Let the Logo Do the Talking: The Influence of Logo Descriptiveness on Brand Equity

Luffarelli, J., Mukesh, M. and Mahmood, A. 2019. Let the Logo Do the Talking: The Influence of Logo Descriptiveness on Brand Equity. Journal of Marketing Research. 56 (5), pp. 862-878. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022243719845000

TitleLet the Logo Do the Talking: The Influence of Logo Descriptiveness on Brand Equity
TypeJournal article
AuthorsLuffarelli, J., Mukesh, M. and Mahmood, A.
Abstract

Logos frequently include textual and/or visual design elements that are descriptive of the type of product/service marketed by brands. However, knowledge about how and when logo descriptiveness can influence brand equity is limited. Using a multimethod research approach across six studies, the authors demonstrate that more (vs. less) descriptive logos can positively influence brand evaluations, purchase intentions, and brand performance. They also demonstrate that these effects occur because more (vs. less) descriptive logos are easier to process and thus elicit stronger impressions of authenticity, which consumers value. Furthermore, two important moderators are identified: the positive effects of logo descriptiveness are considerably attenuated for brands that are familiar (vs. unfamiliar) to consumers and reversed (i.e., negative) for brands that market a type of product/service linked with negatively (vs. positively) valenced associations in consumers’ minds. Finally, an analysis of the logos of 597 brands suggests that marketing practitioners might not fully take advantage of the potential benefits of logo descriptiveness. The theoretical contributions and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywordsbranding, logo design, logo descriptiveness, brand equity, authenticity
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Journal citation56 (5), pp. 862-878
ISSN0022-2437
Year2019
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0022243719845000
Web address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022243719845000
Publication dates
Published04 Jul 2019
Published in print01 Oct 2019

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