toKroc</strong></li><li><strong>Visualizing a Successful Brand Strategy: Look for the Arches</strong></li><li><strong>Billions and Billions Served and Earned</strong></li><li><strong>What's a McNugget?</strong></li></ol>
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<p>So, hit the "drive-thru" quickly, grab a Quarter Pounder with Cheese or a McChicken sandwich and ice-cold Coke, and don't forget the fries. Then, settle in and take a "McJourney" with us back in time as we see how a food stand opened in a rural California community in 1937 and would eventually re-brand itself. Once they did, they were on the "McRoad" to becoming the most recognizable and iconic company, not only in the restaurant business but in any business across the entire world.</p>



<h2><strong>Refining and Defining a <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/services/" data-type="page" data-id="6">Brand Strategy</a></strong></h2>



<p>McDonald's rose to worldwide prominence, starting with a humble beginning in a moderately sized town, Monrovia, California, in 1937. It was then that this franchise would lay the foundation for its brand strategy. Not too long after implementation, they could boast of their "billions and billions served" on their signs out front of each location. However, that brand strategy started as a food stand located near the Monrovia airport. The stand upon its opening, by Patrick McDonald, was called "The Airdome." Initially, the biggest seller was hot dogs. However, as the stand saw modest business success, the menu would grow to include hamburgers, which cost ten cents apiece, and "all-you-can-drink" orange juice for just a nickel. </p>



<p>Fast forward to 1940, and Patrick's two sons, Maurice, and Richard would take over the reins of "The Airdome." The first step in their brand strategy is to bring the stand indoors and relocate it up the road about 40 miles to San Bernardino. The duo also renamed the restaurant at this point to "McDonald's Bar-B-Que," with a menu of some 25 items, most of which fell under the BBQ category. </p>



<p>However, by October 1948, the McDonald's brothers realized that most of their profits came from the sale of hamburgers, so they briefly shut down their "drive-in" type restaurant, despite enjoying some success, to streamline the menu for a re-opening. Once ready for the relaunch, the word "Bar-B-Que" would be dropped, and from here forth, the restaurant was known as McDonald's, and with a new, more convenient set up for preparation and service, they would re-open on December 12, 1948. </p>



<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Arches-1024x766.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-4364"/></figure>



<h2><strong>Two "Golden Icons" are Born</strong></h2>



<p>Moving right along in our "McHistory lesson" on brand strategy. Now, as McDonald's enjoyed more and more success, by April of 1952, it was decided that a new look and a new building would be the next step in the evolution of the McDonald's brand strategy. At this point, the company's streamlined original menu had changed slightly, as it first included hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, soft drinks, and apple pie. </p>



<p>This switch would be significant because it would see the addition of milkshakes, which have remained a staple of the restaurant's menu ever since. Likewise, and even more so than the shakes, this would also be when chips were removed in favor of the now famous McDonald's French fries. There are two primary parts of the brand strategy that led to the brother's combination feeling that the new building would help them accomplish. These parts were to make the service and all-around dining experience more efficient and present a more "eye-catching" look to the restaurant. </p>



<p>Upon construction of the new McDonald's building, it was apparent that they had achieved the distinctive new look they set out for in their brand strategy. The new eye-pleasing features included surfaces of shiny, red, and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass. In addition, pulsating white, green, red, and yellow neon throughout the restaurant were new and bold additions to the décor. </p>



<p>However, the one significant aesthetic addition that no one could have ever imagined would become a symbol recognized across six continents at the time. This addition was two 25-foot yellow sheet metal arches, at the time trimmed in neon. Even in the design stage, these were referred to in a term we all would come to know, the "Golden Arches."</p>



<h2><strong>Brand Strategy for a New Look: "Speedee" Comes, and "Speedee" Goes</strong></h2>



<div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/McDog-scaled-e1629831481502-942x1024.jpg" alt="Brand Strategy it's a dog eat dog world" class="wp-image-4370" width="423" height="460"/></figure></div>



<p>The improved efficiency, along with the desire to become more visible, had become the two-pronged brand strategy aimed at the expansion and was a significant step in building the "new" McDonald's brand. Regarding the "new look," at first, the now-iconic arches were not necessarily seen yet as the company's primary logo. The first new symbol moving forward was to stress the new, faster, and more efficient "Speedee Service System." This would be a "pudgy character" wearing a chef's hat, whose face somewhat resembled a hamburger named Speedee. The winking eye of Speedie was said to have been a tip of the cap and represent the faster service than their food facility. However, though the cartoonish "Speedie" was the original logo, so to speak, the McDonald's brothers had initially thought of the "arches" as to catch the attention of bypassers. Hmmm…maybe, just maybe, they were onto something.</p>



<p>As with any <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/storytelling/this-is-your-brand-any-questions/" data-type="post" data-id="3864">strong brand strategy</a>, there are points where the company's that succeed realize they must evolve or change for the better. In the case of McDonald's, this change would fully take place when in 1961, Ray Kroc purchased the business from Maurice and Richard. Once Kroc was the owner, he again called for modifications to the brand identity. These would be ones that would change the restaurant industry and ones that would reach every corner of the Earth.</p>



