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This Logo Moves Me

3/6/2014 --

New research by marketing Professor Aradhna Krishna shows static logos can evoke a sense of movement and build consumer engagement.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Brand logos are becoming an increasingly important way to communicate with customers. But what makes a good one?

New research by U-M Ross Professor Aradhna Krishna and her post-doctoral student Luca Cian shows static logos can create a sense of motion and enhance a customer's evaluation of the brand. The research, backed by studies that tracked eye movements and surveyed engagement, is one of the first to how perceived motion from static images affects consumers.

Stationary visuals can evoke a sensation of movement. This is something that has been known in the art and design world for some time, but the perception of movement has not been measured and its implications have not been explored.

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

The research is the latest in sensory marketing, a field pioneered by Krishna. Her paper, "This Logo Moves Me: Dynamic Imagery from Static Images," was co-authored with Ryan S. Elder, PhD '11, assistant professor of marketing at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management.

Logos are a versatile way to communicate with consumers and are often the first exposure a consumer has to a brand or company. They can be used in various advertising media — print, digital, billboards — as well as on the product itself. Companies certainly value them. Pepsi, for example, spent $1 million for its new logo in 2008.

Krishna and her colleagues showed why they are so important. A series of studies revealed that static logos able to evoke a perception of movement increased engagement and led to better attitudes toward the brand. Using eye-tracking technology, they also found that logos with a sense of movement were viewed longer, and drew the observer's eye back to it.

The only drawback 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 says. "It works in drawing attention, but when the consumer finds out the logo and characteristics of the brand don't match, they feel something amiss."

On the other hand, companies whose lifeblood revolves around movement can create family brands and even sub-brands with logos that vary in dynamism to increase consumer attention, engagement, and brand evaluation. Adidas, for example, achieved this with its Originals, Performance, and Neo brands.



For more information, contact:
Terry Kosdrosky, (734) 936-2502, terrykos@umich.edu