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Stay off my butt

Dockers logo

I want your product, I like how you make it, and I’ll buy it for years.

But I don’t want your logo on my backside.

I’m not your billboard, and I don’t want to advertise your brand. I pay you for things, I get your things. If you want me to advertise for you, you pay me for advertising space.

There is a fundamental conflict between marketing and genuinely caring about the interests of your customer. How is this product better because you added your logo? If you cared about what your customers want, that logo wouldn’t be there. It only benefits you, not the user. 

Marketers have become too presumptuous.  


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  1. Christie January 8, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Absolute and TOTALLY agree. I still can’t figure out why Tommy Hilfiger fans pay for those FUGLY clothes.

  2. Julie Gomoll January 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    YES! Same goes for vehicles. When I bought my last car, the salesperson tried to convince me they *couldn’t* remove the dealer name from the rear of the car, so I went somewhere else and bought the same vehicle from someone who happily removed it.

  3. Lester Hein January 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly. I’m at the point now where, in some twisted turn, I’m willing to pay extra for clothes that don’t have logos plastered all over them.

    As long they’re made well, I’ll buy them. I don’t need to reminded of the brand I bought.

  4. Tim January 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Surely it’s about choice. Many people want to express their individuality by being part of the-insert brand name here-tribe! I, however hate having to buy clothes with either a brand name or some tasteless, artless “design” thrown all over it. Bring back plain packaging :-)

  5. Ian Ferguson January 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    New here (just finished WOM Marketing). I’m surprised this strikes you as new. Look at Levi’s. They put not only their logo, but the model number and even your size on the back patch for everyone to see. It’s so baked into the Americana image that it’s considered a design element more than marketing. Dockers is downright subtle by comparison.

  6. Dave Clark January 9, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    I believe it depends on the brand. Purchasers of Apple, BMW and Mercedes products likely would object to diminishing the size of the logo. These fans want people to know they have chosen these brands. Some early hybrid offerings were not successful because they looked exactly like their non-hybrid counterparts. Hybrid drivers want you to know that is their choice. Prius leaves no doubt.
    I also have questioned the wisdom of jeans makers who put the size on the outside of the pants. Not too many of us want to “advertise” how far we stretch the tape measure!

  7. Roger Dooley January 9, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    I agree almost completely, Andy – I have avoided purchasing apparel items because of a logo. Do you really want to walk around wearing something that screams, “I bought this at Target!”?

    The one exception is for luxury/prestige brands. Their logos do add value, particularly for asplrational consumers. And, as I posted here, visible apparel logos can actually cause others to find you more competent or to be more cooperative and helpful.

    Your butt is still a bad location for that logo, though. :)

  8. Julie Gomoll January 9, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Good point on the luxury brands Dave & Roger. That fits with designer brand purses, too. And I’ve seen folks wear blazers with a brand the size of a baseball (Ralph Lauren, maybe?).

    I like to think I hate it all, but I’m not. I’m proud of my Apple gear, and would never consider hiding the brand. I notice my iPhone case even has a cutout so the Apple brand isn’t hidden.

    Re: Levi’s and the prominent sizes — a few years ago someone started selling fake size patches you could place over the real one. Clever, although I doubt anyone would fall for 30/32 on the back of my jeans :)

  9. Stoney deGeyter January 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m in the same camp. I don’t get paid to advertize for companies I buy from so I remove the stupid license plate frame from my car and refuse to allow them to place a sticker on the back. I don’t buy ANY clothing that has the name or logo in any visible location. I find it ridiculous that people buy clothes where the only form of design IS the logo! Seriously? Buy a shirt, not a name!

    I don’t mind advertizing for companies when I’m in love with the brand, but so far that number is just one… my company name! And I rarely wear company branded clothes either!

  10. Andy Sernovitz January 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Dave, Roger, and Julie — good stuff, thanks for the luxury brand perspective!

  11. Jim January 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Sometimes I cut the itchy wash instruction labels of some pants or shirts that are located just near their logos. I too am frustrated when they try hard to use you to brand their stuff, even if you already supported these companies by buying their products.

  12. TV James January 12, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Until you reach that level of caché where people want their friends to see the outline of a piece of fruit with a bite out of it on their device or the round black and blue checkerboard on the back and front of their car and they’ll pay a premium for it – and hope others know and are impressed that they paid a premium.

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