<h2>That's <strong>Kroc</strong> with a 'k' Like 'crocodile' but not spelled that way (As Mr. Knofler puts it in his tribute song to Ray Kroc; "Boom, Like That")</h2>



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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sYK2RwH5E8
</div><figcaption>"Boom, Like That" is the first single from Mark's album Shangri-La released in 2004.</figcaption></figure>



<p>The brothers feared that making risking a national venture could change their thriving local business. Thus, Kroc would offer to help more with <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/storytelling/this-is-your-brand-any-questions/" data-type="post" data-id="3864">brand strategy</a> and take on a significant portion of the responsibility in this expansion. When leaving his discussions with the McDonald's boys, he had headed home to just outside of Chicago is given the rights to set up McDonald's franchises all across the United States.  </p>



<p>The initial relationship between Ray Kroc and the McDonald's began in 1954 when he had visited them upon hearing they used eight Prince Castle brand milkshake machines, which were the same brand he was selling. When Kroc showed up at the San Bernardino location, McDonald's restaurants had grown to include six franchises. Believing that this restaurant model had limitless potential, Kroc suggested that they franchise all over the country as part of his brand strategy. </p>



<p>The first McDonald's that Kroc would open was near his home in De Plains, IL, in 1955. He would call on a professional, a master painter, Eugene Wright. Kroc asked this expert on color schemes and came up with an idea for his restaurants. Wright would return with the white and yellow with a dark brown and red trim color pattern that has pretty much been synonymous with McDonald's ever since. Once his Des Plains location was opened, Kroc began looking for franchisees.  </p>



<p>Getting business advice and assistance with the brand strategy from the former VP of finance for the Tastee Freeze company, Harry Sonneborn, by 1958, the total of McDonald's restaurants would grow to 34 in the U.S. Just a year later, Kroc enlisted Sonneborn as President and CEO of McDonald's. In that year alone, 68 new franchises opened across the country, bringing the total to 102 locations.</p>



<h2><strong>Visualizing a Successful Brand Strategy: Look for the Arches</strong></h2>



<p>In 1960, the company's brand strategy called for a new advertising campaign. This campaign for McDonald's would be implemented and, although not known at the time, would be the most crucial change in establishing their brand in company history. This would be the most significant part of the McDonald's brand strategy ever, as they unveiled a new slogan. It  was "Look for the Golden Arches." There was an immediate boost in sales as this campaign went public, and in 1962, "Speedie" would be no more, and the arches seen outside the restaurants would take the form of a letter "M," and the golden arches logo was born. </p>



<p>As the early 1960s moved along, the arches would be the launching pad to see the McDonald's rocket to new heights. The timing would coincide with the national growth of the automobile and the addition of the interstate highway system. However, all was not well between Kroc and the two McDonald's brothers despite the success. This was due to a stark contrast in the company's two sides' brand strategy and vision. The difference of opinion eventually became unbearable, leading to Kroc offering to buy out the brother partners.</p>



<p>The brothers would take $2.7 million ($21.6 in today's dollars), and Kroc bought them out. Following this in 1965, the company went public, and in doing so, their basing the new brand strategy on listening to what the customer wanted would pay huge dividends. This saw several staples of their menu to this very day introduced throughout a several-year period. These would include "Filet O Fish" (1962) and the now legendary Big Mac in 1968. That would also be the year Sonneborn stepped down, and Kroc himself took over as President and SEO. </p>



<p>With the nation now "driving-thru" and "looking for the arches," Kroc again evolved his brand strategy with the time's coming up with one of the most well-known marketing campaigns in the history of any business, as the golden arches would accompany a new slogan, "You deserve a break today." Shortly after that campaign launched, the expansion of McDonald's found the restaurant opening its 1,000<sup>th</sup> location and finally being present in all 50 United States.</p>



<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/McHungry-1024x683.jpg" alt="Brand Strategy to serve billions and billions" class="wp-image-4374"/></figure>



<h2><strong>Billions and Billions Served…and Earned</strong></h2>



<p>The decade of the 1970s would bring more fresh brand strategy ideas. Thus came even bigger and better things for McDonald's. In 1972, the company would, for the first time, pass $1 billion in annual sales. By mid-decade, in 1976, that total would go over $3 billion, and as the signs in front of each location would tout, they had served upwards of 20 billion hamburgers. Also, during this stretch, breakfast became part of the brand strategy. Then another legendary sandwich and fast-food innovation were developed. The Egg McMuffin came in 1972, and the expanded world of fast-food breakfast was not far behind. </p>



<p style="font-size:24px">In 1977 McDonald's would create a full breakfast menu, and in ten years, by 1987, 25 percent of all breakfast eaten out in America was eaten at a McDonald's. Also, the drive-thru window was added at locations in 1975, and in 1979 yet another iconic part of the McDonald's brand was introduced, and children nationwide began asking their parents for a "Happy Meal."</p>



<p>Sure, all of these new marketing ideas would be a massive part of the McDonald's brand strategy moving forward. But the menu would not be all that would see changes that would come to help define this brand. So in the early part of the decade, Kroc, just as he had for the color scheme, called on an expert in helping to come up with a new look for the restaurants. </p>



