Do Logo Redesigns Help or Hurt Your Brand? The Role of Brand Commitment

Journal of Product and Brand Management, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 76-84, 2010

9 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012

See all articles by Michael F. Walsh

Michael F. Walsh

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration

Vikas Mittal

Rice University

Date Written: February 3, 2012

Abstract

Purpose - Logos are a critical component of brand aesthetics. Frequently companies redesign their logos, and many redesigns result in more rounded logos. How do such redesigns affect consumers' brand attitudes? The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of brand commitment on consumer response to logo shape redesign.

Design/methodology/approach - This research uses a field experiment with 632 respondents and examines two athletic shoe brands: New Balance and Adidas.

Findings - The greater the degree of change in the roundedness of a previously angular logo, the more likely it is that strongly committed consumers will evaluate the redesigned logo more negatively (in terms of brand attitude). Such logo evaluations, in turn, mediate the joint effect of logo redesign and commitment on overall brand attitude. Conversely, weakly committed consumers react positively to such changes.

Research limitations/implications - The literature on aesthetics and brand attitude are combined to show that not all consumers view changes in brand elements such as logos similarly. Strongly committed consumers view these changes negatively; weakly committed consumers view them positively. An information-processing approach provides the underlying theory for this finding. Thus, logo evaluation partially mediates this change in brand attitude, but it does not fully explain the change in brand attitude after exposure to logo redesign.

Practical implications - Strong brands gain strength by developing a base of strongly committed customers. Attempts to change brand elements - such as logo redesigns - can affect customers differently depending on whether they are strongly committed, mildly committed, or not committed at all. Thus firms attempting to change brand elements, particularly their logos, should be fully aware of the potentially negative impact on their most important customers - those having the strongest brand commitment.

Originality/value - To one's knowledge very little research has examined the relationship between logo redesign and brand attitude. Henderson et al.'s call to examine consumer responses to changes in design stimuli is followed. Importantly, the study is the first to show that visual elements of a brand (e.g. logo) can differentially impact consumer response based on brand commitment to such an extent that strongly committed customers react more negatively than weakly committed customers to redesigned logos.

Keywords: Brand identity, Brand loyalty, Logos

Suggested Citation

Walsh, Michael F. and Winterich, Karen Page and Mittal, Vikas, Do Logo Redesigns Help or Hurt Your Brand? The Role of Brand Commitment (February 3, 2012). Journal of Product and Brand Management, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 76-84, 2010 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1998809

Michael F. Walsh

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Karen Page Winterich (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Vikas Mittal

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
250 McNair
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
582
Abstract Views
1,819
rank
50,018
PlumX Metrics