Logo color affects consumer emotion toward brands, study finds

Apr 08, 2014
Jessica Ridgway found that the specific colors used in a company’s logo have a significant impact on how that logo, and the brand as a whole, is viewed by consumers.

Many studies have shown that a company's logo is one of the most important aspects of marketing and advertising a brand, or features that distinctly identifies a company's product or service from its competitors. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has found that the specific colors used in a company's logo have a significant impact on how that logo, and the brand as a whole, is viewed by consumers.

Jessica Ridgway, a doctoral student in the MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management, surveyed 184 adults using generic logos of different for fake companies that she created. She then asked participants to describe the emotions they felt toward the fake companies upon seeing each logo. Ridgway was able to identify key characteristics that each logo invoked, based on which colors were used.

The study revealed that blue logos invoked feelings of confidence, success and reliability; green logos invoked perceptions of environmental friendliness, toughness, durability, masculinity and sustainability; purple logos invoked femininity, glamour and charm; pink logos gave the perception of youth, imagination and fashionable; yellow logos invoked perceptions of fun and modernity; and red logos brought feelings of expertise and self-assurance.

"Of all the feelings associated with logo colors, the feelings associated with red logos were the most surprising," Ridgway said. "Traditional emotions based on red include aggression and romance, but red logos did not invoke those emotions in study participants. This can probably be attributed to the fact that red is used in logos of many well-established brands such as State Farm, McDonalds and ESPN, so consumers have pre-existing emotions associated with brands using that color."

Ridgway suggests that before designing logos, marketers think critically and strategically about what kind of emotions they want their consumers to feel toward their brands.

"The results of this study demonstrate that brands should use logo colors that are associated with the personality traits they want their brand to have in the eyes of consumers," Ridgway said. "If a feeling of reliability is desired, blue might be the best choice, while a purple logo may be preferred for a feminine, glamorous brand. Simultaneously, the results also remind brand managers that they cannot rely on traditional color associations alone. They must stay attuned to how colors are viewed and applied in popular culture such as in entertainment, as this tends to influence consumers' color associations."

Explore further: Research highlights the importance of logos

More information: Ridgway's study, "A study on brand personality: consumers' perception of colours used in fashion brand logos" was published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The incomplete art of brand imagery

May 16, 2011

The visual power of a brand can be the first breakthrough companies make with their customers. But efforts to artistically manipulate the typeface of a corporate logo can backfire for firms, according to a ...

Recommended for you

Local education politics 'far from dead'

13 hours ago

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren't just pushing ...

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

13 hours ago

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the ...

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

14 hours ago

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

Why aren't consumers buying remanufactured products?

16 hours ago

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members ...

Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall

16 hours ago

People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

User comments : 0