<p>What was then developed was the iconic four-sided, natural brick and cedar mansard roofs that practically everyone in the world is now familiar with. Maybe the most prominent brand strategy development of the 70s, though, was the beginning of McDonald's global expansion. Countries around the globe around mid-decade would, for the first time, see the golden arches as they would eventually become one of the most recognizable brand logos ever created. Yet, somehow, this was all still just the beginning of the growth of the McDonald's brand</p>



<p>As with any successful brand strategy, the constant we have seen in McDonald's growth the ability to change with the times and keep their finger on the pulse of what the public and the customer want to see. So, keeping course with its brand strategy to unveil new products that would become world-famous, with the start of the 1980s came the debut of Chicken McNuggets. </p>



<h2><strong>What's a McNugget?</strong></h2>



<p>While it spurned many late-night talk jokes from the name, their popularity was off the charts, and they remain a top seller today. Heading forward and continuing to evolve with the times as they have since Kroc to over the reins of the franchise, McDonald's in the 1990s would introduce another soon-to-be favorite, the ice cream McFlurry. </p>



<p>But the brand strategy not just about food items, changes in design to their restaurants, or just the worldwide expansion that kept pushing the McDonald's brand above and beyond the competition. The creative genius behind the brand strategy and marketing would again unveil a strategy for a campaign that would again strike gold starting in 2003 behind the slogan, "I'm Lovin' it." It is the continuous ability to stay on top of the pulse of the public that genuinely pushed them to the point of becoming more than just a chain of fast-food restaurants and becoming a part of pop culture and a worldwide entity. </p>



<div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/McDonalds_near_Circular_Quay_Sydney_CBD-1024x760.jpg" alt="McDonalds's" class="wp-image-4376"/></figure></div>



<p>Behind all of that, from almost the beginning, has been the iconic yellow arches that if you drive down about any highway in American or in the world for that matter, you can see sticking out above the competitors from a distance. Seeing the arches high above the landscape not only gives you an early start at deciding where to eat on a road trip, but it also serves as a symbol. A symbol that was initially developed in the early 1960s but has continued to climb higher and higher above the proverbial "other rooftops" with no end to that perpetual ascent in sight.</p>



<small><p>(cover photo by: Photo by Bryan Hong of The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_McDonald%27s_restaurant" rel="nofollow">oldest operating McDonald's</a> restaurant was the third one built, opening in 1953. It's located at 10207 Lakewood Blvd. at Florence Ave. in Downey, California.</p></small>

Brand Strategy That is Still “McRelevant” Today

More so than the Big Mac, the Egg McMuffin, or those famous fries you just can’t keep your hands off, the most iconic part of the McDonald’s franchise and brand strategy as a whole is the “Golden Arches.” Sure, their signature select…
<h3>Are you building a brand? <a title="Print Design" href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/print-design/">Branding</a>; by official definition is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. Far more than this, though, a brand represents a clear identity of your company to your audience and potential clients. It defines what separates you from the crowd. Your brand is what makes you different from any other competitor in your field or marketplace.</h3>



<p class="has-drop-cap">You may set out to become the top seller of homes in your real estate marketing area. The most successful car dealer in town. Possibly your goal is to gain notoriety for making the best cheeseburger on the block. Or, in rare cases, you might strive to be the most significant female recording artist of all time. But, no matter what area of expertise you seek to reach the top in, <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/" title="Digital Marketing Agency">branding</a> is the key. Building a <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/services/">strong brand</a> is not just crucial to your eventual financial success. Your brand will become the perception of how and what you are as a company.</p>



<h2><strong>Turning an Identity into an Icon</strong></h2>



<p>When building a brand, you are creating an <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/logo-design/" title="Logo Design">identity</a> for your company. This isn't unlike how a celebrity markets their persona in the public eye. Name any type of celebrity. Big-time actors or actresses. Pro sports stars. Singers and musicians. In all these areas of fame, a certain level of success is attainable. Many become famous and well-known. But very few become icons in their respective industry. In achieving celebrity status, these stars are essentially building a brand. Those successful, famous stars usually become what is called an identity brand. But very few will in any of those areas will reach iconic brand status. So, what's the difference?</p>



<div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/MTv.jpg" alt="MTV Logo for brand reference" class="wp-image-4269" width="397" height="298"/></figure></div>



<p>To become an icon in marketing or celebrity, it is essential to differentiate between an Identity and an Iconic Brand. An identity brand is one that the audience sees as representing a lifestyle, traits, or emotions that they identify with. An iconic brand takes that concept and grows to define its own sub-culture of society. An icon represents something that their audience can become highly involved with and are emotionally attached to.</p>



<p>Think about <strong>building a brand</strong> that's public perception grows bigger than even the industry they are a part of. That's an iconic brand. It is also one able to evolve organically over time. This ability to "change with the times" follows in line with changing needs and wants of the audience. Thus, through their reinvention of the brand, the consumer can identify even greater with that company. Through effective marketing, it is these brands that increase the consumer's emotional attachment to them. Thus, as they evolve, the marketing messages continue to resonate with and grow their loyal audience.</p>



