Why Steve Jobs paid $100.000 for a logo

The story of the birth of the NeXT logo and what to learn from it.


The Millionaires ignore what the billionaires exploit.


If you think that investing $ 100,000 for a logo is insane, you can finish even now to read.


If, instead, this figure doesn’t seem to you anything special, Congratulations: It means you are comfortable in recognizing the great value of a brand’s identity.


This makes you automatically part of that close circle of open-minded people which also included a really brilliant person: Steve Jobs.


Why am I saying this? Simple.


In 1986, after being fired by Apple, Steve decided to pick up the phone and call the famous designer Paul Rand, to ask him to design the trademark of his new company, NEXT.


It was a delicate thing:

On one hand, Steve had the chance to become the most influential tech company in the educational marketplace; on the other hand, he risked the second and definitive oblivion.


Jobs unexpectedly received a sassy reply from Paul:

“You give me $ 100,000 and I’ll solve the problem, Then it’s up to you to use the trademark or not, I don’t care”.


Steve smiled and accepted.


Paul Rand elaborated the design and introduced it in the presence of Steve and his collaborators. Steve opened the brand manual for the first time.

He was speechless.


Later, Steve announced to the press that the designer had kept his word:

Paul created a brand that solved his problems so well to be valued only in advertising returns more than twice its cost.


From then on, NeXT was one of the most fundamental pieces through which Steve Jobs remained so much on the crest of the wave, to persuade Apple to acquire it in order to get back its founder.


The rest is a story that you will know very well.


It’s funny that a lot of people get angry reading about a similar investment, isn’t it?


It’s not even close to the figures actually spent for the most complex Branding projects.

(And just a curiosity: one of the most expensive has exceeded 220 million!)

Yet all continue to invest similar figures.

Is everybody crazy?


Or maybe there’s really a link between a strong identity and a big business?


I often hear even millionaires entrepreneurs who boast of having invested a misery on THEIR OWN brand identity.


They are convinced that it’s enough to use their posed photos and their name to run a business.


And unless they are Colonel Sanders and have founded KFC, I assure you that it does not correspond to the truth.


Of course, many can count on an interesting personal image, but what remains of them when they leave the room?

What clear perception do they leave? None.

A great confusion.


Now think of what even just the word “swoosh” can summon up in your mind: a Nike spot just started in your head, right? Do you feel the difference?


It is the secret that already hundreds of great entrepreneurs, billionaires, have understood. And exploited.


When you hear about “logos”, in reality they’re not telling you the whole truth.

We no longer speak only of trademarks, in fact, but of doing branding.


And if the trademark opens the games, branding wins the fight.


Branding means creating power. Power for your brand. Power to change the perception of things, to attract attention, to attract success.


Have a great branding it’s having the power to shape values, a culture, a world you own.

An attractive world from which no one can truly escape.


It’s a process that alone can double or triple the value of an entire company, every single year.

Endlessly.


Now, 100K for all this doesn’t seem even enough, right?


Your identity and your brand identity are your most precious asset you have: once you have them, it’s almost impossible to go back.


Who would you entrust them to, then? You can choose: Relatives with photoshop, students, idea contests, digital agencies that pretend to be design studios and design studios without any courage and idea.


Or, if you think you and your business deserve much more than that, you can trust Daniel Salvi - Branding & Design Consulting, direct heir of the greatest branding experts in history.


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