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How re‐designing angular logos to be rounded shapes brand attitude: consumer brand commitment and self‐construal

Michael F. Walsh (Department of Marketing, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)
Karen Page Winterich (Department of Marketing, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Vikas Mittal (Department of Marketing, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 13 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to explore how consumer responses to logo redesign (from angular to rounded) are contingent on brand commitment and self‐construal. The authors aim to explore two issues. First, what is the role of brand commitment on response to logo redesign and underlying brand attitude? Second, how does situational accessible self‐construal influence brand commitment in situations like this?

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses two field experiments; one using the general public via mall intercepts and the second with undergraduate college students.

Findings

In two studies the authors show that brand commitment negatively influences evaluation of inconsistent information (i.e. rounded logo), and this negative logo evaluation mediates the impact on brand attitude. They also find that motivated reasoning may be at play showing that when faced with inconsistent information brand commitment not only increases thought generation but, specifically, negative thoughts about the logo. Study 2, using more realistic stimuli shows that the deleterious effect of inconsistent information (i.e. new logo) is attenuated when the inconsistent information – i.e. rounded logo – is congruent with the consumers' self‐construal (i.e. interdependent self‐construal).

Research limitations/implications

The authors advance the literature on self‐construal in advertising by identifying that self‐construal framing of ads may impact consumer response regardless of individual differences in self‐construal. They build on the work of Tsai who examined the effects of consumer characteristics such as product involvement and product knowledge in light of self‐construal differences on ad evaluation and purchase intentions.

Practical implications:

The findings presented here suggest that consumers' responses to atypical brand information may be dependent on their level of brand commitment. This research shows that logo redesign in particular, and introduction of inconsistent information in general is a process that should be carefully managed. The second experiment shows that the independent message frame is the preferred approach for multi cultural/global marketers. In primarily independent cultures, one should target highly committed customers. In primarily interdependent cultures one can target both strongly and weakly committed consumers. These findings can help companies entering international markets or dealing with global brands. Beyond advertising, this research has application to other forms of brand aesthetics including packaging and web site design.

Originality/value

This study is the first to show that self‐construal framing can act as a boundary condition on the role that consumer commitment plays in shaping ad evaluations and purchase intentions regardless of chronic self‐construal.

Keywords

Citation

Walsh, M.F., Page Winterich, K. and Mittal, V. (2011), "How re‐designing angular logos to be rounded shapes brand attitude: consumer brand commitment and self‐construal", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 438-447. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363761111165958

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited