Welcome to »Horse Feed«, the seahorse badge of brand communication as a blog. When it comes to understanding roles, we recently did a first deep dive, as they say today. We have thus extensively discussed core of the brand, creation of a sense, mission statement, goals and roles. Time to go deeper. As strange as that sounds, that’s why we are now dealing with superficiality, once again using the example of seahorse Willi: with the appearance. Because, of course, a love brand pays attention to good looking.

First impression of a brand counts. On the surface.

Attract attention

»Gregory, Maxl, have you seen the seahorses?« – A loud boom on the window woke me from my afternoon nap. What I have not yet revealed about my anatomical properties, I can move my eyes independently. In this case, I not only heard the booming but also saw Dolby Surround: Gregory, Maxl, Gregory, Maxl, Maxl, Maxl, Gregory, Maxl, Gregory, Gregory. Okay guys, I was awake. And pretty annoyed. From Maxl as well as from Gregory, or was it the grandma who animated both? And how do I know that in my left eye there was Gregory with his fist and in my right eye there was Maxl with his flat hand testing the stability of my human TV screen? The explanation was quite simple because Gregory was thirsty and Grandma immediately took care of it. She spoke to him by name about 32 times so that he really does not forget what his name is. You see, it only takes a little attention and moments to memorize names and faces.

A purely optical recognition effect

Strangely, when I told my godfather about the abrupt techno party one day later, I didn’t tell him anything about the names of the fist or flat-hand rhythms. I talked about Gregory’s green hat and Maxl’s blue hat. I noticed them, or I consciously remembered them. Because the dialogue between Grandma and MG aka »Mashine Gun« Maxl & Gregory went on like this: »Look, now it moves, if they move, you can watch them better.« Seriously, Grandma? Of course I move, all the time – on one hand your sound waves move me, on the other hand I have always aquaplaning and no grip, you know ?! I have to readjust constantly. So, please ride slowly with young horses. Apart from that, I have to tell you one thing: You guys, can be watched best when you are not moving. When you stare biometrically through my window – and …

there it was again: Maxl, Gregory, Gregory, Gregory, Maxl, Maxl. »Hm,« said Grandma during the next drum break, »looks a bit different from a real horse, doesn’t it? Looks like Grandma’s memory game.« Song stopped. Ensemble moved on.

In the memory game, my godfather explained to me, it was about uncovering an identical pair of cards, probably the same animal in grandma’s, among the many cards turned over. If you succeed, you can keep the pair of cards. It’s about the recognition effect, about purely optical features. And about the memory that stores and retrieves these optical features.

A Christmas bauble in the Easter basket

Blah, speaking of the same animal: did I mention that we are now five seahorses in my aquarium? Yeah, man can’t get enough of quality, that’s why they added more. The Love Brand got a couple of doubles.

Honestly, it’s not that tragic, since the godfather has worked for me, more and more people are showing up and disturbing me at … well, with this and that. My crew and I, so we share the show, so everyone has their appearance and everyone doubles a little differently. That brought variety to the ecosystem. Three of us made sure to perform in front of the window in this second, because there was feed. In a moment of carelessness, I thought I could escape another dialogue with my godfather for the moment. I mingled with the people … I thought. The doubles totally failed, I realized, my identification went so quickly, I hadn’t even started the starter.

»Did you really think you could hide?!« he laughed at me. I didn’t think it was funny. He would recognize me directly from among thousands of seahorses. My white, my yellow, my green, my black dots on the chest and as freckles on the horse’s face, the five dark brown neck vertebrae – did I not notice that I stood out among all the other seahorses like a Christmas bauble in an Easter basket?

I am not blind, although my godfather’s color information gave clear conclusions about his eyesight. He sees things differently. Really different. However, yes, the others look different. As mentioned before, some of us look different from one moment to the next.

My »design«, said the godfather, was unmistakable. Typical he.
I typically followed: »I’ll give you ‘design’ right away, I didn’t have to think about this outfit for long – I only have this. These fashion victims around me, these animation artists and graphic explosions from mother nature, they are happy to join in any trend! I refuse. Sometimes fashion just looks like shit. No matter how many they wear and who takes part. But … somehow it would be awesome to run in here in crawfish overalls …«

Clothes make people.
Designs make brands.
If it is that easy,
the world of brands wouldn’t be more than a catwalk full of logos.

