The distinctive colours and typeface were unmistakeable. The van approaching me obviously belonged to eBay. But hang on a minute, eBay doesn't have an offline presence! Nor, it emerged, did they have this van.
Because, as it sped past, I saw the side was emblazoned not with eBay but with the name abbey. A clever piece of piggyback marketing, but one that was not fully thought through since there was no indication of what service abbey provides. They had grabbed my attention, yet sadly had failed to follow through with enough information to translate it into interest.
And that (to answer Sig's challenge) is, in my view, one of the things you have to understand about logoes. They don't make you remember a product or service, they remind you about something you already know - whether that be a company or perhaps just an association as this alarming report illustrates.
Moreover, there are many aspects of a logo that branding specialists would claim communicate key attributes whereas, in reality, we don't actually register them. Maybe it's just me, but despite years of seeing it, it was only recently that I had the speech marks within the Vodafone logo pointed out to me.
If you want more evidence, play this terrific game which I introduced to Seth Godin in my pre-blogging days and to which he added some interesting insights here.
Although the abbey example with which I started is clearly an exception, you can see that you generally recognise the names far more easily than the typography of the logoes. But, of course, the reason you recognise the name, as Sig rightly says, is because you've had a memorable experience with the product or service. Logoes do not maketh the sale.
[Having giving up on trying to convince a naming company client of mine to adapt the game as a fabulous piece of interactive marketing that by incorporating the logoes of their clients would show the effectiveness of naming, I am now quite happy for anyone else out there to feel free to come to an arrangement with me and, of course, Joey Katzen!]