U-M Research: Logos Depicting Motion Strike a Chord with Consumers


Companies may be able strengthen their marketing efforts with just a small change in their logo’s artwork, suggests new research from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Specifically, a logo that creates a sense of motion — such as a pendulum in mid-swing — can improve a consumer’s perception of the brand.

“We found that minor differences in static logos can have a big effect on a consumer’s response and attitude about the brand,” said Aradhna Krishna, a U-M marketing professor, regarding research about the perception of movement in stationary visuals. “That’s an important finding for companies, because you can create a sense of movement in an image without using more expensive animation.”

A series of studies by Krishna and her colleagues show that logos designed to give a perception of movement increased engagement and led to better attitudes toward the brand. Using eye-tracking technology, the researchers found that logos with a sense of movement (such as the Detroit Red Wings’ winged wheel logo) were viewed longer and drew the observer’s eye back to it.

However, a lively logo isn’t for everyone. “If you are a traditional or conservative company, a dynamic logo can backfire on you. It works in drawing attention, but when the consumer finds out the logo and characteristics of the brand don’t match, they feel something’s amiss,” Krishna said.