Only the one you recognize becomes known

»Crustacean doesn’t suit you. Besides, you eat his little buddies – how does that come across?« – Spoiler, and he seems to be a style consultant too, the godfather. »So, Mr. Personal Love Brand Manager, let’s hear what you can get out of my outfit for grandma’s memory? Because frankly, I honestly find it really attractive.«

As usual, I hit the bull’s eye with such direct questions … Without knowing why. My godfather said that’s exactly the point: my outfit suits me, it gives a clear picture of me, it is the logo for my brand. One look is enough and I will be recognized.

What does that bring me? Apart from a pair of cards in memory, of course, that only those who see me know how to recognize me. And who knows how to recognize me can remember me. And that’s how I get known. Both are important on the way to success. On the Love Brand way…

Lesson learned: Being good is one thing. Looking good, another. As subjective as that is. I definitely want to please. First myself – would be fatal if I had to flee from my own reflection in the window. I would be backstage all day and the others would perform. No way. And up front, on the stage of life, of course, who doesn’t like to hear compliments? Who doesn’t like to see the posters »I want a child from you« … Sorry, I’m dreaming.

»Basically, your look is crucial for how you are perceived. In the best case at first glance«, – that was the end of dreams at the latest, no seahorse has a chance out there as a seahorse if it is perceived as a lobster. Well, either way I was unsure whether a fanned tail suits me.

In the human world they speak of »clothes make people«, the godfather told me. The same applies to brands: from the logo to the overall appearance – it is important to work with what you bring with you and what suits you.

Looks bait

Seaweed t-shirt, coral necklace, conch hat – that could suit you. But what if I don’t feel like my style anymore, if I want to, let’s say, style my appearance on my own? Maybe I want to change because I feel like it – it doesn’t even have to have to do with new trends.

I shouldn’t have to worry about that, he said. On one hand, the visual change would come naturally and over time. On the other hand, if necessary, he could already make contacts that would help artificially … Always only so far that the original identity remains unmistakable. Does he mean surgeon or designer now?

Superficialities can be adjusted easily and quickly, the art is to leave the identity unmistakable. »And to be attractive!« I said. The godfather was right: today, the optics in mating behavior are so crucial, for example, that they swipe pictures on the phone to the left if they don’t like what they see. If you like what you see, swipe right – he showed me on his phone how to do so.

»Challenge accepted?« I asked my godfather. He was a bit perplexed when I told him what his Love Brand patron had already brought me: »We are now five supporters here in the pool and also in front of the window is a lot of traffic, my dear friend. Therefore speaks for my good looking. How about you?«

Reliable swipe right statistics would cost him over 20 euros per month, only then he would be able to see who had also swiped to the right on the other side of this kind of window.

Pah, we had it: If you don’t look good, you pay for it. Anyone who pays attention to his distinctive appearance, like me, gets a clear view of his fans. And of course crabs. After all, fans are somehow always sponsors, you have to know.

Looks bait, says the godfather. Binding guys, he says, too. And to find out your type, it takes more than just a few pictures, a bit of style and fancy outfit. Conversely, this means that only those who have an exceptional appearance are by no means a Love Brand.

Here we had the flip side of the coin again: the know-it-all.

Sometimes fashion is just ugly.
No matter how many they wear.
Love Brands like themselves.
That’s how you recognize them.

The one among many

But well, I couldn’t deny that my investment in him would not pay off. I realized how I was chewing casually on a crab – and took this for granted.

On my own, I thought to myself, let’s go on. But everyone has a good visual impression. Me in particular. As long as you also know how you can recognize me in the seahorse memory here in my zoo, everything is fine.

I am the Horse Feed among the fads. I am theLove Brand among the doubles. The favorite motif in Grandma’s memory.

Oh, by the way, if you come across a green and blue hat … You are welcome to keep the pair of cards. Doesn’t work, you are saying? Because of the different colors? Hm, this game is stupid. You need to remember too many details…

First impressions count, and in many cases they can decide whether I like a brand or not. That is superficial, admittedly. This finding is probably the easiest to understand component of a brand so far: unmistakable identity features – clothes make people, designs make brands. That much is correct. A great guy has a great appearance, no question. If the optics appeal, I’m interested in finding out whether the facade does what it promises.