The guidance office at the high school has a big poster for Wellesley College hanging by the door. It's just a picture of a building, no features, no benefits, no text at all.
Kids apply to schools (a quarter of a million dollar investment) for crazy reasons. A big one: "Well, I've heard of it."
Gonzaga University features basketball players on their home page. No doubt a few people attend to play basketball, but my guess is that the school believes that the fame of their school will somehow get someone who doesn't play to attend.
It's completely irrational and it's also what your customers do every day.
Being a familiar name takes you miles closer to closing a sale. People like to buy from companies they've heard of.
It turns out that this is an overlooked benefit of banner ads. Banner ads are fairly worthless in terms of generating clickthroughs… you have to trick too much and manipulate too much to get clicks worth much of anything. But, if you build ads with no intent of clicks, no hope for clicks… then you can focus on ads that drill your name or picture or phrase into my head. 100 impressions and you're almost famous.
A household name. Not for everyone, but for people who matter.