Gen Zers Might Buy Your Product if Its Logo Slays
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Several major brands have unveiled significant changes to their visual identities in 2023, including PepsiCo Inc.’s Pepsi, the Coca-Cola Co.’s Fanta and Nokia Corp. But rebrands, much like art, are often polarizing, especially when done after a long period of time.
The fickle nature of consumer reactions to logos often leaves marketers with many questions: What design elements matter most? What aesthetic vibes appeal to the widest audiences? Does branding really impact purchase consideration?
According to a new Morning Consult survey, logos can very much be a factor — especially among younger consumers.
A majority of Gen Z adults (56%) and millennials (52%) said they have bought a product because it had an interesting logo. Just 34% of all U.S. adults said the same.
The survey also found that Americans clearly prefer retro logos to futuristic ones — good news for the likes of Burger King and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s Natural Light, both of which recently introduced flat, simplified new logos that harken back to designs of the 1970s and 1980s.
Logos Can Entice Younger Consumers Much More Than They Can Older Ones
Gen Xers, baby boomers aren’t as impressed by logos
- Among generations, baby boomers were least likely to say they bought an item because of its logo for any reason.
- Almost 2 in 5 Gen Xers (38%), however, reported making a purchase on account of limited edition packaging.
- Men were more likely than women to say they have made a logo-related purchase in all three instances.
- High-income earners (those with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more) have a thing for logos, too: Nearly half said they have bought a product because it had an interesting logo (46%) or limited edition packaging (48%), while 43% said the same about a product featuring a new logo or packaging.
Americans Greatly Prefer Simple, Bold, Realistic Logos
Adults favor bold colors over neutral ones
- In a forced choice question, a slim majority of U.S. adults (52%) said they prefer logos with “bold colors,” while less than 1 in 5 (16%) said they like logos with “neutral colors.”
- Approximately four times more respondents said they favor “simple” logos (55%) than the share who said they prefer “busy” logos (13%).
- A much larger share of U.S. adults also said they prefer “realistic” logos (49%) over “abstract” logos (17%). “Retro” had the clear edge over “futuristic,” 36% to 23%.
- In a separate survey question, U.S. adults cited color as the most important element of a logo, followed by size and font.
- When asked to identify the company whose logo they could best draw from memory, respondents most frequently cited Nike Inc., Pepsi, McDonald’s Corp., Coca-Cola, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
- In a follow-up open-ended question asking respondents why the brand logo they chose was so memorable, respondents cited “colors” and “simplicity” as the two most common design elements.
It’s not entirely surprising that color ranks so prominently in consumers’ minds when they think about logos.
Brands have long coalesced their visual identities around a singular shade or set of shades, and this tendency has only been exacerbated by the e-commerce era.
While the better part of the past decade was dominated by “millennial pink,” it seems “Gen Z yellow” is starting to have a moment. After that? Perhaps Gen Alpha will have a thing for green.
The April 25-27, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,201 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Ellyn Briggs is a data reporter at Morning Consult covering brands and marketing. @ellynbriggs