research@hec - Issue #24 - (Page II)

Redesign your logo to rejuvenate your brand Bruno Kocher research BIOGRAPHY HEC professor of marketing Bruno Kocher focuses most of his research on brand management and advertising strategy. Kocher completed both undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), and he earned a post-doctorate degree at the City University of New York. The word “logo” comes from “logotype,” which means “writing that talks.” What term would be any more fitting to refer to the skillful mixture of color, typography, and design used to convey energy, innovativeness, or even nostalgia? A company’s logo is the most forceful component of its visual identity, so it is hardly surprising that companies are constantly striving to perfect their logos and adapt them to the times. Bruno Kocher explains, “A logo is usually created at the same time as a brand or company. That means the Michelin Man is 110 years old, and, like a person, he is old!” New graphic and color trends may suddenly cause a logo to appear outdated, and brand image may consequently suffer. In such circumstances, the logo is an element of a brand’s visual identity that can be changed. “As a rule, you don’t change a brand name. Andersen Consulting’s change to Accenture is a rare exception.” What impact does the logo really have when it comes to revitalizing a brand? Bruno Kocher and co-researchers Brigitte Müller and Antoin Crettaz explored this question. Like all living things, brands get old. However, revitalizing a logo — the most has discovered that consumers are the most influenced by logo familiarity and aesthetics. adaptable component of visual identity — can rejuvenate a brand. After studying the impact of the different factors involved in revamping a logo, Bruno Kocher hec GRADUAL CHANGE VS. RADICAL MAKEOVER When it comes to rebranding, popular opinion says to change gradually to avoid scaring current customers away. However, Kocher and his colleagues did not find any studies on this subject, and they hypothesize that radical — rather than gradual — change would attract the most attention and thus provide a brand with a more powerful boost. To test this idea, they presented a student panel with four sets of “before” and “after” logos. Two of the logo updates were simple makeovers (i.e., the Apple apple went from colored to grey) while the other two (Visa and the Windows’ flying window) involved major redesigning. The study showed that new logos were generally considered more modern, proving that a logo change is indeed an effective means of rejuvenation. “However, the significance of the degree of change to the logo was unclear, partly because the impact of this factor also depends on product type,” says Kocher. Not to mention the importance of other variables that influence perceived brand modernity, like marketing strategy and product innovativeness. AESTHETICS AND FAMILIARITY The second part of the study examines the factors that influence consumer perceptions of logos, which, in turn, influences brand loyalty and, by extension, market share. Findings here were quite clear: a complexity of logo design and its relevance to the brand message did not have significant effects. In contrast, the aesthetics and familiarity of a logo accounted for up to 69% of the positive perception of logos by consumers. How can you make a logo more attractive? In terms of aesthetics, carefully select not only the colors but also the characters II research@hec • december - january 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of research@hec - Issue #24

Cover & Contents
Redesign your logo to rejuvenate your brand
Waterloo: Rational choice theory clarifies history and strategy
Intellectual property: to share or not to share?

research@hec - Issue #24