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The more abstract the logo, the more memorable the brand

A brand logo is the visual representation of a company or a brand and a crucial means to business and brand identity. According to Keller (2003), a logo is among the most powerful brands elements due to the impact on brand knowledge and consequently, brand equity. The brand logo is the main instrument to communicate with their consumers, gain attention, increase recognition as well as being able to differentiate their brand from others. This feature can provoke an emotional response.

However, the main question is, what makes a logo so memorable? On an average day each average person is exposed to 5000 brands, nevertheless at some point, we become oblivious to those and only engage with the brands that we recognise or have that emotional connection with โ€“ whether it be the colours of the logo or a hidden element that adds to the aesthetics.

Of the brands that you have interacted with today, which ones did the best job of marketing to your needs or interests? Do they have a clear message? Did they connect with you?

We recently conducted some research to answer those questions and discovered that on an average day people think they have only been exposed to 7 logos โ€“ which is dramatically less than 5000.

We tested 20 logos that were specially selected โ€“ they were split into four categories:

  1. Abstract
  2. Organic
  3. Cultural
  4. Random selection

The most memorable category of logos was Abstract. Research shows that simplicity is one of the key traits of an effective logo design, abstract logos are very easily understood by consumers and donโ€™t contain any hidden messages. This enables the consumer to really relate with the brand and understand that it is a โ€˜what you see is what you getโ€™ type of message.

The most recognised brand was Apple with 95% of respondents knowing this. Apple is probably the most common brand to come to mind, the Apple logo works so well because of its instantly recognisable shape. Apple have no need to spell out the company name because the image says it all. This was closely Followed by Amazon with the arrow pointing from A to Z.

However, a lot of people seemed to know what brands were but couldnโ€™t recall the brand name โ€“ this demonstrates how the use of colour or symbols have an engaging and memorable aspect but shows that the brand doesnโ€™t have an emotional connection with users.

51% of the survey respondents said that a logo having a mixture of all elements (colour/text/symbols) is the best way to make a logo attractive - companies spend millions of pounds on the design of their logos so that they can differentiate themselves from competitors and be the best in their market, but do you really need to?

After the respondents had completed the exercise given to them, they were asked what brand logos they have seen today (to discover what logo was the most memorable). It can be noticed that although Amazonโ€™s logo wasnโ€™t the most recognised, it was the most memorable.

If consumers can recall a companyโ€™s logo, its likely they have an emotional connection to the overall brand. The brand related information that is expressed plays an important role in consumers purchasing decisions, with our optimiser tool at Emotional Logic we can create a personalised methodology to help you discover the true identity behind your brand. Get in touch for more information or visit

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