<h2><strong>I Want My MTV</strong></h2>



<p>In August of 1981, the music industry would be changed forever. This would be from the debut of a new cable music channel, Music Television (MTV). With the launch of this new concept, "music videos" gave the consumer a new way to look at the artists. They could, for the first time, "see" their songs.  </p>



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<p>As if an image was not essential enough to the success of aspiring or established musical acts to this point. It was now more critical than ever. Many could use this new platform to soar to heights and success they hadn't before thought imaginable in those early days of MTV. About a year and a half after the launch of MTV, a new female star emerged. She would find success primarily because of her innovative approach and ability to seemingly change her image to fit each individual song she released.  This would be a precursor of this to come for this rising star who was building her "brand" through MTV and the music video. Following mild success in 1982-83, her single, "Holiday," would climb as high as number 16 on the Billboard chart. Her self-titled debut album was soon to follow.</p>
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<figure class="wp-block-pullquote is-style-default"><blockquote><p>In the four decades that have followed, Madonna has become the most iconic female performer of all time.</p></blockquote></figure>
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<h2>"Borderline" Debuting in February 1984 </h2>



<p>Would become the first top ten hit for a new face on the scene. She went by only one name, Madonna. The second single off that debut album, "Lucky Star," was her first top-five hit. Madonna had successfully parlayed this new medium to climb to the top of the charts. Continuing to evolve with each release, by the end of 1984, Madonna's "brand" was gaining its initial identity." What was to come next was the first of many reincarnations of the Madonna brand. In those latter months of 1984, she released a more controversial and suggestive collection of songs and the album Like a Virgin.</p>



<h2><strong>Getting into the Groove</strong></h2>



<p>Yes, the new album featured an array of vocal and musical styles. The music videos were provocative and felt fresh to the audience. It was also at this time we'd first see Madonna's uncanny knack to push the envelope. Both in her slinky attire or the suggestive choreography in her videos and performances. This new, riskier Madonna saw her popularity balloon worldwide. Her performance of Like a Virgin at the 1984 MTV Music Video Awards is now legendary. It's probably the most remembered in the history of that popular annual event. "Like a Virgin" was the first in a long line of successful variations we would see in the evolution of Madonna. But this was only the beginning of building what was becoming an iconic brand.</p>



<p>In the four decades that have followed, Madonna has become the most iconic female performer of all time. This is a testament to her ability to evolve. She has continued providing her audience fresh, daring, and risky material consistently. To date, she's released 14 albums and performed over a dozen completely sold-out world concert tours. Madonna's brand would grow from music to the silver screen. There she has starred in 17 and directed two major motion pictures. Her brand has also expanded into the world of fashion. Here she has created no less than seven of her very own fashion brands.</p>



<p>The "<a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/storytelling/how-a-creative-logo-can-enhance-your-bottom-line/" title="How a creative logo can enhance your bottom line.">iconic brand</a>" that is Madonna is one that brought generations of fans and performers together. A perfect example of this was at the 2003 MTV Music Video Awards. It was there she gave us a flashback to the 1984 live performance of Like a Virgin. Bringing generations of fans together as one, that night, joining her on stage this time were two biggest female pop stars at the time, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. As recently as September of 2019, Madonna's innovative abilities still separate her brand from the competition. So it was that Fall when she scheduled an intimate, all-theatre concert tour across North America and Europe. But, flexing her now-iconic muscle, she implemented a "no-phone" policy to maximize intimacy. She wanted her fans to get a unique and personal experience, so none were in the theatres with smartphones.</p>



<figure class="wp-block-pullquote"><blockquote><p>Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean, Grace Kelly, Jean Harlow, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Lana Turner, and Bette Davis.</p><cite>— Madonna</cite></blockquote></figure>



<h2><strong>Strike a Pose</strong></h2>



<p>Madonna's iconic brand finds her today worth an estimated $800 million. She has sold more than 300 million records across the world. The Guinness Book of World Records has acknowledged her as the best-selling female artist of all time. She is the highest-grossing individual touring artist in history. She's earned upwards of $1.5 billion in concert revenue during her career. Likewise, Billboard recognizes her as the most successful solo artist in their Hot 100 chart history. She has won twenty MTV Music Video Awards and seven Grammys.</p>



<div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignleft size-large is-resized"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/vogue-1024x701.jpg" alt="Brands like Vogue" class="wp-image-4268" width="415" height="284"/></figure></div>



<p>In 1990, another evolution of Madonna's brand would take place.  This was with the release of one of her most famous singles and music videos, Vogue. Ironically, in one of the song's refrains, the "Queen of Pop," as she was beginning to be called, would list off some of the most iconic celebrities of an era gone by. In what was a quasi-rap, she sang of Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean, Grace Kelly, Jean Harlow, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Lana Turner, and Bette Davis. These names epitomized the celebrity and iconic brands of the first half of the 1900s. To put into perspective just how iconic Madonna's brand has grown, all of the celebrities sang of in the song Vogue have a net worth combined over $340 million less than Madonna by herself, and if that doesn't make her feel (yeah, ma-aa-aa-ke her feel) all shiny and new, than I don't know what would.</p>



<p>While writing this article we noticed that <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/madonna-madame-x-concert-film-paramount-1197502/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Modonna's 'Madam X' Concert Film</a> will Premiere on Paramont+ on October 8th 2021.</p>

Building a Brand? Don’t go for second best.

