Research highlights the importance of logos

March 6, 2014 by Greta Guest, University of Michigan

(Phys.org) —Brand logos that create a sense of motion can enhance a customer's evaluation of the brand, says a University of Michigan researcher.

According to Aradhna Krishna, professor of marketing at U-M's Ross School of Business, stationary visuals can evoke a sensation of movement—something well known in the art and design world. But the perception of movement has not been measured and its implications have not been explored, especially with regard to consumers.

"We found that minor differences in static logos can have a big effect on a consumer's response and attitude about the brand," Krishna said. "That's an important finding for companies, because you can create a sense of movement in an image without using more expensive animation."

Logos are a versatile way to communicate with consumers and are often the first exposure a consumer has to a brand or company.

Research by Krishna and colleagues Ryan Elder, assistant professor of marketing at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, and U-M postdoctoral student Luca Cian shows why such logos are important.

A series of studies revealed that static logos designed to give a perception of movement increased engagement and led to better attitudes toward the brand. Using , the researchers found that logos with a sense of movement were viewed longer and drew the observer's eye back to it.

The only drawback, they say, comes when there's a mismatch between the logo and the characteristics of the brand.

"If you are a traditional or conservative company, a dynamic logo can backfire for you," Krishna said. "It works in drawing attention, but when the consumer finds out the logo and characteristics of the don't match, they feel something amiss."

Explore further: The incomplete art of brand imagery

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