Have you ever noticed how you choose which branded products you decide to put in your shopping basket?

Take tinned chicken soup being sold in a supermarket, and a common customer who is: hungry, in a rush and doesn’t have much of a shopping list (me!).

I?m browsing around, I fancy chicken soup tonight, so I head over to view what?s on offer on the soup shelves. Do I want to pay for a quality one, that?s not too expensive or a cheap one that will do the job of satisfying my needs?

So I subconsciously start to go through a process of thought. (Cogs whirring?)

Firstly, my emotional brain steps in, taking in feelings that my senses pick up when I view a design and how it looks (visual) to what it feels like when you pick it up. (kinetic or touch). Then, my logical brain will kick in. How much is it? Is there an offer on? Will it last long? Sell-by-date? To name just a few logical questions that go through my mind.

Take Campbells Chicken Soup as an example…

I may already start a process of association just by the name. (The Andy Warhol paintings of their soup cans come to mind?)

It is a well-known ?household? name and has had an established brand built over the years. Their labelling shows good design with strong, distinct red and gold colouring (passionate, warming, heritage) with traditional, calligraphic use of typography for the logo identity and photographic imagery of a bowl of steaming, hot chicken soup. It provides a strong emotional first impression, which triggers associations in the brain of Campbells soup as quality (with their supporting advertising and marketing activity). This repositions it higher up the ?quality ladder? and commands a higher value.

I then see the Tescos supermarket branded soup. It has a similar layout showing an average image of a bowl of soup, not steaming. Colouring is green and orange, possibly to match Tesco brand styling. The emotional first impression is of value over quality ? and so the logical brain will decide primarily based on the cost (leaving enough change to get a doughnut for dessert!).

So my purchase decision comes down to:

  • how much money I want to spend
  • how good the quality is and
  • will I get a positive, feel-good once opened and consumed?


Recent studies have shown that…

…as well as brand recognition, it comes down to how good a design is – even down to the style of the font or typography.

A great book called, ?The Brain Sell: When Science Meets Shopping? by David Lewis, has conducted a number of studies and tests that reveals how we shop:

?We divided subjects into two groups and asked them to rate a bowl of tomato soup. Each was described on a menu as ?rich and creamy? The difference was that one menu was printed using Courier and looked like this:


The second used Lucida Calligraphy and looked like this:

Rich and creamy tomato soup

After eating the soup, participants were asked to rate it for taste, enjoyment, and freshness on a seven-point scale. They were also asked to say how likely they were to buy the soup. Although both groups had soup from the same tin, 64 percent of those whose menu was printed in Lucida Calligraphy rated it as tastier, fresher, and more enjoyable compared to those in the Courier group. Twice as many also said that they would definitely buy the soup of themselves.?

How does this effect your business?

The same applies to how your business brand and logo identity is perceived based on your customers’ perception.

How you look professionally in person, on print and through your website, is subconsciously assessed by a customer ? before purchasing.?Click to tweet this

Who have you done business with recently?

Have a think about companies you have seen and done business with recently, both new ones and others you have used in the past.

  • Can you still remember what their brand looked like?
  • Did the logo and design appeal to you?
  • Was the typeface relevant – and did it make you feel that it was a quality business?
  • Were they good value – or over-priced?
  • Did you decide based on their brand design?

Making a decision to purchase from a selection of companies is based on a number of controlled variables ? including price, quality, recommendations ? as well as how they look and feel. So that first impression is crucial, and keeping that look consistent through all your brand identity will certainly help keep customers and stay loyal.

How do you make a considered purchase? I’d be interested to know. (we’re all motivated by different thoughts and emotions…)

And, if you need help or advice with your brand identity, I’d be happy to talk to you.


Andy Fuller

Andy Fuller

Hi, I'm a logo, brand and UX/UI designer, brand strategist and general blogger. Passionate on helping creative entrepreneurs and ecomms launch and grow their digital experience. As well as drumming on me bongo drums by night :)

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