Chances are that you can picture the FedEx logo in your head, but do you know where the arrow is in it? The FedEx logo, along with many others, does double subconscious duty. They all encourage a specific positive association with their brands by embedding discreet images within their logos.

Great logos provide instant brand recognition among customers. The forward moving, all-encompassing or festive, little images tucked within the logo nudge a customer into a positive association with your brand whether they know it or not. Signs, signals, hints and encouragement are packaged into every aspect of this process, so the first point of contact – the logo – is a perfect way to promote your company’s values.

Looking at Amazon’s logo, customers may not see that the arrow – pointing from A to Z – is a cue telling them about the company’s huge range of products. Thus, without knowing it, the customer is primed for the experience Amazon wants them to have before they even search for a product. Of course, every single detail may not be perfect in every Customer Experience, but as we pointed out in a recent blog post, addressing the most important emotional touch points will lead customers to remember having a satisfying experience and anticipate a similar one in the future.

Parallel messaging abounds in every industry. The music, the lighting and the perfume used in a trendy teenager’s clothing store gives you a headache, but to their target audience it shouts “cool” and they flock to it. The ING lion may not be as obvious as a rising stock ticker, but the financial institution did not accidently pick an ancient symbol of power, intelligence, and wisdom.