I admit it. I actually never really knew the background behind the RE/MAX balloon logo and what its history was…until now. In 1973, RE/MAX was created and the term “REMAX” was an acronym for "real estate maximums”. In 1978, the RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon made its debut at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, as part of a promotion developed by the RE/MAX Regional Director in New Mexico. A year later, the balloon became the network's official logo and the RE/MAX brand was born.
Recently, I read an interesting book entitled “The Hero and the Outlaw” by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson. The authors looked at how brands and logos have come to not only represent corporations, but also entire cultures and way of life. Coca Cola is the most recognized logo in the world (with the RE/MAX balloon also making the list), but the logo has also come to represent Western culture. In the early 1970’s, Coke used a consistent message of unity and idealism in its advertising campaign and introduced its theme song which aired for 6 years. Part of the song was: “I’d like to build the world a home and furnish it with love/Grow apple trees and honeybees and snow white turtle doves”. Even as I typed the last sentence, I could recall humming along to my tv set when the commercial would come on. Powerful branding!
Did you know that Nike was named for a winged goddess that represented victory? The meaning behind the branding of Nike shoes is to compel buyers to choose those shoes over the competition because the connotation is that they will be “winners” as well. The motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson has carefully crafted an image of appealing to a buyer who is willing to break the rules society places on them, making them an outlaw of sorts. Many business people relish the notion of riding their Harley-Davidson as part of their “badass” persona not often seen at work. I can personally relate to their marketing message as I own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and love riding it on weekends with Johanna, but it is actually the sound the motorcycle engine makes that seems to really appeal to me.