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The effects of congruence and incongruence in the visualization of archetypes

Gentzsch, E. (2015) The effects of congruence and incongruence in the visualization of archetypes.

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Abstract:Objective: Archetypal positioning has gained an increased amount of popularity in the field of branding; however, little investigation has been undertaken with regards to the congruent visualization of archetypal positioning among certain corporate visual identity elements. This study investigates the effects of a congruent visualization of archetypal positioning among company descriptions, logos and slogans on attitude towards the organization and perception. Method: The study consisted of two online experiments. First, 16 logos had to be rated based on four archetype descriptions as well as on logo attractiveness. The four logos scoring best for each archetype were selected for the second study. The second study included four fictive company cases, each of them consisting of a logo, a slogan and a company description. The four fictive organizations are active in the green energy business, however differing in positioning based on the four archetypes caregiver, hero, outlaw and sage. Eight scenarios were created, each of them consisting of two company cases, one case including organizations positioned on the hero vs. caregiver archetype, the other case including organizations positioned on the outlaw vs. sage archetype. In each of the eight scenarios, logo, slogan and company description of the two cases differed in congruence and incongruence. Each respondent had to rate its archetype perception and attitude towards the organization of the two presented cases. Afterwards, the degree of design sensitivity of each respondent was measured. Findings: The first study represented positive results, showing that respondents had similar associations towards the logos as described in the literature. Respondents were able to match the right logos to the right archetype description. Other than expected, the second did not show any significant results for congruence on the attitude towards the organization, therefore rejecting H1. An effect was, however, found of slogan and logo congruence on attitude for the caregiver vs. hero case among respondents scoring high on design sensitivity, therefore partly supporting H2. Moreover, a significant main effect was found for description on perception and attitude in almost all scenarios. In scenarios where the company description was for instance based on the caregiver archetype, ratings on caregiver perception tended to be higher. Conclusion: It is concluded that a congruent representation of description, logo and slogan does not have any effects on the attitude towards the organization. Results indicated, however, that organizations need to present a well thought through, informative and concise company description, in order for consumers to form a positive attitude towards the organization. In addition, findings show that the logo is a vital carrier of the archetypal positioning, a fact which should be carefully considered by organizations. In addition, the powerful ability to communicate a desired positioning through logos is not applicable when the company description is presented simultaneously with the logo. Specific assimilation processes are assumed to have an impact on this finding. All in all, this study shows that once an organization positions itself on a specific archetype, it has to thoroughly decide on how to express and visualize this archetype to its consumers, both visually and textually.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68417
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