Are you building a brand? Branding; by official definition is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. Far more than this, though, a brand represents a clear identity of your company …
Organic content is anything you produce that does not solicit paid traffic. Instead, users find you through a keyword search.

How organic content will make your competitors green with envy.

Organic content is anything you produce that does not solicit paid traffic. Instead, users find you through a keyword search.
<h3> In an ever-changing and ultra-competitive world in all facets of business, one of the most critical parts in establishing and sustaining a successful brand is the first impression and remaining identifiable to the public and especially the targeted audience that you are setting out to attract. This is why, when developing a marketing strategy, it is essential to top hire a true professional and expert in the field to build your brand, starting with an unforgettable, <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/logo-design/" title="Logo Design">creative logo</a>. This is often an overlooked or undervalued part of the marketing strategy of many; however, looking at <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/storytelling/hitchcock/" title="Hitchcock">logo development</a> in this manner can be a huge mistake. Some of the most recognizable brands in the world over time have become identifiable solely on the sight of their logos, growing from being a way to identify these brands into making these companies an iconic part of our lives and our world.</h3>



<p class="has-drop-cap">Sure, you might say, it is easy for a worldwide business powerhouse as these <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/our-work/" title="Our Work">iconic brands</a> have come to point at their identifiable <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/logo-design/" title="Logo Design">logo</a> and say how crucial it is to design and develop a creative logo that gives them an immediate identity with their audience. Everybody knows these logos as the symbols they have become for each company over the years. However, it was not always like that for these companies that are now embedded into pop culture. Everyone had to start the process exactly as you are, with strong ideas and a vision for their company. In actuality, the stories behind some of the most recognizable and creative logos of all time might show you that great ideas to start this process can come from unexpected places at unexpected times. If you can believe it, some of these companies were unsure of the logos that would now seem unfathomable if they chose a different direction. But the truth is, even the icons at one point had to start somewhere.</p>



<p>So, let’s look at one of the most iconic brands in the entire world. In doing so, let’s examine not their identifiability and status on a global level but instead the how, why, and when that went into developing their creative logo. You might be surprised at the process behind how this logo was actually designed and the thought process and decisions made on this company’s journey to becoming a global powerhouse, recognizable to nearly every human being on the planet. </p>



<div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/7.-tens-to-billions-1.jpeg" alt="" class="wp-image-4212" width="424" height="282"/><figcaption><a href="https://www.nike.com/jordan" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">The Nike Air Jordan</a></figcaption></figure></div>



<h2><strong>Irony Turns a “Blue Ribbon” Into a “Greek Goddess”</strong></h2>



<p>Sure, “Just Do It” was not always the slogan used by iconic sneaker and sporting goods brand Nike. But we have come to know and love that three-word catchphrase since its introduction over 40 years ago as the tag line for an ad campaign launched in July of 1988. Sure, some of us will remember a Nike before “Just Do It,” but I’m pretty sure that the number significantly dwindles when asking who remembers Nike before the unveiling of its famous “Swoosh” logo.</p>



<p>In many publication surveys and rankings, the <a href="https://www.nike.com/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Nike</a> “Swoosh” is referred to as “the most iconic and creative logo of all time.” However, many do not know that the company we have all become so familiar with for their sneakers and apparel was first founded in early 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by the duo of Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. As irony would have it, Knight, while still a student at the University of Oregon, ran track, and his coach at the school was Bowerman. The ironic twist here that would lead to the iconic Nike “Swoosh” would come after graduation, when Knight, as Bowerman before him, became a college professor.</p>



<p>It was then, at Portland State University, that Knight overheard one of his students, Carolyn Davidson, saying to a classmate that she couldn’t afford the supplies for her oil painting class and offered to help. So Knight asked Carolyn, a graphic design student, to take a job with him to create charts and graphs that he could use for meetings with Japanese footwear executives. She accepted his offer, and her outstanding work would lead to her moving on to make posters, ads, and flyers for Knight’s Blue-Ribbon Sports company. Then, innocently enough, in early 1971, Knight and his partner, Bowerman, would seek a creative logo for a new line of running shoes they had developed. So they went to Davidson because of her exceptional design and graphic skills and tasked her with coming up with the logo, with the simple directions, make it a stripe that can go on the shoes, but make it “have something to do with movement.”</p>



<h2 class="has-black-color has-text-color"><strong>The Logo Study</strong></h2>



<p>Davidson would begin her <a href="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/case-study/triangle-builders-guild/" title="Triangle Builders Guild">creative logo design</a> process by placing a piece of tissue over a drawing of a shoe, trying to get a feel for how each idea she had would eventually look on the product. In the end, she presented Knight and Bowerman with a logo study that featured five designs to choose from. The co-founders were not strictly sold on any of the five designs she submitted, but production deadlines were looming and rapidly approaching. Infamously, Knight would say, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me,” when reluctantly deciding on what would become arguably the most iconic brand logo ever crafted.</p>



