Brand Logos Make Products Look Cheap

Last Updated Jul 27, 2010 10:39 AM EDT

Branding mavens are always touting the value of sticking a huge logo on every product because it's free advertising. Good market strategy, right? Wrong.

A study of luxury goods soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research indicated that the products that commanded the highest price were the ones that didn't even a visible logo. Only 28 percent of the sunglasses that cost $600 or more had a visible logo as opposed to 87 percent of the sunglasses that cost $100 to $200.

Turns out that the buyers of high priced goods are more concerned with product quality, much of which is expressed in the subtleties of workmanship, than in establishing that they can afford a pricey item.

It's not that buyers don't want people to know that they bought the pricey item. They apparently believe that the people whom they want to impress will notice the item without the logo hanging on it like an unremoved price-tag.

Here, once again, we've got a situation where brand marketing -- in this case logo SPAM on products -- has the exact opposite effect as intended. Logos can actually cheapen a product. Interesting, eh?