Logo color affects buyer perceptions

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The combination of blue, yellow or red logos for many long-term care companies may not be an accident, according to new study results from the University of Missouri.

Vendors with blue logos invoke feelings of confidence, success and reliability in their clients, while red logos create feelings of expertise and self-assurance. Yellow logos invoke feelings of fun and modernity, according to researchers.

Other results found purple logos invoking femininity and glamour, pink giving the perception of youth, and green provoking feelings that include toughness, masculinity, sustainability and durability. 

Jessica Ridgway, a doctoral student in the MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management, created generic logos with differing colors for fake companies she devised and then asked nearly 200 participants to describe their emotions when seeing the logo.

“Of all the feelings associated with logo colors, the feelings associated with red logos were the most surprising,” Ridgway said. “Traditional emotions based on red include aggression and romance, but red logos did not invoke those emotions in study participants.”

One explanation may be the use of red in well-known logos for State Farm, McDonald's and ESPN, she theorized.

The question for vendors is what feelings customers should associate with specific brands.

For example, the blue and yellow in the COMS Interactive logo were conscious choices, said the company's vice president of corporate communications and marketing, Alison Martin. Blue was a softer color than black, which was felt would be a better way to reach female decision-makers, while the incorporation of Daylight IQ made yellow a good fit.

“While we didn't know about this study, in retrospect the blue represents the confidence we bring to our customers and yellow represents the fun we bring to residents and their families,” she said. 

Results appeared in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education.


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