<h2><strong>How to Turn 35 Bucks into Over 32 Billion</strong></h2>



<p>The “Swoosh,” as we all have come to know it, that fifth design that Knight “didn’t love,” came out of Carolyn’s creative attempt at mimicking the “line” she was told to design so that the end hooked and would look like a wing. As she was told to, her thought process behind this came from research and her desire for the most creative logo possible while having some reminder of movement. Thus, her inspiration for the logo was a tip of the cap to the Greek goddess of victory. That goddess was named Nike.</p>



<figure class="wp-block-pullquote"><blockquote><p>Sure, “Just Do It” was not always the slogan used by iconic sneaker and sporting goods brand Nike. But we have come to know and love that three-word catchphrase since its introduction over 40 years ago as the tag line for an ad campaign launched in July of 1988.</p><cite>JUST DO IT</cite></blockquote></figure>



<p>For her time and services in designing the creative logo, Davidson was paid $35. To put that into perspective in today’s terms, that would be the equivalent of only $217 for designing the most recognizable symbol of any business worldwide. Not to mention, on the heels of the logo becoming popular and eventually “growing on” Knight, it wasn’t long after the logo submissions from Davidson that Blue Ribbon Sports would also change its name in accordance with the talented designer’s inspiration behind the “Swoosh.”</p>



<p>Thus, on June 18, 1971, the world would first be introduced to the “Swoosh.” In January of 1974, the logo Carolyn Davidson crafted with a Greek goddess in mind and adding a “wing” to a simple line on a rendering of a shoe would be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As for that inspiration that led to the “wing” on the line? Blue Ribbon Sports officially adopted the name of the “Greek goddess” that was the catalyst behind the “swoosh,” and on May 30, 1971, it became known from that day forward as Nike, Inc.</p>



<h2><strong>“The Logo Lady” Cashes in on Her Creative Logo</strong></h2>



<p>Oh, and as for those “cheapskates” Knight and Bowerman only paying <a href="https://awkward-media.com/student-designed-nike-logo/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Carolyn Davidson</a> a measly $35 for developing the most iconic symbol of any business in the world…well, let’s just say they would later make good on what would have been the biggest bargain ever in marketing history. For starters, she would continue working for the company until their design needs grew to where they needed more than a one-person staff to handle the workload. Davidson, at that point, would move on to work on other clients’ needs, but she would be personally invited to a company reception by her former professor and employer, Knight, in September of 1983.</p>



<p>Not necessarily expecting what was to follow, Davidson attended the reception. Once there, she would be presented with several gifts of gratitude and thanks for her creative vision being the force behind what had already in 1983 become an iconic logo. The first presentation given to Carolyn was a box of delicious and fancy chocolates in the shape of the “swoosh” she had sought to make in attempting to design a creative logo some 12 years previously. While everyone has a “sweet tooth,” the two gifts to follow would undoubtedly prove “much sweeter” in the overall scheme of things and Davidson’s life. Present number two? Well, that was a fabulous diamond ring made of gold and engraved with the “swoosh.” Finally, the third gift was the one that would be the actual financial “payback” or compensation, let’s say from Knight to his former student.  That was an envelope, which inside carried 500 shares on Nike stock.</p>



<p>To put into perspective what type of payday that equals, as of 2015, it was estimated that Davidson’s 500 shares would be worth $ 1 million. That same stock valued at a million would go then in 2016 split into 32,000 shares. So, yeah, the initial recipient of $35 for crafting the most significant and maybe the most creative logo of all time did “get paid” some twelve years later. Unlike her reasoning for taking her former employer upon his initial job offer, it’s safe to say that she was not worried about being able to cover the costs of any oil painting classes after this reception. Carolyn actually would speak of her ex-professor’s generosity in having her at that September 1983 reception.</p>



<p>“That was something rather special for Phil to do because I originally billed him, and he paid that invoice,” she said, recalling the $35 payment received. In addition to the well-deserved compensation from the company, it was also at this point that she had earned a new nickname that would stick. The name, fittingly enough and much like the global icon of a logo she created many years ago, was pretty simple. But from there on out, she would become known as” The Logo Lady.”</p>

How a creative logo can enhance your bottom line.

