What’s your logo’s personality?

Although there are thousands of apps out there, as a marketing professional I just had to download “the logo quiz game” on my iPhone.  This app has been widely popular and so I needed to see it for myself. The idea of the game is to match logos to company names.  Sounds simple, right?  Well surprisingly, it’s not that simple.

Outside of its “highly-addictive” nature, the game forces you to visually think to understand what company the logo could possibly be for.  Sometimes it is an easy connection – with an image of a wave logo, one might think about ocean companies, that brings one to seafood, which brings you to High Liner.  But as one moves up in levels, you’ll see a black dot with wings. What images does this conjure up? Ahh…it takes a bit longer to make the connection, resulting in the Mini.

The game undermines what is in a logo.  Is it just the image that makes you remember the brand, or it is the sheer number of times you have been exposed to an advertisement for this company, or is it something more?

In a study conducted by The Relational Capital Group and a team of researchers from Princeton University, it was indicated that people evaluate brands in the same way they instinctively perceive and judge other people.  Judgments about warmth and competence are highly predictive of brand purchase intent and loyalty.

The study researched attitudes towards 22 well-known brands, including Advil, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Mercedes, Shell and Tropicana.  The research was based on the concept that humans have developed an ability to make two kinds of judgments with speed and sufficient accuracy.  The first is about “warmth” or the intentions of others and includes factors such as friendliness, helpfulness, sincerity, trustworthiness and honesty.  The second judgment is “competence” or the ability to carry out the intentions and includes factors such as intelligence, skill, creativity, efficiency and effectiveness.

This was a fascinating study because it supports the equation that a brand’s effectiveness is equal to its ability to gain the trust of customers.

The fact that this iPhone quiz game exists is a reflection of just how important logos are to us as consumers.  The research backs what I have always instinctively felt– it’s not about what the logo looks like, it more about how the logo makes us feel. If consumers like the brand’s personality traits then this is a determining factor in their purchase decision and loyalty to a brand.

So as I shoot for the next level, I start to notice how many of the logos I quickly identify with and I pause to think about my relationship with each company.  Try it and you’ll see there is more to a logo than what appears.

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