15% And A Gecko: The 4 Principles Behind Geico’s Branding Success (Infographic)

One day, in the great land of America, a few businessmen got together and said, “Folks, we all work for Geico and want them to succeed. Let’s do some branding.”

“How can we make them succeed with branding?” asks one.

“I don’t know,” says another. “I guess we could make a nice looking logo featuring the ‘G’ in ‘Geico’ or something.”

“Yeah, I guess,” replies the first person.

“I had a thought,” says another.

“What’s that?” they all ask.

“Welp, um, ya know… How about tacking a funny gecko onto everything?

“A gecko?” they all laughed.

“Just a thought,” he replies.

And boom. The Geico Gecko happened, and Geico became kinda a big deal.

How would you like this to happen to your business?

Explore this Geico Infographic to Learn More!

Geico gecko branding infographic

What is Branding?

The definition of business branding

Business branding is the process of creating a unique name and image for a business.

The Business Dictionary provides a more detailed definition for business branding: “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

The history behind branding

The term branding didn’t originate with businesses – it was originally used to describe the process of labeling an animal as the property of a particular rancher. The rancher would heat up an iron “logo” that was unique to his ranch and press the iron against the hide of his animals. This didn’t damage or severely hurt the animal because of the thickness of their hides. Now, whenever a rancher’s animals ran off, the next-door rancher would see the branding on the hide and return the animal to its rightful owner.

In a similar way, business branding is a unique name and logo applied to that business that differentiates them from competition.

What does branding entail?

Branding can include a number of elements, including a unique…

  • name

  • symbol

  • jingle

  • mascot

  • slogan

  • and/or visual design

With all that information out of the way, let’s check out the Geico Gecko!

About the Gecko

Quick Gecko Facts

  • The Geico Gecko was first introduced in 1999 for a TV ad. You can still view the original ad on YouTube.

  • The Gecko was voted America’s favorite advertising icon in 2005.

  • The Gecko has been named one of America’s most beloved spokescharacters by Forbes magazine

  • Nobody knows whether the Gecko is native to Britain or Australia, and there is still debate about it. However, the voice actor for the Gecko is English comedian Jake Wood.

  • The Gecko is recognized by almost everyone in America without a second thought, showing his popularity.

  • The Gecko is socially active, and can be found posting intelligent information on Twitter and Facebook. He might even have some other social profiles that I’m unaware of.

What does the Gecko do for Geico?

That’s an easy question. If you were to ask him, he’d say, “My job is saving people money. I love my job.” And that’s quoting him directly from Geico’s website.

So yeah, the Gecko models Geico’s pursuit in saving people money on car insurance.

Here are a few of the specific things the Gecko has done for Geico:

  • Increased awareness

  • Confirmed credibility

  • Created Loyalty

  • Motivated people to buy

  • Set them apart from their competition

These points aren’t exclusive to Geico – any stellar branding campaign will achieve these results. Unfortunately, you probably don’t have the budget of Geico, but you have creativity and a vision, so do some branding!

The 4 Principles to Learn from Geico’s Branding

Remember that list I threw out near the beginning of this article? I’m going to go through a few of those elements of branding and show you how Geico does it.

1. The Geico Name

The name “Geico” actually stands for the “Government Employees Insurance Company,” and I have no idea why. So maybe it’s a just lucky that their name is simple and unique.

But regardless, their brand name is a great example of unique branding with a name.

Don’t believe me?

Okay, tell me which of these brand names sounds more legit:

  • Geico

  • Your Favorite Insurance Company

Hint: The second choice is awful.

Takeaway Tip #1: Choose a unique and captivating name for your business.

2. The Geico Mascot

Yep, we’re talking about the Gecko again. It’s Geico’s mascot, and it’s brilliant.

But we’ve already talked a fair bit amount about this so, let’s skip to the takeaway tip…

Takeaway Tip #2: Choose a mascot for your business

3. The Geico Slogan

So Geico’s slogan should probably be the topic of another entire blog post because it’s so good, but I’ll touch on it here. What is there slogan? Well, they’ve gone through a handful over the last decade or so, but they all say the same thing:

“15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

This slogan has become so popular that some of their current advertising simply says:

“15%… Need I say more?”

There are so many right things about this slogan, but I’ll just list a few of them here:

  • It’s short and simple

  • It clearly states the benefits of Geico’s services

  • It has stayed consistent for years

  • It is unique

Takeaway Tip #3: Give your business a slogan, and make it good. Take some time to think of something wonderful.

4. Geico’s Visual Design

Not much to say here, other than that Geico has a specific design for their text logo, and a consistent color theme.

Takeaway Tip #4: Choose a visual design for your logo, and select fonts and colors that you consistently brand your business with.

And we’re done! A gecko will probably teach you as much as Geico’s Gecko will.

P.S. The Gecko has written a book that I haven’t read, but people apparently like according to Amazon reviews. It shows you how far a good mascot can take you!


Isaac Campbell
 

I'm lead designer here at Fannit, which means I make things look okay. Some things I love: playing and listening to music, sketching, Cheetos, my Windows phone, and my job. Some things I hate: poorly designed websites, maple flavoring, laziness, and almond extract.

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