People perceive brands as human faces

London, Sep 9 (IANS) People perceive or recognise brands or popular trademarks like human faces, says a new study.

For the new study, researchers from the Leuphana University of Luneburg in Germany compared the reactions of viewers to 16 well-known brands such as Coca Cola, Rolex, Porsche or Apple and 18 computer-generated faces.

The participants were asked to evaluate both pictures according to predefined categories.

They were asked, among other things, to evaluate them according to trustworthiness, care, strength or assertiveness.

Lead researchers Rainer Hoeger and Anne Lange found that trademarks were perceived by the same psychological mechanisms as those which enable the recognition of faces.

Well-known brands are inclined to use the faces of celebrities, believing they will bring a lot of attention.

Regardless of the popularity of the advertising medium, the observer also links their image to certain properties.

“It is also possible to test whether this fits the brand image,” they noted.

The newly acquired knowledge about the perception of faces and associated brands will help better identify what determines the perception of brands and how to influence this process.

“This will create new opportunities for the management and the targeted improvement of brand images,” the authors concluded.

The survey, whose result is particularly interesting for the advertising industry and brand management, originated at the Institute for Experimental Business Psychology at Leuphana University of Lueneburg.

The paper appeared in the journal World Review of Business Research.

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