Strategy #2: Use Nature As A Metaphor

Van Mensvoort
July 26th 2009

The border between the first and the second category is fluid. With the products in the second category, the link is more content oriented. For instance, by calling a sneaker ‘puma’, its makers not only apply the natural reference aesthetically, in addition, they hope to transfer some of the positive qualities of this elegant, sporty animal onto their product. The relation is not to be taken literally – puma sneakers are made from plastics, not from puma’s – but rather as a metaphor.

Other examples are the jaguar convertible, the eagle symbol of the USA, the tweeting bird of Twitter, the almost extinct panda as the logo of the World Wild Life fund, and the bunnies of Playboy magazine, which is not about rabbit, as much as it about projecting alleged behavior of rabbits onto women.

Just imagine for a moment that the US government would use a turtle as its mascot, or that Puma would use an elephant, Twitter a dog, the WWF a dodo, Jaguar a cow and Playboy a spider as its logo. This would completely mutilate their brand identities.

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