In an ever-changing and ultra-competitive world in all facets of business, one of the most critical parts in establishing and sustaining a successful brand is the first impression and remaining identifiable to the public and especially th…
<h3>In just the past five calendar years, the world of beards has become more than just a fashionable look for men. It has become “big business,” and more specifically, the beard grooming market has proven to be a rising and lucrative one.  Valued at $24.1 billion in 2018 and expected to reach $43.1 billion by 2026, it would appear for the “beard game,” at least from a financial standpoint; this is just the beginning.  New trends in this red-hot industry, including the rise in popularity of USDA Certified organic luxury scent beard oils, like the <a href="https://www.luthertaylor.com">Luther Taylor brand</a>, has recently introduced, are sure to do nothing but add to the meteoric rise in beard grooming sales. However, despite experiencing what would seem a more current rush of popularity, beards, and facial hair growth have long been the subject of many interesting facts, theories, and even myths. </h3>



<p>There has always seemed to somewhat of a fascination with the growth of this type of facial hair throughout history. In some cases, the public curiosity may be for a famous person or people whose facial hair had become synonymous with them. Others have been so intrigued as to study or try and prove and dispel myths about the fabled art of grown facial hair. Still, others were seemingly decades ahead of their time in the creation of their beard grooming products. This again could be said of the <a href="https://www.luthertaylor.com/luxury-scents/">legendary Luther Taylor</a>, who, in his initial attempts to crates the best smelling beard oil in the world, he would develop an all-organic recipe that was decades ahead of the times. Taylor’s innovative approach would lead to the seven private label luxury scents currently available from the company bearing the Taylor name. With such interest and a market that is obviously on the rise and appears here to stay, the stories “behind the stubble” throughout history are seemingly endless. </p>



<p>It’s safe to say that there are enough old “beard tales” that we could ever put them all in one story. However, an area that has consistently been discussed and debated is the physical or medical benefits one can enjoy by growing in a beard. Are they legitimate? Is it another case of “facial hair fables?” That would apparently depend on who you inquired about the topic to. One thing we think you will agree with, however, is that there is more to the “beard culture” than just “letting grow” or going in for a shave. Who knows, by the article’s end, you might even let that “five o’clock shadow” grow in yourself. </p>



<figure class="wp-block-pullquote"><blockquote><p>Current count has over 55 percent of all males wearing some type of facial hair.</p></blockquote></figure>



<h2><strong>The Early Evolution of Beards</strong></h2>



<p>For those who think that the “beard boom” in recent years has spurned the upswing in an array of products and actually at current count has over 55 percent of all males wearing some type of facial hair, you couldn’t be more wrong. While at times the reasoning behind either wearing a beard or being told in some eras to be clean-shaven has vastly differed, “facial hair fodder” has never seemed to be lacking since the dawn of man.</p>



<p>Going all the way back to the early stages of evolution, historians believed that a beard was grown by prehistoric men to keep them warm in the wintertime. Not only was it thought to have protected them from the cold, but it was also felt that beards were a method of protection from sandstorms and insects. Also, during these early stages in evolution, it is believed that in these dangerous times that men wearing facial hair did so to present a more intimidating appearance, a key to survival at this point in history.</p>



<figure class="wp-block-pullquote"><blockquote><p>Valued at $24.1 billion in 2018 and expected to reach $43.1 billion by 2026, it would appear for the “beard game,” at least from a financial standpoint; this is just the beginning.</p></blockquote></figure>



<p>In addition to offering protection from the cold, experts felt that it was also grown to combat the hot summer sun. If we fast forward to more modern times briefly, studies eventually will show this to not only be correct in protecting one from the heat, though, as the beard’s ability to protect from the sun is one that goes even deeper. For one, it has been discovered that a beard will grow best in the warmer summer months of the year. Scientific studies proved this as fact, revealing that since a man’s testosterone levels are elevated during the summertime, that this is when facial hair grows in best. Even more importantly, a study completed by the University of Southern Queensland found that beards actually do provide protection from the sun as first thought in those prehistoric times. The research shows that beards offer 90-95 percent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. </p>



<h2><strong>Facial Hair Through History</strong></h2>



<p>Moving along in time, beards became very popular in ancient Greece. In this society, full facial hair was seen as a sign of masculinity, knowledge, and wisdom. When someone actually did shave their beard in ancient Greece, it was seen as a sign of mourning or sometimes was even dealt out as a punishment.  Maneuvering through time, beards would “come and go” in popularity, but by the mid-1800s, the full beard was back in full effect. </p>



<p>One of the first times it is believed that an actual medical opinion was voiced on the growth of beards was in 1843. This was when the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal hypothesized that a beard could act almost as an air filter of sorts and help to block out illness. The article would go on to suggest that a “thick beard” can trap harmful particles before they entered the body. Thus, through this piece, doctors encouraged men to grow their beards. This same type of premise would later be revisited by medical experts when encouraging those suffering from allergies to grow facial hair. The mustache and beard, it was said, traps disallowed debris to enter the body through the nose and mouth.</p>



<p>The United States President at about this same time, Abraham Lincoln, had also begun growing out his now-famous beard during this point in time. This combination led to a spike in the U.S. of upper-class men wearing beards. In Britain, the popularity of the beard returned as well at this point. It was primarily due to the conditions during the ongoing Crimean War of 1854-56. In that battle, it was perceived that the protection beards provided from freezing temperatures were the main reason for their popularity. </p>



