Study: Business Logos That Boost Sales

September 24, 2019

Aside from the fact that simply having a business logo can attract more customers, descriptive logos—those with text or visual design elements that more clearly communicate the service or product—resonate the most with potential clients, according to new research published in the Harvard Business Review.

Researchers studied 597 business logos and found that consumers had a more favorable impression of brands with descriptive than those with nondescriptive logos. Descriptive logos also are more likely to improve the brand’s sales performance, researchers say.

Researchers noted how Dunkin’ recently removed the word “Donuts” from its logo, making it nondescriptive. Animal Planet, on the other hand, made its logo more descriptive by adding an elephant icon. The majority of the logos in the Harvard study were nondescriptive.

logo examples

“Our studies and analyses reveal that it is easier for consumers to visually process descriptive logos and understand what a brand markets as a result,” researchers note. However, they also found that nondescriptive logos have a few advantages, too. Nondescriptive logos can:

  • Make brands appear more authentic in consumers’ eyes.
  • Impact consumers’ evaluations of brands in a favorable way to the business.
  • Increase consumers’ willingness to buy from brands.
  • Boost brands’ net sales.

“Logo design choices might seem inconsequential to some,” researchers note. “But getting the design right is important for a number of reasons. A well-designed logo can offer substantial benefits to brands. It can help pique the interest of consumers, differentiate brands from competitors, facilitate brand recognition, influence investors’ decisions, and convey what the brand is all about.” Researchers say logos can have a powerful influence when viewed on a company’s website or business card.

A Study of 597 Logos Shows Which Kind Is Most Effective,” Harvard Business Review (Sept. 12, 2019)