Simply gazing at a logo can affect our subsequent behaviour. There is substantial evidence that brands have automatic associations with specific goals. Consumer behaviour can be influenced by mental processes that occur outside conscious awareness.6 Researchers examined how people behave after subliminal exposure to consumer brand logos. They chose to use Apple, since it was known to have carefully cultivated a strong and appealing brand personality based on the ideas of non-conformity, innovation and creativity. Consumer brand IBM was used as a comparison.
Both brands are highly familiar to consumers, but each has a distinct personality. Whereas Apple’s personality is seen to be innovative and creative, IBM is perceived as a traditional smart and responsible brand.
Participants were exposed subliminally to images of either the Apple or IBM brand logos and then completed a standard creativity measure. Those primed with Apple logos performed more creatively than the control or IBM-primed participants. The researchers concluded: ‘This provided the first clear evidence that subliminally priming a brand name or logo or both can influence consumers’ actual behaviour.’ In another experiment, people were exposed to the Disney or the E! Entertainment logos. Those who saw the Disney logo answered a series of questions more honestly. ‘Every brand comes with its set of associations,’ said study co-author Gavan Fitzsimmons, a professor of psychology and marketing at Duke University, USA. ‘When we’re exposed to logos, those associations fire automatically, activating our motivational systems and leading us to behave in ways that are consistent with the brand image.’
From The Logo Decoded by Lora Starling http://www.starling-design.com/books/