<h2>The 20<sup>th</sup> Century Beard</h2>



<p>In the first part of the twentieth century, the beard began showing up on some very prominent and famous faces worldwide. Respected and brilliant men such as Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Marcel Proust were visibly sporting facial hair during this period. However, by the 1920s in the United States, the full beard was, for the most part, rarely seen. Around or about the time that unrest began with the Vietnam War, the beard came back in full force. It was considered “anti-establishment” by some to grow in facial; hair, as many well-known writers, artists, and musicians would begin sporting beards. Even the clean-cut, “bubble gum pop” look of the Beatles took a turn to the “hairy side” during this era of the late 1960s. Other famous bearded musicians through this period included Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, and Jerry Garcia, among countless others. </p>



<p>Sure, long hair and facial hair grew freely during this time and would become synonymous with the “hippies” and “counterculture” movement. But rising up against “the man” was definitely not the only thing prominently uncovered about beards at this point. It was about this time that medical and physical “perks” of growing facial hair would continue being unveiled. Many of these trends and “tips” from experts are ones that would seemingly be an influence today on the 55 percent mentioned above of American males sporting facial hair. Some may actually come as a surprise, as often a beard is thought to be scratchy or irritate the skin.</p>



<p>On the contrary, studies show that growing a beard can help to heal your skin. Since when using a razor for shaving, bacteria and dirt are spread, especially in those with sensitive skin, letting a beard grow in steering clear of said razor for a while allows the face time to refresh and heal. Another revelation that may be surprising to some is that a beard is also said to help keep the face moisturized. How, you might ask? This is due to your facial hair protecting the sebaceous glands, which produce oil on the face that naturally moisturizes the skin. </p>



<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/5834CA69-3765-4F27-B466-95A703562073-1024x618.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-4141"/></figure>



<h3><strong>Beards to the Future</strong></h3>



<p>So, with the skyrocketing popularity of the beard care and grooming industry, it has maybe never been more “in” to sport a long and luscious beard. In an age where skincare and all aspects of heath are analyzed in such great detail, the “beard game” has followed suit accordingly. The introduction by the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.luthertaylor.com/luxury-scents/" target="_blank">Luther Taylor brand of the first 100 percent organic jojoba oil</a> carrier base and the usage of all-natural, organic essential oils in all seven of their luxury scents has undoubtedly made this brand appear as a new trendsetter in the beard grooming industry. So, what else does the future hold as far as the evolution of the beard? It looks like we will just have to wait for the final verdict to “grow in.”</p>

Beard—volution

In just the past five calendar years, the world of beards has become more than just a fashionable look for men. It has become “big business,” and more specifically, the beard grooming market has proven to be a rising and lucrative one.&nbs…
<h3>Let's face it; we've all heard the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" well, it's worth way more.  Consumers usually do not want to be told why they should choose a brand; they want to see it!  You are looking for an immediate connection versus, "yeah, right, pal."</h3>



<p class="has-drop-cap">You've got a great product, an incredible story, and then a stock photo. It's just like having a perfectly decorated room that has become showcased on a magazine cover, and all you see is the ugly, boring beige drapes.  Most of us already know that a professional photographer can produce stock photos and are used quite frequently because they are free, or you sometimes can be charged a minimal fee.  There is nothing wrong with the fact you want to use a stock photo but beware of the visual cliches and choose wisely.  When selecting a stock photo for your brand, remember it's not your vision. It is someone else's vision, idea, interpretation, and concept.  Most clients balk at the professional photography line item in their budgets; why would you ever teeter on such an essential key element to achieving branded success. </p>



<p>Professional photography is a must to help identify your brand and story in a sea of competition. It gives your brand credibility, relevance, and differentiation.  How many of you know the old saying, "you eat with your eyes"?  When we got into a nice restaurant and sat down to order our meal, our choices are typically made from a menu.  If the photos are visually un-appetizing, you simply do not order that dish, even if it is something you like.  Consumers do the very same when choosing a brand.  For instance, when scrolling through social media or websites, do consumers look at or click on the text to learn more or a visual image?  The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 80% remember what they see versus 10% of what they read. 90% of the information transmitted to our brain daily is visual.  Creating stunning and killer images for your brand is a no-brainer.  Visual content tells your story and represents your brand.  It is essentially the first impression connecting your consumers to your account.  You want to be relevant, professional, unique, trustworthy, but overall memorable.</p>



<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img src="https://www.blevinscreativegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/photoshoot-1024x576.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-4116"/></figure>



<p>In today's ever-changing world of technology, it seems everyone has a smartphone with a camera, and everyone can 'Take" a photo. Still, it takes a professional to "Make" a photo, which is a critical distinction in successful marketing. When you take a photograph, at that moment, you are capturing an existing scene, and when you are making a photograph, you are capturing a scene by setting it up, using perfect lighting, edits, and retouches. </p>



<p><strong>Do you want to be "close enough" or "just as boring as everyone else"?  The average human brain becomes distracted in 8 seconds so hiring a professional expert that can capture and make captivating visual content that is effective and memorable is key to your story, growth, and success.Or go ahead and cut out that most crucial budget line item, and then you become just another member of the "dime a dozen" club.</strong></p>

The Good, The Bad, and Just Good Enough

Let’s face it; we’ve all heard the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” well, it’s worth way more.  Consumers usually do not want to be told why they should choose a brand; they want to see it!  You are loo…

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