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When you go to the grocery store, there are two types of products: Brand and Generic. Without a second of thought, you know the difference between the two. While these products (spanning all categories of CPG) are mostly the same, the branded products are typically better in every aspect. When you are building your new business, or refreshing your old one, think to yourself: Do I want to be a generic product, or a branded product?
If you want to be in the same class as every other recognizable business, you’ll choose branded. But how do you really build a brand, and set it apart from the competition? How will consumers not only recognize, but actively remember your company? The answer is a logo: ROI data and academic studies prove it.
Logo and Brand Recognition
If you asked a preschooler to describe their favorite cigarette brand, they wouldn’t have an answer. They’ve never experienced the product, can’t describe its features, and don’t really understand what a cigarette is. But show any child a Camel logo, and they can match the brand’s logo with the brand’s product. Not only do they recognize the logo (and the brand) but they can match it characteristics chosen by marketers.
Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia proved these claims by instructing children to match a logo with one of 12 products shown on a gameboard. They found “Approximately 30% of 3-year-old children correctly matched the Old Joe [logo] with a picture of a cigarette compared with 91.3% of 6-year-old children.” Nih.gov published more info on the fascinating study from 1991.
A logo is the most effective way to link high level characteristics (like quality or luxury) to your company. Logos provide a concrete link to these attributes, and in combination with colors and advertising, paint a detailed picture of what your brand means. These connections are so simple that they exist in preschooler’s minds, yet are strong enough to persist for a lifetime. Unfortunately, brand awareness and brand familiarity aren’t always tied directly to revenue.
ROI of a Logo
If your brand’s foundation is a logo, can you measure the return on investment? Will a high quality foundation promote better sales than a weak one? It would be impossible to get an exact measure, just as it is impossible to exactly measure brand lift. The perception of your brand is continuously changing in the minds of every potential consumer.
The closest we can get is examining the power of design. If you are exposed to a generic, forgettable logo 10 times you will still forget it. Ten exposures to an average logo and you might recognize it in the future. But 10 exposure to a high quality logo (think Apple, Coca Cola, McDonald’s) and you will be able to consciously recall it.
You can easily recall the McDonald’s logo, and as proven earlier, can attach that logo to the brand, its product, and its qualities. The difference between a high quality logo and a generic one is the consumer’s ability to recall (without any advertising) your brand, what you sell, and the attributes of your goods. If you value that type of presence in the mind’s of your consumers, then a high quality logo is worth the price. You may not be able to attach a number to it, but a quality logo undoubtedly does have a positive ROI.